Time infinite

Time infinite

Monday, 27 July 2015

Personal experience of abuse

Most of this blog is written in the third person.  This blog post is different. 

It has taken me about a year to let go of some of the things that happened to me when I was trapped in an abusive relationship.  Abusive people take over every aspect of your existence so that in many respects, you stop being who you are.  I lost about 50% of my personality, when I was with my ex.  Amongst many other elements of abuse, I was controlled by my ex.  There were a large numbers things that I simply wasn't allowed to do.  It sounds incredible to say that.  You probably think, why on earth did you let someone control you like that and the answer is rather complex.  Over time it becomes easier, moreover it becomes safer to do what your partner wants.  It becomes easier to stop having a voice.  Having a voice means you get threatened, you get hurt, your children are at risk and you get screamed at.  So to avoid the anger, the threats and so on, you live your life the way your abusive partner wants you to.  Also you still love your abusive partner, you believe they will change, you make excuses for them and you worry that you won't manage without them because they have stolen your self-esteem. 

About 2 months after we left my ex, I remember feeling guilty for buying my daughter hair bands.  I wasn't allowed to buy things like that because they were a luxury.  With my ex, I had no say whatsoever regarding anything that appertained to money.  When we left my ex and I had the freedom to buy something without threats, without fear, yet I found it difficult because I had become so controlled by him.  Similar feelings occurred in queues.  I would be screamed at, often in public, for choosing the wrong queue. The right queue was the fastest.  I used to feel a terrible sense of dread as I approached a queue with my ex.  A year on, I sometimes choose the longest queue, just because I can!  Likewise, I would be screamed at for stopping to rearrange the buggy when walking anywhere.  It didnt matter whether we were in a rush or not, if I bent down to make sure shopping was safe in the buggy, I would be shouted at.  I used to worry that items of shopping might fall out of the buggy but didn't dare check it because of his reaction.  He used to tell me that I was paranoid and that I was an emotional mess because I wanted to stop to rearrange the buggy.  Thus, I was always treading on egg shells.  I never operated in the here and now because I was always worrying about what he would say and do.

A year on, I often live in the moment.  I have the same worries that every person has.  But I don't live inside a relationship that is built upon control.  I make my own choices.  I am in charge of my own finances.  Moreover, I am in charge of my own life.  I have every part of my personality back.  In fact, I now feel like I'm superwoman.  It has taken a year to reach this point but I can now say that I feel more free than I ever have.  I smile with genuine happiness most of the time.  There are ups and downs, of course.  Sometimes being a single parent is hard but despite it's challenges, it is a million times easier than life inside abuse.

I could list 100s of things that my ex did but a huge list of horrible experiences would make for long and depressing reading.

This post is about freedom, my freedom from abuse.

May anyone experiencing domestic abuse, find their way to freedom.  

Yours,

The Renegade Glitter Fairy
xx

Monday, 25 May 2015

The manipulator

An example of abusive behaviour is someone who repeatedly attempts to manipulate their victims.  It can be difficult to spot.  Particularly if the abuser knows how to hide their manipulative actions. For example, a manipulator may sulk until their victim does what they want.  They may refuse to help with the children, carry out housework or stop talking to you until they get their own way.  They may even carry out very odd behaviours in public to make their victim embarrassed until they get what they want such as exposing themselves, attempting to tell members of the public about their opinions on your relationship, asking for other people's opinions on a 'disagreement' or even threatening to run in front of car.

In fact, repeatedly threatening suicide is a very common example of manipulative behaviour.  Although threatening suicide can be a cry for help,when it happens alongside other types of abusive behaviour, it is an example of emotional abuse and manipulation.

Victims of abuse must always remember that they are NOT at fault.  It is always the fault of the abuser.  We are each responsible for own actions.  If someone attempts to manipulate you, to get what they want, your relationship is not a healthy one.

