Tag Archives: abusive relationships

Scars

1. One small candle holder that says Sanda and Dean’s Jack and Jill

 2. A picture frame from Nick and Beth’s Wedding

3. A small black guitar pick.

4. A chip on one of my front teeth.

5. A small scar above my left eye

The items I could throw out, I didn’t, and the scars on my person are reminders I’ll never be able to get rid of.

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Filed under Growth, Healing, Life Lessons, Love, relationships

Why Do Smart Women Date Abusive Men? Now on HuffPost

Good Afternoon Everyone,

If you haven’t yet read this article please check it out and by all means, feel free to share and comment!

Why do smart women date abusive men? I was asked this question countless times as I found myself stuck in an abusive relationship that began to spiral even more out of control. He didn’t seem abusive in the beginning, but the longer we were together, the more his abusive behavior began to seep out. It started off with frigidity and verbal abuse but it soon became evident that the man I was dating was very spiteful and would go for the jugular in the most minor of disagreements. Even after all these warning signs, I still didn’t believe anyone when they told me that one day it would escalate to physical violence. I will never forget that day, the day I almost became a statistic — another homicide victim resulting from domestic abuse.

Certain family members continuously asked me why someone like myself, a person with a seemingly high IQ, would allow themselves to be treated this way? How could a smart person end up in this situation? Every time I was asked this question, I cringed. The inference that I was stupid or ignorant because of my poor relationship choices did not help make my already out-of-control situation any better.

Anyone who is familiar with the dynamics of an abusive relationship knows that falling prey to one has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence or even their socio-economic status; rather their vulnerability.

Vulnerability leaves a person wide open to falling prey to an abuser. When I fell prey to my abuser, I was at a very mentally and emotionally weakened state because of all things I’d been through. In addition, I had just been dumped by a guy after confiding in him that I’d been raped. I had never felt lower. This vulnerability allowed for easy manipulation and I was inevitably sucked into a relationship by a man who made himself out to be my Knight in Shining Armor. In retrospect, there were many things I could’ve done differently to prevent this situation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Read the rest of this article at The Huffington Post

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How Do Smart Women End Up with Abusive Men?

How Do Smart Women End Up with Abusive Men? I was asked this question countless times as my I found myself stuck in an abusive relationship that began to spiral even more out of control. He didn’t seem abusive in the beginning, but the longer we were together, the more his abusive behavior began to seep in. It started off with frigidity and verbal abuse but soon became evident that the man I was dating was very spiteful and would go for the jugular in the most minor of disagreements. Even after all these warning signs, I still didn’t believe anyone when they told me that one day it would escalate to physical violence. I will never forget that day, the day I almost became a statistic— another homicide victim resulting from domestic abuse.

Certain family members would continuously asked me why someone like myself, a person with a seemingly high IQ, would allow themselves to be treated this way? How could a smart person end up in this situation? Every time I was asked this question, I cringed. The inference that I was stupid or ignorant because of my poor relationship choices did not help make my already out-of-control situation any better.

Anyone who is familiar with the dynamics of an abusive relationship knows that falling prey to one has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence or even their socio-economic status; rather their vulnerability.

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Filed under Domestic Violence, relationships, Sexual Assault

Speak Your Truth

My life truly began to change when I started to be completely honest. I started to write about and confront the things that I ignored for years. Publicly I published articles about dealing with sexual assault and healing on the web. The first time my article appeared on online, I felt naked. I started to cry and wondered if I had made a huge mistake. With each consecutive article, I felt equally exposed. This went on for about six months. Each time an article came out, I would cry. My boyfriend at the time asked me why I even bother to do it. He said that maybe I should just stop writing if it was this difficult for me to handle. Though it was difficult, I never considered stopping or quitting. Too many people wrote back to me saying that they felt very alone in their experience before reading my articles. Truth is before reading their comments, I felt very alone in the experience of surviving sexual assault as well.

For years I hid the truth about my life from everyone. I dodged reality and instead hid behind poor relationships, drinking, and substance abuse. No one understood why I was so messed up and always involved in something reckless. The addictions numbed the pain of rape. They also came to the forefront and caused immediate drama and issues that couldn’t be ignored. Perhaps they were the armor I hid the truth behind. With so much negativity going on because of my behavior, I had enough to worry about without delving into and exploring my past. Eventually I found out that you cannot hide the truth from others without also hiding it from yourself.

Denial can kill people. Until I spoke my truth and seeked professional help, the road I went down only got progressively worse. Addictions will kill you eventually. Suppressing trauma can cause unhappiness, depression, and serious illnesses.

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No One Can Save You

In the event that a Knight in Shining Armor arrives at your doorstep, tell him to get lost. Seriously.

Over the years, I have run into a few of these seemingly gallant fellows. They come riding in strong and confident on this beautiful white horse called Promises. Promises to love you, promises to protect you, and their main intention is to save you from yourself. Maybe you have a drinking problem or maybe it’s stress or psychological, whatever it is, it is clear that when he arrives, you are at a weakened state. That is where the promises come in.

Through all these promises, he is offers you a better life, if you would just get on the horse and ride into the sunset with him. It sounds like a great deal, what could go wrong? The answer to that is everything, everything could go wrong. For one, why does he want to take the time out of his life to devote so much effort to fixing yours? It seems like something a nice guy would do, right? Wrong. By buying into this man’s offer to fix your life and agreeing to get on the Promise that he is going to save you from the self inflicted pain you’ve been unable to save yourself from, you are giving up your self-control. He is not focusing his time and energy on your life out of kindness, he is doing this because his life is an even bigger mess than yours!

