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Can’t get over relationship abuse from many years back

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  • #396391
    Shve
    Participant

    Dear Helcat,
    I’ve been following your thread. I found that trauma therapy was extremely helpful for moving past a similar experience. Would that be a possibility? Thank you for suggesting this, I think I need some therapy in this regard. I will see how this can be achieved.

    You have learned the reality of the situation and it is terrifying. But it doesn’t mean that there aren’t good people out there. I realized this over the years, and almost everyone I met after this experience has been a comparatively good experience for me. But I never ventured into romantic relationships. I tried to learn about how human beings work especially men. Initially I did not want to meet anyone or talk to anyone, but I did find happiness being with others and talking to them. Infact, I experienced such deep happiness whenever any man was respectful of me even in general conversations.

    It’s horrible that he shattered your dreams and it’s understandable to grieve that loss, but in time you may have new dreams. I do have new dreams, but something from this experience is holding me where I am. It does not allow me to move forward.

    Whilst this betrayal has hurt you deeply, and made you feel afraid. I have hope that you will learn to protect yourself from people such as him in the future because of this experience. Yes, I am afraid of situations and people. I can’t trust anyone anymore especially men. I see I still have lot of work to do it identify such people and situations and protect myself from it. At the beginning of my interactions with him, I was vigilant and careful but I doubted myself and my intuition and paid a heavy price.
    He blamed you for his actions saying that you should have stopped coming. But if you were with someone who was safe, you would never have been harmed. He is 100% responsible for the abuse. He refused to take any blame for whatever happened. Because things in life were going good for him. In such situations, people usually do not have empathy for others. I tried to explain to him why it was wrong, he would either put it back on me or remain silent. Even when I tried my best to stop and start walking away, he would call my phone and say come I’m waiting for you. He would persuade me. Once he apologized by saying sorry and immediately proceeded to touch my underarms because he wanted to feel me.

    I will however suggest that the reasons why you went are very important. The first time, you didn’t know what would happen. You trusted him, it wasn’t your fault. But and I say this with love and kindness, you were responsible for repeatedly putting yourself in danger. Once you understand the reasons why and overcome them, you will be able to protect yourself in the future. It is very important for you not to blame yourself, only understand the reasons why you repeatedly allowed yourself to be subjected to his abusive behaviour. Thank you for being kind when saying this. I have thought about this a million times in all these years about why I continued to go after the first time. I think it was lust or some kind of unstoppable force so to say. Even today when I think if I could turn the clock back and go to that moment, could I have just walked away? the answer is no. I remember being very aware of how strong those feelings were. It was the first time I was experiencing all these feelings in my body coupled with the situation of him atleast paying me some attention after he rejected me. When my body experienced these physical feelings, it felt so good. But a few minutes after that when I realize that he was using me, I felt dirty. I did hold out hope that he would change his mind about me. I’m also a people pleaser and with people I am close to, they can easily convince or persuade me to do something for them. We did infact stop talking about 3-4 months of this abuse and then after 1 month of very less talking, he came back saying he wanted to be with me. I was happy, but again, it was only to touch me. This cycle only stopped when his family found his wife for him.

    From my own experience, even people we trust can betray us. But not everyone will do that. The main thing we can do is look out for “warning signs” of bad behaviour. For example, when he chased you and you weren’t interested. That is a warning sign because he didn’t respect your lack of interest. Proposing when you weren’t ready, was manipulative and has the effect of suggesting that the relationship is closer than it is. His comments about other women and on your weight are also warning signs.  Agree with you on all of these. I did not realize any of these until many years after the fact. I infact took his efforts to be his “love”. So many warning signs but I did not realize this is how people can be especially those who do not have integrity.

    If someone displays warning signs, take great care not to be alone with them. So true, life is lived backwards.

    I would pay very close attention to what your parents say about partners in the future. They suggested that it wouldn’t be a good fit. Did they explain why? Did you ask? Loved ones are often afraid of pushing us away by being critical of partners. The only thing they said at the time was he is very different from us. (with regards to religion and background). But now when I look back, I think they were waiting to see if I truly liked him and was sure about it or was it just a fleeting thing. But before long time could pass, all of the abuse happened. This whole story happened in about 1 year, out of which 7 months were him abusing me. Actually the whole thing was abuse.

