We know that we
are in an abusive relationship when we have to change the way we behave, act, think, believe, speak, worship, dress, or look
because we fear our (so called) partner's reaction
This fear is all too often
founded in our own painful experiences of what has happened to us in the past. It is a terror of being re-subjected to our
abuser’s preferred method of punishing us for failing to keep (or make) him or her happy.
This 'punishment' usually
involves us suffering some form of physical, mental or emotional hurt.
Paradoxically though, in
the eyes of the abuser our punishment is right and fitting. Not only is it justified (he or she had to ‘punish us’ for
our disobedience) but it is also self-inflicted. We have done it to ourselves. The punishment is our fault. The abuser
never has any choice in the matter. We give him or her no choice. It will always be our fault.
Abusers are skilled
at gaining and maintaining control over us through manipulation. This control has the effect of totally undermining us as
individuals. The way we live, who we are and the way we view ourselves As a consequence of careful manipulation we begin to
understand that when we do not 'obey' we are in the wrong and so we very quickly learn that the fault lies in us - so whatever
happens - it's our fault.
Without even realising
what is happening, being abused disables our judgement and prevents us from recognising the true danger of
The truth is that we are
in a potentially very dangerous place; and could end up seriously injured, hospitalised or dead