The topic of Abuse has been running through my newsfeed this entire week, I felt it necessary to talk a little about it. I stumbled upon a site that details some warning signs of abuse and it’s a mandatory share. The website is titled; Hidden Hurt and that link will take you right to it. I feel so passionate about abuse and abuse victims because it breaks my heart, as I’m sure it does yours, to see someone trapped in such a situation for whatever reason. I had a friend a while ago that would come to me completely covered in bruises. I always felt lost for ideas. I tried often to convince her to come with me, to leave, to let me help. She always went back. I saw the slow Isolation from the beginning and we haven’t spoken in a decade plus. As an adult and a criminal justice major, when I look back, I can see that her trap was largely due to seeing her mother enduring the same abuse, it almost seemed like she thought that was just how it was.
Some of the warning signs, I saw on this site, of an abuser are as follows;
At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser will always say the jealousy is a sign of love. [He/she may question you about whom you have spoken to or seen during the day, may accuse you of flirting, or be jealous of time you spend with family, friends, children or hobbies which do not include him/her.] As the jealousy progresses, he/she may call you frequently during the day or drop by unexpectedly. He may be unhappy about or refuse to let you work for fear you’ll meet someone else, check the car mileage or ask friends to keep an eye on you. Jealousy is not proof of love, it is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness.
I thought about chopping off and cutting out some of the text, but if someone decides not to click the link to the site, they may miss some valuable clues.
Controlling behaviour is often disguised or excused as concern. Concern for your safety, your emotional or mental health, the need to use your time well, or to make sensible decisions. [Your abuser may be angry or upset if you are ‘late’ coming back from work, shopping, visiting friends, etc., even if you told him/her you would be later back than usual.] Your abuser may question you closely about where you were, whom you spoke to, the content of every conversation you held, or why you did something he/she was not involved in….Click Here
Many victims of abuse dated or knew their abuser for less than six months before they were engaged or living together.[ The abuser will often claim ‘love at first sight’, that you are ‘made for each other’, or that you are the only person whom he could ever talk to so openly, feel so at home with, could understand him so well. He/she may tell you that they have never loved anyone so much or felt so loved by anyone so much before, when you have really only known each other for a short amount of time.] He/she needs someone desperately, and will pressure you to commit to him/her or make love before you feel the relationship has reached ‘that stage’. He/she may also [make you feel guilty for not committing yourself to him/her.]
The abuser may expects you to be the perfect husband, wife, mother, father, lover, and friend. He/she is very dependent on you for all his/her needs, and may tell you he/she can fulfil all your needs as lover, friend, and companion. Statements such as: ‘lf you love me, I’m all you need’, ‘You are all I need.’ are common. Your abuser may expect you to provide everything for him/her emotionally, practically, financially or spiritually, and then blame you for not being perfect or living up to expectation.
Very rarely will an abusive personality accept responsibility for any negative situation or problem. [If they are unemployed, can’t hold down a job, were thrown out of college or University or fall out with their family, it is always someone else’s fault], be it the boss, the government, or their mother. They may feel that someone is always doing them wrong, or out to get them. He/she may make a mistakes and then blame you for upsetting him/her or preventing him/her from doing as they wished to
The abuser will deny feelings stem from within him/her but see them as reactions to your behaviour or attitude toward him/her. He/she may tell you that [‘you make me mad’], ‘you’re hurting me by not doing what I ask’, or that he/she cannot help feeling mad, upset, etc. Feelings may be used to manipulate you, i.e. ‘I would not be angry if you didn’t …’ Positive emotions will often also be seen as originating outside the abuser, but are more difficult to detect. Statements such as [‘You make me happy’] or ‘You make me feel good about myself’ are also signs that the abuser feels you are responsible for his sense of well-being. Either way, you become in his/her mind the cause of good and bad feelings and are therefore responsible for his/her emotional well-being and happiness. Consequently, you are also to blame for any negative feelings such as anger, upset or depression
Most abusers have very low self-esteem and are therefore easily insulted or upset.[ They may claim their feelings are ‘hurt’ when they are really angry, or take unrelated comments as personal attacks.] They may perceive normal set-backs (having to work additional hours, being asked to help out, receiving a parking fine, etc.) as grave personal injustices. [They may view your preference for something which differs from their own as a criticism of their taste and therefore themselves] (e.g. blue wallpaper rather than pink, etc.).