    Another thing that is important, is building strong boundaries and practicing assertiveness. People like your ex target victims based on how they respond to their boundaries being breached. You didn’t maintain your boundaries when you said that you weren’t interested in dating him. You didn’t maintain your boundaries when you said that you weren’t ready to marry him. To him he would have thought great, I can do whatever I want with this woman. She will say no at first, but then I’ll be able to convince her to do it. I am trying to work on boundaries and assertiveness. I did not even know what boundaries meant and did not realise we have to have boundaries even in such associations. I just thought he would take care of me since he said he would keep me very happy. I then started reading about what boundaries are and how many people try to encroach our boundaries if we don’t stop them. I also realized that he was very good at enforcing his assertiveness and boundaries but did not respect it in others. You are right in saying I did not maintain my boundaries and also realized that I give up whatever boundary I have by a little persuasion from the other person. I tried working on this from the last few years but hear my voice crack or become nervous or start shivering when I try to assert boundaries especially in close relationships (friends, family). I’m not used to having boundaries.

    Another danger, is that some people don’t like to be told no. Some may pretend to accept it initially, then retaliate in the future. It really is key to never be alone with people who aren’t worthy of trust. He was one of them who did not like to be told no. And so by hook or crook, they make us agree, does not matter what the aftermath is. Agreed, it’s never a good idea to be alone with those who we cannot trust.

    The sad truth is even if you follow my advice, bad things can still happen. But it is my opinion that I can’t live in fear anymore. I would miss out on all the good things in life. All we can do is our best to move on and build a new life for ourselves, do our best to protect ourselves and pray that nothing of the sort happens again. I want to live my life openly too without any fear. To be open to good relationships, people and experiences. I’ve realized that some of these may be negative too and that’s okay, but to stay away from ones that could turn abusive.

    I have also realized that my upbringing has had a profound effect on the way I deal with others especially men. My parents have a very traditional relationship which my father being dominant over my mother in most instances. I grew up seeing this. Seeing my mother being forgiving of him even if he did/ said something she did not like. She is also not an assertive person with very less/no boundaries. I grew up thinking that is how I am supposed to be. And in recent years, I started to notice that in my interactions with men. That they were superior in some way to women. All of this is somehow entangled with the situation I went through 10 years back, I might have been my mother and he my father. And like you said, men can easily detect these things in women and behave accordingly or take advantage.
    Regards,

    Shve

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Shve.
    #396400
    Shve
    Participant

    Dear HoneyBlossom,

    Thank you for taking time to read about my story.

    I have been on my own for over 2 years now, and I feel much more emotionally stable than I ever did in relationships with men.  I haven’t gone out of my way to meet anyone, let alone a type of selection process.  I just have a very small number of close to friends, and I really like where I live.  I’m pretty much a home body and I’m in a nice part of the world. Nice to hear about all this and I’m so happy for you. This is exactly what I’ve been over the last 5 years or so. I just feel peaceful about being alone and just have to talk to only very few people. But thoughts come up every now and then about the abuse. Recently it has been troubling me a lot that it gives me sleepless nights and I tend to oversleep the next morning. I get thoughts of the injustice I faced, the shame I faced and being helpless and not doing anything about it.

    Yes, Indian dating and marriage scene is very different and sometimes its hard for someone who has not seen this to understand where I am coming from. My parents did try to arrange a marriage for me, but somehow (thank God!) it did not work out. I was not ready and I’m not sure if I will be anytime soon unless I get some peace about this incident. It still haunts me.

    Regards,

    Shve

    #396411
    HoneyBlossom
    Participant

    Hi Shve and thanks for your acknowledgement and clarification.

     

    Just a suggestion to try which I need to do myself more oftenbwhich nay help.  Before you go to sleep at night, work out a simple routine and do a positive meditation.  In the mornings, you could read from one of those books or online, a daily positive reading. Also having a gratitude list to acknowledge thanks for.  I know when O have done these things myself, I seem to function much better so thank you for reminding me. When I get out of the habit, I forget.

    #396413
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shve:

    You are welcome. “Truth be told, I did not even realize I was being abused when it was happening” – you were not aware that you were abused; it was impossible for you to form the intent to prevent or fight abuse that you were not aware of.

