Over the past couple of months I have attracted a handful of clients into my realm who currently are or have been in emotionally (and physically) abusive relationships.
And I believe I have attracted these women into my field as I am now…ready.
Ready to share my story and help women who are…trapped.
In 2011 I found myself in an abusive relationship, which lasted for about a year.
It happened before I’d discovered and grasped the empowering tools I now have under my tool belt – Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, pranayama breathing, life coaching (with Tony Robbins), writing/blogging, higher consciousness, vibration & frequency, ego vs soul, love vs fear, Tantra, and most recently Nude Yoga!
I was on the verge of my spiritual awakening, and he was desperately trying to squash that powerful essence in me.
Because, fuck, when the divine feminine rises up in a woman, weak men are terrified and try desperately to regain control back. And they do this by telling you how shit you are and how much you need them.
Essentially, emotional abuse is a form of severe controlling behaviour. The abuser has lacked control or power in their lives in the past (usually as a child) and they are trying to gain it back through very unhealthy measures.
Just to give you some insight into what was going on (and perhaps this might be happening to you too)…
I couldn’t write a blog without him accusing me of ‘hiding stuff’.
I couldn’t text or call anyone without his scrutiny.
He turned me against most of my girlfriends.
He made me delete ex lovers off Facebook.
He talked down to me in the office in front of everyone (yep, he was my boss).
He emailed, called or texted me incessantly (especially when we broke up).
He yelled and screamed at me in the car (when I couldn’t escape).
He ignored me and often walked ahead of me in shopping centres when he was angry.
He would wait for people to leave the room and then fire a tirade of anger, spite and accusations at me.
He called me a slut, and would bring it up every day to shame me about my previous sexual escapades.
And get this….
He wouldn’t let me have nights to myself!
We worked 10 hour days sitting next to each other in an open-plan office and then he often slept at my house or I slept at his. I had to ask permission to have “night’s off”, and he HATED it. I guess it made him feel powerless, because maybe I would discover how much I enjoy my own time and how much of a controlling bastard he really was.
In hindsight I recall his ex girlfriend mentioning to people that he was physically abusive, but I ignored this red flag and thought ‘no way, he couldn’t be!’.
I slowly became shy, reserved, suppressed.
What? ME!? Shy, reserved and suppressed? Bubbly, outgoing, vivacious Rosie?
And it’s usually the case with victims of abuse: extroverted, smart, successful, beautiful women are the most commonly affected.
I stopped voicing my opinion. I stopped expressing myself. I closed down. I shut off completely to protect myself.
If I disagreed with him, it made him angry. If I said nothing, it made him angry. So I just agreed with him on most stuff – to keep the peace. Besides, I didn’t have the strength to defend myself constantly.
It was an awful, awful time. I put on a lot of emotional weight, I suffered anxiety, I smoked a lot of cigarettes, drank a lot of wine and became very blocked – emotionally and physically.
Emotional abuse is just as, if not worse, than physical abuse, and usually takes place behind closed doors.
It is controlling, manipulative, mind-fucking behaviour that sneaks up on you, and by the time you realise you’re in trouble, it’s usually too late because they have strategically got you where they want you.
Here are some more signs that you might be at the hands of an Emotional Abuser:
1. They are deeply insecure.
Although they will criticise you about your flaws and imperfections, deep deep down they actually loath themselves. They have such low self esteem, zero self worth and zilch self love, and hence they are projecting this pain onto you. They are so unhappy in their own skin, lives or job that they want to offload their own misery onto you. Don’t be fooled. It’s not you, it’s them.
2. They suffered abuse from their mother or father.
Most abusers have mummy-issues or daddy-issues and were not told NEARLY ENOUGH as a child that they were loved. It was only towards the last week of our relationship (when he could feel me slipping away) that he actually came out and openly admitted about growing up being abused by his father and watching his mother be abused by him too. He hated his father, and would never speak about him, so I knew there was underling pain present. This made me feel compassion more than anything. But it also confirmed what I was going through – abuse.
3. They have severe anger issues.
Most abusers have a short fuse and a terrible temper. They fire up about almost anything! Traffic, bad drivers, football, work, customer service people, wait-staff…anything! They are very competitive, rude and disrespectful. I was constantly embarrassed about the way he communicated to people, strangers or work colleagues. Every day was a mission of: ‘how do I avoid triggering the fuck out of this guy and make sure he stays calm?’. My anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure was constantly up and down because of this anger issues.
4. They have high pressure jobs (and are usually your boss).
Abusers are usually quite intelligent, or at the least they are smart with their words. They have an answer to anything and can talk themselves out of anything and talk you into anything. They are a crafty wordsmiths, absolute bull-shitters, switched on negotiators, confident behind the phone and usually work in something sales dominated, stressful and high pressure, and often are drawn to roles of management or higher position. In my case, he was my boss and I was really attracted to how successful and powerful he was in our company. Mistake number one: going for a man based on his success and power. It does not always equal masculinity! In fact it’s the usually the opposite – it’s the person you least expect.
5. They are addicts.
Many abusers are deeply unhappy within themselves and their bodies, hence they have average diets and usually consume a lot of alcohol, drugs or cigarettes, which fuels the fire. Most abusers are addicts of some kind but would never admit to this, so are in constant denial, making them even angrier and more repressed.
6. They are liked by many!
Chances are he (or she – there are female abusers as well!) is extremely charismatic and loved by everyone in your family, office or group of friends. They put on a show to everyone else, but once the door is closed, they morph into an evil arsehole. This is a mind-fuck! You keep thinking its YOU (not him) because he is only different around you and is sickly sweet around other people. I repeat, total head-fuck.
So, how do I get out of this shit situation?
Sisters, and brothers, there is hope.
There is a huge, massive, ridiculously bright light at the end of the tunnel.
You have attracted this person, relationship and situation into your life to GROW through it. They are mirroring back shadow elements of ourselves that we have not claimed. It is NOT your responsibility or duty to change them. They need to do that themselves.
In my own instance, I was extremely vulnerable (new job, new city, new life) and I was sacred. I was desperate for connection and for someone to ‘save me’ – from myself! I used sex to search for love (yep, he was a one night stand). I then attracted this like vibration into my life. And that’s what happens, we attract in what we feel inside. We’re a magnet. At the time I was drinking, smoking, eating crap and thinking crap. I was in a job that I thought I ‘should‘ do, rather than what I believed in and what I truly loved and was passionate about. Therefore, I magnetised this reflection back to me – in him.
And I am thankful to him…more than anything. I have forgiven him.
And if I can do it, so can you.
Subscribe below and stay tuned for my blog post next week on my 6 Tips on how to Escape an Abusive Partnership.
Love Rosie x
P.S. I write this piece from my experience (with a male), however I am in full awareness that men are abused by women JUST AS MUCH! It’s just not talked about in the same vein as women abused by male perpetrator. Abusive women fall into the same categories, and men, help is available.