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The Silent Killer

Emotional Abuse and its affect on the female community...




Recently, a friend of mine shared a story about her struggle with experiencing domestic violence in her life. I never thought a woman as wonderful and vibrant as she is would be experiencing something as heavy as that. I could feel how scared and traumatized from that experience she was. Even though she only said a few words. I found myself thinking back to the distant past when I met a man on a hot Summer day while walking to the corner store. That was back in my "I wanna walk everywhere days," And I did. *My legs were in great shape. He was like a dream come true. He was tall and handsome, had a really nice car, and treated me with more respect than I had ever received from any other person in my 19 years on Earth. On our first date, he took me on a Ferris wheel, and as destiny would have it we stayed at the top talking in depth about our futures and what we wanted out of life. I remember feeling like we had so much in common. After that, we were inseparable. I didn't mind because I was head over heels for this guy. In less than a week, he had told me that I was the love of his life and he had never felt like this before. I agreed because it was true for me at that time. No man had ever left such a wonderful first impression. He moved some of his things into my house because we spent almost waking second together. I was happy to have him the first week. We were barely there because he has so many new things to show me, and I enjoyed seeing them. My sister was my roommate at the time. She didn't mind because she knew I was happy, and he paid our rent in full for the month and the next. She saw the red flags first. He slowly started changing. Suddenly, the friends I had the most fun with were a little sketchy. He didn't like me going out without him being there with me. Because I cared for him, I agreed and agreed to go out with my friends if he was able to go as well. Then we began to argue about my sister and the men she was talking to. Maybe they had friends that I was hooking up with behind his back. Yeeeeep, less than 2 weeks, and he accused me of cheating. I didn't know any better, so I tried to make it better by giving in and telling him what he wanted all along, me to move out of the apartment and into a house with him. There, I had no phone and no friends. He was it. The emotional and physical abuse I endured would be unlike anything I thought possible. I have been raised to be submissive in relationships, as well as with the belief people are kind if you are kind back. My sisters had always told me if you are a wonderful girlfriend then your man will appreciate and reward you. That was not the case. It still didn't stop me from letting that type of thinking fuel our relationship. After a year of gaslighting and emotional, physical, and financial abuse, I decided to leave him. I was able to. The entire time all I cared about was how he was feeling. (I know !!!) Within an hour, I had over 56 missed calls. When I listened to the voice messages, they increasingly got worse and more and more violent. The last one he sent, he informed me he had a shotgun pointed at my chest and would kill himself if I didn't call him or come back to him. I did as my sister suggested and waited a few days to call him back. I had finally worked out in my head what I needed to say to him. He didn't let me get it out. He immediately began to berate and belittle me. After he did, he told me I should be lucky to find someone that puts up with me. I informed him since I was so much we shouldn't be together. That left him speechless and left me with an exit. The crazy thing about this short-lived relationship is though it lasted less than 800 days, it has had a real and lasting effect on my life. Even now, when I feel out of place, I can hear his words, "No one will ever understand you as I can." Whenever I wear a sexy outfit, because I want to celebrate my body, I hear his voice "You sl*t!" My friends and family at the time of this ordeal did everything in their power to make sure I was ok, physically. Ice packs, bandaids, and soft cushions, but emotionally, no one could help. Why? Because, unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse is not seen or detected until much later when it comes out as a different manifesting behavior. (i.e. gambling, promiscuity, drugs, etc.) For me, it took being in a much healthier relationship, as well as watching healthy couples interact with one another. It was like a breath of fresh air. Couples just being couples. No one was walking on eggshells, or afraid to speak out of turn. It was just love. My favorite thing was to see a couple get up from a park bench, and the guy extends his hand ever so slightly for his girlfriend to hold. That is to me, what I aspired for, and then slowly, I would add more until I had a healthy description. The next step was to get back into dating, and I did. The first 3 were awful. I talked about my ex (Big eye roll). On the next dates after that, they talked about their exes. So I was stuck in a Karma merry-go-round. I had to get off of it. How? I realized my need to rush to be in a relationship was a learned behavior because of the toxic relationship I had been in. It is actually a major red flag if someone moves too quickly. I decided to slow down. Not every guy I dated was a match, and no one guy was a match. I had options, and I needed to explore them. I did, and am thankful for that every single day of my life. This is one of many stories that I am sure you have read on the internet. It is a sad and all to familiar one. One that I wish no woman or man should ever have to tell. I hope by telling it, you or anyone you know who is suffering from any kind of abuse, (Physical, emotional,financial, mental) that this post gives you the inner strength you need to start planning a way to safely exit. When you are abused in an any way, it makes you feel insecure and doubht everything about yourself and the decisions you make on a daily basis. It took me a long time to be secure enough in my skin to recognize the red flags of an emotionally abusive relationship. I want to share that info with you. Feel free to share your story in the comments section. We are all in this together. I have added resources help. If you are in danger please call 911 or go to the nearest shelter.

What Is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is classified as Psychological abuse. It is a nonphysical behavior pattern that belittles another person. Including but not limited to; insults, put downs, verbal threats, bullying tactics, or other tactics that make the victim feel inferior, threatened, degraded, shameful, uncomfortable, guilty or silenced. The second silent killer in America among women is domestic violence. Emotional abuse is associated with increased suicide attempts for both boys and girls, among other health outcomes. Signs They are Emotionally Abusive

-Putting you down in front of others -Upset if/when you don’t agree (e.g., how you dress, how you spend your money, who you spend time with, what you are interested in) -Wants to move a relationship faster than you are comfortable with either emotionally or physically -Isolating you from other people in your life and/or activities you enjoy or work -Demanding access to your phone, email, or social media accounts. -Guilt trips -Making you doubt yourself -Blaming you or someone else for their actions (it’s never their fault) -Being indifferent to your feelings -Threatening to harm you or themselves or both of you if you don't do what they want What To Do If You Are Experiencing Emotional Abuse

If your partner has threatened suicide or to kill you, please seek IMMEDIATE help. Someone threatening you in that manner is a sign of mental instability and should be taken very seriously, and if they are just bluffing it will also teach them a lesson. Depending on how serious it has become, you should always try to talk with you partner and address the issue as calmly as possible. If you know that is not possible then you may have to just leave with a letter/text. If it has gotten physical or you fear that it will come up with a safe exit strategy. Resources: The Hotline or call at 800.799.SAFE (7233).




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