    Just that something bad was happening, the body and mind feels it, but I just kept going because I am a people pleaser” – I know all too well the feeling of something bad is happening to me, and yet being unable to stop it from continuing to happen. I didn’t think that I was … qualified to determine if something bad was happening to me. I looked up to other people/ almost anyone and everyone, to know better than me, what is really happening and whether it is right or wrong.

    But then I also thought his wife is also a woman just like me… one with dreams about her life and marriage. I know how it feels to have dreams shattered. I could not think of doing that to another woman, though a very tempting opportunity to me at that time” – you are a good, empathetic person. I listed this possibility not because I thought you should tell his wife, but because it is a possibility, and I listed all the possibilities that came to my mind (possibilities that plenty of people do pursue).

    Gossiping about him might backfire and make me look bad in front of others since the mindset of people here is also ‘why did she get involved with him, this is what happens to such women‘” – I thought this too, while typing this possibility, that gossiping would backfire on you. Again, I listed all possibilities that came to my mind.

     “I try to do this and support and empathize with women who have undergone such experiences. I also try to share with women about such experiences so that they don’t have to suffer” – again, you are a good person, a good woman, my hat is off to you!

    I have thought about this a million times in all these years about why I continued to go after the first time. I think it was lust or some kind of unstoppable force so to say. Even today when I think if I could turn the clock back and go to that moment, could I have just walked away? the answer is no. I remember being very aware of how strong those feelings were. It was the first time I was experiencing all these feelings in my body… it felt so good” –

    – I thought about the issue of responsibility yesterday, right after posting to you. This is what I think: because you were in your later twenties when the abuse happened, the law would hold you legally responsible for returning to him every time you did. And much of society would hold you responsible as well. But in actuality, at the time this was happening, you were not able, mentally and emotionally, to choose otherwise, therefore, you were not actually, or practically responsible.

    Like you said, it was an unstoppable force that drew you to him, an unstoppable force consisting of (1) awakened sexual instinctual drives, and (2) emotional dependence on his interest in you, you needed him to keep wanting you.

    I did not even know what boundaries meant and did not realise we have to have boundaries even in such associations. I just thought he would take care of me since he said he would keep me very happy” – I read this sentence after I typed the second paragraph in this post (“I looked up to other people/ almost anyone and everyone, to know better than me, what is… right or wrong”). You too looked up to him to do what was right for you.

    I tried working on this from the last few years but hear my voice crack or become nervous or start shivering when I try to assert boundaries especially in close relationships (friends, family). I’m not used to having boundaries… My parents have a very traditional relationship which my father being dominant over my mother in most instances… And in recent years, I started to notice that in my interactions with men. That they were superior in some way to women” –

    – remember I asked in one of my earlier posts, why don’t traditional parents warn their daughters and prepare them to face the common practice of sexual subjugation of women by men? I think that the answer is that conservative fathers want to conserve male dominance and superiority inside their home, therefore, they discourage their daughters to assert boundaries inside the home.

    The consequence of discouraging daughters from asserting boundaries in the home is that we don’t assert boundaries outside the home either. I am sure that most fathers, if not all, don’t want their daughters to be taken advantage of by men… but it’s either something they prefer to not think about, or it is a price they are willing to pay, so to conserve male dominance.

    Recently it has been troubling me a lot that it gives me sleepless nights and I tend to oversleep the next morning. I get thoughts of the injustice I faced, the shame I faced and being helpless and not doing anything about it” – you are just one person, one woman having faced a very common unjust practice that is supported by millions of people, particularly men, no wonder you were helpless to stop it.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by anita.
    #396512
    Shve
    Participant

    Dear HoneyBlossom,

    Thank you for the suggestions, I’ve tried out most of these things over the years. But have realised that they are only distractions for a certain amount of time especially when we have been hurt very deeply. Though it does help me to a certain level, the pain never goes off and comes back. Let’s hope I can get better.

