Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

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Am I in an Abusive Relationship?

Am I in an Abusive Relationship? by Lisa Vecchione

{4:00 minutes to read} When we were little kids we heard these familiar teachings:

  • Boys don’t hit girls!
  • If your partner hits, you need to get out!
  • If they tease/ignore you, it really means they like you.

In generations past we were warned about physical abuse, but we were never taught the horrible truths of psychological abuse. Abuse is not about love. It is about power and control; one person having power and control over the other person.

Psychological abuse can happen to anyone at any time in a relationship. Abusive relationships do not discriminate and can exist at any stage of life. There may not be physical marks but the emotional scars are real.

Psychological abuse is defined as:

  1. Acts of isolation;
  2. Constant verbal aggression;
  3. Intimidation;
  4. Humiliation; and
  5. Any other acts meant to destroy a person’s self-esteem, self-worth and self-identity.

People who are caught in the cycle of being psychologically abused tend to have a very low sense of self-worth. They become withdrawn and show signs of depression and anxiety. Sometimes they become suicidal.

Here are a few red flags that indicate an abusive relationship:

  • Does your partner’s temper scare you?
  • Are you afraid to disagree with your partner?
  • Do you walk on eggshells?
  • When treated badly, do you make excuses for your partner’s behavior?
  • Do you have to justify everything you do, everywhere you go, and everyone you see just to avoid your partner’s anger?
  • Does your partner put you down, but then tell you that he/she loves you?
  • Have you ever been hit, kicked, shoved or had things thrown at you by your partner?
  • Do you isolate yourself from friends or family to make your partner happy?
  • Have you ever had sex with your partner to keep him/her calm or were you forced/manipulated to do things you were not comfortable doing?
  • Are you afraid to break up because your partner has threatened to hurt you or himself/herself?
  • Do you feel like you are powerless, helpless, and nothing you ever do is right?
  • Do you question yourself and your memory? “Am I going crazy?”

On many occasions the person being abused blames themselves. They get caught in a web of guilt that further isolates them, which is the goal of psychological abuse; to place the blame, shame and guilt on the victim. Despite the lack of visible scars, psychological abuse is still abuse, and is considered a crime.

If you are in an abusive relationship, it is not your fault. No one deserves to be treated this way. The first step to your recovery is to tell a person you trust and get some help. Knowledge is power and education on abuse is the first step to regaining control.

Recovering from an abusive relationship is not easy but it is possible. Help is available but it requires work and commitment. Deciding to reach out for help will be the best decision you have ever made.

Hold on to hope! Hope for a future filled with strength, peace, and safety. Hope can save your life, but only you can make the choice to pursue it!

Lisa Vecchione, LMSW
CBT Psychological Associates
2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 345
Commack, NY. 11725
(631) 486-5140

2017-08-15T12:04:06+00:00 By |0 Comments

About the Author:

Lisa Vecchione, LMSW
CBT Psychological Associates
2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 345
Commack, NY. 11725
(631) 486-5140

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