In emotionally supportive relationships, people have open discussions to reach compromise.  Manipulation and abuse has no part in a healthy relationship. In healthy relationships, the protagonists understand that they may sometimes not get what they want.  If compromise cannot be reached, each person is prepared to concede on their desired outcome.  However it should not be the same person who concedes their desires every time.  Desires / expectations in relationship should be reasonable, human centred and not undermine the other persons personal emotional power

Yours The Renegade Glitter Fairy

xx

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Self-defined

It's absolutely vital to remember that each person is defined by themselves.  No other person can define who we are.  No one can tell us how to be.

However, abusive relationships strip victims of their personal power.  Once a victim of abuse is able to escape the abusive relationship, they can begin to rebuild their sense of power.  This takes time and effort.  But it is possible.

For victims of abuse, and indeed for all of us, it is vital to place our hands on the driving wheel of our lives.  Moreover, it is extremely important to be true to who we are.   

Yours,


The Renegade Glitter Fairy
xx 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Responsibility

Victims of domestic abuse can be female or male.  Moreover, children, can be victims of abuse both in terms of direct abuse, which is referred to as child abuse and when the children witness the domestic abuse of their carers.  It is absolutely vital to remember that in every case of domestic abuse, the victim is NEVER at fault.

Male victims may feel emasculated.  They may feel that they cannot be victim of abuse because it shouldn't happen to men. Yet, sadly it can.  Anyone can become a victim of domestic abuse.  It doesn't happen to certain types of people.  It doesn't happen to people with certain backgrounds.  

Perpetrators of abuse will often to seek to blame their victims.  In fact they will often seek to blame anyone and anything rather than accept responsibility for their own actions.  Although domestic abuse can be two-way, in other words it is possible for both sides of a relationship to be abusive.  In every case victims are not at fault.  It is always the responsibility of the perpetrator.

It is important for everyone that has experienced domestic abuse to understand that they need not feel guilt.  Perpetrators will often do everything they can to absolve themselves of responsibility.  This type of manipulation can make a victim question whether they caused the abuse.  Furthermore, the victim may be manipulated to make excuses for the perpetrator.   It is not possible to cause domestic abuse.  There is no excuse.  The perpetrator, without exception, is responsible.

More generally, in life, we are all responsibilities for own actions.  Doubtless life can throw terrible provocation at us but never-the-less we each choose how we behave. The responsibility for whatever behaviour we exhibit lies within ourselves not with another person, object or circumstance.

Yours,


The Renegade Glitter Fairy

xx  

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Self-esteem

Once someone leaves an abusive relationship, how does that person promote positive self-esteem?  Self-esteem is usually very damaged due to domestic abuse and it is vital that victims find their way back to a position of emotional security.

Counseling can be very helpful, as can programmes which are designed to help victims understand what domestic abuse is.  A further helpful method to improve self-esteem is to practice positive affirmations.  These sound complicated but they are not.  It is simply the things you think about yourself.  In other words, positive affirmations are active thoughts about yourself that support your psyche.  The way we think, creates the way we feel.  Following an abusive relationship, many of our thoughts about ourselves may be quite negative.  Positive affirmations change this.

It helps if positive affirmations are short and easy to remember.  For example:

I am happy
I am intelligent
I am beautiful
I am kind
I am organised
I am a good mother

It also helps if the affirmations are meaningful.  If the abuser generally ridiculed your looks or your intellect or you mothering skills then positive affirmations that focus on these areas will be most beneficial.

It can be helpful to have just a few affirmations to begin with and focus on repeating these a number of times a day.  If possible repeat them out loud.  It is helpful to choose a time of day where you will remember to say the affirmations.  For example, first thing in the morning, last thing at night and during your lunch.

Over time, positive affirmations do help to improve the way your see yourself.  This is the case for all people, one does not have to be a victim of abuse to benefit from positive affirmations.