He/she may show little concern about whether you want to have intercourse and uses sulking or anger to manipulate you into compliance.Starting sex while you are sleeping, demanding sex when you are ill or tired.
This is a fairly important warning sign and really quite easy to spot once you can tell all the little ways in which you are being verbally abused. In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, either in public or in private, this can include degrading remarks or running down any accomplishments. Often the abuser will tell you that you are ‘stupid’, could not manage without him/her. He/she may keep you up all night to ‘sort this out once and for all’ or even wake you at night to continue to verbally abuse you. The abuser may even say kindly things to your face, but speak badly about you to friends and family. (Check out Verbal Abuse for more information)
Very rarely do abusers conform to the stereotypical image of aconstantly harsh, nasty or violent person, either in public or in private. More frequently the abuser portrays a perfectly normal and pleasant picture to the outside world (often they have responsible jobs or are respected and important members of the local community or Church) and reserves the abuse for you in the privacy of your own home. Nor are abusers always overtly abusive or cruel, but can display apparent kindness and consideration. This Jeckyll and Hyde tendency of the abuser serves to further confuse the victim, while protecting themselves from any form of suspicion from outsiders. Many victims describe “sudden” changes in mood – one minute nice and the next explosive or hysterical, or one minute happy and the next minute sad. This does not indicate some special “mental problem” but are typical of abusive personalities, and related to other characteristics such as hypersensitivity.
While neither drinking or the use of drugs are signs of an abusive personality, heavy drinking or drug abuse may be a warning sign and do increase the risks of abuse, especially violence, taking place. Often an abusive person will blame the drink for his/her abuse. However, a person who, knowing there is a risk he/she could be violent when drinking or on drugs, chooses to get drunk or high, is in effect choosing to abuse. The link between substance abuse and domestic abuse is still being researched, and it is apparent that while neither alcohol nor drugs necessarily cause violence, they do increase the risk of violence. (SeeWhat about alcohol and domestic violence?)
This would obviously include any threat of physical force such as “If you speak to him/her again, I’ll kill you”, or “If any wife of mine acted like John’s did, I’d give her a right seeing to”. Threats are designed to manipulate and control you, to keep you in your place and prevent you making your own decisions. Most people do not threaten their mates, but an abuser will excuse this behaviour by saying “everybody talks like that.”, maintaining he/she is only saying this because the relationship or you are so important to him/her, tell you you’re “over-sensitive” for being upset by such threats, or obviously want to hurt him/her. Threats can also be less overt, such as “If you leave me, I will kill myself”, or “You are so wonderful, I will never let you go/couldn’t live without you”.
The abusive personality may break your treasured object, beat his/her fists on the table or chair or throw something at or past you. Breaking your things is often used as a punishment for some imagined misdeed on your part. Sometimes it will be justified by saying that now that you are with him/her, you don’t need these items any more. Breaking your possessions also has the effect of de-personalising you, denying you your individuality or literally trying to break links to your past. Beating items of furniture or throwing objects will often be justified by saying you wound him/her up so much they lost control, once again shifting the blame for this behaviour on to you, but is actually used to terrorise you into submission. Only very immature or abusive people beat on objects in the presence of other people in order to threaten or intimidate them.
BIG warning sign! What starts off in early courtship as a bit of a push or a a shove, can turn into fullblown beatings not long down the road. An abuser may physically restrain you from leaving the room, lash out at you with his/her hand or another object, pin you against a wall or shout ‘right in your face’. Basically any form of force used during an argument can be a sign that serious physical violence is a strong possibility.
I urge anyone that stumbles upon this blog post to greatly consider the signs and symptoms. Please head over to Hidden Hurt and check it out, you or someone you know may be in need of some assistance, a kind ear, or a visit to Hidden Hurt themselves.
Do you think that you may be in an abusive relationship?
… sometimes feel afraid of your partner?
… feel as though the boundaries keep shifting?
… feel as though you can never do the right thing?
… often feel guilty for something you have not done?
… feel as though you are walking on eggshells?s
… often change your social engangements because of your partner?
… wish he/she would change and be nicer to you?
… spend more time thinking of what your partner wants than what you do?
Does your partner:
… get jealous easily, even without reason?
… nag or belittle you frequently?
… always want to know where you have been and what you have been doing?
… threaten to hurt himself or the children if you don’t comply?
… sometimes just seem to totally ignore you for hours or days?
… insist on having sex even if you don’t really want to?
… embarass you in front of friends or family?
… belittle your accomplishments or trash your ideas?