Dealing with emotional abuse? 16 signs you are in a toxic relationship.

Trigger warning: Talking about abuse.
toxic relationship
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This topic is something very close to my heart. Going through emotional abuse in a relationship is something I have experienced. It’s a horrible thing to have to go through and the worst thing is actually realising that your relationship had been abusive. So today I wanted to share the signs that I was missing in a toxic relationship, in the hope that it will inspire strength in someone else.

Realising you are in a toxic relationship can be overwhelming and scary. You may feel trapped.

The harsh truth is this, if your even considering for one minute, you might be in a toxic relationship. The chances are your instinct is right. But you don’t feel sure. You do however feel trapped. I did, when I read a similar kind of post. It was like reading myself except someone else was telling it.

When you are in a relationship, you really don’t expect that the person who says they love you to treat you badly. Sadly, there are relationships where the person does not need to be physically assaulting you to be an abuser. For me, I didn’t know any better. Starting a relationship like this where I was young. I wanted to know better and be right about everything. Ofcourse.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Before we talk about some of the signs of a toxic, emotionally abusive relationship…

At first, the relationship starts out as perfect. They wrap you around their fingers. Create a false sense of happiness in a perfect relationship until they let their halo slip slowly. So a relationship that should be full of happiness, Memories and love is a relationship of depression. Arguments and fear.

Maybe you have had friends or family try to tell you that you are not being treated right. Are you listening to them? I doubt it. I wasn’t. It took me years to actually realise for myself. This wasn’t easy. It was an incredibly difficult time.

Myself, as a shy and I confident young adult, was listening to the lies and allowing myself to be given hope that the future would always be better. But nothing would ever change. Instead, it just got worse …

Need to move on from this post? Try why I blog, here.

Are you in a toxic relationship of emotional abuse?

pink and white flowers on white wall
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They paint a perfect picture.

When you first get into the relationship they have already painted a perfect picture of their personality. They make out to be all these things you already know they aren’t but there still doing it. Creating an image that things will change and your gonna do this and that together. they’re planning holidays and future times. They make you feel loved and the happy times are so good that they weigh out the bad times.

They start arguments constantly.

How long was it before you had your first argument with your partner? Did you fall out and then wake up to an apology. Was it about something silly? But then a few weeks later again? It’s normal right? Couples argue. However, it keeps happening. And you find yourself constantly in heated moments of arguing. Again they find a way of making it all your fault. So you feel guilty. You hear it from their point of view. They tell you they argue because of how they feel. They shout and scream because they love you and you are hurting them. You don’t know what it is you have done but every time you argue they win.

They have already built up such a connection with you that you want it to last and your trust them, because why wouldn’t you?

You can’t trust what they say to you.

You trust them and then they finally slip up. They’ve been lying to you constantly. After a while you don’t know what to believe.

We all have suspicions at the best of times. But then again they are good at covering there tracks. Or at least they think they are. They have a backup excuse for everything they do.

Humiliates you, either alone or in front of other people.

One minute they tell you that you are everything to them, that your special, that you’re the only real one. The next they go out of their way to make you feel as small as a mouse.

They twist everything around to be everyone else’s fault(including yours), but never their own.

They turned vicious. Shouted. Screamed. Said all kinds of horrible things. Then they blame everything possible for what they did. Or maybe they did something and now that’s your fault too.

You hadn’t done anything. However, that does not matter. You have now been guilted into taking the blame, apologising for their behaviour. You don’t even notice them twist things round sometimes. It happens so much.

Belittles you and trivialises your hopes, dream and accomplishments

When your happy. Building your life. Going for that dream job or just being you. Your successful and they hate it. They try to bring you back down. Trying to break your confidence even more so then it already is.

Tries to control you and your behaviour

Being in a relationship does not mean they control you. But in a relationship filled with emotional abuse comes the aspect of being controlled. It’s not as simple as just being told what you can and can’t do either. They make you feel like you can’t breathe. You no longer feel like you are able to go out and have fun.

toxic relationship
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Isolates you from friends and family

They tell you they need you, that your selfish and you don’t spend enough time with them. Really you spend too much time with them, but they will do everything that they can to make you distance from your loved ones. It’s hard. You don’t want to be in yet another argument but you want to see your loved ones. Your friends are starting to fade away because your now known as the girl who doesn’t go out. Always having to make an excuse to leave.

They guilt you into staying with them. Or making it so hard to see these people because they are telling you that they should be good enough.

