Have been trying to resolve the issues between your parents? Are you unable to understand and meet the demands of your partner that is causing issues? Are you going through a toxic relationship which is causing mental and physical problems? Is it getting hard for you to manage your relationship with your friends in Novena because of busy routine?
Well, you are not the only one dealing with these problems in Novena. There are many people who are going through the same phase. You will be surprised to know that it is the main cause of depression and stress in many people. However, an important thing you need to understand is that mistake happens from both sides and you have to resolve them together.
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What happens most of the time is that after suffering for so many years by the hands of someone close, dear, or loved ones; our way of behaving with others and overall attitude, gets a bit aggressive and loud towards small things and issues. We start to react harshly over normal things and when we get a reaction from others, we end up with feeling that no one understand us and everyone is trying to hurt us, but in reality it is our behavior that is causing all the disturbance. Don’t consider it just for romantic relationship but it can be between you and your parents, siblings, and friends. However, there is also no doubt that romantic relationship failure gives us the biggest heartaches.
The Core Conditions
The three main core conditions that Carl Rogers considered essential for effective counselling are:
1. Unconditional Positive Regard. (UPR)
However in Roger’s paper “The necessary and sufficient conditions of Therapeutic personality change” he lists six conditions in total.
1. Two persons are in Psychological contact.
2. The first, whom we shall term the client, is in a state of incongruence, being vulnerable or anxious.
3. The second person, whom we shall term the therapist is congruence or integrated in the relationship.
4. The therapist experiences unconditional positive regard for the client.
5. The therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the clients internal frame of reference and endeavours to communicate this experience to the client.
6. The communication to the client of the therapist’s empathic understanding and unconditional positive regard is to a minimal degree achieved.
No other conditions are necessary . If these six conditions exist and continue over a period of time, this is sufficient…(Rogers Reader p221)
Unconditional Positive Regard, Empathy & Congruence are the counsellors or therapists conditions needed to facilitate change. Without these conditions being present a healing relationship cannot form. In the six conditions above we see that the client also has to ‘play ball’, Psychological contact is needed. If the client does not want to be there they are free to withdraw and the counselling processes cannot continue. The client too it seems needs to realise that there is something not working for them in their lives.
So what are these conditions? Roger's three core conditions for therapeutic change as explained by the good man himself:
"The first element could be called genuineness, realness, or congruence. The more the therapist is himself or herself in the relationship, putting up no professional front or personal facade, the greater is the likelihood that the client will change and grow in a constructive manner. This means that the therapist is openly being the feelings and attitudes that are flowing within at the moment. Thus, there is a close matching, or congruence, between what is being experienced at the gut level, what is present in awareness, and what is expressed to the client.
The second attitude of importance in creating a climate for change is acceptance, or caring, or prizing--what I have called 'unconditional positive regard.' When the therapist is experiencing a positive, acceptant attitude toward whatever the client is at that moment, therapeutic movement or change is more likely to occur. The therapist is willing for the client to be whatever immediate feeling is going on--confusion, resentment, fear, anger, courage, love, or pride. Such caring on the part of the therapist is non-possessive. The therapist prizes the client in a total rather than a conditional way.
The third facilitative aspect of the relationship is empathic understanding. This means that the therapist senses accurately the feelings and personal meanings that the client is experiencing and communicates this understanding to the client. When functioning best, the therapist is so much inside the private world of the other that he or she can clarify not only the meanings of which the client is aware but even those just below the level of awareness. This kind of sensitive, active listening is exceedingly rare in our lives. We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know."
There is a lot packed in to the above descriptions, at a glance it does not seem much but upon examining them closely the basic framework of Rogers counselling work is described.
The first condition is named as congruence, realness, genuineness. That is to say that you are present and aware with the client. If we look back historically to the time Rogers was writing in the 1950’s I think he was saying to drop the facade of Doctor or Psychoanalyst to come out from behind the white coat and meet the person as another person, while still remaining in the role of therapist. My understanding of the therapeutic climate of the time is that the therapist took on an almost authoritarian role as a ‘fixer’ of a ‘broken’ patient. Rogers was the one who helped change the ‘Patient’ into a ‘Client’.
