Being in a relationship with someone that mentally, emotionally, verbally and/or physically abuses you is not only emotionally draining but can be so devastating to a woman's life that it causes her to question everything about herself. Just because a relationship may not have consistent or daily physical abuse but has all the other traits of abuse doesn't mean it isn't an abusive relationship. Abuse can be so much more than physical, and most often it is. Emotional, verbal and mental abuse can cause just as much pain as physical abuse, and when it is tolerated throughout a long enough span of time, can have long term affects on a woman's well being.
People may say, "This is your fault for staying", or, "Why did you stay if it was so bad." Men that are abusive don't always seem the "type". There isn't a cookie cutter form that they take on where you can point them out in a crowd. They can be good fathers, good providers, and even may have good intentions. They're just ordinary people themselves that are trying to make it in the world, but carry issues, many times unknowingly, that stems from their childhood and shows its ugly face when they get close to someone.
More times than not they don't even see an issue with their behavior, because it is their "norm". When you live with someone that has that outlook on this type of behavior you too start carrying that attitude, and accept it for what it is. It becomes your "norm". It becomes your "norm" to be called names or ignored when you're upset and crying. It becomes your "norm" to be lied to consistently. It becomes your "norm" to take on the responsibility of trying to make your partner happy. It becomes your "norm" to walk on egg shells every day. It becomes your "norm" to try to believe empty promises that you know in your heart will never be fulfilled. You may even start picking up these traits yourself. Sometimes it takes a lot to push a woman to the edge of waking up and seeing her reality is not normal or right.
I am not a psychiatrist, but speak from my own personal experience. I feel it is my duty as a woman to share lessons that I have learned with other women, and possibly my story will resonate with someone out there that is going through or has gone through a similar experience. I was once that young girl that thought my love could change a man; who stayed in an abusive relationship despite knowing that I deserved better, because I was in love. It caused me to question my worth, over time devalue myself, forget my potential and values, and eventually I lost grasp of who I was.
What I've learned is that once you realize that things need to change it all starts with you. Change is necessary for growth and improvement in any aspect in a person's life. The only time a situation or something can change is when you do. Once you change your attitude, your mindset, priorities, and your worth everything else follows suit and what doesn't, isn't meant to be in your life.
"When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person that walked in. That is what the storm is about." Haruki Murakami
Read more of my journey and about my newly released book on www.shareenrivera.com