Image captured by Jonathan Aplin

After Abuse

Today I’m going to talk about the after effects of abuse because I am finding more and more every day the moment the word ‘abuse’ is mentioned I feel I am being judged.
Half of the time people that have been abused whether it be emotionally, verbally, physically or sexually, keep our mouths shut and stay quiet because every day people be it, family, friend’s co-workers, acquaintances pretty much don’t have a clue and do not understand what the person experiencing the abuse is going through.
 I understand that it can be difficult to relate when a person hearing about abuse hasn’t actually been through it themselves, that’s why I’m writing this blog to create awareness. I’m not saying everyone needs to be abused to get It ‘Hell no’ that’s not what it’s about at all. We all know the world would be a much better place if there was no abuse of any kind but, in this world we live in we have to accept that, is never going to happen. There will always be Narcs, murderers and rapists with no end of psychological disorders and I would just like to add to that having a psychological disorder does not justify abusing anyone.
What I’m trying to say is people that have been abused by a partner tend to be very shut off to the outside world especially after first getting out of an abusive relationship. It is literally like starting your whole life all over again but, with a load of mental scars. Imagine being with a partner for 6 years that controlled your every move: Who you were ‘allowed’ to be friends with, where you work or what you do for a job. Those are just a few small examples but, I can tell you now, when first getting out of a relationship of this nature it is very difficult for the person that’s been abused. At first that person may not even recognise that, what they have experienced with that in particular partner is actually abuse and then after that, the victim has to accept that this is what they have allowed to happen to them. That in itself can be a huge thing to get past, constantly getting flash backs of conversations that were had when your being totally dictated to about how your life should be. A lot of Whys? Go around in your head, a lot of trying to understand Why a person would treat you like that and more often than not the victim will try to justify what the abuser has done to them because they have been manipulated and moulded for so long. 
Obviously having been through an abusive relationship myself and getting out of it I can say I know what it feels like and I think all these people that judge the moment abuse is mentioned need to be enlightened.
After my relationship ended, the first time I went out for a walk on my own I was nervous, apprehensive and so confused. Anxiety filled me to the brim. I was scared to of running into him. Even just having my own thoughts in my head was so weird at first because my life had been focused on him at all times. That’s what happens when you have been constantly threatened by your partner over a long period. Obviously being with someone like that suppresses who you are as a person and the longer you stay with the abuser the worse the effect it has on you as a person, your emotions, feelings your entire life.
 Even completing every day normal tasks can feel very strange for a time because when you have had that freedom taken away from you it is a shock to your system when you all of a sudden get it back.
My first trip out, I walked to one of my favourite quiet places down by the river in Exeter where I have some fond childhood memories. I thought this might help to remind myself of who I am but in fact what was really happening was I didn’t have a clue who I was any more, I didn’t know what to do with myself but I felt I couldn’t breathe in the house maybe, a walk to gather my thoughts would help but no there was no stopping them. In reality it would be 6 months before I began to remotely feel like myself. Not that I knew who that was because I was mentally fucked with by a total narcissistic bully and had to totally rebuild myself and my life. 
The relationship with my ex-partner was totally volatile. He isolated me from my friends and family. He especially didn’t want me to make new friends or meet new people. He was controlling in respect of pretty much every aspect of my life, he watched my every move. He would say things like ‘Why is your phone on vibrate?’ or ‘You’ve got a text’ any time a noise came from my phone which most of the time was not a text but a game notification or a spam email. Even the most minor things would cause an argument. 
My ex-partner would pick at things I said all the time, if I used a new word it would be ‘Who have you been around that talks like that?’ He would make assumptions all the time that I was up to something.
I was not allowed to have my own opinions and views, it was always about him he had to be right or, turn it into an argument until, I would back down or agree with him (which I can assure you was always just to shut him up) because he always had to have the last say. 
He saw himself as king of the castle or king of me you could say. Any hopes, dreams or ambitions I had for myself he destroyed. All the hope inside me of ever achieving anything remotely good for myself was literally drained out of me, with his constant be-littling and verbal abuse. 
The thing is after abuse it is so hard to even just be yourself because over a long period of time where you have been treated like actual shit on your partners’ shoe, it makes you feel like you are a totally worthless human being because that is what has been drilled into your head by the abuser for so long. It has the effect where you totally lose your self-esteem, your mind is full of all sorts of craziness, you doubt everything, yourself and everybody else’s intentions. The best way to describe it is like you are literally drowning in your own thoughts that you have no control over and cannot stop. It’s like having six thousand web browser tabs open in your mind and not being able to close one of them off, not one.
So coming to the end of this post I would like to ask all you people out there that know someone that’s been a victim of abuse, to give them a little support. It is a hard enough thing to go through without being judged by every person, whether they are family acquaintance or co-worker have a bit of compassion. Just because a person has been abused that does not mean that they have done something to deserve that kind of treatment. It is difficult enough for victims of abuse to get through it as, as we all know the thing about abusers is after you get out of the relationship most of the time the abuse will continue until the abuser has realised that he is not going to get the victim to change their mind and will move on to the next target. Whilst that’s all going on, a lot of the time the abuser will slate the victim and try to make it look like they are entirely blameless which is another form of trying to manipulate the victim. 
No person has a right to impose himself on another person to the extent that they are even fearful of their own phone even. Scared to even look in someone’s direction on the street knowing the dreaded question would come ‘Where do you know him/her from? Why are you looking at him/her?’ Being prevented from having any close friends in case that friendship becomes a threat to the isolated partnership the abuser created. The person being abused is expected to lead very much a life of seclusion with no possibility of anything to enhance their own life. 
This is why victims of abuse need support so that, they can no longer be victims and with time grow develop strength and become able to pursue their life, not the same as it was before the abuse because that experience will have changed the person for life. The memory will always survive no matter how much its wanted to be forgotten but eventually, the person will feel free to be who they really are and heal from what happened to them.
Think twice before you judge.
N.T.J 13/04/2016

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