Wind swept hair… still wet from the ocean waves
Her long legs catching sand
which the breeze is blowing gently onto her skin
She inhales a deep breath of the clean beach air
Smelling the salt and the listening to the sounds of the ocean
Still marked with bruises from someone who thought she deserved them
She gently touches her wrist and can tell
That is was healing now
From the peace of her freedom and her new found self love
Her breath is easy and free in a way she hardly remembers breathing
Sensation of solitude as the morning sun rises over the ocean waves
These would be only waves she would want to have anymore
The sound of his yelling was becoming like a dream
A shadow of a memory she once had long ago
Getting more distant with each passing wave
“Women who have experienced domestic abuse may also be drawn to men who appear strong enough to ‘protect’ them from their abusive ex – only to wind up in another destructive relationship.”
I got this quote from Avalanche of the Soul blog. This is something that I have experienced but it never occurred to me that other domestic abuse victims also had this happen to them.
You escape from an abusive relationship and you are broken and psychologically injured. You have nightmares. and PTSD and you jump when someone touches you. There is a feeling of danger and threat all around you. You do not know if you are safe yet..
You wonder if the abuser will come after you. You wonder if they will retaliate by coming after your children while you are at work. You feel vulnerable and afraid.
image from pinterest
There is an extreme feeling of loneliness because you are not used to being alone.
You are not used to making your own decisions because the abuser always made them for you. Your self confidence about making decisions and knowing what to do has been crushed down by the abuser.
You are trying to re-learn how to have self love and self confidence.
You feel like you have lost your self worth. Nights are long and the pathological loneliness eats at your emotions and your soul.
You wonder if you are lovable and you are not sure because the abuser told you that you were not lovable.
The abuser drilled into you that no one would ever want you and that you were very lucky that they put up with you at all. They told you that you were dumb, too sensitive, too illogical, too naggy, too needy and mentally unbalanced. They cause you to develop mental illness like depression, anxiety disorders. phobias etc and then they used that against you.
You were degraded and humiliated.
You were disrespected and treated like an abused child. There is no one you can talk yo because people who have not been through abuse have no idea what it is like. They think your stories are exaggerated or made up.
So when you meet a guy that seems strong and also sensitive, you are lured in. He talks about how he hates abusers and that men like that have no balls. He says that men who pick on women are not real men. He tells you that women should be respected and cherished.
You want to believe him and you do.
He will be your protector from the ex, in case he comes after you or the kids. He will be a comforter because he understand what you went through. He is a real man because he thinks that abusive men are weak and just overcompensating for small dicks.
So you get into a relationship with the new guy and you do not even notice that he is ;love bombing you and pushing the relationship to be too serious , too soon.
You are a relationship with another abuser…but you have no idea.
image from pinterest
You Miss the Red Flags
You miss the red flags when he is impatient with the waitress and the taxi driver. You do not notice that he expects special VIP treatment wherever he goes. He tells you that he is doing it in order to help you. You have been through so much and you deserve to be treated special.
You miss the red flags when he insists that he right about everything. Your opinions are pushed aside and he has to let you know how things really are. He says he is just making sure that you are seeing things the proper way. He wants to protect you from your confusion.
He says that you were very damaged in the last relationship an that sometimes you mis-interpret things, especially his words and actions. But never fear…he is here to interpret your reality for you and to make sure that you see things in the proper perspective.
Little by little he isolates you from friends and family. Little by little you are wearing the make up and the clothes that he suggests. After all…he says that you look really fat in that pair of jeans….
You are trapped and it is too late
He has combined the bank accounts and taken over the money. He has possibly made you quit your job or otherwise done things to entrap you.
He has made you dependent upon him to survive. He controls the car and your ride to work. You must comply with his whims if you do not want to lose your job and further entrap yourself.
This is the abusive man who steps in after you have gotten out of an abusive relationship. He is the one that knows you were abused and he knows exactly what you want to hear. He claims to hate abusers and sees them as less than manly.
He lies and manipulates you. He puts on a false self…a mask of “the good guy”. You believe him and you are lured into the web of lies.
Soon the love bombing stops. The idealization phase is over. The devaluation begins and you never saw it coming.
image from pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/228557749810757629/
I just read this excellent article about emotional abuse on the Live Bold and Bloom web site. It is called 30 Signs of Emotional Abuse.
image from http://www.pinmart.com/pins-domestic-violence-awareness-purple-ribbon-pin-url/
If you have ever been in an abusive relationship or if you are in one now, you may recognize some of the things on the list.