Once the client is treated as an equal communication will start. If the therapist comes across as an authority or an expert the client will start to tailor their answers to suit this. As Wilson points out in Prometheus Rising:
“Accurate communication is possible only in a non-punishing situation;
communication occurs only between equals”
I think that Rogers was also saying that we should be ‘real’ with who we are as a therapist. If we are only putting on the counsellor mask it will be picked up upon, much like when we visit a show room and get greeted by an over-zealous sales person, we can easily sense that they are not genuine or that they are only giving us attention because they are after a sale.
Unconditional Positive Regard:
Unconditional Positive Regard: UPR in a nutshell simply means that the counsellor listens in a non-judgmental warm way to the client. There are no conditions put upon the relationship. By taking this position in the relationship the client will be able to talk about what they are thinking and feeling without fearing a judgment or a rejection. It strikes me as ironic that one of the core conditions is a condition of unconditional positive regard. Nevertheless UPR is one of the bits of magic in the relationship that makes the listening and healing possible. It also ties in nicely or is on a similar continuum to congruence, as again communication occurs only between equals. Initially when I first came across this concept I wondered if I could hold it with all persons. I thought of an extreme case of an abuser, I wondered if I could hold this UPR? I thought about this and discovered that it is possible to separate the person from their behaviour. It is only when UPR is present that the client will trust the therapist enough to be open and honest about their inner world. I have faith in UPR so much so that no matter how much a person feels that they have slipped from society’s grace that they will be able to gain UPR for themselves and others and hopefully start anew. Rogers was quite wise to say that we all have potential for change up to the moment of our death. If find this concept wonderfully optimistic and applaud it.
Empathy or empathic understanding is the next core condition. This is where the therapist picks up on the feelings of the client and reflects this back to the client. This is the process where the therapist can act as a support to the client by making them feel ‘as if’ the therapist is there experiencing their array of emotions. There is an expression that I like that illustrates empathic understanding the term is ‘Grok’ it’s taken from the novel ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ (Heinlein, 1961), literally it means ‘to drink’ but is taken to mean 'understanding.' It is often used by programmers and other assorted computer geeks while discussing computer code. To ‘Grok’ means to become one with, understand and empathize with something or someone to the extent that the object or person becomes part of one’s sense self. I think that empathy in the person centred world is a ‘Groking’ of the other person, without getting so caught up in the experience that you react and become lost in it. Not to lose the ‘as if’ quality.
Do the Core Conditons Improve all relationships?
I am going to take a leap of faith and say that the core conditions do improve all relationships. I have all ready experienced the power of the conditions in my own personal counselling and have felt how powerful they are. Without a doubt in my mind I will say that within the therapeutic setting that they are essential for a healing relationship to occur.
I was debating with myself around the question of them improving
all relationships. Initially I thought that that this would not be the case so I decided to bring the conditions out into the playing field of life and experiment. I have been having a lot of fun with this. I decided to be congruent as far as its possible to be with anyone I met on the street for the last few weeks in as far giving a nod or saying ‘hullo’ if eye contact was made, rather than doing my usual paranoid ‘I’m too busy and important to be dealing with the likes of you’ walk. The response was phenomenal. One gent I’ve passed dozens of times while out walking my dog actually stopped for a chat for the first time, it consisted of no more than six words but it was a start. I’ve been getting smiles and salutes from perfect strangers when I pass them on my bike too. Saying that I’ve also encountered a few zombies too, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before contact is made. I think that time is a dimension of a relationship that gets overlooked sometimes, trust can take time.
