It’s not you, it’s me… Screw it, it’s totally you: Why you are not weak for being stuck in an abusive relationship (or horrible, awful, no good relationship, if that makes you more comfortable).

Warning: I’m about to get really honest. Also, I am not a man hater. Men can be abused just as much as a woman can. I am also not a woman hater. I am an abuse hater. Seriously, I don’t feel like I should have to say these things.

God has put a lot of abuse victims and survivors into my path lately and I’ve picked up on some similarities. I was surprised to hear that a lot of things that I heard myself say while I was being abused come straight out of their mouths.

These things include:
1) I am not a weak person.
2) Am I stupid?
3) Is this abuse?

Consequently, you are not weak. You aren’t stupid, either. And chances are, if you have to ask if it is abuse… let me say it for you if you need to hear it from someone:

IT IS ABUSE.

Do you feel controlled in any capacity? Do you feel more upset and manipulated in your relationship than happy? Do you feel isolated either physically or emotionally from your friends and family? (To clarify, you are isolated emotionally if you can’t tell them everything because you either feel that they will judge you or judge your relationship or someone manipulates you out of being able to have full disclosure.) Do you feel sometimes like your relationship is unstable due to games, cheating, or just plain shadiness? Do they make you feel small?. Do they make you feel like you are less than you are worth? Are they physically harming you? Do you sometimes find yourself in scary situations?

It’s definitely abuse.

I think part of the problem is that physical abuse and sexual abuse get the spotlight. I know that I never left until my mental and emotional abuse became multiple occurrences of physical abuse. But, emotional, mental and verbal abuse can be just as harmful, if not more so, than physical abuse. Bruises, cuts and broken bones heal way faster than the hidden scars that other types of abuse can inflict on the victim. I know this because my body has healed but my mind is still healing. It will probably always still be healing. That is the nature of abuse. So, the price of the more physical types of abuse being thrust into the spotlight is that you think that other kinds of abuse are not as important. You begin to think that they are liveable. 9 times out of 10, you don’t even realize it is abuse. More often than not, you think that you are crazy, overreacting, and that you are making mountains out of molehills.
Guess what? They are mountains. You are not crazy. And most likely it is your abuser telling you that you are overreacting.

If you need a voice of reason, let me be that voice:

YOU ARE NOT WEAK. YOU ARE NOT CRAZY. YOU ARE NOT STUPID.

Just because you think you can’t get away from the person that makes you feel like crap doesn’t make you a weak person. You are also not stuck. I’m sure the only reason you think that you are weak is because you are in this situation in the first place and also because you feel stuck. Abuse is a cycle. Chances are, your abuser seemed really charming, wonderful, and amazing when you met them. He felt like prince charming (or whatever the female equivalent of that would be… Pocahontas? Whatever bakes your cupcakes.)

Of course he was Prince Charming or whoever. They will be whatever you want them to be, whatever they need to be to get you. As the media tells them that this is what you want, this is what they usually are. So, you fall head over heels. Usually, in no time at all. Next, things aren’t so great anymore. Things get harder. They aren’t who they were in the beginning. And, because you really fell for that person they were in the beginning, you will do anything to get that back. That’s when you’re hooked. You’re caught in the cycle and it goes something like this:

Everything perfect. Everything not so perfect. Everything is awful. Traumatic experience. {Begging for forgiveness (in brackets because this goes away after a while)} Making up. Everything perfect again (Also known as the honeymoon phase). And it goes on and on and on and on and on…

Until you decide it stops.

I had to finally come to the conclusion that while I couldn’t stop the abuse, I could stop the cycle. If I never went back, the making up wouldn’t happen. If that didn’t happen, the honeymoon phase would never happen and the cycle would end. Only you can stop the cycle by getting out. But if you can’t see your way out right now and you still feel stuck and hopeless after this information,

THAT STILL DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE WEAK. Period.

The only thing you ever did wrong was love someone. And, Love is not for the weak. It takes a strong person to decide to love someone. I’m not a professional. I haven’t studied abuse or been tested on it. But I do know from experience, researching a little on my own and speaking to other people who have been abused that usually these people are weak, self-centered and spineless manipulators who go for the strong ones. They are attracted to strong, self-reliant, gorgeous, kind people because that’s what they desperately want to be. As a result, these strong people are brought to their knees. Honestly, I think that it is crippling some of the strongest people in our society and if you can free yourself and others, then society will be a better place. You just have to tell yourself:
You are strong. And you are definitely stronger than this. You deserve better than to let some horrible, spineless, pathetic person control your life and destroy your future.