Keeping hold of friends during an abusive relationship is difficult. You are forced into making the wrong decision every time. They slate every single one of your friends. Making you feel like you have no choice but to make excuses on why you cant socialise. You really want to be out and having fun, but it is no longer worth the pain of being shouted at.

Blames you for their problems

Taking the blame for something is never easy, but sometimes we just need to own up. “Hey, Sorry that’s my fault”. Except they can never seem to take the blame, even for the little things. It is never their fault, so they blame you. For everything.

In fact they literally blame everyone else but themselves for everything that is wrong in their life. They do nothing for their own self improvement. They just crush your happiness because they are not happy with themselves.

Is unfaithful to you and becomes emotionally distant or withholds sex to control you.

You may not have read my post, the truth about being in a love triangle.

It was my reality. Being in a relationship with someone who dated someone else at the same time. In one way I will never regret the past because without it I would not be in love with my beautiful Emma. We were both controlled by the same person. Lied too. Kept secret. Being told every excuse under the sun to stop the truth from coming out.

They cheat and then blame you.

Being in a love triangle is a hard, and humiliating position. I wrote a post explaining my experience, here.

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They pressure you into being tied to them.

They go all out. Treat you. Make amends for their behaviour. Buy you something expensive and suddenly your in debt to them.

They tie you into being in a financial situation, it starts with something small then it goes up. They do it both way rounds. And suddenly you find yourself in a position where you feel trapped. You can’t walk away because you can’t afford to pay the fiance which they made you get.

They use you for money.

Carrying on from that, They have won again. Another guilt trip. You really tried to put your foot down this time but it didn’t work. Guilted into a situation. Guilted into taking out finance because they had already fucked their credit and it would be the only way. Leaving you with tons of debts and money owed left to right and centre. It doesn’t matter to them they are getting everything they want. Even if you have nothing.

So many relationships have been left leaving them with debts and financial issues. You feel used. You know you are being used. But you are stuck. I promise money is not a reason to stay in this relationship. Money is superficial.

Your not as important.

A relationship should be equal. Both people should be able to feel loved. And important.

When they are doing things it’s the most important thing in the world. They make you feel shit, because the things you are into are apparently pointless and have no meaning.

Lacks respect and point out your mistakes or shortcomings

You can’t make a mistake because it will be pointed out and used against you. Even if it’s something like falling asleep at 3am because you get kept awake every night as they constantly harass your phone, even though they are work.

Mental health and self-care are so important for your wellbeing, read my post on why self-care is so important, here.

If you relate to any of these in your relationship…

You may not want to hear it. Because they have so many excuses about why they are the way they are. They have gone through a bad time themselves. Endured abuse and bullying themselves. However, nothing actually justifies there actions. It is not ok to be treated this way, ever.

You are an amazing and wonderful human being and you deserve so much more than what you are receiving.

Love is not this. Breaking away from them would be the best action in your life.

It won’t be easy. They will try and tell you anything to get you back. But you are strong. You can do this.

Block them. And cut all contact. And if you think they may reach out to your loved ones to get to you. Ask them to block them also. Keep records of any interactions made in case. You never know what will happen.

They accuse you of being unfaithful constantly

Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? Are they constantly checking up on you? Asking you to send pictures just to prove where you are?

Accusing you of cheating because you didn’t answer your phone when they rung? Or you have not been able to answer a text message in their timely manner. It should never be like this.

They are normally accusing you because there doing the same thing. They think it will help them justify what they are doing to you.

You try to walk away but they won’t leave you alone until they have you back under there control.

You’ve finally broken. You don’t love them anymore. You’ve realised that it was never real love but they still have control over you because it’s all you’ve got. You don’t know any different. To walk away, had become a fear. You’ve got yourself in to deep and there are excuses you make yourself. I know.

You start to tell yourself you can get through this and it will be ok. Something always stops you walking. They start treating you better. Giving you what you need until they have the upper hand.

I promise you now. The 5 moments of happiness does not change what has been done. Neither does it change, how you have been treated.

toxic relationship
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Does any of this feel familiar to you?

I should have left this relationship months in. But I let it get worse. I wanted to be in a relationship and it was fear of being alone along with other deceptions that kept me going back. The situation just grew worse and my life became habit. I was miserable and I would never be able to explain why I thought I was doing the right thing in staying in a place so vile. Or how I was convinced to do so many things I did not want too.

If you are in a toxic relationship. I know it’s hard. You are scared to admit the truth. really, You don’t even want it to be the truth. You keep making excuses for their behaviour because you are scared. It’s now your normal. How will you cope afterwards? I promise you you can be happy.

