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The Routine Makes It Easier to Stay in Abusive Relationships

The Routine Makes It Easier to Stay in Abusive Relationships

The routine merges the honeymoon & tension-building phases of the cycle of violence and abuse into one. The abuser abuses freely & the victim barely reacts.

The cycle of violence and abuse typically consists of three phases: tension-building, abuse, and honeymoon. The first two phases describe themselves and the honeymoon phase occurs after the abuse and gives the abuser a chance to beg the victim’s forgiveness or otherwise convince the victim to stay. Over time, the tension-building and honeymoon phases tends to shorten or disappear, leaving us to wonder why abusive relationships can last so long. This routine makes staying in an abusive relationship manageable; both victim and abuser come to accept this routine as normal.

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Laughing ’til It Hurts: The Hidden Pain of Domestic Abuse

Laughing ’til It Hurts: The Hidden Pain of Domestic Abuse

Big ol’ belly laughs that catch you by surprise feel so good! They feel better now that feeling happy doesn’t make me sad. That idea is confusing; laughing until you cry doesn’t usually mean you cry sad tears, but it happened to me a lot during my abusive marriage. Usually, the laughing started during a phone call with my sister. Anything could get us going, and for a few beautiful minutes, nothing mattered except the funny bit between us. I laughed until my sides ached and the tears flowed like water.

But then, when the laughter dried up and I started wiping the tears from my eyes, the tears wouldn’t stop. My face, sore from smiling, suddenly dropped into a frown. I covered my face because I felt embarrassed to feel so…damn…sad. Those last tears fell because when the laughter was done, I returned to my sad, closed-off life of mind-numbing pain. Sometimes I would stay on the phone with her when she asked what was wrong. Usually I cut the conversation short when I felt the change to pain begin.

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The Hidden Tale of Domestic Abuse

The Hidden Tale of Domestic Abuse

Friends & family of abuse victims miss the signs because so few penetrate the wall of secrecy the abuser initiates and the victim eventually embraces.

Continued From The Fairy-Tale Beginning

Storytellers leave out the middle portion of our fairy-tale because it occurs behind palace walls, secreted away from the prying eyes of peasants. The princess, swept off her feet, rides into the sunset with our knight, heading to his land and his castle. He promises love never-ending, and the princess cannot wait to begin life with him by her side. Her woodland friends promise to visit soon, and all seems well…

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PTSD and Memories of Abuse Can Diminish by Noticing Them

PTSD and Memories of Abuse Can Diminish by Noticing Them

PTSD and memories of abuse interfere in building new relationships and healing old ones. The fear is hard to overcome, but knowing about PTSD helps. Read this.

Many abuse victims suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), me included. The other day in the middle of writing the post about my ex’s abusive anger, I had to take an hour break before I could finish it. My body reacted the same way it did when my ex ran up on me–panicky, wobbly, . . . fearful. It helps to know what is happening at times like these. If I didn’t know that PTSD influenced me both physically and emotionally, I may think I was just plain stupid for still being this way. As it is, I recognize the PTSD symptom and take necessary steps to ground myself and bring myself back into the present to deal with the PTSD and the memories of abuse.

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Do the Effects of Abuse Change You Permanently?

Do the Effects of Abuse Change You Permanently?

I lived in an abusive relationship heart and soul for over 17 years. I’ve often wondered if the effects of abuse changed who I am permanently or temporarily. I run into trouble with this question because I was in the relationship for almost half of my life. If I compare myself to how I was at 20-years-old (after I married him), I’m not sure I can answer that question. After all, in any normal relationship I would naturally change across the span of two decades.

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Dealing with PTSD Symptoms After Leaving Domestic Abuse

Dealing with PTSD Symptoms After Leaving Domestic Abuse

Dealing with PTSD symptoms is a fact of life for many domestic abuse survivors. Learn how to deal with PTSD symptoms resulting from domestic abuse. Read this.

Yesterday, Andi commented on Victims Think They May Be The Abuser. Andi said:

. . . I reached the point where I feared that the emotional / verbal abuse was going to move towards physical abuse. It has been a long time since this happened. I’ve moved far away and started over, but I’m still scared, feeling PTSD symptoms, and can’t seem to move on. I want so desperately to be whole again. Any thoughts and help would be greatly appreciated.

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Verbal Abuse and Depression vs. Unhappiness

Verbal Abuse and Depression vs. Unhappiness

I saw a quote recently that said, “Before you diagnose yourself with depression, make sure you’re not simply surrounded by jerks.” Abuse in relationships does cause depression over time, but being depressed and being unhappy are two different beasts. More than likely, a doctor’s diagnosis of depression will overshadow your chronic unhappiness, and instead of seeking to solve the cause, you will resort to treating the symptom (the depression).

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Domestic Abuse and Depression

Domestic Abuse and Depression

Domestic abuse and depression share many symptoms. A long time ago, I told my doctor how I felt and he instantly diagnosed me with depression. Unfortunately, way back then, I don’t think I had depression yet. I think the symptoms of domestic abuse were my problem. Unfortunately, the doctor didn’t ask about domestic abuse, just depression. Maybe now, 20 years later, doctors do ask about domestic abuse and depression during the same visit.

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The Power-Control Dynamic and Abusive Anger

The Power-Control Dynamic and Abusive Anger

The power-control dynamic exists in all relationships, but it is destructive in abusive relationships. Learn how the power-control dynamic works. Read this.

Kristen read the post comments for Abuse Victims and Abusive Anger and asked “How do you prevent creating friendships based on a power-control dynamic and how do you escape the anger that fuels them?”

Wow. Kristen is headed for success in her relationships because she is asking great questions.

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Nice Conversations With Abusers Are Not So Nice

Nice Conversations With Abusers Are Not So Nice

Every conversation with your abuser tends to either give hope or take it away. Don't trust the ones that give hope - they're false. Nothing has changed.

The story I want to tell you today happened between my ex and me over two years ago when we were still together. At the time, I knew he was abusing me. I realized that there was little hope that he would change. I didn’t want to leave my marriage, but I was beginning to think there was no real marriage to leave anyway.

Looking back, I remember my internal struggle to find an elusive peace. I longed for a partner who loved me and would work with me through life’s trials and celebrate its joys. I so wanted a normal conversation, a nice conversation without the abusive junk lurking underneath the surface. I was hoping my life away.

If you see yourself in the following story, please think long and hard about whether you want to wait it out to see if your partner decides to change. Remember that the abuser finds great benefit in abusing, otherwise s/he would have changed long ago.

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