Personal Anxiety & Fear
I have also recently had the fortune of being harassed by the local teenagers that live in the council estate adjacent to my house. As my house is the first house on the corner our cars get targeted frequently, windows smashed, set alight, stolen etc ... I saw some teenagers out in the garden the other night and went out to them. My usual approach is to tell them to clear off, usually in colourful language, this time however I went out and tried out the magic of unconditional positive regard with them. I met them as people rather than ‘bloody hooded youths’ and asked them what they were up to? This was taken as an accusation, I told them that I wasn’t blaming them for anything, only that we had been getting vandalised and that since they were in my garden I had a right to ask them what they were doing there. I asked them what they were doing out on such a cold night and they said that they where board. They had nothing on that night. I asked them what they thought should be there for them to do and one of them was quite keen on a racetrack another on somewhere to play ‘Xbox’. Admittedly one of the girls launched into a rant about how “youse (the people in the new houses) moved into our area and we’re going to smash up your stuff and houses and you until you all move away” and “ ‘cos you are the corner house that you are going to get it ‘cos your easy to run away from”, rather than rising to this bait I reflected this back to them saying that I understood that they were upset and felt like smashing up the place but asked them if they thought that this was fair? After some time they said that no it wasn’t fair but that it would probably continue. To cut a long story short I returned to my house and thought that I had made no head way with them. However, I felt that I had made some with myself. I lost my fear of the ‘youths’ and gained an understanding that these people are just board children that lack boundaries and parental control in their lives. This has made living here less scary for me and this was only through having UPR, empathy and congruence present in my dialogue with them that this change in me occurred. As a foot note to this story, the next night 12 cars on the road got their windscreens smashed, mine however was not one of them yippee! – perhaps I did get through in some small way!
More Fear and Loathing
Something similar happened again but this time with a group of younger teens from the area. Without going into too much story I started to apply the core conditions to my dealings with them whenever I had cause to. It really has made a huge difference with them. I realise that they were picking up on my distrust and judgement of their behaviour; once I started to meet them as real people I have had very little hassle with them. In fact they will now come up and chat the way children do whenever I am out working in the garden or on the cars. The other morning when I went to walk the dog there was a small group of them sitting on the wall. Rather than getting the usual dirty looks I got a ‘howareya mister!’ from them. So I can say that even in the most difficult relationships no matter how troubled they seem, using the core conditions will help improve them for the better. Perhaps only small steps at a time but steps towards something better never the less.
Heinlein, R. A. (1961). Stranger in a Strange Land. Berkley Publishing Group.
O'Farrell, U. (Reprint 2001). First Steps in Counselling. Dublin: Veritas.
Rogers, C. (1980). Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Rogers, C. (2005). The Carl Rogers Reader edited by Kirschenbaum & Henderson. London: Counstable & Robertson.
Sanders, P. (2006). The Person Centred Counselling Primer. Trowbridge, UK: Cromwell Press.
Wilson, R. A. (1994). Prometheus Rising. Arizona: Falcon.
In all these situations, after back to back failed relationship issues and suffering from heartaches, you end up feeling mentally unstable. You find hard time in coping up with your daily routine or you simply cannot stop thinking negative about the world, its people, and whatever is happening around you in a negative manner.
What you can do in this regard?
Well, you need someone there for you to help you coping with the anxiety, depression, and this continuous sour of feeling down and dismayed. YOU NEED US!
“We are the best relationship therapists in the world to help you dealing with general and severe relationship issues caused by yours or others’ actions”.
Relationship therapy that’s also known as couples therapy, marriage, therapy, or relationship issues therapy; is an attempt to help you make an improvement in your relationships, specifically romantic ones, by resolving conflicts, issues, and misconception, occurred due to mistakes and misunderstandings.
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There is no exact or required time to ask for and get relationship therapy until you find yourself in a mess that requires to be cleaned. Moreover, when you don’t want the problem to get worse, you need an expert advice, a helping hand, to go through the conflict and resolve it without damaging your relationship.
• Before and After a Marriage In Novena :
Moreover, you can ask for a relationship therapy before and after your marriage because it is a legal relationship and failed marriages won’t only cause depression and anxiety in the spouse, but it can even become the cause of you losing all of your income while competing in a family court against your spouse while filing for Divorce/Separation.
• When You Want To End A Relationship In A Less-Disturbing Way:
Moreover, you can also ask for a relationship therapy when you feel so nagged and downed by a failed infidel relationship. When you don’t want your mental health to fall apart and you also don’t want to end the relationship like this. The responsible behavior is that even if you both don’t mean to stay together, still finish the relationship in a way that won’t be toxic for anyone of you.