    Regards,

    Shve

    #396513
    Shve
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for responding.

    you were not aware that you were abused; it was impossible for you to form the intent to prevent or fight abuse that you were not aware of. Even for sometime after the fact I did not realise I was abused. I knew something was wrong, but could not put a finger to it. Because he acted as if he had done everything right and everything was going right for him in his life, so I thought there must be something wrong with me. May be I should have stopped coming like he said. I started reading articles online day and night trying to figure out what was going on. I was able to relate to stories of people who had been abused and I could also relate to articles that mentioned about signs of being abused. And so, after many months I could understand I was abused. When this realization hit me, I suffered even more. I wondered how I could be so foolish. I knew this would not work out, so why did I continue. I also had to put with seeing his happy pictures with his wife at the same time that this realization hit me. And see him at work celebrating with colleagues. I tortured myself by looking at his social media pictures, it used to give me anxiety attacks.

    I looked up to other people/ almost anyone and everyone, to know better than me, what is really happening and whether it is right or wrong. Thank you, this is something true of me. I just realized it reading your lines here. I relate so much to this, but I’ve never thought of it as clearly as you put it. Sometimes I don’t even know how to express what I think is wrong, this is one of those times. Depending on another person to do right by us, take decisions etc can work out sometimes for us positively, but most times they have their own personal agendas to achieve through us. I’ve also been told by many that I don’t know how to take decisions independent of others and have a lot of dependency on others.

    You too looked up to him to do what was right for you. Very much, I thought he cannot do wrong to me because I trusted him after a certain point of time because of his words. I realise now that he could never do right for me neither as a partner, friend nor human being. I’ve also come to realise this about myself in other relationships that I have, professional or personal. I look to someone else to take decisions or do the right thing for me as opposed to me taking charge of my life. Do you have tips to overcome this?

    I think that the answer is that conservative fathers want to conserve male dominance and superiority inside their home, therefore, they discourage their daughters to assert boundaries inside the home. Not just fathers, mothers too. Atleast at my home it was like that. I remember clearly in my teens if I spoke something which seemed clever, my mother discouraged such things or said you’re being oversmart.

    The consequence of discouraging daughters from asserting boundaries in the home is that we don’t assert boundaries outside the home either. I am sure that most fathers, if not all, don’t want their daughters to be taken advantage of by men… but it’s either something they prefer to not think about, or it is a price they are willing to pay, so to conserve male dominance. Yes right, exactly! I wish I was taught how to assert myself when needed. It’s a skill that everyone needs to learn. I was not taught that, neither did I have any role model for that. Just the opposite, I learnt how to be docile and subservient even if others do whatever they want. Seeing the interactions of my parents, I learnt many wrong things, but we don’t realise it as children. My father would be heartbroken to know this. May be they don’t think it would happen to their daughters.

    Regards,

    Shve

    #396519
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shve:

    You are welcome!

    “I did not realise I was abused. I knew something was wrong but could not put a finger to it… Sometimes I don’t even know how to express what I think is wrong… I thought he cannot do wrong to me because I trusted him… I was… taught (by parents) … to be docile and subservient” –

    – When my mother hit me, screaming at me, humiliating me with terrible, piercing words, she also praised me, saying: the only thing I like about you is that (when I am beating/ screaming at you), you look down to the floor and say nothing, unlike children of other parents who talk back.

    When she said that, she didn’t specifically teach me to be docile and subservient to abusive men. She taught me to be submissive to abuse. Fast forward, I knew only one way to react to abuse: submission.

    When she hit me, etc., I instinctively felt angry and very, very disturbed, I knew something was very wrong, but I wasn’t thinking:  she is doing me wrong, this is abuse! I was not thinking much of anything; I was frozen in fear. After each attack, I started thinking, overthinking, tormented with anger at her on one hand, and guilt, on the other hand, lots of guilt for (believing that I was) deserving whatever it was that she was doing to me.

    Fast forward, while in a situation such as what you described with that man, I felt disturbed (and soon afterwards, I felt very angry), but while it was happening, I wasn’t thinking.

    I wish I was taught how to assert myself when needed. It’s a skill that everyone needs to learn” – Yes, it is a skill that everyone needs, but prior to asserting oneself against abuse, one has to be able to detect abuse, to think with certainty: this is wrong, this is abuse!

    My father would be heartbroken to know this” – your father (and your mother) taught you to submit to abuse, “to be docile and subservient even if others do whatever they want“. So… your father is a third party to what happened even though he wasn’t physically there. He led you there, so he is not an innocent party to what happened. If he knew, and felt heartbroken about it, it would be a consequence of what he did (and what he failed to do).

