The Initial Signs

My ex-boyfriend and I had exchanged stories regarding our most recent break-ups when we first met. He told me that his ex girlfriend had broken up with him because he was “too negative” – BIG surprise there!  He seemed so charming and supportive; “negative” just didn’t make sense to me at the time.

However, there were lots of little signs that I didn’t pay attention to because I was infatuated. The key in identifying an abusive individual is being able to hone in on those RED FLAGS at the beginning that might predict escalated abuse in the future. I remember reading the following list months into my relationship, when the verbal abuse had peaked, and I had then put the pieces together. All of these signs were present even at the beginning, just to a lesser degree:

  • He seems irritated or angry with you several times a week. When you ask why he’s mad, he either denies it or tells you it’s in some way your fault.
  • When you feel hurt and try to talk with him, the issues never get resolved. He might refuse to discuss your upset feelings by saying, “You’re just trying to start an argument!” or claiming he has no idea what you’re talking about.
  • You frequently feel frustrated because you can’t get him to understand your intentions.
  • You’re upset—not so much about concrete issues like how much time to spend together, but about communication: what he thinks you said and what you heard him say.
  • You sometimes think, “What’s wrong with me? I shouldn’t feel so bad.”
  • He seems to take the opposite view from you on almost everything, and his opinion isn’t stated as, “I think …” but as if you’re wrong and he’s right.
  • You can’t recall saying, “Cut it out!” or “Stop it!”

Excerpt from: The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Patricia Evans. Adams Media Corp 1992, 1996, 2010

Get to know the person you’re dating VERY well. Be curious, ask questions, see how they respond, make note of their inclination to address any topic – are they genuinely forthcoming or do they simply blame their ex’s for failed relationships in the past? Are they coming on too strong?  This could be a sign that they’re trying to control and take ownership of you. Are they constantly speaking highly of you and very lowly of others? They might be idealizing you and this will lead to constant criticism down the line. Full-fledged verbal abuse takes time, but the signs are there right off the bat.

Always respect yourself, speak up when you’re being mistreated and trust your gut. DON’T settle! Once I’m ready to date and start a new relationship, I’ll be taking my time, making sure that respect and healthy communication are priorities for both.

~DIVA~

Chris xo.

Get Lost

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau

My relationship ended and I found myself considerably lost, confused and inundated with way too many important life decisions for one broken-hearted person to handle. I’ve had to re-evaluate absolutely everything from my career path, my likes and dislikes and, my future goals, just to name a few.  Which road do I take? How do I get there? Will I regret my choices? Will that decision make me happy in the long run?  As overwhelming as this place can be, I realize I needed to get here in order to understand and appreciate myself thoroughly as a unique individual with a unique destiny.

Today happened to be one of those dreaded “lost” days.  However, something changed today; I learned to finally embrace the overwhelmingly blank canvas. Truly, I am wholly blessed with the freedom to follow my life’s destiny and allow my dreams to materialize. Nothing and nobody is holding me back. My life is no longer in someone else’s control; I create the life I want.

Through the clouds, the decisions, the void and pain, I begin to see who I REALLY am and it’s kind of amazing. It’s almost as though a pure self-love has been brewing in the shadows.

Thoreau was right:)

~DIVA~

Chris xo.

Why? Why? Why?

I had spent many months after my relationship drowning in “WHYs.” It was exhausting, to say the very least.

Why did he treat me the way he did? Why isn’t he calling? Why can’t he apologize? Why do others seem to love him so much? Why is he so driven and successful? Why does he seem so oblivious to what he put me through? Why can’t he fix himself? Why doesn’t he care? Why is he so selfish? Why does he think he’s always right? WHY ME?!

If you’re at all familiar with the “WHY” stage after your verbally abuse relationship is over, then you’ll know how draining it can be. It’s taken every ounce of my strength to stop asking why and to start moving forward. Ultimately, I’ll just never know. What I do know is that his instability and his issues with aggression stem from an inner suffering I can’t help with nor understand. Unless he gets the proper help he needs,  which will help him to understand how and why he hurt me, which might encourage him to APOLOGIZE, I’ll just never reconcile with the “WHYs.”

Constantly asking “WHY” is like digging yourself so deep into a bottomless pit that you start to lose sight of the light. I’m finally learning how to move forward, stop asking questions to which I can’t possibly have the answers to, and focus on being happy and strive for my goals.

~DIVA~

Chris xo.

My BIG Mistake

Today I decided it would be a good idea to check up on my Instagram account; TERRIBLE idea. I came across my picture feed where my ex had “liked” several things and left numerous comments on our mutual friends pictures. I then went to delete all of the pictures on my account that had anything to do with him.

Not too long after my brilliant plan feelings of sadness, pain and disbelief were stirred up again. UGH! I have such a difficult time with the fact that he has not reached out to me. I thought that was what abusers do; apologize and try to lure you back into the relationship? I know I don’t  actually want contact with him. Yet there is a large part of me that wants the satisfaction of seeing how much he cares, as opposed to knowing based on what I’ve read about people who are abusive.  I wrote my ex two emails a month after I left him and highlighted EVERY SINGLE ONE of the areas in which he was verbally/emotionally/coercively abusive in chart-form. ( patting-myself-on-back )

But still, how is he not reaching out? How is he commenting, uploading, “liking” pictures as though he isn’t a wounded individual that needs to seek therapy! Here I am unable to even be on social media yet he’s all up on it as though our relationship, and the nature of our break-up never happend. How come my letter hasn’t hit home for him with regard to the fact that HE is in the wrong, and I’m not the only girl who he’s done this too; just the first not to call the police.

Now, the thing that is so painful is that it appears as though he doesn’t care. But, in fact, he cares more than I do.  I have to keep reminding myself that he is just putting on a front to make it seem as though he isn’t fazed by our breakup when he is actually torn up.

I will be so happy when I am fully healed, because times like these make me think that I will never get over him.

~DIVA~

xo Hope ox