• When You See Your Kid Is Suffering From Mental Issues Because of the Conflicts Between You Two:
Furthermore, if you have been into a relationship where your kids are being suffered due to the conflicts between you and your partner, they will get mentally disrobed. Remember, you both are special for each other and watching other suffer is a suffering for yourselves. Even if you don’t show it to them, kids are sensitive and sharp, they sense the tension in the atmosphere and feel it to the end. Most of the time, instead of talking about it, they start getting isolated and here is when the overall problem starts. Here, again you need help from an expert therapist to help your kid coming back to his or her track. It doesn’t matter that your all kids would suffer the same, however the sensitive one requires your help the most.
• When You Have Suffered Through an Abusive Relationship
A toxic relationship, either it gives you sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or physical abuse; it leaves some after effects on you and you start to take things in a very different way which most of the time is not healthy. Here you need to talk to expert therapists on your ex-relationship and the problems associated to it. Remember, it is not end of your life. The life never ends until you die. Therefore, one toxic relationship doesn’t mean you should stop asking for love. However, before getting into involved with someone else, you will have to get rid of all the abusiveness in your veins and heart caused by it. This is when you need to go to a relationship therapist so that you can accept and start your new relation in a better and healthier manner.
• When you need Serious Mental Help:
Most of the time a suffering through Communication Problems Sex and Sexuality, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Adjustment issues, and Bipolar Disorder (BPD) requires serious and immediate help or else the after-effects can be worst and require a huge time in resolving issues. This can end up in failed marriages, failed relationships, and successful attempts of suicide. When you don’t want this to happen, you need to bring the sufferers to us and let our experts in Novena deal with them.
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What is Emotional Abuse
Any behavior designed to undermine and control someone else through fear, humiliation, manipulation or intimidation is emotional abuse. This can present itself in the form of verbal abuse, constant criticism or fault finding. Through these tactics the abuser makes their victims feel that they are inadequate and inferior and erodes their self-esteem.
Contrary to what some people believe, not all forms of abuse are expressed through physical violence. Emotional abuse can and often does lead to physical aggression but the abuser uses manipulation tactics as opposed to physical abuse.
What Influences People to Resort to Emotional Abuse
The need to control other people or degrade and belittle them often stems from a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem. Abusers are psychologically and emotionally immature and may have been the victim of, or witnessed, an abusive relationship during childhood. As a result these people accept abusive behavior as the norm.
Emotional abuse does not discriminate against race, socioeconomic status, religion, culture or gender. However, in heterosexual relationships the victim in the majority of emotional abuse cases is female.
According to statistics on spousal abuse, emotional abuse occurs 6% more often than physical abuse. In view of the fact that emotional abuse is not considered a criminal act and that most cases go unreported until they eventually culminate in physical abuse the figure for emotional abuse is in reality probably much higher.
Almost 40% of women experience some type of emotional abuse either by a partner or someone with whom they have an intimate relationship. All victims in emotional abusive relationships have a very high risk of becoming physical abused. Emotional abuse is an attempt to take control of the partner - both mentally and/or emotionally.
As with all other forms of abuse the victim is bullied into living a life where the victim is in constant fear of the abuser and inevitably change their behavior and lifestyle to please the abuser.
In situations where the abuser becomes anxious of losing control over the abused or where the abuser feels guilt caused by any of his/her own actions the abuse tends to escalate. This will then allow the abuser to pass the blame of his own actions onto the abused and once again gain control over that person.
Social beliefs can also influence some men into believing that they are the stronger sex and have a right to discipline a wife or girlfriend that is disobedient.
Alcohol and drug misuse can aggravate but cannot cause emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is a personality disorder, however abusers often hide behind substance abuse as a means to justify their behavior.
None of the above reason are an excuse to be an abuser as any form of abuse is in violation of the basic human rights of the person being abused.