    I am not suggesting that you tell him or that you should try to cause your father pain; what I am suggesting is that your situation is not that of a guilty daughter vs an innocent father.

    I look to someone else to take decisions or do the right thing for me as opposed to me taking charge of my life. Do you have tips to overcome this?” – yes, take every opportunity you get in your daily life, however small the opportunity, to take charge and do things in ways that you feel are right for you.  I remember one of the smallest opportunities I took advantage of: I was folding towels a certain way, trying to do it the way I was taught, or the way I thought I was supposed to fold them…  I then stopped and thought to myself: wait, I prefer to fold these towels this particular way (my way, the way that felt right/ logical to me!), so I folded them in a new way, my way, and it felt liberating!

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by anita.
    #396521
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shve:

    Adding to/ editing my sentence from above: “your situation is not that of a guilty daughter vs an innocent father” –

    – You are not guilty about what happened, not at all. The man is guilty for what he did, but your father is guilty too because of what he did (he taught you to be submissive) and because of what he did not do (he did not teach you how to detect and protect yourself from the common practice of men seeking to sexually conquer women).

    anita

    #396669
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Shve

    Sorry for the late reply! I was dealing with a lot of stress at home. This is a difficult topic and sometimes I need to take breaks from it to manage my mental health.

    I’m glad that you have found happiness in having respectful conversations.

    As a result of my traumatic experiences I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This may be something that you are experiencing too? This could be the thing holding you back, not letting you move forward. What do you think?

    His behaviour and refusal to take responsibility for his actions is disgusting and blaming it on you is gaslighting. Even the rare instance where he “apologised” it was manipulative as it wasn’t sincere and born out of a desire to placate you to get what he wanted.

    Sometimes, when there are differences in religion and background, bad people find themselves using it as an excuse to use, disrespect or harm others.

    I would agree that how you were raised has a lot to do with the difficulties with boundaries. The way I was raised caused me to have difficulty with boundaries too. I think that society as a whole plays a part too. No one wants to think about when children become adults and start to date. No one wants to think about the potential dangers that might be faced. Society doesn’t want to punish the people who hurt others, this further emboldens this type of bad behaviour.

    I welcome you to practice your assertiveness and protect your boundaries here. This is a safe space and I would love to know if there are any things that I can do differently to make you feel more comfortable in our communication.

    I just wanted to clarify Shve that it’s good to have awareness of these things now. But as you and Anita have said, you didn’t have awareness of this before. Therefore, you were not able to protect yourself. In no way did I mean to suggest that you bear any responsibility for what happened. It’s just good something to be aware of to help protect yourself in the future.

    I know what it feels like to not be able to say no, or defend yourself when you want to. I know what it feels like to be care about someone and to be lead on. Many people do things that they don’t want to because they care about someone. But that doesn’t make what is happening okay.

    Your bravery in sharing your experience has been inspirational. Thank you! I wish you all the best on your healing journey.

    Regarding tips for overcoming this. You know that feeling that you had at the beginning when you didn’t want to date this man. Learn to pay a lot of attention to your instincts. So any emotions that pop up, if you feel angry or sad it is for a reason and this could mean that boundaries are being crossed. I would encourage you to think about circumstances that trigger these emotions. Emotions tell us a lot of helpful information and can inform our decision making.

    #398120
    Shve
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Sorry about the late reply. I have been thinking about what you all have shared on this topic for the last few days. It’s like I have lot’s to say, but don’t know what to type.

    I am so sorry that you had to go through all what you described with your mother. And after all these years to clearly describe what you felt, it must have cut so deep through you to be able to remember such details clearly. Only things that hurt us deeply can leave such long lasting effects.

    This might be silly, but can I ask how to detect abuse while its happening? Sometimes I am not able to distinguish between the small voice at the back of my head that says ‘no this is wrong’ and in trying to be forgiving in my association with others. It’s like others can clearly see from my general attitude, behavior and talk that I am someone who can be taken advantage of or be bossed over. I guess I don’t know how to be assertive. What happens is when I try to be assertive, I try to be empathetic too and then it leads to blurring of my boundaries. I guess I am also scared of confrontation, of fighting with someone I am close to, of losing them, of making them think I am ‘bad’. I also sometimes think that I am not made for this world where people just want to take advantage of others.

