You don’t often hear about emotional abuse, you usually hear more about physical abuse or ‘domestic violence’ as its more commonly known. Headlines often hit the news about people that have been a victim of domestic abuse and have either been severely hurt or even killed because of this. I agree that things like this should hit the headlines however, it leaves the people suffering emotional abuse wondering why it’s not as much of a deal.
If you have read my previous blog about being a teen mum, you’ll already know that i was in an emotionally abusive relationship with my daughters father. At the time i was only 14/15 and he was 16/17. This just goes to show that you can be in any circumstance and still face abuse. You might see a very seemingly happy elderly couple walking down the street who themselves are in an abusive relationship. You just can’t tell and it can happen to anyone. One of the main things about emotional abuse is that very little people know, because to everyone else, the partner that is abusing you seems totally amazing. I’d like to think of it as suffering in silence.
When i met my daughters father, lets called him Aaron for now, he seemed amazing. He was lovely to me and made me feel loved and to tell the truth i did fall in love with him. I got pregnant after being with him for only a few weeks and it was the first time i had ever had sex. This is when everything changed. I wasn’t safe going to his parents’ house anymore because of how they reacted about me being pregnant, so if he wanted to see me he had to come to my house or we could go out somewhere.
To put it bluntly, he didn’t want me to keep the baby at all. He tried anything in his power to make me have an abortion. This is when the emotional abuse started. One of the first things he said that made me feel as if this relationship wasn’t how a relationship should be was ”Look, if you abort this baby i’ll stay with you forever and we can get a flat and ill have more money to buy you loads of nice things”. That was essentially a bribe to make me abort the baby. Despite him continuing on and on and getting his friends to inbox me to tell me to have an abortion, i didn’t listen. Obviously i kept the baby.
Now its hard for me to actually write this as i didn’t even realise i was actually in an abusive relationship until my mum told me, but i still stayed with him.
One of the main signs of emotional abuse is control. He would never let me go on my phone when we were together and all he would let me do is leave the room to go to the toilet. If I picked up my phone to answer a friend he would smack it out my hand. He also demanded to have my Facebook password. It was my last few months having my parents to myself and he started saying he’d end it with me if i left the room to go downstairs to see my parents. I had to wait until he was asleep to see my mum or dad. I wanted to go shopping with him to get baby things but he wouldn’t let me, he just wanted me to stay in my room with him for hours on end. He controlled what I did and when.
Also using pets/children as a weapon. I’ll touch on children a bit later on but he used to be abusive to my pets as well. He’d throw them on the floor with a strong force.
Another main sign is remarks to make me feel bad about myself. Now these were constant. Horrible nasty remarks that have ruined me as a person. Here are a few examples;
”You look like a beached whale” -At this point i was pregnant.
”I hope your stretch marks go they’re ugly”
”I don’t like your hair straightened”
”You and your family are too poor to live in a house where i live”
”What the f*** is that!’- to something on my body
The list is endless. He also used to make remarks about my family, which made me really angry.
Another key sign of an abusive relationship is consistency and promises. He’d always promise me things and every single time without a doubt he’d break that promise. He only came to 1 scan out of 5, he has never payed a penny towards the baby, he never came to any appointments and oh guess what he promised he’d do all of that! He always used to promise he’d come round to see me, and cancel 10 minutes before. I never received a card or present or anything bought for me over the year we were together. Every single time he said or did something cruel, he’d always try and bribe me back by saying things like ‘i’m sorry ill make it up to you’. Yet he’d still do the exact same thing 10 minutes later. At this point things got out of control with him and his parents and police and solicitors had to get involved. However i frequently got told i was being silly and abuse is only physical!
When the baby was born, it took a big turn for the worse. I didn’t allow him on the birth certificate because of things he’d said that worried me whilst i was pregnant and i wanted my baby to be safe. We received endless calls from him and his family screaming down the phone that they were taking us to court. This started when the baby was 3 days old. From then on anything I’ve said or done, its been ‘i dont care im taking you to court’. He continued on making remarks about my body and my looks. I’d only just given birth to his daughter! When she was a few months old, i decided it would be best if he saw her in a contact centre due to him trying to take advantage of me at visits to see her. He told the manager that i had been physically abusing him and that’s why we were going for a contact centre! If they had told social services i could of had my baby taken away. He was trying to ruin my life.
Finally after a horrible nasty year of being together, i finally realised it wasn’t a healthy relationship to be in at all. I found myself dreading him coming round and crying in bed when he’d fallen asleep at the things he’d said to me. Running into my mum’s room and bursting out crying. I ended it properly when she was a few months old. He still now causes all the trouble he can, and whenever i try and be mature and facilitate contact for him he goes back to his old abusive ways. But I’ve realised he is the problem, not me. This is only a brief touch upon what it’s like to be in an abusive relationship. He did many many more things which i’d rather not mention.
Abuse isn’t only physical. I decided to seek emotional support after my ordeal and realised I wasn’t being silly. Emotional abuse can ruin lives. If you, or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship. Get out of it. Whether it be emotionally or physically. If you suspect a friend or a relative to be in one, print of the emotional abuse wheel and show them. This is the thing that helped me realise.
http://vocal.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Power-Control-Wheel1.jpg – link to the power and control wheel