Who Becomes Victims of Emotional Abuse
People do not willing enter or stay in an abusive relationship but people who were verbally abused as a child often find themselves in abusive relationships as an adult. These people may not have learned how to validate their own feelings and perceptions and develop their own viewpoints. Despite the fact that emotional abuse is destructive these individuals are more likely to accept emotional abuse as normal, even comfortable.
Abusers transfer their own feelings of inadequacy, powerlessness, fear, hurt and anger to their victims. This allows them to feel more in control and avoids the issue of their own insecurities and self-perceptions.
People who are subjected to constant emotional abuse lose their sense of self-worth and no longer trust their own perceptions. Over time the victims lose all sense of self and ultimately become incapable of forming a realistic judgment of the situation. The end result is that the victim's self esteem is so low that they cling to the abuser firmly believing that they deserve to be treated this way.
Emotional abusers are masters in the art of manipulation and convince their victims that they are worthless and that no-one else would want them. The victims then believe that they have nowhere else to go and lack the self-confidence to be on their own.
Emotional abuse leaves wounds that are much deeper and lasting than physical abuse. It is also much more difficult to talk about and explain to the outside world. The abuser normally has a dual personality or "two faces". The "Mr Nice Guy" - everybody's friend, loving spouse, successful, life and soul of the party is the face that they present to the world and the emotional abuse is reserved for the victim.
If they suspect that their victims are strong enough to seek help they are known to spread rumors about their victims instability. This makes it even more difficult for the abused to walk away from an abusive relationship and they stay for fear of being labeled neurotic. In an attempt to conceal their abusive behavior they often isolate their victim keeping them away from family and friends.
Emotional abuse is the greatest indication of potential physical violence, especially where a woman is called names to humiliate and belittle her. Emotionally abusive partners have also been known to commit murder or murder-suicide. People who are subjected to emotional abuse may become suicidal.
Tactics Used By The Emotional Abuser
The emotional abuser is invariably egocentric and as such can place unreasonable demands on his victim, expecting them to give all their time and attention to the abuser. In doing so they are denying their victim of any right to privacy and time of their own. They expect their partner to be at their beck and call and will still be dissatisfied irrespective of how much they are prepared to give of themselves.
Emotional abusers have an obsession with control and will go to great lengths in an attempt to control their partner's every move. If their wants are not met they will resort to threats or punishment to get control of the victim's life. Allowing someone to dominate them to this extent will cause the victims to lose any sense of self-respect.
The victims will be constantly criticized and berated for their inability to meet the abuser's needs. Emotional abusers also constantly criticize the partner's size and appearance breaking down their self-esteem until they believe that they are repulsive and worthless.
Isolation is another common tactic used by emotional abusers. They want full control over their victim's lives and try to prevent them from having contact with their friends and family. They may even prevent them from having independent activities such as work, irrespective of whether they can afford for the victim not to earn an income or not.
Due to their own low self-esteem they are overly jealous and possessive and falsely accuse the victim of extra-marital affairs if they even speak to a person of the opposite sex. They often pressurize the victim to have sex with them to prove that they love the abuser. This often becomes their way of making amends after each attack despite the fact that the victim may be in a state of despair and hurting.
Abusers often use children as pawns in their power game and will criticize the partner's parenting abilities. They are also known to threaten to ensure that the victim does not get custody of the children should they decide to end the relationship.
Typical of an emotional abuser in order to maintain full control and power they will make all the decisions. This includes important matters such as family finances, what car to buy, where they live and which school the children will attend. They will withhold information from the victim and not consult them on any decisions.
A more aggressive form of abuse includes false accusations, name-calling, threats, blaming and ordering. The abuser assumes a superior position in the relationship by invalidating and judging the partner thereby undermining their equality and independence.
Aggressive abusive can also be more subtle and be disguised as an attempt to help the victim when in effect these are merely attempts to belittle and control them. This can lead to what is known as learned helplessness where the victim believes that they are helpless and remains passive in a damaging situation because they have been lead to believe that they are incapable of making a worthwhile decision.
Emotional abusers tend to deliberately start arguments as they have this uncontrollable urge to experience a feeling of power and control.