    I do wish you well and hope that you find your peace.

    Regards,

    Shve

    #398121
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Shve

    Learning to listen to that small voice in the back of your head is a good idea. Another way to detect abuse is to pay close attention to your feelings. It should be noted that not everything that is hurtful is abusive.

    Do you feel sad or angry when someone is speaking to you or does something?

    It can we worthwhile writing down what happened and figuring out how you feel about it and why.

    Learning about different kinds of verbal, emotional and psychological abuse online can help you identify which behaviours others display are abusive.

    If you would like to learn about assertive communication please Google “skills you need assertiveness”. It gives a lot of examples of how to communicate assertively and how to handle difficult conversations. I found this website really useful when I was learning to be assertive.

    The good thing about assertive communication is that you can do it politely without being hurtful. For me, this eased my fears about how others would interpret it.

    #398145
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shve:

    No need to apologize for a late reply, no such thing as a late reply, and thank you for expressing empathy for me.

    And after all these years to clearly describe what you felt, it must have cut so deep through you to be able to remember such details clearly” – I forgot the great majority of details, I remember only a few examples of how my mother repeatedly shamed and humiliated me. When I shared it with you, the memories did not hurt me. I felt sad, that’s all. Thing is, there is a voice in my brain that speaks for her in her absence. For example, when I wrote a few sentences ago that she repeatedly shamed and humiliated me, I heard her voice saying: and you forgot all the positive things I told you???, an angry, accusatory voice, blaming me for remembering only the bad and in so, being a bad person. It is her voice in her absence (her mental representative in my brain) that destroyed so much of my life in her absence.

    But confronting this voice, lowering its volume and eventually hushing it, I got to a point where I am experiencing more quietude in my brain than I ever did, a much-appreciated peace of mind

    How to detect abuse while its happening? Sometimes I am not able to distinguish between the small voice at the back of my head that says, ‘no this is wrong’ and… I am also scared of confrontation… of making them think I am ‘bad’” – sounds like you too have a voice that accuses you of being a bad person. So, two voices: one is your own, a small voice that detects abuse, telling you no, this is wrong! and a louder voice that tells you: you are a bad person!

    I re-read your posts looking for these two voices, particularly the louder one:

    About your parents: “My parents have a very traditional relationship which my father being dominant over my mother… I grew up thinking that is how I am supposed to be… That they were superior in some way to women“.

    About the guy: “I did not even know what boundaries meant… I just thought he would take care of me since he said he would keep me very happy… I knew something was wrong but could not put a finger to it. Because he acted as if he had done everything right and everything was going right for him in his life… Depending on another person to do right by us, take decisions etc. can work out sometimes for us positively, but most times they have their own personal agendas to achieve through us” –

    – the loud voice is your fathers dominant voice (magnified by your mother’s submission to him and her insistence that you will submit as well). Your father’s voice says, in the context of your family (using your words in the quote above, with minor adjustments): I know what is right and I am doing everything right, everything is going right. I am here to take care of you. I make the decisions. You must depend on me to do right by you, to take care of you and keep you very happy. You must submit, you must not have boundaries!

    Your father’s dominant voice seemed to positively work out for your family: your mother and you were physically taken care of, and your father made some decisions that were right for the two of you. Fast forward, this guy, another man, shows up in your adult life, and you expect him (and he promises you) to do what is right, to make decisions for you, to take care of you and keep you very happy… for as long as you submit to his male superiority.

    Only that unlike your father, he had his own personal agenda that was sexual.

    Assuming that before marrying your mother, your father did not pursue her for sex, doing what is indeed right in the context of a traditional family, he should have taught you (directly or have your mother, or another dependable adult teach you) that there are men out there who will not do what is right. And that you should not submit to those men.

    Your father made sure that you were defenseless (unable to form boundaries, and so, unable to protect yourself) in the context of his family, but he should have not sent you defenseless into the world.

