Effects of Abuse
Veteran parents that use military tactics to raise you, bad exes that still call and tell you how you ruined their lives for not wanting to be hurt anymore, inescapable friendships, etc. These all have their effects.
- •Feeling as though you're always indebted to everyoneYour thank yous are really "I owe you"s. Nothing is free, and you're probably late on your payments.
- •Crippling fears (of invalidation, of abandonment, etc.)I've lightly touched on this (i.e., deleting lists out of anxiety, running away from commitments, blah blah blah)
- •Getting caught in the cycleA combination of not recognizing red flags as anything out of the norm, seeking what's familiar, and fooling yourself into thinking the honeymoon phase means the abusive cycle is over has pushed me into plenty similar instances and kept me trapped in the same old situations.
- •Shared trauma doesn't always equal closer relationshipsI haven't seen my big brother in years, since he's moved away to Hawaii and cut ties with my parents. We text once every so often for birthdays and big holidays, but we're not close at all. Most people who've known me for years don't even know I have an older brother.
- •Strange coping mechanismsI need a few more sessions with the right professional and a little more time to talk about this one in depth.
- •Always expecting to be betrayed and/or humiliated when things go wellIt always gets bad when it's too good.
- •Overly-defensive to the point of offenseI'm more likely to hurt you more than you've initially hurt me.
- •Neglecting one's own needs for others' happinessYou can always gauge this by asking yourself how many times you've asked a person if they need anything vs. how many times you've asked yourself the same question.
- •Inner conflict because you still love the people who hurt you.I will always love my family, and I have a special place in my heart for the people that meant a lot to me in the past, even though they hurt me. It's very hard to admit what they were doing was not healthy, and it really hurts to understand that they may be bad people.
- •Slow healing processI can't put a time on when I'll be 100%, if there ever will be a time. But I am aware, and I am hopeful. It's hard and it's long, but it's important to me and it's all I can do. I can only go up from where I am.