The Invisible Domestic Violence No-one talks about

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The Invisible Domestic Violence No-one talks about

Post  Kat on Wed May 13, 2015 1:12 am


There were times when I wished he would hit me.

You know, a nice punch to my face. That way, I could have walked to my neighbors and said, “Look! Look what he did! Please help me!” But with me, as with many other women, it wasn’t that simple. It seldom ever is.

Domestic violence has existed as long as humans have walked the Earth. The majority of abusers are men. Most, if not all, were abused as children in some way, shape or form, and were lacking in affection, self-esteem and good role models. The causes and methods of abuse are many and varied just like the people involved.

Abuse of any type is often a byproduct of years of low self-esteem, feelings of unworthiness, being abused oneself and a million other things all tied together in a vicious knot. It’s a complex and sometimes difficult situation to read.

So too are the circumstances for the victim. No one stays with someone who abuses them physically or verbally because they like to be abused. Most have come to this point because of childhood trauma, a longterm relationship with someone who is an expert at controlling and manipulating their victim, and numerous other issues with self-worth.

The reasons for abuse are almost always the same: abusers need to have power over someone else to help them feel better about their own deficiencies, low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy.

Women who are in abusive relationships will often defend their abusers and stay in the relationship long past the time they should have left. It is often the female who blames herself and keeps trying to make things work. Sometimes it’s the subtle mind games of the controlling, manipulative partner that cause a woman to doubt herself and her feelings.

This is often difficult for those who have never been in an abusive relationship to understand, but there are many reasons for this. Some are easily understood, some not so much.

Sometimes it is low self-esteem that holds them in place. My therapist kept asking me one question at the end of every session: “Why did you stay?” I kept answering, “I didn’t want to hurt him.” Then one day, it hit me like a brick. Because of past traumas reinforced by my relationship, I didn’t feel like I deserved any better.

Sometimes it is simply fear that holds them in place. It could be fear of retaliation from the partner should they seek help, or, especially in cases involving verbal abuse and controlling behavior, they feel no one will believe them.

Many times women have taken a stand and decided to leave only to have the abuser decide to end it for all concerned. There have been many cases of this resulting in the death of the woman, and sometimes the children, family and friends, before the abuser turns the weapon on himself—finally putting an end to the vicious cycle.

Many think that that non-physical abuse is not as harmful or dangerous. This can be a huge mistake. Unlike the women who have been physically abused, there are no outward signs of mistreatment. All the wounds and scars are deep within the psyche—branded in the soul of the abused.

Verbal abuse, and the controlling, manipulative behavior that goes along with it, are the silent killers. Instead of taking a physical life, these abusers will kill a woman’s spirit slowly and painfully. Those who are adept at manipulation do this without anyone imagining the truth of the situation. Outwardly they may appear as the “perfect couple.” Inwardly the woman is in tremendous emotional pain and turmoil. She may not trust her own judgment any longer and may think that this is just how things are meant to be.

The signs and symptoms are many and varied, but they all share the same core issues. There are some subtle warning signs to look for. They include, but are not limited to the following:

   A woman who is overly critical of herself and always defending her partner.
   Someone who never socializes without her spouse or partner being present.
   An overbearing partner, or one who treats their partner like a child.
   Partner is constantly correcting or showing possessiveness with their actions.
   And the obvious: unexplained or suspicious bruises, burns and broken bones.

As a society, we must learn to see and recognize these signs and reach out to help in whatever way we can. It may be nothing more than just assuring them that you’re there if they need to talk and really listening if they do so. And if at all possible, let them know they have a place to stay should they need to leave in a hurry. Keep the Domestic Violence Hotline number handy in case they want to call. Sometimes this is all you can do.

We can all learn to listen better, to see more clearly when someone in our life needs help. Sometimes all these women need in order to seek help is non-judgment, kindness, and presence. Chances are they will open up if they feel safe with you.

There comes a time in all types of these relationships when the victim can’t bear it anymore. She must walk away and seek help. Simply having a friend to go to at such a time can be a lifesaver in every sense of the word.

Leaving a long-term abusive relationship is not as easy as most would think. Women tend to blame themselves and keep hoping that things will improve. If someone comes to you for help, please don’t judge. Accept the fact that things are not always as they seem, and reach out a helping hand.

Article source: elephant journal

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Re: The Invisible Domestic Violence No-one talks about

Post  Kat on Fri May 22, 2015 2:43 am

Emotional and verbal abuse diminish self-esteem and erode the spirit.

The patterns of mind-games, put-downs, and chaos take control over all aspects of life. The result is feeling fearful, as if everything is our fault, that we can never do enough or be good enough.

