Things Nobody Tells You About Emotional Abuse

Things Nobody Tells You About Emotional Abuse

Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can also hurt you.
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When you first hear the word "abuse," you probably think of physical abuse; the punching, kicking, slapping, throw-you-against-a-wall kind of abuse. But there are other forms that often aren't discussed, and they can be just as damaging as the physical kind.

I wasn't familiar with emotional abuse until a concerned adult provided me with a list of red flags, and even then, I ignored all the signs, convinced that she was the crazy one. It wasn't until months after I escaped an emotionally torturous relationship that I actually used the term "abuse" to describe it. When you're in the midst of a toxic relationship, it's hard to see and understand just how poorly you're being treated. That's because it starts out completely normal; almost too good to be true.

But as the months pass by, things slowly start to go downhill. I always think of abuse as a hot shower: you start out with the water at a comfortable temperature, and then as you get used to it, you slowly turn it up. After a while, you realize that you can't see through all the steam, and your body is red and itchy from the scalding water. Everything starts out like a fairy tale, and you have no idea what's coming. Nobody tells you about that part. There are a lot of things that nobody will tell you.

Nobody tells you that even though emotional abuse isn't physical, it can have physical effects on your body. You might lose a scary amount of weight and your bones might stick out. You might develop deep purple circles under your eyes from either the constant crying or the lack of sleep... or both. Your hands might shake a lot from the adrenaline that comes with the constant anxiety of always having to walk on eggshells around the abuser. You become a sad, mistreated zombie.

Nobody tells you about the huge amount of strength and courage you'll need to gather up before you finally have the guts to leave. They don't tell you about the begging and pleading. They don't tell you about the abuser's threats to commit suicide if you leave them. They don't tell you that it's going to take everything you've got and more to think about yourself and your own well-being for once.

Nobody tells you about the aftermath. Even though he never laid a finger on me, I am now stuck with the emotional scarring that comes along with nearly three years of abuse. I am stuck with the anxiety, the nightmares, and the constant self-doubt. Every day is a struggle to get past that. Abuse isn't something you can just "get over," it will haunt you years after you thought you've finally escaped.

And finally: nobody tells you that surviving the ordeal of an emotionally abusive relationship will make you a better person. You have to learn how to rebuild yourself in the aftermath, and the strength you will gain from that experience makes you nearly unbreakable. You learn to appreciate the good relationships in your life, and you value them more than you ever have before. You learn how you should not be treated, and you make sure that your next relationship is the best one yet. But most importantly, you learn that you are more than someone's words. Nobody, no matter how much they mean to you, can ever tell you your worth; only you can do that.

Cover Image Credit: https://supermommybeirut.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/domestic.png?w=600&h=312&crop=1

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5 Things I Really Wish I Knew ~Before~ Losing My Virginity

Advice to our younger selves.
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Everyone has a first time. We're all at different stages of our lives when it happens, which impacts how we approach the situation and how we feel about it immediately after and in reflections. Some people idealize their first time, some people regret it, some people feel nothing about it. I agonized over my virginity.

I wanted nothing more than to throw it at the first willing participant. I felt that it made me someone inferior to my friends who had already had sex, like somehow I was missing out on some great secret of life or somehow I was less mature than them. I spent a lot of time wishing it would just happen, and then one day, it did when I wasn't expecting it. I don't regret my first time, but because I had wished for it to happen for so long, I had built up this image in my head of how it would be that was completely unrealistic.

So, this is for those girls like me whose imaginations get the best of them. Here are some tips to ease your worries and prepare you for what it's really going to be like.

1. It's going to be awkward.

Not just the first time, every time. No matter how much porn or how many blogs or erotic fiction you read, you will not have any idea what you're doing. The other person probably won't, either. There are too many variables, and you're both so concerned with doing it well, you'll be focused on too many things to properly control your limbs.

2. Don't think about your body.

The angles that are required for things to work leave both participants in awkward positions with limbs in strange places. Don't look at your body; don't even think about where your limbs are. Just keep your eyes and mind on the other person and what they're doing and how you're feeling. If you're feeling bad, let them know, so you can change it. If you're feeling good, enjoy it.

3. Don't do it drunk.

Not even a little tipsy, at least not for the first few times. Alcohol throws in another variable and another reason your limbs are flailing listlessly on top of other unforeseen complications. Just wait until you've had a little practice to introduce alcohol into the mix. You want to actually remember your first time and understand what's going on.

4. You're not going to feel any different after.

I expected to feel a weight being lifted or some newfound maturity, but I really didn't feel any different at all. That's because I really was just the same girl as before. Finally having lost this imaginary flower didn't make me physically any different at all.

5. You're going to feel something.

There wasn't some profound emotional release afterward, either, but I did feel a little different. Again, not in the sense that something had actually change, but I felt different because I had placed so much importance on this, on having sex, and now it had happened. I wanted there to be some big release or celebratory moment, but really, I just felt the same. I didn't even feel a little more mature or experienced. I was positive that if I ever did it again, I would still have absolutely no idea what to do (which was true).

Cover Image Credit: Seventeen

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working with special needs Children changed my life

Sometimes people do not take the time to get to know these people. But I did.

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I have never thought about special needs kids before. I have never thought about how their life may be different or may not be the same. To me, these kids were someone that had something wrong with their chromosomes. I had seen them walking around the school and around town. It actually was not till the beginning of my senior year that I finally took a step back and looked at the big picture.

I was in my own little world where everything was perfect. But after stepping back, I realized that it's just as perfect. These kids and adults were so much like you and me.

The summer before my senior year we found out that my little brother had autism. He has Aspbergers Autism. He would have temper tantrums that would make the most patient person cry. Things were hard. But he was still my perfect little brother who I love more than anything in this world. He may have had something different about him but he was still the cutie that would fall asleep in my arms while I held him.

This taught me how to be patient with him and how to work with him. It was hard but I wanted to do it. I would look up how to help him. I researched ways to keep him from hurting himself or hurting others. My senior year of high school I had choir fifth period and our special needs program would come and work with us at the beginning of the class. We would teach them songs and dances. It was so much fun. We got to know these kids individually.

Getting to know those kids individually helped me decide on a career. I want to be a nurse for the children who are misunderstood and no one wants to help them.

I wanna help the parents feel comfortable that their child is with someone who understands them. People do not take the time to actually get to know these kids. They think that they are hopeless and are not worth anything. However, these kids are amazing and unique. They have beautiful hearts. Sometimes they never meet a stranger. Every time someone sees them or talks to them, they instantly have a smile on their face. Seeing them smile has become the best thing in my life.

Take the time to get to know them.

They are just like us.

Cover Image Credit:

https://twitter.com/frankkat1

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