Why do we stay in a violent relationship?

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What is domestic violence and abuse?

When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence. But domestic abuse includes any attempt by one person in an intimate relationship or marriage to dominate and control the other. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” An abuser uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb.
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone; it does not discriminate. Abuse happens within heterosexual relationships and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more often victimized, men also experience abuse—especially verbal and emotional. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether from a man, woman, teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe.
Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal assault to violence. And while physical injury may pose the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your relationship is abusive.

Who has ever been in a relationship that was not only violent but that you knew was wrong and had been for quite some time?

Barriers to escaping a violence relationship include by are not limited to:

  • The fear that the abuser’s actions will become more violent and may become lethal if the victim attempts to leave.
  • Unsupportive friends and family
  • Knowledge of the difficulties of single parenting and reduced financial circumstances
  • The victim feeling that the relationship is a mix of good times, love and hope along with the manipulation, intimidation and fear.
  • The victim’s lack of knowledge of or access to safety and support
  • Fear of losing custody of any children if they leave or divorce their abuser or fear the abuser will hurt, or even kill, their children
  • Lack of means to support themselves and/or their children financially or lack of access to cash, bank accounts, or assets
  • Lack of having somewhere to go (e.g. no friends or family to help, no money for hotel, shelter programs are full or limited by length of stay)
  • Fear that homelessness may be their only option if they leave
  • Religious or cultural beliefs and practices may not support divorce or may dictate outdated gender roles and keep the victim trapped in the relationship
  • Belief that two parent households are better for children, despite abuse

A victim’s reasons for staying with their abusers are extremely complex and, in most cases, are based on the reality that their abuser will follow through with the threats they have used to keep them trapped: the abuser will hurt or kill them, they will hurt or kill the kids, they will win custody of the children, they will ruin their victim financially — the list goes on. The victim in violent relationships knows their abuser best and fully knows the extent to which they will go to make sure they have and can maintain control over the victim. The victim literally may not be able to safely escape or protect those they love.

The 13 most common signs of emotional abuse are:

1. Devaluation
Psychopaths know that no one is about to drop at their feet and declare their love for someone as twisted and cruel as they are, so they developed a technique, sometimes known as love-bombing.
The person will lure a partner of their choosing by being the most overly-invested, kind-hearted person. They will act like you are the most amazing person they’ve ever met. “I don’t know what I’d do without you”, they’ll say. You’ll feel special.
However, once you’re attached they’ll start devaluing you. It might be a random comment that puts you down, or blaming you for things you haven’t done. But slowly they will start to worm seeds of doubt about your own character or looks into your mind.

2. Putting others down                                                                                                                 This is a warning sign. Sure, someone who’s been in a particularly bad relationship might talk about how bad it was. However, someone with psychopathic or narcissistic tendencies will say terrible things about their exes to their new partner.
Be aware, the same things could just as easily be said about you if things turn sour. Think whether your partner’s remarks are justified or not.

3. Questioning your sanity
If you’ve ever seen The Girl on the Train, you’ll know this one. A partner will make you doubt your own sanity by asking questions like ‘are you crazy?’, or making you feel as though a problem is your fault, even if you don’t remember it being that way.
It makes you feel bad, want to apologise and gives your manipulative partner the upper hand.

4. Projecting
Projecting is all about the abuser pushing their desires or wrongdoings on you. If they’ve cheated, it will be your fault for ‘wanting to cheat’ first.
If your partner is mean to you, it’s only because ‘you were mean’ first. Projecting is a form of blame shifting designed to make you feel bad while helping the manipulator avoid desires they’d rather not acknowledge.

5. Assuring you they’re ‘nice’
This is a big red flag. If you’re really a nice person, how many times have you had to tell people? Probably never because you’ve never done anything to make them suspect otherwise.
If your partner is assuring you of their virtues, make sure their actions show it.

6. Talking s**t in arguments
Psychopaths and narcissists will do anything to make sure they come out of an argument with the upper hand. One way is moving an argument in nonsensical circles to get you as confused and out of your comfort zone as possible.
You may have seen this kind of thing in debates, particularly those involving Donald Trump. It’s an effective tactic, every time you bring up a rational argument it’s drowned out by a million nonsensical arguments that devalue you and get you confused without actually debating the original accusation. It’s a defence tactic to avoid actually being called out as ‘wrong’, something narcissists hate.

7. Shifting the blame
This is an obvious one. Someone who views themselves as the epitome of ‘perfect’ isn’t going to want to take the blame for anything. If you’re upset with their behaviour, they’ll spend the next 20 minutes explaining how you’re worse.
Watch out for someone who can’t take emotional responsibility for their actions. In the early stages this might be coming up with 101 excuses why they’re late, or why they’re texting another girl or guy – It’s because they can’t take the blame.

8. Talking about themselves
Again, this one is obvious but something we often dismiss. Do you often tell your partner about how hard your day was only for them to try and one-up you?
You’ll find that their boss is always worse, their workload is always harder; really they’d much rather talk about themselves than you. They want sympathy and attention, of course, and want to take it away from you as soon as possible.

