Sometimes you don’t even realize it, especially if it’s all you’ve ever known.
For many, adulthood consists of coming to terms with the abuse that they suffered their entire childhood (even into adulthood to be honest), learning from it and overcoming it.
The insults, threats, and slaps to the face sometimes take over your dreams, waking you up in the dead of night. They all seem so real and that’s because they are. You have nightmares of someone screaming in your face. PTSD is not uncommon for victims of abuse.
Sometimes I have nightmares about the abuse that I suffered as a child. It’s tough to move on from, especially when others make excuses for their behavior as them “loving you” or “trying to be a good parent”. These people are basically telling you it’s ok to accept awful behavior. But you shouldn’t.
1. To blindly accept shit behavior from others because I didn’t know better and that’s all I was used to. My entire life I was used to things being handled a certain way and once I reached adulthood it became clearer that this is definitely not OK.
2. That Person will make it out like you’re the problem (AKA gaslighting or blame-shifting) They’re the ones with the poor behavior but it’s you’re fault that they act up. It’s your fault they get mad. You’re the one that’s ruining their life, you’re the bad one, you’re the evil one. They just want to make themselves feel better. They also really start making you question reality, because a few days later, they don’t recall ever saying or doing what they did.
“Even when they recognize the wrongness of their behavior, resentful, angry, or emotionally abusive people are likely to blame it on their partners: “You push my buttons,” or, “I might have overreacted, but I’m human, and look what you did!” Angry and abusive people feel like victims, which justifies, in their minds, victimizing others”.
3. That person will try to change the way that others view you as a person. If your abuser is someone who is really good at charming people and playing the victim, they will be EXCELLENT at turning people against you and making it seem like you’re the problem. DON’T LET THEM
But they apologized, so that should make it better right? No biggie we can just move on now (until the next time they act up). It becomes a pattern and you begin to predict when something will pop off.
5. It taints the way that you view relationships and your role in them because you were taught that LOVE acts a certain way.(More info here) But love isn’t supposed to be abusive. You accept when your significant other ignores you, demeans, or even verbally abuses you. It takes you a long time to find or figure out what a good relationship is because, lets be real… You don’t have many great examples.
When you consistently have to be on the defensive in your own home/family/relationship you become defensive in real life as well. You know that bad attitude I’ve had since I was maybe 12? Part of it is because I’ve had to protect myself so much in spaces that were supposed to be safe and comforting for me. But they weren’t. I acted out as a child, and a young adult. Part of it was normal teenage stuff, but part of it was reacting to my abuse (reactive abuse).
from being in such an unhealthy turbulent environment
“We know that no less than half the members of such families, including children, will suffer from clinical anxiety and/or depression“- Psychology Today
You become an expert at predicting when it’s going to happen and that’s a sign that you should probably get out.
since they’re so intent on hurting your feelings to make themselves feel better
If one day you decide to stop talking to them, they will take it personally and their world will come crashing down. Don’t be surprised if you start receiving pathetic texts or emails (that could become borderline stalker-ish) about how much they love and miss you. They miss how much power you used to give them when you were their punching bag. I’m promising you they aren’t worried about your feelings at all.
because believe it or not they’re probably suffering from a mental disorder and I don’t know many people that actually change.
As a victim of abusive behavior for most of my life, moving away and detaching from the situation is what saved me from it all (My story here). It’s crazy how your perspective changes when you’re away from a situation. The nightmares that I started having were, I believe, my mind and body’s way of detoxing from it. It takes time.
*I am not a counselor or psychologist. What I have said here is based off my own personal experience or the personal experiences of people close to me, research I have done, and things I learned in University. Please consult a professional if you need more advice