How to leave an abusive relationship
It may seem that all families are happy, there is no domestic violence, and in good families or couples a man doesn’t raise his hand against a woman. Ignorance makes us blind and deaf, and when facing situations of domestic violence personally, we are feeling helplessness and hopelessness.
The relationships, based on violence are developing under the principle of the so-called suggested helplessness. This refers to the establishment of authority of a man over a woman, who is accompanied by destruction of her dignity, suggestion of the idea of her insignificance, telling her that she was very lucky to meet such an example of manhood like him. The more control he regains in this situation the lower her self-esteem will be and a woman becomes even more helpless and vulnerable. It doesn’t have to be a stream of rude insults, but just a very subtle and high quality intellectual work on the systematic destruction of the woman’s self-esteem, that only complicates the ability of an objective assessment of what is happening.
Based on these facts, we’ll try to figure out how to leave an abusive relationship and what emotions keep us from breaking this vicious circle. What are the reasons women remain in such relationships, when in such cases they should call the police?
First of all, it’s a question of weakness. To regain control over your life, you need to get your confidence back. You can make a list of your positive qualities and achievements, remember your strong points. This list can be used as a lifeline every time you want to go back to self-abasement. A support of friends, parents, and maybe a psychological counselor can be very important. However, you have to realize that it is better to seek help from those, who believe in you and your independence, for example, if your parents reproach you for your failure and often reminds you that without them you would gain nothing in your life, it is clear that they are not the ones you need in this situation.
Feeling of guilt. Your partner can be a first-class manipulator and make you believe that the present state of affairs is your fault. So step back for a moment and think: Do you deserve it? Or maybe, as a well-minded person, you understand that the two people are equally involved in contributing to relationship and you weren’t playing an angel all the time? But, no matter what happened, none of your actions can serve as a pretext for violence. If you were so terrible wife (girlfriend), he could just walk away, but he has no right to punish in any case.
Fear. Despite the horror of the situation, it may seem that changes will bring no good. In addition, when a woman suddenly starts to break out of control, she undermines the power structure of this relationship, which terrifies her partner. He is afraid of losing control, and often begins to threaten and push on her even harder to restore the levers of control. But you can’t fall for provocations – if you give up, there are chances that inspired with a new victory, the abuser will tighten the screws. If you are really scared of his threats – contact the police; seek shelter at friends or at the crisis center. In any case, there is always a way to overcome the possible obstacles.
Shame. Many people can’t handle the situation on their own, but, on the other hand, they are not willing to ask for help. How one can look at neighbors’, colleagues’ or someone else’s eyes, and, in general, there is always a fear that, applying to any service, a person acquires the stigma of mental illness. But as long as you keep doing nothing, you will have to stay in this feeling of shame all the time.
In order to overcome the psychological trauma, it is important to learn to love yourself and accept your iniqueness. You need to understand that, in spite of someone else’s help, you have to walk this way on your own.