Yours,

The Renegade Glitter Fairy 

Hiding abuse

Abusive people can hide abusive behaviours within seemingly innocent behaviours. In other words, they can do things that might, to others, not seem like abuse.  Abusers may carry out an action, in a public place, that to everyone else seems innocent but to the victim is a clear message that abuse will start as soon as they are somewhere private.  For example, loudly clearing the throat or repeating a certain word / phrase.  This behaviour is designed to frighten the victim whilst simultaneously hiding the behaviour from everyone else. 

If an abuser purposely lowers their voice to a whisper but continues to say nasty or unpleasant things - this is still an example of abusive behaviour.  Moreover, whispering abusive words is a clear example of abuse because the abuser is in control of their behaviour.  They know exactly what they are doing and their intention is to hurt the victim. Abusers don't have to raise their voice to be abusive.

An abuser may use innocent and seemingly kind words to frighten the victim.  For example, they may grit their teeth, lower their voice but retain a disturbing tone and say things that would appear, to those outside the 'relationship' to be pleasant.   For example they may say something like "yes I really the value the way you cleaned the kitchen and that you put the pans where are supposed to go".  They may say please and thank you.  They may appear polite.  Yet, the victim knows that they didn't put the pans away and the victim picks up on the subtle but disturbing tone of voice. Taken within the context of an abusive relationship, this is in itself an example of abusive behaviour.  Furthermore, it may be an indicator that more turbulent and dangerous abuse will follow later.  Within an abusive 'relationship', a certain look, the raising of an eyebrow or a certain type of smile can be examples of abuse.  The victim understands the coded behaviour and so does the abuser but it is hidden from everyone else.  

It's important for victims to remember that abusive people are not just angry, they are in control of their behaviours.  Although an abuser may become very angry and appear out of control, generally speaking they know exactly what they are doing.  Their intention is to intimidate, control and hurt their victims. 

There is never any excuse for domestic abuse.  It is entirely the responsibility of the abuser.  Victims must escape abusive relationships as safely as possible and must always ensure that children are not at risk.  Call Refuge on 0808 2000 247 or the police on 999 in an emergency.  Ideally, victims should get themselves to a place of safety before calling for help. Even if it's barricading themselves and all the children into a room before calling the police.

Domestic abuse is never acceptable.  Whether it is physical, sexual, emotional, mental, financial or a combination of these - it must NOT be allowed to continue.

Yours,

The Renegade Glitter Fairy

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Escape abusive relationships

Victims of abuse should always seek to escape their situation in a way that does not put them at risk.  This means choosing to leave without telling the abuser you are leaving.  As a general rule, perpetrators of abuse will not simply allow their victims to leave.  They will use an array of methods to either discourage or simply prevent the victim from leaving.  This might mean physically harming the victim.  It might lead to serious physical harm or even death.  Even in abusive relationships that are less physically damaging, the perpetrator of abuse will make it very hard or impossible for the victim to leave.

Thus, a victim should make a plan to leave and stick to it.  Ideally, victims should leave when the perpetrator is out or when it is possible to slip away.  It might be necessary to make up an excuse for going out, such as visiting the shops.  It is generally not a good idea to tell anyone where you are going until you are a safe distance away from the perpetrator.  There is a wealth of guidance online regarding this.  Local services that protect victims from abuse can also offer advice.

It goes without saying that children should always accompany the victim of abuse to a place of refuge.  If it's possible to stay with a trusted person who lives a safe distance away from the perpetrator of abuse, and, who is not known by the perpetrator, this may be a favourable option. However there are refuges across the UK which are safe places for victims to stay. The majority of these refuges are for women, however there are some for men.  The addresses of these places is not public but a contact telephone number always is.  They offer support and, most importantly secure accommodation. 

Refuge is an excellent organisation that offers help, advice and information on local refuges.  http://www.refuge.org.uk/.

If victims are in immeadiate danger, without exception, the police must always be called.  If possible, escape to safety with any children first, then call the police.

Although this is a difficult and emotive subject, the more we talk about it, the greater the possibility that domestic abuse will cease to be hidden behind closed doors and significantly, more victims will find their way into a safer, brighter future.

Yours,

The Renegade Glitter Fairy
xx