My story may be different to yours but it’s all the same. Abuse is abuse. Life is so short. You deserve to live it happy. You deserve to find someone who will treat you right and be equal with. Just like I did.

I fell in love with my abusers girlfriend. We kept each other strong and finally walked away from a place neither of us wanted to be. I was lucky to have someone support me and make me strong..l

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If You are in a position you would like support with. I am not a councillor but I am always here to be a friend to someone who needs it. It’s never ok to feel alone.

What to remember if you are in a toxic relationship…

Only you can make the decision to walk away, and I know from experience. Walking away is hard. But you are stronger than you think, and you deserve happiness.

It may seem scary but do what’s best for you! You have people who love you and will support you during this difficult time.

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What exactly is self-care and why do we need it?

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Self-care is something that I try to think about and achieve as much as I humanly can. I am often seeing so many people talking about the importance of self-care that it truly shocks me that some people still do not know what it is or why it is so beneficial to them.

Self-care

What is self-care?

self-care are the actions we do that our for ourselves. When we maintain a good self-care routine, we are achieving it for ourselves. Improving our health, development and well being.

Is there anything that you do that makes you feel good today? Actually forget good. That is such a boring word. If you can sit there and say today my day was, what imaginative word would you use? Mine, my day was unique. My day was unique because only I had this day today for everyone else it was different.

I know how easy it is to become blind to the positives in life, especially when it comes to our mental health. Even when their good things staring at us right in the face, sometimes, for no reason at all. For no fault of our own, we let our anxiety or depression win.  In my previous post, I explained that its ok to be in a down spell which covered a lot more of this, here.

I have recently become addicted to those books, that I suppose fall into the Self-help category at Waterstones! (Not that I actually go to the actual book shop, it is definitely about Amazon Prime buying!) 
I love the quotes and inspiration that you can adopt from these books, sometimes I could be reading a few paragraphs of something, and think crap! this is me! Anxiety overtaking comes naturally to me. It is not just about the words, it will be ok, is not always good enough, and our actions influence everything, especially how we feel. 

Looking after your own mental health isn’t just about how you feel on what day, and it is definitely not about just talking it through, our actions and mindset put together to have a massive impact on our lives on a day to day basis.
These things I class as self-care for me, everyone is different, so although they may not work for you, I hope some of my ideas help someone! 

self-care

Types of self-care

There 8 self-care types and many different things you can do for each particular type.

Physical

Your physical self-care includes your sleeping, your physical health, what your eating and drinking, ways to rest and relax.

emotional

your emotional self-care covers your stresses, your emotional attachments, compassion, kindness etc.

Social

Your social self-care is your communication skills, your connections with overs, positive social media reflection, and your boundaries.

Spiritual

Your spiritual self-care includes the time that you spend alone, meditation & yoga, connections with nature, journaling and sacred spaces.

Personal

Personal self-care is your hobbies, getting to know yourself, your personal identities, and the ability to empower yourself to be yourself.

Space

Spacial self-care is the care you take into looking after your own space. The space you live in. The earth itself, by being sustainable and keeping your personal spaces organise.

Financial

Financial self-care is being able to manage your money correctly so that you’re not getting yourself into financial worries, such as splurging money too much you are surrounded by debt. As well as being able to commit to responsibilities of paying their own bills etc.

Work

Finally, your work self-care is the things that you need in your workplace, the things that help and improve your time management, workspace, learning and to take suitable breaks.

What can I do to achieve it?

There are a variety of different activities you can do to reach your own personal self-care goals. Here are some general ideas…

BUBBLE BATH, BATH BOMBS, CANDLES AND MAYBE A LITTLE WINE!

When it has been a long day, or when your feeling a bit down, or just for no reason at all. It’s more about the giving yourself time to relax, chill, and let any stress, threats or anxiety fade. 

BE CREATIVE

It doesn’t matter what your creativity is, always take the time to actually do it! It could be spending hours with your drawing books, or colouring pad, or something a bit more technical. I literally surround my self by different hobbies and crafty things, I love the feeling of accomplishment for whatever you’ve achieved, is enough. Plus somethings are a great distraction, like colouring! 

How about checking out how to make 3D paper flowers, here.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH COLOUR, BEAUTY, AND YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS

I always say that my favourite colour is glitter, Its shiny and so pretty. It makes me feel content! If it is not glitter, it’s pink, it’s colourful. When you surround yourself with the things you love, you will always find something that will be able to make you happy. 

MAKE YOUR FAVOURITE HOT DRINK, IN YOUR FAVOURITE MUG

I have an obsession with mugs (and believe me this is no exaggeration) but I definitely have my fav, I love using. 

