How did I get stuck in the cycle of abuse over and over again?
I asked this question to myself a lot and found that many others do, too. Even if we understand what got us here in the first place, we don’t understand why we keep going back to relationships where we’re treated like garbage.
If you relate to this, you’re in the right place.
If you haven’t listened to the “cycle of abuse” episode yet, I highly recommend you do. It’ll make this make SO much more sense.
I was stuck in the abusive relationship cycle from the time I was 12 years old until I was 23.
When one relationship ended, I jumped right into another one. Each relationship more toxic than the last.
These relationships taught me that I wasn’t good enough, not strong enough, not capable of ‘holding onto’ somebody.
I ultimately put this on myself and this fueled the cycle even more.
I reached a point where I thought this is what I deserved so I created a self fulfilling prophecy.
This is the mindset that keeps us in the cycle of abuse.
But how does this mindset start, anyway?
In my own life, I was molested as a child. So I was taught at a young age that love is violence and physical affection. It was giving my body to someone whether I liked what was happening or not.
This lead to me falling right into the arms of abusers because this is what they feed on.
Reason One: Something Happened as a Kid
So reason number one is recognizing that something may have happened to you as a child, even if you’re not aware of it yet. If you have even the smallest inkling that something may have happened, reach out and get professional help if you can.
Reason Two: Severe Self Esteem Issues
This is the reason why building the skill of confidence and recognizing your worth is so important to me.
Worthy is literally the base of everything I do. Why? Because when you don’t believe you’re worth more, you settle for so much less.
I hated myself so much that I believed being abused was better than being alone. I couldn’t find validation from myself and always had to seek it out from others.
This pushed me to tolerate behavior that was NOT ok.
Even though you may not believe me right now, please understand this: being lonely by yourself is so much better than being lonely with someone else.
I’ve been single now for four years. While the idea terrified me at first, I now am so comfortable on my own that I can’t imagine myself needing someone else to survive. Do I want to find my person someday? Of course! But I’m no longer going to tolerate abuse to find this person.
Take some time and do a self check – how are you feeling? Where’s your self esteem level at? Taking stock of this is so important and will help you not get stuck back in the cycle.
If you don’t feel like you are worthy of actual love, you’re not going to find it. Your brain will naturally gravitate towards what it thinks it can have. If you’ve taught it that it can’t get love, it’s forming that belief it and it won’t bother looking for it.
Your brain wants to be right. So whatever you believe it’s going to find evidence of. If you believe that love isn’t for you, your brain will search out every scrap of information to prove that it’s right.
If this is resonating with you at all, please know that you’re not alone.
You’re not dumb or stupid or broken for not knowing these things – I didn’t either! We aren’t taught these things growing up. This information isn’t readily available unless we KNOW to seek it out. But if we don’t even know what to look for, we’ll never find it.
If you are wanting to build up that skill of confidence but you don’t know where to start, I recommend you check out my free confidence course. In less than 20 minutes a day for 5 days, you’ll get all the skills you need to build the skill of confidence and finally go after the life you deserve. Grab your spot here!
Reason Three: Abusive Behavior was Normalized
We have also been exposed to things growing up that teach us about relationships.
If you grew up in a household where yelling was the norm, you’re going to seek that out in relationships because you see it as normal.
It can become the general assumption that if your partner screams and yells at you that it’s just part of a normal relationship.
If this was modeled to us by those we look up to, of course we’re going to think this behavior is ok. It only makes sense.
This is only the tip of the iceburg.
There are so many more possible reasons why we see abuse as normal. But please know that healing IS possible.
What has your experience been?