I’m going to be honest. I felt stuck, weak, pathetic and doomed. I thought that I would never break the cycle. My cycle was a month long. 2 weeks perfect, 1 week horrible, traumatic experience, apologies (which did not come at the end) and then the make-up period for around a week. And every two weeks, I knew it was coming. He was either drinking, out late with other women (or men) again, or gambling. Every. Single. Time. Do you think I’m weak? If you don’t know me, I’ll tell you. I’m not weak. I kick ass at a lot of things. I am usually a no nonsense kind of person. But I could not see my way out. At all. I felt that even God couldn’t help me. I felt that low. I think that anyone in an abusive relationship can feel this way. Especially if it is mental, emotional and verbal abuse because it becomes woven into the fabric of your relationship after a while. Sure, someone says hurtful things. Don’t we all? But someone shouldn’t make you feel worthless.

What is worse is that my abuser made me feel like I was the crazy and abusive one. Every single time I would try to confront him about the awful things he was doing or the lack of attention he would pay to his son, he would say that I was emasculating him. I made him feel like a horrible person and I was not accepting. After all, who was paying the bills? I was useless and he was only blowing off steam from working so hard. You know, by blowing all of our money at the bar. Or spending the early hours of the morning with alone with other people I didn’t know doing God knows what (I wish I didn’t know what was happening now.). This is called playing the victim. A lot of abusers use this tactic so that you will stop confronting them and so they will have the power, once again. What is the price of using this tactic? You feel even weaker. And mean. Also, if you try to be a patient, understanding human being, you then feel like you have failed and start to believe that you are crazy, abusive, and weak. Don’t let them do that to you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with standing up for yourself. You need to realize that.

What you need to realize more than that is that you are not crazy. You are not weak. (Did you hear me? YOU ARE NOT WEAK. For the sake of saving some space, just repeat that to yourself around 15 more times. If you are in this cycle, you need it.) And you are most definitely worth more than being stuck with someone who treats you like crap.

I know. Its scary being alone.

You know what’s scarier? Feeling worthless. Being depressed your whole life. Never being able to fulfill your purpose because you are sapped in a relationship with someone who treats you like dirt. I was serving my abuser instead of God. In three years, I don’t think I did anything for God. Ever. And by the time I wanted to, I felt like I couldn’t. And even if you remove God from the equation, I wasn’t doing anything for myself. I never went to the gym, put on makeup, wore anything other than yoga pants and felt awful about myself because any time that I wasn’t spending on him I was spending on my son. I had zero time for myself.

You can’t serve two masters. No one can.

And honestly, why would you want to give all of your attention and best efforts to someone who treats you like crap? I now serve someone who only has my best interests at heart, makes sure that I’m taken care of (from now to eternity) and has never hurt me. If you have God, you’re never alone. I was very scared to leave and be by myself. It has been really hard being alone for holidays after being with someone over three years. Sometimes, I’m still scared of being alone for the rest of my life. (I have no clue why. I can’t even pee without having at least a child and one animal present! I can’t be the only Mom with this problem.) But, I would rather be physically alone with God than giving my best to someone who doesn’t respect me, treats me like less than what I’m worth, and fills my life with anything other than happiness and butterflies. You are certainly worth butterflies and happiness every day. Or, at least someone who tries.

So, go out there and get what you deserve! Yes, its scary. But there is hope on the other side. You can have a life without violence, misery, and being treated like you are lower than dirt. You can have happiness every day because God wants you to have the best. I might be alone this Valentine’s Day, but at least I’m not sitting at dinner, miserable, knowing that it doesn’t make up for the traumatic experience that happened a week before. Actually, I’ve decided I’m going to have the most awesome Valentine’s Day ever because I can control that this year. You don’t have to be miserable alone. You just have to be strong. And sometimes, being strong means acting strong even when you feel weak. Choose to be strong! After a while, you might even feel strong for real.

P.S. Yes, this is totally the longest post ever. Sorry! But, if I feel like someone needs it (and it has been weighting really heavily on my heart that someone does), then I have no problem typing for days. I am totally praying that God gives strength to everyone who reads this and needs it!

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6 thoughts on “It’s not you, it’s me… Screw it, it’s totally you: Why you are not weak for being stuck in an abusive relationship (or horrible, awful, no good relationship, if that makes you more comfortable).

  1. I love your honesty and your amazing revelation. I’m so glad you realized the problem and did something very courageous. Thanks, Eliza. I love you – more than ever.

    • Thank you, Mrs. Anne! I love you too! And thank you for being so supportive and amazing. You have always inspired me to nurture my creative side from when I was little. You are awesome:)

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