Episode 36: Physical Abuse is Not The Only Kind of Abuse

So often women think that because he didn’t hit her, that he’s not abusive.

As someone who used to think the same thing, this incredibly harmful and in some cases quite dangerous.

That’s why I’m going to break down some different types of abuse so you can see that just because it isn’t physical, it’s still abuse.

Trigger Warning

I share some examples of some of these different kinds of abuse and I just want to make sure that no one is going to be triggered.

So if you are someone that thinks you may be triggered hearing about these different kinds of abuse, please do not listen. I want you to be very careful and listen with caution.

So many women reach out to me and say well he didn’t hit me so it doesn’t really count as abuse.

When I say this statement riles me up I mean it.

Just because someone doesn’t put their hands on you does not mean that they are not abusive.

Physical abuse is certainly abuse.

However, its not the only kind of abuse.

In fact, I would say that I was far more impacted by the mental things that were done to me than anything physical bruises heal trauma stays in your brain. So again, I am not trying to take away from the physical abuse at all. I know that there are so many women that don’t get out because of the physical abuse that they went through but they did not survive.

So I am not taking away from that at all. But I want you to realize that is not the only form of abuse. I know the list that I’m about to share is not an extensive list by any means, but I just want to share with you how abuse can happen without a bruise. I never kind of abuse and this is something else we hear quite a bit about is

Verbal Abuse

I hate how downplayed this is. In movies, books, tv shows we’re taught that it’s “just a joke” or “just words” and that we’re over reacting if we’re bothered by them.

However, this causes major trauma in the brain.

For more info on abuse and the brain, make sure to read this post.

When someone says “you’re stupid, you’re so dumb. I can’t believe I put up with you.”

Any variation of that, no matter how mild or how aggressive it becomes, is verbal abuse and that is generally how physically abusive relationships start.

When you don’t know the different forms of abuse, you can easily succumb to the thought that you’re just crazy.

Verbal abuse is when someone verbally tells you that you are dumb, stupid, unworthy. This doesn’t have to be aggressive either. It can just be continual snide comments of “oh my gosh, you’re so stupid” over and over and over again.

Now this can also be the type of abuse where they get in your face and yell at you without touching you. That is verbal abuse and that is also a form of manipulation.

Spiritual Abuse

This is when someone will use a religion or belief system against you For example, I am saying this carefully I am a believer. I personally believe in God, whether you do or do not is none of my concern.

I’m just sharing what I know and I know that this can be taken out of context. And so I wanted to make sure that I was clear about that ahead of time but a form of spiritual abuse is,

“I’m the man you’re the woman the Bible says that I’m above you so you have to take whatever I give you.”

“You have to have sex with me because youre a woman and I’m the man you have to take my abuse because God says that I’m above you.”

situations like that is spiritual abuse, of course that has some form of verbal in there as well because they’re using their words to abuse you but it’s when they use a religion or belief system against you into a place where you feel like in order to be a part of that belief system you have to do what they say.

Financial abuse

This is when they take away your right to the money. So you are financially dependent on them and you’re stuck with them.

This can also play a part within a physically abusive relationship as well where you feel like you can’t leave because you don’t have any money. You don’t have any access to the resources that you need to get out and they do that so then that way you feel stuck and you can’t go anywhere. So if you don’t have access to credit cards, you don’t have access to the bank account any of that information that is financial abuse and they are doing it to hold you captive.

Gaslighting

Gaslighting is when someone makes you think that the reality in front of you isn’t real.

For example, he hits you and then later on you bring it up and he goes, 

What are you talking about? I didn’t hit you.

What are you saying? I didn’t touch you.

I didn’t lay a hand on you. You fell into the dresser this morning.

Why would you say I did that?

It’s like you’re a psycho or something.

Manipulation constantly puts you down.

The constantly calling you names telling you you’re worthless, reminding you how stupid you are. They will make mistakes and then put some mistake on you and blame you for it. And then they want you to think it was your fault to begin with.

Another form of gaslighting and manipulation is that they cheat on you and you call him out on it and they say 

“I wouldn’t have had to do that.” 

“If you did this, it’s only because you won’t do X Y and Z its only because you don’t want to do this with me”

If this seems all too familiar with you, it’s time to get out.

Please get out.

So often and this is what happened in my personal situation is it starts out with this stuff. It starts out with a non-physical abuse first and then it escalates.

Do not wait for a bruise to happen before you leave.

Please do not stay in these situations. You deserve better and are worthy of more. You can get more, you deserve respect, you do not deserve to be treated like you’re crazy and let me tell you you’re not crazy.

I spent years and years and years blaming myself thinking that it was my fault when all that happened is I trusted the wrong person. I believed the wrong person. That blame is not on me. Unfortunately, it is my responsibility to heal from it, but it was not my fault.

What happened is not your fault. Please get out. If you need help if you need out if you don’t know what to do, my DMs are always open. If you don’t reach out to me, please reach out to somebody.

You deserve so much more.

You’ve got this, boo.

If this resonated with you and you’re ready to take your power back, then you should check out the Worthy of Recovery printable journal. Every day for 30 days you’ll complete a journal prompt and document your gratitude and your daily victories. Worried that you don’t have the time? Included with the journal is a course that teaches you how to journal your way to freedom in less than 15 minutes a day. As an added bonus, you also get over 45 printable affirmation cards. It has all the pieces that helped me on my recovery journey and I know it’ll help you, too. Click here to grab yours!

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