Sometimes, it feels as if we are losing our minds and all sense of stability is lost.

Identifying emotional and verbal abuse is a massive challenge.

To admit to ourselves that we have been abused, a larger challenge. Taking action to resolve an abusive scenario can seem insurmountable. And after all that, healing and rediscovering the truth of oneself can seem impossible because by that point, a person has been left drained of all vitality, hope and faith.

Healing requires time, understanding, support and deep personal integrity.

1. There is nothing wrong with us.

When entering a relationship, the qualities of who the people we love are often over looked in an idyllic emotional maelstrom. There is no fault for being abused.

The abuser also needs to be set free of blame; only a hurt person hurts people and they could not help by be who they are. To have taken the steps to be free and create a new life for ourselves, we have demonstrated amazing qualities of heart and spirit.

To be able to take action and bring that out when in the midst of living hell reveals a rare quality of spirit that few people possess.

Each person is a unique and beautiful soul. When we begin to value and appreciate that in our own self, the talents and traits that we most appreciate blossom. To forgive oneself allows forgiveness of the other.

2. Seek support and receive the support with trust.

Because self-esteem is the first casualty of emotional and verbal trauma, being in the company of those who remember and recognize our authentic self gives powerful healing.

The longer the pain and negative emotions are bottled up, the more harm they do to us. Being able to talk with trusted family or friends about the experiences we have been through will open perceptions, allowing the intuition that guided us to take action to gain in strength.

In sharing feelings and stories, validation of the spirit that we are happens, and integration of the experiences begins to happen naturally.

The most difficult aspect of support is being able to receive what is being offered. Often times, trust has been diminished, and being able to receive love, affection, and genuine is hard. The sources of love and pure friendships are questioned because it is confusing to receive authentic support after having been undermined and demeaned.

Yet, receiving love is essential for it allows the wounds to heal.

3. Affirm your value and honor your self-esteem.

Take whatever actions that are necessary to bolster the relationship and trust you have within yourself.

Our hearts will guide us, and whatever the inclinations are, embrace them. Some people find solace in solitude, others in community. Some people find dance, art, writing, creativity, work or focusing on family to be supportive.

What works for one person may not work for another. And that is the point—this is the time to identify and affirm for ourselves what works for us and supports our authenticity. Part of affirming personal value is to set healthy boundaries, and to stick to them.

Affirming words, when spoken aloud, are healing.

4. Forgive yourself, patiently.

By recognizing and accepting personal responsibility for what was contributed to create an abusive environment, liberty is found.

Forgiveness is difficult, and while it is easy to rationalize and think of justification, the true feeling of forgiveness can be elusive. In my experience, the hardest person to forgive is ones own self.

For allowing somebody else to treat us poorly, for trusting and enabling demeaning behavior, and for letting them use and lead us astray.

This normally happens because of trust, innocence and intimacy. And to retain that sensitivity requires remaining open. While a person may become guarded to the outside world and other people, it only harms the self to shut down sensitivities.

Better to appreciate your heart and keep the sacred truth of who you are than to shut down completely.

Patience is required because a little bit heals at a time.

When we are fortunate a large shift can happen. But the fullness of heart and spirit returns in time. Similar to sculpting, different pieces of differing sizes fall at different times, until what remains is the statue. The pain falls away, and the self is revealed.

5. Laugh. A lot.

Laughter makes the heart brighten, and after coming from a tough scenario, laughing can be the furthest thing from us.

Being around people who make us laugh, watching funny movies, being around people who are happy, can help us realign to our inner self.

One of my favorite practices is to say HA, very loudly and emphatically. And to do that over and over, in a variety of ways, until the very ridiculousness of it turns into real laughter and humor.

Kind of like starting a car engine, the sound HA may sound empty at first, yet can ignite true mirth and uplift spirits.

6. Empower our willpower.

Depression, also called deep resting, is a normal part of healing from trauma and abuse.

To break free of the shadows requires an act of will that only comes from within. The strength to stand up with integrity of spirit comes from the heart, and happens only when ready.

Daily routine, exercise, cleanliness, selfless service and the fruits of labor can all be effective for building willpower. Learning to say no, breaking old habits and establishing new patterns, all develop willpower.

7. Remember love.

To be able to heal is to remember love.

And this takes time, patience and gentleness with oneself that others may not give. The understanding we seek from others can only be communicated to them only after first having seen and recognized the understanding of oneself.

The breaking free of abusive patterns means to see with truth what was done to allow for such behavior, that enabled it for continuing.

To remain free is to remember the love, talent and dignity of the individual soul, the personal spirit that you are.

Love liberates!


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