Some of the most common are :
Making you feel that they are always right and you are always wrong
Having to ask permission to go places and do things
Feeling like you need permission to make decisions
Isolation from family and friends
They control you or treat you like a child
Humiliate you or put you down in front of other people
Sarcasm or teasing to lower your self esteem
Accusing you of being “too sensitive”
This last one which is “accusing you of being too sensitive” is a typical and very powerful tactic that abusers use. They do this to minimize and invalidate your feelings. It keeps them from having to be accountable for their behavior and treatment of you.
It is easy to feel shame when an abuser accuses you of being too sensitive. They are saying that they are emotionally stronger that you. You cannot “take a joke” or handle any criticism. But at the same time any tiny amount of criticism of their behavior is not allowed.
This is the double standard tactic, which abusers use. There is one set of behavior rules for you but they can act any way they want to. Their rules are subject to change at anytime. You are expected to follow the new rules even if they do not tell you the rules have changed.
No amount of reasoning or trying to compromise will work. The communication is not genuine. They may act like they are “looking out for your own good” but it is an act designed to disguise the abuse.
image from pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/228557749810757603/
Abuse can occur at any socioeconomic level. It can occur in families between any combination of family members. The most well known abuse is that of husbands to their wives, but this is not the only way abuse occurs. Wives can be abused by their in-laws. Parents can be abused by their teenage or adult children.
Mental and emotional abuse can destroy someone’s independence and feeling of self worth.
Financial abuse can be hidden but can cause devastation in people’s lives. Psychological abuse can be in the form of systematic brainwashing by people who appear in public to be benevolent and altruistic.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. Victims are afraid to come forward because they fear retaliation and because the abusers control all of the money and the victim’s ability to leave and support themselves. There are hidden threats and implications that outsiders of the situation do not know and many would not believe.
IMAGE from pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/228557749810757572/
Abusers are generally people with narcissistic personality disorder or anti-social personality disorder. These people are very good at creating a facade in the world of being wonderful. charming people. The closest relatives and friends to the victim and the family often would never believe the victim even if they did say something.
The victim themselves becomes confused about reality and their own ability to be able to leave the abuser. The abuser is often many steps ahead of the victim and has set up punishments for the victim and ways to block them from being able to live independently.
Awareness is important if victim’s of abuse are to be able to reach out for help. You can visit the National Network for Domestic Violence HERE.
image from http://www.pinmart.com/purple-ribbon-survivor-pin/
There are some pins, ribbons and other Domestic Violence Awareness products HERE if you are interested in wearing or displaying them. There are probably other sites as well. This is just the one I happened to come across.
image from pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/228557749810757377/
If you are always finding yourself at the bad end of unfair and unbalanced relationships, then you might have People Pleaser Syndrome.
Most people who have People Pleaser Syndrome, including myself, have come from a background of being emotionally and mentally abused, manipulated and scapegoated.
It may not be readily apparent to you that you had emotional abuse as a child, because this syndrome will cause you to question any abuse that you have experienced. People may have manipulated you into thinking that your childhood was free of abuse, as part of the mental abuse itself.
Gaslighting a person into doubting their own feelings of being abused, is mental abuse. When you feel like you are being treated unfairly and cannot communicate about it, your reality about the abuse can become confused.
I have done a lot of research recently about People Pleaser Syndrome. There are many lists that you can find that will describe various characteristics and qualities of people that suffer from it. I have also gone through my own situations in my mind, to identify what characteristics that I have tended to demonstrate over the years.
I recommend that you do your own research about this topic, if many of things on this list seem to ring true for you.
I have written this list off if the top of my head. Some of these characteristics have been brought to my attention from articles that I have read.
Some of them are direct examples from my own life. All of the things on this list have caused me problems in my own life over the years.
