Are you a victim of abuse?

published Nov 29, 2010, last modified Jun 26, 2013

Here's some quick and helpful advice.

Does someone yell at you, beat you up, belittle you, give you the silent treatment or treat you like garbage?

First, let's open with the obvious, so you can feel better right away: It's not your fault!

Abusive people (if you are reading this, your dad, mom, friend, coworker, girlfriend or boyfriend is one) have treatment-resistant issues stemming from family abuse that you have no hope of resolving on your own, no matter how hard you try, or how much patience you have, or how smart you are, or how open you are to listening to him / her.

Because, you see...

...every time you react at the abuse by pushing back, you are emotionally validating the outburst as something that gives your abuser (an unhealthy type of) attention... and every time you take the abuse quietly or try to reason with your abuser, you are sending the implicit message that it is okay to be abusive and it yields results for your abuser to treat you like that.

So it's a no win situation as you can see, and you can't just ask your abuser to stop -- otherwise he / she would have stopped by now. Especially in a romantic relationship, where this situation eventually leads you to either become abusive towards the abuser yourself (and you know where that leads: prison or misery), or a total doormat (and you know where that leads: cheating or misery).

What to do: terminate your relationship with your abuser until therapy has resolved their issues (by the way, don't hold your hopes up, it takes years).

Oh, and keep this in mind if you need strength to come through:

You are a wonderful human being, and anybody who is abusive to you does not deserve a millisecond of your time.