9. Saying mean things as a ‘joke’
While teasing can often be a flirting tactic, don’t forget your sense of self-worth. If a comment really makes you feel bad, try and explain this to the person. They might have thought you’d take it differently, in which case they’ll apologise. Or, they’ll call you crazy (see point 3).

10. Ultimatums and threats
Toxic personalities inherently want control. If you’re not shaping up, they’ll make unrealistic demands of you, using your attachment to them as a tool for blackmail.
“If you do that, I’ll leave you,” is the gist. They’ve decided they don’t want you seeing your best friend? They don’t want you going to a certain bar? This one will come up.

11. Triangulation
“Your mum loves me, why would you leave?” This is a prime example of triangulation – using a third party’s supposed opinion (who probably doesn’t know the full story) to manipulate a partner.
You can also use this tactic in defence, though, by gaining the influence of another third party who isn’t under your partner’s influence who can stand up for you and add validation to your comments.

12. Misrepresenting your opinions
This is the process of ‘putting words in your mouth’. Your partner will make sweeping, exaggerated statements that class you as a certain person and put you down. While these might not be true, they can have a serious effect on your self-worth. An example of this is, “You’ll never be happy”. Statements like these might come up when you bring up a concern, and it will quash your confidence to argue quickly.
Another example is your partner misrepresenting your feelings to play the victim. They’ll say you always make him out to be awful, or that you pretend you’re perfect. It’s just another form of making you feel crazy and clingy when you’re really just sticking up for your rights.

13. Targeting your reputation
This is a tactic that results in isolating you as much as possible (making your narcissist partner the centre of your universe). They might say bad things about you behind your back or even to your face that paint them as the victim. They’ll call you names that make you the aggressor, like a ‘b***ch*.
They might also try and stop you seeing your friends by telling you things that aren’t true, perhaps that they don’t like you or are bad influences. This is another form of control.
Of course, you might find one of these signs in your own relationship and your partner might not be narcissistic, toxic, or a psychopath. But if you’re seeing a few of these warning signs make sure you take a moment to think about your relationship and how it’s really making you feel.

Speak up if you suspect domestic violence or abuse

If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up! If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or that the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save their life.

Talk to the person in private and let them know that you’re concerned. Point out the signs you’ve noticed that worry you. Tell the person that you’re there for them, whenever they feel ready to talk. Reassure them that you’ll keep whatever is said between the two of you, and let them know that you’ll help in any way you can.

Remember, abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims. People who have been emotionally or physically abused are often depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, and confused. They need help getting out of the situation, yet their partner has often isolated them from their family and friends. By picking up on the warning signs and offering support, you can help them escape an abusive situation and begin healing.

If you need help from domestic abuse/violence or know of anyone who does Please hit the following link for support and remember, no one deserves to be in an abusive relationship.

Failure is growth, If we don’t fail, we don’t learn, if we don’t learn we don’t grow.

If you want your life to change, don’t wait for it to change because you’ll die waiting.
You must change yourself, you must change what you are willing to accept, you must change what you are doing, or what you are not doing and you MUST do it now.
Because if not now, when.
If not right now, you are giving your mind the opportunity to talk you out of it, and it will, because it’s scared of changing or it’s scared of failing or it’s scared of the unknown and that’s because your brain has been there before and it doesn’t like it, and in doing so is trying to protect you by not letting you fail.
Let me tell you this, EVERYONE FAILS, if we don’t fail, if we don’t grow.
How do you think an athlete would be if they always beat the competition, would they train harder? No. And you will never grow if you continue to compete against the people you are better than.
The only people training harder than the winner, is all the athletes that failed to beat the winner.
Some athletes may give up and stop running, others will continue to run and continue to fail.
But they will continue, they will continue to train, they will continue to fine tune what they do and they will keep going, adapting, changing and working harder than the one person they have to beat, and eventually one of them will.
This will be the one who wanted it, who saw that end goal, who fought through all their failures, who kept working harder than anyone else, who ignored their brain telling them you can’t achieve this.
One of the best quotes I ever heard came from Arnold Schwarzenegger, “The mind always gives up before the body does, the trick is to get your mind working for you, not against you.
Are you going to listen to your mind, or are you going to listen to your heart? It’s a known medical fact that a developing baby heart while in the womb will start beating at approx 5 weeks, while there brain doesn’t start any sign of functioning until approx 21 weeks.
So how if the baby’s brain isn’t yet fully developed can it’s own heart start beating, medics will always have many theories on this, but I believe that the heart has it’s own intelligence similar to the brain.
I also believe this is why anything bad that happens we associate with the brain, like nightmares, bad ideas, etc. Yet anything good in our lives we associate with our heart, our loves, our passions, our desires are all heartfelt.
Chase what’s in your heart, force your brain to get you there and never let your brain tell you to give up on yourself because YOU are worth the effort.

Belief systems, we all have them.

We all have belief systems, or a system of beliefs that we have adopted throughout our lives. These belief systems are typical human behavior designed by us to protect ourselves, create an emotion, justify an emotion and even to make us accept or not accept a certain situation.