Characteristics of People Pleaser Syndrome
1. You take on the feelings of others as if they are your own.
2. You feel the need to fix the problems of other people
3. You feel responsible for other people’s problems and guilty about them
4. It is easy for other people to make you feel guilty
5. You can easily be forced by others to feel shame
6. You carry toxic shame
7. When other people are unhappy, angry or disappointed with you, it makes you feel like you have the responsibility of fixing their feelings
8. You have trouble doing, not-doing or saying anything if it will get a negative reaction from the other person
9. You want people to always approve of you, your beliefs and your actions
10. You feel the need to always justify your actions and decisions to others
11. You have great difficulty in saying “no” to people
12. You are often talked into doing things you really do not want to do.
13. You are talked into not doing things, that you do want to do
14. You tend to do whatever will keep the peace, even if it is not good for you
15. You have trouble standing up for yourself, but always listen to other people who are standing up for that they want
16. You give other people their way, much more often than you just do things the way you want to
17. You question the validity of your personal wants and needs, when it conflicts with those of others
18. You often put your own dreams and goal on the back burner, in order for someone else to fulfill their dreams
19. You do not express your anger about being treated unfairly by others
20. You tend to allow your partner more benefit of the doubt than they allow you
21. You cover for other people, even if they would not cover for you
22. You have C-PTSD from some sort of childhood abuse
23. It is sometimes unclear to you how you feel about things and if your feelings / thoughts are being “put into your head” by the other person
24. You allow other people to tell you “how you should feel” about some things
There are a few reasons that you need help for People Pleaser syndrome. If you are recognizing very many things from the above list, then I encourage you to do some further research, get materials which will help you and work on a plan of overcoming this.
In some cases, professional mental health treatment may be appropriate. I am not a therapist and this article is not intended as a replacement for professional mental health treatment. I am just validating your experiences with my own and hopefully helping you to take a look into your own tendencies and patterns.
If you have the characteristics of People Pleaser Syndrome, then you are likely to be a target for predators that will take advantage of your good intentions. There are narcissistic people and other toxic personalities that look for people that are easy to manipulate with guilt and shame.
There are people that actively seek “people pleasers” in order that they can subject their will upon them. If people can easily push our anxiety buttons about confrontation, then you are the type of person that can end up in domestic abuse situations and abusive relationships.
People pleasers try to avoid confrontation that makes them feel guilt or shame. Abusive personalities will sense this about you and deliberately force you into anxiety, in order to manipulate you.
Other problems you probably experience are in work situations and social situations. Dominating people will overcome you at work and in social circumstances. It is just the way they are.
It is hard to compete and get ahead at work if people take advantage of you. Even if there are nice, kind people where you work, there is always one that will destroy you, when they realize that they can use you as a means to get ahead.
It is nice to want to believe that the world is full of people who are compassionate and caring, but we realize that this is not the case. You may be around many good people in your situations, but it only takes one person to really injure you.
We will talk more about this issue and ways in which we can retrain ourselves to have different habits. These are habits that are rooted into us, but they are not unbreakable.
The most important things are to be able to identify when we are being treated unfairly and not to feel guilty for standing up for ourselves, or otherwise protecting ourselves from abuse.
You have a right to your boundaries, your self confidence and your self esteem.
In fact these things are necessary for you to live and thrive well. Your dreams matter and your happiness matters, just as much as anyone else’s.
I got the following idea from a Teal Swan video about how to make the decisions that are best for you. What she suggests is to ask the question “What would someone who loves themselves do?” If you keep this in mind as you are interacting with people, then you will have a frame of reference for when to say “no” to people.
Blessings to all,
I am so excited. I just got my 400th follower on my YouTube channel where I post mostly videos about healing from domestic abuse and narcissistic abuse. Although I have had the site for a while, I really only started posting the videos for abuse victims in March of this year.
I am so very grateful that I have been able to connect with other abuse victims both on WordPress and on YouTube. I have had many meaningful conversations and interactions with people that were therapeutic for me.
I hope also that I have been able to offer some validation to people who feel crazy after being systematically convinced that there is something wrong with them..that they are not worthy of love…that it is their fault they are in an abusive relationship or that they keep attracting abusers.
My daughter is also pleased,about the 400 followers. I promised my sweet toothed 12 year old that once my YouTube Channel hit 400, we would celebrate my making brownies. So she was just dancing around the house singing the “I wanna eat brownies” song 🙂
So if you want to pop on over and take a look you can find my YouTube channel HERE.
Here are a few of videos for your pleasure. Some are music that I play and some are talks about recovering from abuse.
Original Song by Annie – Prison in Your Mind
Proud Mary – Cover
Dispelling Negative Myths About Abuse Victims
Aftermath of Abuse – PTSD
Depression is as Real as Any Physical Illness
Prey – Spoken Word Poetry
I was able to make an upload two new videos to my YouTube Channel today.
The first one is a Part One in a series of videos dispelling the myths about abuse victims.
The second one is about the idealization phase of narcissistic abuse. What is it? Why does it work? Who does it work on? How can you avoid being duped by this tactic?