The past six months have been SUCH a journey for me. Six months ago I was living in Montreal with by verbally abusive boyfriend. I didn’t have a job, I had VERY few friends; I felt isolated, depressed and lonely. I spent the majority of my social time with my ( now ex) boyfriends family members, especially his mom.
The day I left my ex boyfriend, I went back to Connecticut to live with my parents. It’s been a challenge. I’ve been here for 6 months practicing yoga, going to weekly therapy sessions, and soul searching…LOTS of soul searching. My goal was to heal and find work in Manhattan…
I just accepted a job offer in Manhattan. And my mind is going bonkers! I’ve been taking the time to listen to my mind, body and soul to make sure that everything is in sync. I have gone through SO many changes in the past 6 months, it’s mind boggling. I don’t even know how I did it… My tenacity never ceases to amaze me.
I’ve made it my life’s mission to listen to my heart and go for whatever it is that I want and need. I’ve done it time and time again throughout my life and because of it I am a strong, wise, and resilient young woman who has learned many of life’s lessons early on.
I can tell you that today I am so proud of myself. Proud of the growth I’ve made while being in Connecticut. Proud of myself for doing the (sometimes agonizing) work that I needed to do to move on to the next chapter in my life. Most of all I’m proud that I let myself feel every emotion necessary in order to get over the man I tried to save by being his doormat, verbal punching bag, and catering to his every request.
Thank you for all of your support, encouragement, and kindness I feel so lucky to have such an amazing virtual support system. Your comments and “likes” have gotten me through many of the off days I’ve had. Today at my 430 Hot Baptiste Hour of Power class, I will be dedicating my practice to each and every one of you. For love, happiness, healing and strength. I found it within myself and it’s there, inside you, waiting to be nurtured.
xo Hope ox
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.
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.
Feelings of depression: You bury your feelings, walk on egg shells and work so hard at keeping the peace that every day becomes an emotional chore. You feel depressed and have even wondered if you are crazy.
Feelings of isolation:You feel confused and alone as you become more and more insecure from being subjected to verbal abuse and psychological distress. You may also feel ashamed of discussing these issues with friends or family, which leaves you even further isolated.
Feelings of helplessness: You cannot get your point across and are not sure how to overcome verbally abusive characteristics. You become helpless as nothing you do or say seems to stop the abuse. You feel helpless in your relationship and in your decisions.