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Rape and Abuse If you or someone you know is being abused in any way and you need support or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us here.

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Question How do you really know? - September 4th 2017, 01:56 AM

How does someone know if they are being abused (verbally, emotionally, psychologically, etc.)?
(in terms of abuse, not physical/sexual, but the other stuff, the complex side of it...)

What would someone possibly do about that? How would one really know the signs of that abuse happening to them?

How does it relate when after the 'abuse' they are "normal" and treating the person normally? However, going back to the 'abuse'?

How would someone be able to actually keep up with it all?

All is left are these confused feelings, thoughts, and reactions to things...

Where, the tell-tale signs are usually, how that person feels around that person and if they have changed about outlooks with that/those people. What if, it's so confusing that there isn't away to identify anything anymore?

What does someone do about it?


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Re: How do you really know? - September 6th 2017, 01:56 AM

I can't speak for other people, but I can speak for myself.

From what I understand, after abuse (of any type) the victim (or survivor, if that's what you prefer) can have their identity become mixed with the abuse. I know for myself that the abuse became a reflection of my character and, furthermore, a barometer by which I judged my worthiness and worthwhileness in all my relationships. This affected me for many years and drove many of my maladaptive coping mechanisms.

It's hard to pinpoint what changed. I guess it was when I was faced with the final choice: die or learn to live with myself, the person I really am. So I found the will to live, because I didn't want my abuser's actions to be the cause of my death. I refused to die, to make myself small for them. It's been difficult to accept what's actually me and what's the stories put in my head by my abusers, but I had to come to terms with the fact that my abuse does not define who I am. Abuse is something I didn't chose, something violently thrust upon me. I get to choose my identity. I get to choose my story. So I set aside all the voices that said I'm fat, ugly, worthless, no good, never going to amount to anything, etc. I started paying attention to the things the made me happy with myself, like writing a good poem, or successfully being able to help someone, or starting yoga- things that related to a character trait (creativity, compassion, health) and I hung onto that. I made THAT tape part of the ones in my head, part of the story that makes me who I am.

Because that's just it: abuse is a story. An awful, tragic story, but a story all the same. And when things are stories, we have the power to make those stories our reality. Do we choose to make the bad things our story of the good? I am by no means saying to discount the pain encountered through abuse, because it's very serious and needs to be addressed in a safe, healthy environment. I just mean that you don't have to tell yourself the story your abusers told you. You can choose to tell yourself a different story, a positive one, one where you aren't the victim, but the hero.

It's a long process and I am by no means through it yet; I've only just started. But I know one thing: my ex, the one who inflicted most of my recent abuse upon me, is the one in the wrong. There is something wrong with him, and not me. No matter what he said, what he made me think, I know that I am not the things he said I was. Other people, so many other people, can see the life and love in me, and I believe that view much more than I believe my ex's.

I don't know if this was what you were looking for, but I hope it helps somehow.


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Re: How do you really know? - September 6th 2017, 04:13 PM

Emotional abuse occurs in all abusive relationships. That tends to be how the person starts abusing the person. They will talk down to them, make the person feel unworthy and make the person feel like they NEED the abusive person in their lives. This drags the person down a bit and so when the abuser starts to hit them they tend to accept it because they believe the emotionally abusive things that have been said.

That being said, not all emotionally abusive relationships become physical or sexual and in that case a lot of the people who are being emotionally abused don't really realize that it is abuse. The thing with emotional abuse is that society doesn't really accept it as a valid form of abuse so, of course, the victims end up thinking "Since they aren't getting physical it isn't a big deal'.

My mom was emotionally abusive for a good majority of my life. She would make passive aggressive comments about my weight and she would do a whole lot of other stuff. However, I didn't really feel like I had a right to complain since my mom was present and her and my dad provided for my needs.

Identifying emotional abuse can be difficult especially when others don't acknowledge it. But, I think the thing to realize is that if someone you are around is constantly putting you down, making you feel worthless, constantly pointing out your mistakes and doing so in a rather cruel way it is emotional abuse. Yeah, sometimes people say things they don't mean. I yelled at someone the other day because I was frustrated with them. I apologized but I don't have a track record of yelling or being mean. So, if a person you are interacting with has a track record of talking down to you and 'emotionally' berating you that is a sign. Also, most abusive people will have outbursts or go periods where they are more abusive and then they will go through a stage where they are back to normal. Sometimes they are apologetic etc. I believe that this is referred to as the 'honeymoon phase' (that is what the domestic violence shelter I volunteered at described it as) and normally, overtime, the honeymoon phase stops happening and the person is just abusive and doesn't feel a need to apologize.

With what little knowledge I have about abusive relationships (Romantic and platonic) the only real way to make the abuse stop is to remove the person from your life. I know that this is not always an easy thing for a person to do but at the end of the day if you are being abused and you aren't able to get away there really isn't any way to get the abuse to stop. Talking to the person could end up making things worse especially if they are unwilling to acknowledge that the things they are doing are wrong. In order for a person to change they have to admit that they are in the wrong and that they need help. It's not common for abusive people to want to change or admit that they have a problem that needs to be worked on.


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