Abusive Relationship: Signs, Accepting, Getting Out & Starting Over

May 21, 2018

Got your attention with "abusive relationship", didn't I? Anyway, before you go ahead and read this post, please be aware that this is not based on scientific or psychological facts. These are all based on MY personal experience. 

I may be a psych graduate, but believe me, there are no theories or medical explanations here. We can't psychologize ourselves after all. These are just plain experiences and how I accepted them, got out of it and how I am trying to start over again.

First things first, let me just get this out --- ONCE physical assault/violence happens, IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN. No matter what the excuse is --- drunk, sudden burst of emotions, etc. --- it doesn't matter. If it happened once, it will happen again. As our elders say, pag minsan ka ng sinaktan, mauulit at mauulit yan.

1) Overly and Unreasonably Jealous. Of course, at the start of the relationship, this is something you'd consider cute and kilig.  You know those times when you'd actually look forward to him being jealous because you think he's just protective of you?  What if that jealousy turns into an everyday thing? Turns into him being psycho and checking your phone, laptop, social media accounts, etc? Still cute? Cute, but pyscho. 

This was a major red flag, I don't know why I still stayed.  Yeah, I know, because I love him. And how did I cope? I did the same. I also turned psycho and started checking all his social media accounts, etc.  Lo and behold, the reason why he's checking up on mine is that he wanted to make sure I wasn't cheating on facebook or twitter like HE WAS!

If this happened to you, please do yourself a favor, LEAVE. But of course, we love the person, don't we? 

I still stayed.  I still believed he will change, but in the long run it was me who changed. Changed my number, changed my facebook accounts, changed my routine, changed the way I talk, dress, think.  Changed everything according to his liking. Changed everything without knowing that I was slowly losing myself in the process.

2) Making you choose between him and something else.  I was once granted a work-related knowledge transfer opportunity in Australia. I went through panel interviews and was able to get a slot (1/8) out of the 100+ that I applied. YEY! BUT, since I was madly in love with this person whom I thought was my life, I declined. Pag umalis daw ako, wala na siya pagbalik ko. ---- To the one reading this, okay, you can judge me all you want now.

I was offered a dream job from a large telecommunications company, I declined.
I was offered a job from a very very good advertising company, I declined.
I was offered several project-based events for good brands, I declined.

I kept on declining good offers, because it was alsway a choice between him and the opportunity.  Then somewhere along the way, it escalated to me choosing between him and friends, him and personal happines, and worst of all, him and my family.

However, this sign is particularly tricky.  It wasn't always an outright type of choosing.  It wasn't a straight up "ako o sila/iyan", but it was more of a making you feel guilty type of thing. This person knew me too well that he knows how to use the big guns. If there is one thing I hate the most, it's feeling guilty. Instead of having that feeling, I'd just give up and decline.  Instead of having an argument --- which I got really tired of after 6 years of numerous heated arguments --- I'd just give up. 

The worst part --- I shouldn't even feel guilty in the first place. You owe it to yourself to do good with your career and life choices. Don't let other people make you think otherwise.  If he's making you choose (and he doesn't know how to compromise), start thinking about your relationship.

3) Starts Making Choices For You.  During the first 2 years of my relationship, I'd still voice out my choices and opinions.  It would always result to an argument, which I eventually got tired of.  After such time, I just lost the will to fight for my choices and just allowed him to make the choices for me. From clothes, to what I eat, friends, jobs I do, social media posting and everything else.  During our third year together, he made up his mind that he wanted us to live together. I declined and told him we can't but he was very adamant about it, the reason being he doesn't trust me living in our house since all of my cousins and brothers friends (who are mostly boys) stay at the house too much. Imagine that?

I remember that this was one of the very few things I fought for.  I knew that this was going to put a big gap between me and my family.  Until I lost to him, again.  At this point, it wasn't just about "kung mahal mo ko..." or "I will do this because I love you".  It already involved emotional torture and blackmailing.  Now, if that isn't a major red flag, I don't know what is. One day, I woke up and he was already talking to my family, telling them that he's taking me out because "labas pasok po kasi kung sino sinong kaibigan na lalaki nila dito sa bahay niyo" --- Imagine my Ninang's face when she heard that.

From that point on, I don't remember making choices without having to consult him. 

Ladies, what I did here was just wrong in all aspects.  It was hard to get out of the relationship at that time because of all the emotional blackmailing and torture, but believe me when I say that IT WILL PASS.  Have I had the chance to turn back time, I would decline HARD and called the women's desk if he still pushed.

4) Everyday is just a Routine.  That feeling when you wake up and everything just becomes a routine? Nothing is spontaneous and exciting anymore.  You don't feel anything either. No love, no anticipation, no nothing.  If there was any emotion present, it was just fear.  Fear that he wouldn't like what I wear to work today, fear that today's menu might not be to his liking, fear that I would be home an hour late because of my deadlines. 

Fear, fear about everything that you do. Fear that, should he not like anything you did today, he might get violent...

Which brings me to the last and MOST OBVIOUS SIGN OF ALL...

5) Physical Violence. Sinaktan ka? Honey, that is your first (and SHOULD be your ONLY) sign.  Though, I didn't take notice of that, of course. Unfortunately for me, I held on to the idea of forgiveness and the promise of "it will never happen again".  Don't get me wrong, some people do change, but as a person I believe our gut will tell us if a certain person is bound to change or not.  I already knew his violent streak wasn't going to change. It happened first on our second year together. A fist on the face, then a few times after that (which includes a kick and a punch out of the cab), twice when I was pregnant and one more big blow which finally made me leave.

I have a scar on my face which will remind me of my kagagahan for the rest of my life.  It's not a good feeling.  Don't let yourself sink in that black hole.  First thing I should've done was seek help.  If you feel that you're suffering the battered wife syndrome, talk to someone. Talk to your family.  Call the women's desk. Call someone. 

Physically hurting someone is never okay.  Same with emotionally and mentally hurting someone. It's all the same.  It changes you and it scars you forever.  If you ever feel like you don't know yourself anymore, it's time to leave.


I've realized the signs, accepted that it's never going to be fixed and I finally got out of that sinkhole.  That's just the first part, starting over again is a whole different story.  I'm still trying to find the answer to that question, to be honest.  I think that's probably the reason why I am writing this.  It's been three months since it happened, and it's just now that I finally had the courage to share this.  

I think what I am trying to do now is re-focus.  Focusing my attention on the things that matter, first of which is my daughter. I may have had a really bad relationship, but I would have to admit that there was one good thing about it, and that is my little princess.  She might be a splitting image of the dad, but she will forever be the greatest thing that ever happened to me. 

Second, bringing back the lost pieces of myself.  The past few months has been about work, fixing my portfolio, the blog and most importantly, my relationship with my family and friends.  Slowly, I've been trying to pick up the aspects of my life that make me, ME.

After being in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship for years, trying to know yourself again can be quite challenging.  Believe it or not, it amazed me how much I have forgotten about myself and how much catching up I need to do.  BUT, despite that, I just make sure that I try to enjoy the process.

I know this is not a heart-wrenching post. If any, I think most parts sounds sarcastic and as if it didn't affect me.  That's just me, but it doesn't mean it didn't hurt.  Remember, physical abuse leaves marks that heal in time, mental & emotional abuse, on the other hand, leaves a far deeper scar in your mind and soul.

Remember, SEEK HELP. Do not face this alone.

Also, sharing this post my best friend shared with me (#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou):

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