    What this means is that you really are entirely not responsible for what happened with this guy. Think of this imagery: two birds have a baby bird. Wanting the baby bird to stay in the nest where it is safe and where the bird is being fed and kept safe from predators, the parents take away the baby’s wings. The baby bird grows up and is sent into the world… isn’t it time to give her wings back, so that she can fly away from the predators out there???

    The three question marks above express my anger and frustration at the impossible situation you were placed in. After all, your parents knew, as every adult knows, that there are men out there who are interested in pre-marital sex, men who will lie about their intent, make promises or for whatever other reasons, will not honor the traditional family value of not having pre-marital sex.

    And now, back to your question: “How to detect abuse while its happening? Sometimes I am not able to distinguish between the small voice at the back of my head that says, ‘no this is wrong’ and… I am also scared of confrontation… of making them think I am ‘bad’” –

    Back to the imagery, should the wingless bird blame herself for failing to fly away when approached by a predator?

    It is time for you to clear yourself from blame that does not belong to you, to assign it to where it does belong, and to claim back your wings. Claiming back your wings means to be able to remove yourself from harmful people and situations and when that’s not possible, to confront people and situations.

    It is time for you to do what I am successfully practicing every day: (1) lower the volume of that dominant voice and move it to the back of your head, (2) increase the volume of that small, independent voice of yours and move it from the back of your head to the center.

    You wrote earlier: “I’ve also come to realise this about myself in other relationships that I have, professional or personal. I look to someone else to take decisions or do the right thing for me as opposed to me taking charge of my life” – your independence is about placing your independent voice in the center of your attention and making your own decisions for your benefit, as opposed to placing others’ voices in the center of your attention and submitting to them.

    You wrote yesterday: “It’s like others can clearly see from my general attitude, behavior and talk that I am someone who can be taken advantage of or be bossed over. I guess I don’t know how to be assertive. What happens is when I try to be assertive, I try to be empathetic too and then it leads to blurring of my boundaries” – changing your general attitude and becoming assertive is a gradual process that must start small. Next time you come across an opportunity to assert yourself, be it as small as it may be, plan what to say and do beforehand, put it in writing, see that it’s right before you carry on your plan. If you need my help with it, let me know.

    anita

    #400558
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Shve?

    anita

    #401546
    Shve
    Participant

    Thank you Anita for checking, I’m pretty much the same, how are you doing?

    I’ve been trying to reflect on the issues I’ve spoken about in this thread. Just going round and round in my head .. feel like I have no solution to them. Some days are better than others. On some days I wonder why is there no Karma … I pull up my phone and start searching on other people’s karma experiences, sometimes it make me think ah well, people are so lucky to have seen karma … at other times I get very agitated. Sometimes when I’m alone, I enact that I am confronting him for all the pain he caused me. I enact the whole scenario. If someone saw me, they would’a thought I’m crazy. I know.. this is very negative and self-defeating talk, but I’m just sick and tired of hearing “Move on”, “it gets better with time”, ” these things happen” and something that he told me at that time – “so many people are suffering all over the world ” – to mean my suffering was nothing compared to them. Just can’t come to terms with the audacity of it all and why was I accepting of all that behaviour.

    I also realise that sometimes I feel more peaceful if I ignore this problem, but then all of a sudden out of nowhere, the memories come back … and I get agitated thinking about the injustice of it all. Infact when I wrote about many things in this thread here.. looking back.. I realised on those days I was highly agitated with no peace at all. May be the realization of many things hit me when I wrote about those things and read everyone’s replies about it. But I’m grateful to have also seen empathy from the answers. I don’t know where this road leads to .. all of this self-defeating talk .. and negative thinking. I’ve started feeling aversion to meeting people especially those who I think I should have confronted for perceived wrongs, but I did not. I guess my way is that of not speaking up even if something bothers me and then that festers inside of me and then I start to hate them and want to have nothing to do with them. I think I’m passive aggressive. I hate going outside now and this pandemic made me realise how peaceful it is to just stay at home and not have to deal directly with people.

    #401552
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shve:

    It’s good to read back from you.  When I reply to members I tend to go the way the rational way: analyze, state the problems, recommend solutions… When all a person needs is a place to rest from the rational/ the overthinking, a place where one allowed to say, or scream: THIS IS NOT FAIR!!!

    Scream it here all you want, please?!

    And I will reply further when you do.

    anita

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