• advertisement

Our Mental Health Blogs

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.

Continue reading

Abusive Relationships: Devil You Know vs. The Devil You Don’t

Abusive Relationships: Devil You Know vs. The Devil You Don’t

In abusive relationships, the devil you know seems better than the devil you don’t. We go back and forth over leaving our abusive mate, wobbling between fear of them and fear of the unknown. It’s a tricky balancing act, especially when our partner seems to know just when to put on their nice mask. The sweet phases of an abusive relationship add to the confusion and indecision about just what kind of devil we know.

What kind of devil can be so sweet one minute and so nasty the next? And why can they act kind for long stretches and then turn back into monsters over meaningless situations or words? Why do they hurt us? Why do we stay? Will this relationship hurt the children? Can this relationship last? Should I stay to see if it gets better? Should I run and not look back?

Unfortunately, I am incapable of giving you those answers. And honestly, the longer you take contemplating what those answers could be, the longer you’ll be stuck with the devil you know.

Continue reading

Psalm 27 and Domestic Abuse

Psalm 27 and Domestic Abuse

Recently I had the opportunity to converse with a woman, Cathy, who lives with an abusive man. She didn’t know exactly where to start her story, but I noticed that “psalm27” was part of her email address.

I am familiar with the prayer because it gave me comfort during my days of living with an abusive man. Initially, Psalm 27 seemed to tell me to stay on track, that God sent trials my way for a reason. I came to understand it differently, and I’d like to share with you the email I sent to Cathy (with her permission of course, and with a few edits for clarity).

I don’t usually delve into religion or my lack of religion on this blog. I do not pretend to be a biblical scholar. However, God (by whatever name) and I are tight. I listen to The Voice – but sometimes my human mind doesn’t want to hear the real message at first.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Overcome the Effects of Abuse

Overcome the Effects of Abuse

How Abuse Effects Its Victims

One of the hardest things to look at during or after an abusive relationship is the mental and emotional damage the abuse caused in us. We remember who we were before the abuse and may feel like a sad shell of that person after it. It is scary and heart-breaking. You may feel more defenseless, helpless and hopeless than before you knew your partner abused you. After all, now you fight your mind as well as the abuse your (ex) partner inflicts.

You will never change your partner. You are already their target for abuse, and once you are the target it is difficult if not impossible to change back into “you” in their eyes. However, you can change yourself. You can change your thoughts, your feelings, and the way your brain is wired. But remember, although “change” is something that can happen to you, if you want to heal from abuse, change must be something you DO.

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

The Abusive Relationship And Its Fairy-Tale Beginning

The Abusive Relationship And Its Fairy-Tale Beginning

Everyone deserves a fairy-tale love! Unfortunately, soon-to-be abusive relationships begin much as fairy-tales do. How else would an abuser keep a partner?

The abusive relationship begins like many others. Two people meet, make a connection, and fall in love. Their love seems beautiful to family and friends…except for one or two things that seem, well, odd…but every relationship has problems. Right? After all, there are no fairy-tales in the real world.

For ease of writing only, the victim in our story is a princess, the abuser is a knight, and the victim’s friends are the loving animals of the forest.

Continue reading

Open Up About Domestic Abuse…Please

Open Up About Domestic Abuse…Please

I will never say that I am grateful for having experienced abuse. I do not believe that abuse made me stronger, smarter, or braver. I did not “need” to go through the soul-threatening experience of an abusive marriage to become who I am today. If I could do it all over again with what I know now, I would have left him after our second child was born.

However, I am grateful that my experience with abuse can be used to benefit others. I am grateful that abuse did not silence me. Abuse did not take my life, and it didn’t take my soul. I am lucky and blessed.

Over the past few years, after blogging through the last year of abuse and my subsequent release from it, I’ve gained a unique perspective on abusive relationships. I feel blessed that so many people contact me about their abuse (or about their desire to stop abusing). I know heartbreaking domestic dramas play out every single day, and it is sometimes hard to remove myself from other people’s pain and stay objective and clear-headed. Sometimes I don’t detach so well and take their pain to bed with me.

Tonight will be one of those nights.

Continue reading

Abuse Victims Addiction Problem

Abuse Victims Addiction Problem

The New Year sparks desires to bring something new into our lives. Unlike the religious holidays of the season, the New Year focuses on our individual wishes, wants, and desires. New Year celebrations beckon us to kiss the ones we love then spread our wings and fly into the great unknown – new feelings, new actions, new thoughts.

But if you feel like I did seven years ago, the idea of “doing something new” when there were so many old problems to solve seemed like too much. Instead of embracing the positive energy and flying toward new horizons, I sat on my behind and lost myself in The Sims 2, a video game that allowed me to create a pretend family of my choosing. I became addicted to the fantasy because I didn’t have the energy for anything other than wishful thinking. 

Continue reading

Holidays With Abusers Suck – Ways to Deal With Their Crap

Holidays With Abusers Suck – Ways to Deal With Their Crap

Has your co-worker or loved one ever given you a beautiful gift, but then acted

  • offended that you didn’t appreciate it enough,
  • claimed that you were lying about how much you liked it,
  • snatched it back saying you didn’t deserve it at all,
  • or any other action that changed your happiness into some other feeling?

If so, you’ve experienced an abusive incident aimed at destroying your sense of reality. How could your lovely, heart-felt reaction be interpreted in some other way? Did you react to the gift “wrong”? Should you have felt more appreciative, less grateful, less selfish? Suddenly your reality, the truth as you know it, doesn’t make sense. What is going on?

Continue reading


Follow Us

Subscribe to Blog

  • advertisement

in Verbal Abuse in Relationships Comments

Mental Health Newsletter

Sign up for the HealthyPlace mental health newsletter for latest news, articles, events.

Mental Health
Newsletter Subscribe Now!

Mental Health Newsletter

Sign up for the HealthyPlace mental health newsletter for latest news, articles, events.

Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me