The Elusive Nature of Abuse (+ why you should care)

No one has ever consciously ended up in an abusive relationship.

And it doesn’t just happen overnight.

It builds.

One step at a time.

One choice at a time.

One boundary at a time.

In my previous relationship, I found myself in situations over and over again that started off pretty harmless and ended up pretty fucked up.

One particular situation comes to mind.

It was my birthday. My partner – who was living on the east coast at the time – had planned to come visit for the occasion.

Due to a last minute family emergency, he let me know he couldn’t make it. 

I completely understood. Family first always. I got it.

Somehow, in a span of 48 hours, the scenario went from me disappointed about canceled plans to me having to defend myself for not leaving everything and coming to him. 

It went from an apology for not being able to uphold his commitment to yelling about how I’m a horrible human for not leaving everything and coming to him.

Instead of waking up to a loving phone call from my partner on my birthday, he called and spent 30 mins calling me a “selfish bitch” while I cried profusely.

When you’re in those positions, you cannot see.

You question.

“Am I being a bitch?”

“Am I not seeing something?”

“Am I doing it wrong?”

I was heartbroken that day. 

The phone call was so shocking that I completely fell off center and found myself booking a red-eye (which I HATE) the night after a full day of training an Embody teacher (against all my body’s needs) to go see him and take care of him. I told myself, “I must be a good devoted partner and go take care of my partner who is having a hard time.”

It was not the first or last time this happened.

…. Where I was somehow convinced and guilted by him that I was not devotional enough.

(sound familiar? *ahem* toxic interpretations of polarity teachings)

Over and over again, I heard: “You’re not being devotional enough.”

“If you truly want to be in a life partnership, you should X/Y/Z.”

It was sneaky and not that blatant. But when you stripped it down, that was the dynamic.

He would dangle life partnership in front of me like a carrot in order to get his way.

I’m sharing this with you to remind you that abusive and controlling dynamics do not show up overnight.

They build.

I’m a relatively private person. Especially when it comes to my personal relationships.

But I’m sharing this with you today because I was led to. 

(Against my personal preference to be quite frank.)

Abusive and controlling dynamics do not show up overnight.

They build.

The conditions are slowly built and then control is taken.

What are the conditions?
1- Planting Self-doubt + questioning into your mind
2- Putting you in a paradigm of good vs. bad.
3- Copious amounts of guilt and shame
4 – Isolation from your community/network so that you lose your reference point
5- Gaslighting

As much as I understand those of you who are suggesting it is not time to worry about totalitarian and controlling measures that have not YET been implemented.

I humbly disagree.

This is like saying “Well it’s not like he’s beating me…”

Because trust me, by the time he does, he will have convinced you that you deserve it.

The conditions are currently being put into place.
“Am I a bad citizen for choosing X?”
Us vs. Them
The media + memes that are shaming
Families and lifelong friendships being severed
And complete censorship and disregard of the TRUE experiences of people whose lives and health have been ruined. 

I’ve witnessed countless stories of people who tried to “do the right thing” and are asking those same institutions for help and are getting completely gaslit or denied.

“It’s all in your head”
“There is no connection”
“We can’t help you”

And this my friends is how you completely gaslight and fuck with people’s minds.

Abuse and control doesn’t happen overnight. 

The conditions are slowly built.

So check yourself.

What practices do you need to implement – NOW more than EVER – in order to find your center over and over again – amidst ALL the chaotic noise and static around us?

Are you doing something because you have gotten guilted and shamed into it? Or because it is true for you?

The war is no longer physical.
It is psychological.
And the weapons are no longer guns + missiles.
It is black and white paradigms.

Don’t end up like I did.
Giving away one boundary at a time.
Overriding one individual need for the sake of the collective/couple.
Until nothing was left.
I was a shell of a human.
With  no reference point.
I was sick.
With no access to my center and my power.
Saying “but he’s not beating me.”