Negative emotions are a part of our belief systems, however negative emotions aren’t negative emotions, you’ve just been missing the message this emotion is trying to give you. Negative emotions are really emotional messages, or calls to action.

Fear is a call to action, your adrenaline starts pumping, your body starts tensing up. Emotions are a call to action, but we tend to ignore and suppress this message because we don’t recognize it for what it is.

Every emotion is a message, it’s a call to action and the action our message is trying to give us by this is we need to realize and do one of two things, or both. We need to change our perception of this or we need to change our current actions. Every negative emotion we have ever felt is not negative, we may over use them and indulge in them, but what makes them negative is that we are not getting the messages these emotions are trying to give us.

Can anybody make yo feel bad? Absolutely not! You are responsible for how you feel. Most of us are too busy indulging in negative emotion that we don’t get and understand the message the emotion is trying to give us, and for us to understand the message we must first change the meaning of the message.

What is this emotion trying to tell us, change your perception and ask yourself what does this emotion truly mean, is this person yelling at me because he hates me or maybe  he’s not not really upset about me he’s just upset about something else, maybe he isn’t in a good mood right now, maybe if he was in a good mood he would have acted differently to this.

If someone is in a bad mood it’s because they have allowed themselves to get in, or be put in a bad mood. But moods are still emotional states and emotional states can always be improved by changing our perception, (ok, this person is upset, lets see if I can help him with his problem instead of me getting upset, because then you now have two upset people throwing their anger outward in an ever increasing circle.) Or change your actions because what you’re doing isn’t working ( stay calm and not feed the fire making the situation even angrier, try offering assistance to help fix the problem and not take the problem on as your own.)

We don’t need to hate negative emotions or even see negative emotions as negative, negative emotions are only negative because this is the label we give it based on our emotion toward a given situation and even just a thought. How many times have we had something that needed doing and just because you couldn’t be bothered doing it, you made it so bad in your head in order to really hate it and avoid having to do it instead of taking the five precious minutes out of our lives and just getting it done? We need to identify what this emotion is trying to tell us in order for us to fix the problem and not allow ourselves to be ultimately weighed down and controlled by this emotion.

Nobody can ever make you feel bad or angry or hurt or frustrated or negative, these are all emotions or emotional states we have given ourselves or allowed ourselves to be in, and like I said before all we need to do is to recognize and acknowledge this emotion for what it is and then work on ways to either fix the problem or communicate a solution. Be it changing what we do or helping someone else to change what they do, because without change there’s now growth, there’s just the same old problem.

Can Depression Be A Positive Thing?

There has been a growing controversy both about the effectiveness of anti-depressants — that half the people taking placebos do just as well – as well as concern about biological effects, such as increasing the risk of relapse, causation of brain neuron deterioration, bone mineral loss, etc. A different spin in the controversy comes from an evolutionary psychology perspective, some researchers and clinical psychologists believe that maybe there is something useful about depression after all.

What prompts their questioning is the prevalence of depression – 20-30% of the population compared to single digits for other mental illnesses – why is this so different? They make the analogy to fevers where the fever process is the body’s way of dealing with infection, and the use of drugs to kill the fever actually weakens the body’s homeostatic functioning. Maybe depression too has some beneficial effect after all. When they look at the biological impact of depression they discover some interesting ideas:

Depression leads to more analytical thinking.
What they found is that the way we think about problems actually changes with depression. We are able to break down complex problems into smaller components. Depressed people actually do better on certain tests than those who are not. We also do a better job solving social problems when depressed.
Depression makes us more focused.
The deep seeded thoughts – the circling around the same thoughts with seemingly little control – is considered one of the negative symptoms of depression and what medications try to target. There is only some much we can actually hold in our minds at any one time. Depression helps keep us from being distracted by other issues and instead pushes the most important to the for front. So we think, think, think, analyze, analyze, analyze until we can put what is most bothering us to rest. If we try to avoid the negative thoughts through use of drugs or alcohol, they in fact last longer.
Physical symptoms keep us on target.
The desire to be alone, the decrease in libido, the lack of energy, sleeplessness actually reinforce the focus. Our bodies are actually joining forces with our minds to keep us from moving forward and dealing with our problems, keeping us from being lured away by additional distractions.
The take-away from this is that they are reluctant to immediately try and kill symptoms with medication. While a small percentage of the population are struggling with a biologically rooted disorder, for a majority of us our depression is most often situational – there is something we need to pay attention to and fix in our lives and relationships. So, they say, look at what there is to fix. Doing therapy to talk through your thoughts, or doing expressive writing helps work with overthinking and speeds up the recovery process. Rather than mentally or pharmaceutically running away from problems, slow down and give yourself the time to sort it out.

Mental Health

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

Mental health problems are common but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.

Early Warning Signs

Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

Learn more about specific mental health problems and where to find help.

Mental Health and Wellness

Positive mental health allows people to:

  • Realize their full potential
  • Cope with the stresses of life
  • Work productively
  • Make meaningful contributions to their communities

Ways to maintain positive mental health include:

  • Getting professional help if you need it
  • Connecting with others
  • Staying positive
  • Getting physically active
  • Helping others
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Developing coping skills

Learn More About Mental Health