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I Am a Priority Not an Option

Believe it or not, even with the career success I’ve had thus far, my life is far from perfect. I am of course grateful for the opportunities I’ve gained and work hard every day to become better and better. Being human, however, I am infallible and I end up in really bad relationships a lot of the time.

I am a hopeless romantic, this might actually problem numero uno. When you think in Cinderella terms, the love at first sight and other promises many men are more than willing to deliver are taken to heart far too prematurely. Growing up with abuse and neglect I am forever searching for a person that I can rely on. It is not one sided. I would love the opportunity to be someone’s rock as well, to really step up to the challenge and be there for someone else selflessly.

Rape, domestic violence, abuse, I’ve been through it all, and I am an open book. I’m not hiding my life story nor am I brandishing it without request. I feel that good can come out of the bad things that happened to me. I believe sharing my story is one way to validate these traumatic experiences while helping others heal.

Like many of the artistic and literary predecessors before me, I am neurotic. Yup, just a little bit. This doesn’t translate well into relationships, well that’s according to the people I’ve dated. I’m not sure if I believe them, however. For one, my friends haven’t left me yet despite my anxiety and neurosis. If I was truly that bad, I’m sure they wouldn’t have stuck around this long.  Secondly, I have many good qualities that certainly outweigh the bad ones. I am loving, compassionate, kind, I will do anything to help.

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Don’t Forget Who You Are

Me a loooong time ago!

As a child, I remember being fairly different from everybody else. I was the only kid in school with a tie-dyed backpack– probably the only kid in school who wanted a tie-dye backpack- and believe me, I got made fun of for it. As time went on and I grew up, the fundamental person inside never changed, though I often lost track of who I was. We are all like a jigsaw puzzle; a box full of unique pieces that only together can make up the whole . Often times, we encounter the wrong people. Like careless school children they mess with the puzzle, jamming the pieces together, carelessly tossing them around, before throwing them back in the box. Over time, pieces end up missing. First only a few pieces are gone, but the more careless people who we allow to mess with the puzzle, the more pieces disappear. Inevitably, if you have absolutely no discretion with your puzzle, you will end up with no pieces and an empty box.

About a month ago, I realized my puzzle was missing some pieces. I, of course was not the one who made the discovery, but a friend pointed it out. Parts of my identity were missing; they’d been stripped away by my last relationship. I didn’t realize I was just a pawn in his game of complacency. I was too innocent or too naive to notice. When my ex told me I was naturally beautiful and didn’t need to wear make-up, I believed him. What a nice compliment, right? Wrong, my friend pointed out it was part of his plan to get no one else to look at me. She had a point. Never before dating him had I dressed so casually. I explained to her why.

For one, he never got dressed up to go out with me. In fact, he might’ve picked his clothes up off the floor for all I know. After a few times of him arriving to pick me up dressed so incredibly down, I began to feel uncomfortable because I was over dressed. I wore beautiful scarves and jewelry, always bright colors, with make-up to match. I began to resent the fact that he didn’t try one bit to impress me, sometimes not even bothering to iron his clothes. So I began dressing casually, jeans, t-shirt, little jewelry, if any. “This isn’t the Hayley I know,” my friend said. “For the last six months, you have been dressing like you just rolled out of bed.” I again disagreed with her and explained why I had little desire to look good for someone who could care less about looking good for me.

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Have You Ever Had a Tina Turner Moment?

When people fall prey to abusive relationships, it is often difficult for them to get out. When they do finally get out of the relationship, they often find themselves repeating this same pattern again and inevitably ending up in another abusive situation. For somone who has never been in this situation, it is difficult to understand why the abuse victim continues to live this way. Usually, the abused party will continue to play the role of the victim in this cycle of abuse until they have their “Tina Turner Moment.”

Ike and Tina Turner had one of the most widely publicized abusive relationships in entertainment history. Through over a decade of marriage, he abused her and other band members. When we think of their relationship, we often think of the physical abuse, the most difficult type of abuse for an abuser to hide as there are immediate physical scars and symptoms, but there was undoubtedly more to it than just physical abuse.

I was once victim to these circumstances. I had grown up with abuse and the pattern naturally took a role in my relationships when I began dating. Each boyfriend became progressively worse than the last. Until I met one guy who was everything the others weren’t. He was nice, polite, and gentle. He loved children and animals. Though this is who he portrayed himself to be, there was something empty about his actions, as if he was acting the role of this nice guy without emotions behind it. That was one of my first impressions of him; that he was pretending to be nice but was really a psychopath. I soon learned why they tell you to always follow your instincts.

My family and friends met and liked him. I confided to a few of them my fear that maybe he was just pretending to be nice and that he was truly a psychopath. Since I have a reputation for being overly cautious, they brushed my statement aside and cited that I was so used to being in bad relationships that I was scared that a nice guy was actually interested in me for once. Regardless of what they said, I still thought I might be right. I wasn’t yet strong enough to break out of this cycle or to listen to my inner voice, and of course, I wanted to buy what they were selling. Everyone wants that nice person to sweep them off their feet, to kiss their tears away, and to (insert other ridiculously overused love cliches here). Anyway, I wanted what everyone wanted: love, and here he was promising literally to be my knight in shining armor. I was incredibly vulnerable as I fell into this trap. I had just been ditched by another guy who I dated briefly, after confiding in him that I had survived rape.

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