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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.

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Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.


Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.


Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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