When we find ourselves in an abusive relationship ~ any abusive relationship ~ we’re conditioned, over time, to question the wrong person.

Everything we know to be true {about who we really are} becomes so diluted, so blurred, so distorted that we find ourselves believing in the false reality that our abusers create. Isolation from our support network ensures that we won’t “learn” that what’s happening in our relationship is wrong. We don’t question or challenge what’s going on because doing so often provokes our abuser’s anger and we opt for peace, not justice or even resolution. We’re trapped, unsure of why we’re so miserable. We only see our part in the dynamic of the relationship, which creates the illusion that everything bad that happens is somehow our fault. We don’t see that even our normal behavior provokes rage because we’re too busy wracking our brains over what terrible thing we did to make our abuser so angry. The truth is, we only have to be ourselves for that to happen.

Abusers accept no apologies. They focus on the things we can’t control about ourselves because it helps them to feel justified in their “criticism”. We can’t win. Ever. The game changes every day, with a whole new set of rules. What might not have mattered yesterday, last week, last month or a few minutes ago matters when the abuser decides it matters. We can’t win. When we realize what has happened in the relationship, we instinctively blame ourselves for not seeing what was going on. We experience a sense of guilt, shame, weakness.

In the aftermath of the abuse, remember: It’s important to recognize the situation for what it was. It’s important to administer self-care for the sake of healing your spirit. It’s important to keep reminding yourself that the lies are untrue. It’s important to remember that the awesomeness, beauty, kindness, intelligence, positivity never left; the abuser only chose to ignore/trivialize those and all of your other wonderful qualities.

Finally, it’s important to forgive the most important person of all. It’s not your abuser (that may or may not come later).

First, forgive yourself. ♥

As always, we’re here to help.


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