Many of you will read my story over the next year and my biggest wish is that it shines a light on emotional abuse so you can see it for what it is. Whether you have lived my situation or not, I want you to "get it."
What I went through with Noah started off beautiful. I was floored that someone as hot and dangerous as Noah would even give me, mousy little innocent me, a second glance. And then he fell in love with me. Unbelievable. I loved the tough guy thing. He wasn't afraid to fight. He made me feel safe. I trusted him with my heart and my body. He had me under his spell.
They say hindsight is 20/20. Little by little, and in a very stealth manner, Noah convinced me that I was nothing without him. It wasn't in what he said but through what he 'taught' me about how a relationship works. And, unless you have been in my situation, you can not begin to understand how subliminal those messages to my brain were. Abusers aren't stupid, they know exactly what they are doing.
The official definition of emotional abuse is this:
Emotional abuse is like brain washing in that it systematically wears away at the victim’s self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in their own perceptions, and self-concept. Whether it is done by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under the guise of “guidance,” “teaching,” or “advice,” the results are similar. Eventually, the recipient of the abuse loses all sense of self and remnants of personal value. Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be far deeper and more lasting than physical ones (Engel, 1992, p. 10).
I have found that the people who assume I was weak and/or enjoyed 'playing the victim' have little to no experience with rock bottom self-esteem and that is AWESOME because it means they don't know the pain and sense of loss I do. I am thrilled for them but I plead with them not to make judgements about something they don't know first hand.
I was so naiive when I met Noah. I had only had one boyfriend before him and we never fought which led me to believe he wasn't passionate about our relationship. The control Noah had over me was disguised as passion. Many of us who consider ourselves strong individuals fall for men like Noah and many times we find ourselves IN TOO DEEP.
Being a victim of emotional abuse does NOT equal weakness but being a survivor DOES equal strength.
So, be careful who you call weak...in the end we proved our strength by surviving.
My hope is that those of you who feel like you are walking in my path will learn from my mistakes and get out before he swallows you whole. You CAN survive but you have to shake yourself free from the thoughts he's put in your head of what you are worth...
BECAUSE YOU ARE WORTH THE KIND OF LOVE HE CAN NEVER GIVE YOU!
"Falling down is part of life, getting back up is living."
I want you be a survivor.
Gracie <3 p="">