Another word for abuse is bullying.
Incredible as it may seem, many people remain in abusive relationships, whether married or living together. Besides the incredible nature of survivors of abuse remaining in these relations, some return after leaving. Why?
There are various reasons for a person to remain in an abusive relationship. Some factors that contribute to this are:
1. Trauma or abuse in childhood: People who experienced abuse or trauma as children may be more likely to become abusers or be attracted to abusive partners.
2. Alcohol and drug abuse can contribute to abusive behavior by impairing judgment and increasing aggression.
3. Abusive partners often seek power and control over their partners. They use physical, emotional, and financial abuse to maintain control.
4. Mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and personality disorders contribute to abusive behavior.
5. Some cultures and societies may condone or encourage abusive behavior towards women. However, those cultures do not view their behavior as abusive.
6. Abusive relationships are often characterized by a power imbalance, with one partner dominating the other. Problems can be exacerbated by jealousy, possessiveness, and insecurity.
7. Victims often feel guilt and shame about being in an abusive relationship and worry about being judged or blamed by others.
It is important to note that no one deserves to be abused, and there is never an excuse for abusive behavior. It is not your fault if you are in an abusive relationship; help is available.
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or strong narcissistic features cause abuse in a relationship. Narcissists lack empathy for others, leading to them mistreating their partners. Narcissists may use their power and control over their partners to manipulate and exploit them for their gain. Narcissistic abuse can take many forms, including emotional, verbal, and physical abuse.
Narcissists manipulate reality to make their partner doubt their experiences and feelings. The victim can feel confused, isolated, and unsure of their sanity.
It is important to note that not all abusers are narcissists, and not all narcissists are abusive. However, suppose you are in a relationship with a narcissist exhibiting abusive behavior. In that case, it is important to seek help and support to protect yourself and heal from the trauma. Attempting to reason with this type of person is doomed to failure because all they know is what they believe to be true.
If you are in an abusive relationship and want to leave, there are steps you can take to increase your safety and make a plan for leaving. Here are some suggestions:
1. Reach out for help by contacting a domestic violence shelter or hotline for support and guidance on leaving an abusive relationship.
2. Document evidence of abuse: Keep a record of abusive incidents, including dates, times, and details of what happened, then obtain a restraining order if necessary.
3. If you plan to leave, pack a bag with important documents. Among these are identification, birth certificates, financial information, clothing, and personal items.
4. Identify a safe time and place to leave, and arrange for someone you trust to help if possible. Ensure you have a way to get to a safe location and a plan for where to go.
5. Protect your privacy: Change your phone number and email address, and be cautious about sharing your new address with others.
6. Consider getting a restraining order or filing for divorce or custody if necessary. A lawyer or legal aid organization can help you with this process.
In working with survivors of abuse, I can report that planning, packing a bag, and knowing where to go are important. Some people return to live with their parents, others go to a shelter, and others to a friend’s home. Those who have children take the kids with them. Abusers can harm children and their partners. Depending on the situation, sometimes the police are alerted to escort the victims out of the house and to safety.
Remember, leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous, so it is important to have a safety plan in place. Seek help and support from trained professionals, and prioritize your safety and well-being above all else.
An individual may repeat a past event or behavior because of repetition compulsion, even if it is distressing. Repeating relationship mistakes, seeking negative situations, or engaging in harmful behaviors. None of this self-destructive is conscious. Survivors are unaware of this behavior and its consequences.
PTSD is a mental health condition that follows a traumatic event. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance behaviors, and hyperarousal. These symptoms can be severe and long-lasting and significantly affect a person’s quality of life.
PTSD is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it is important to know that it results from trauma that causes changes in the brain and how it functions.
There are many excellent books about trauma and how it affects people. One excellent book is Trauma and Recovery by Judith L. Herman, MD.