SPEND MORE TIME ON YOURSELF

Spending time on you could be absolutely anything, It could be spending an evening pampering yourself, with Hair treatments and painting your nails, to spending a few hours with your favourite book Giving yourself ‘me time’ is such a vital thing that makes us all feel good. As long as your going something that is making you feel happy, then whatever it is it’s a good thing! 

VISIT YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES

We like to have the Marwell Zoo pass, it is given us the excuse to get out and more active. Plus the excuse to take weekends away to visit other zoo locations included in the price. If it is not a zoo were visiting, its Bournemouth beach. We’ve created so many amazing memories on days just out and relaxing. Make a list of your favourite places and make sure you take every possible opportunity to go!

GET YOURSELF ORGANISED

My anxiety always seems to go out of control when I don’t feel organised enough, whether it is arranging something or just something general. Making lists, adjust your routine, using reminders, sticky notes, and updating my calendar always seems to make me feel better. I would always make this a suggestion when things seem to be manic.

What activities do you do for your general self-care? I would love to hear new suggestions.

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Why you should not be worried about being in a depression down spell!

At times in life, we all go through periods where we are just not ourselves. It could be for any reason. Honestly, it really does not matter what that reason is.
The problem with being an adult is life. life stress, life woes and just life in general. With everything that we face in our life these days, there’s no surprise that we face depression and go through times of unmotivated behaviour and attitude.

It is ok to be depressed when you shouldn’t be!

The last few weeks for myself and for Emma haven’t been that great! and that is me being 100% truthful. We have countless family and friends saying that we are being silly because there’s so much coming this year! which is so true and in no way am I denying these facts!

We have a wedding to look forward too in literally 6 months now. then there is the fact that we are moving house in 2 weeks. There are so many things on the calendar that I get confused at the best of the times. So why are we feeling so crap?
Well besides the obvious reason. The continued lack of immune system, our bodies fighting off colds and sickness that feel like they have been attacking at us for years now. Limbo seems to be a pretty hot answer.

Depression

Today I seem to have had a real big epiphany and it has really helped me. Basically its this…

It does not matter.

Yep pretty simple right? Why are we spending so much time trying to pull ourselves back to normal, when we have so much change coming and the fact is normality will happen by itself on its own accord.

Ok, honestly I have probably been told this by someone else. You know that dreaded word for me, patience. Sometimes I can be the most patient person in the world, other times I really don’t have it in me.

That’s the thing with depression and mental health, sometimes it takes us longer to realise the obvious. Which is so annoying! However, we really are all in a similar boat, going through very similar things. We just need to take time for ourselves.

Depression

What to do if you are going through a down period?

Remember that you are not alone.

There will always be someone that will be there to listen to your feelings. If you cant find a friend or family member to speak to, try seeking advice from a doctor or counsellor.

Switch off and get outside.

Sometimes a change of scenery can really help our moods. Getting away from the 4 same walls, and getting some fresh air in our lungs can really be a positive re-enforcement for all of us.

Do something that you enjoy

It can be so hard to feel motivated to do what we need to when we are feeling down. So stop and take a break! do something that you actually enjoy. Your motivation will come back when it is ready. I promise.

If you feel that you need help getting your motivation back up, how about checking out this post on Monday motivation here.

Try not to worry about the things outside of your control.

Firstly I want to point out the fact that I’m really suggesting that you try not to worry. I just want to make it clear that I know how hard it is to ‘try not to worry’ in fact, I am the worst for it. Who knows where I get it from but my brain normally races 500 steps ahead of where I am at all times. Constantly worrying when I am not in control. I am not being a hypocrite though. the times I have stopped worrying have really helped me regain focus, but it is ok when you can’t get these thoughts out of your head. You are not alone.

Write it down!

This is my favourite piece of advice that I stand by so often in so many different aspects of life. When your fighting depression and overwhelming limbo of feeling down you, write it down. What is it making you down? Write every single thing in a list, and then go through that list. Either by your self or with someone close to you. Face the list one by one.

Stop saying your fine.

Finally, it is ok to admit that you are not ok! it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve heard this phrase. We are all still doing the same thing. We are telling people that we are OK, and Fine when things are not ok. Be open to talking! take the weight off your shoulders! who knows you might feel better after you have admitted that you are not OK.

Seeking help for depression

Sometimes our feeling down spells last a lot longer then we would hope they would. It is OK to ask for help. It is completely normal to ask for help. In fact, I am asking you to seek help!

There are varies helplines and agencies that you can contact to seek advice. Such as the Samaritans.

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