Denying is a very harmful form of emotional abuse and can cause the victim to lose all sense of self-worth. Besides minimizing of the victims opinion on anything they are known to deny that certain events took place or that hurtful things were said.Minimizing or trivializing is a more subtle form of denying whereby the abuser leads the victim to believe that they are over-reacting to events or things that were said. To hurt, humiliate or belittle their victims, abusers will question the victims perceptions, memory and even their sanity.
Constant invalidation of feelings, reality and experiences will inevitably lead the victim to mistrust their own perceptions and emotional experience. Emotional abusers can undermine the victims perception of reality by rejecting, mocking, diminishing, or judging the victim's feelings and opinions in an attempt to control the way the victim feels.
Abusers may often refuse to listen or communicate with their victims and withdraw emotionally as a means of punishment. This is what is commonly known as giving their victims the "silent treatment".
In an attempt to control their victims, abusers play on the values, guilt, compassion and fear of their victims to reach their goals. They may also threaten to abandon their victims in an attempt to expose the victims vulnerability and dependency on the abuser.
Abusers are often very moody people and may re-act differently to a specific situation depending on their mood. Drastic mood swings and emotional outbursts make a relationship with this type of abuser extremely draining as the victim is constantly on edge never knowing what to say or how to act to prevent an attack. This type of abuse is characterized by unpredictable responses and the victim, not knowing what to expect, is permanently on guard waiting for the next mood change which could lead to an outburst.
Characteristics of an emotional abuser
Abusers may demonstrate one or more of the following characteristics:-
- Unrealistic expectations of themselves and others
- Very demanding
- Volatile temper and over-react to minimal incidents
- Evade responsibility in a relationship and do not easily commit
- Excessively jealous and possessive and very insecure
- Have an obsession with controlling their victims and restricting their freedom and rights.
- Very demanding of their victims
- Make all the decisions and never take their partners feelings into consideration.
- Never take responsibility or blame for their own mistakes
- Never admit to the harm they cause - not even to themselves
- Can not empathize with others
- Dual personality
Effects of Emotional Abuse
People who are emotionally abused lose the confidence to make decisions for themselves and tend to agree with everything their partner suggests. They will do anything to please their abuser despite the fact that this is basically an impossible task as the abuser finds joy in criticizing everything the abused does.
In order to justify their staying in the relationship people who are emotionally abused find reasons to excuse the abuser's behavior. This includes having a bad childhood, a bad day at the office but more often than not the victim's tend to blame themselves. Something that they said or did is the reason why their partner is being abusive and they often feel it is their fault.
Emotional battering can cause serious health and psychological problems and the victims often become forgetful and find that they experience difficulty in concentrating. The abused often resort to alcohol or drug abuse or may develop eating or sleeping problems. The emotional stress can cause the abused to become physically ill or they may experience abnormal fatigue or anxiety attacks. All people react differently but it is not uncommon for emotionally abused people to suffer depression and to show a loss of interest in the world around them.
Emotional abusers often try to isolate their victims and the victims often find that they eventually lose all contact with their friends and family. As a result of the emotional battering abused people lose their self confidence and fear if they end the relationship that they will be all alone
Why Emotionally Abused Victims Don't Easily Leave
Victims of emotional abuse often stay in the abusive relationship in the hopes that the abuser will change. They often feel that by changing the way that they act towards the abuser they will be able to change the way the abuser acts towards them. Unfortunately one cannot control other people's emotions and neither can you change their personality.
One of the tragedies is that victims eventually believe all the degrading and hurtful things that the abuser tells them about themselves and truly believe that they are the cause of the problem.
The only possible way for them to walk away from this relationship with any dignity is to realise that the opinions expressed by the abuser are not necessarily their true opinion of the victim but only a means to get them to believe that they are worthless. If the victim has reached the stage where they can no longer distinguish between what could possibly be valid opinions and those given merely to hurt and control them they should seek outside help urgently.
It is very difficult for people who have been in an abusive relationship to just walk out without strong emotions of fear, embarrassment, self-blame and a host of other complex feelings. It is essential that the victims realize that there is a way out of an abusive relationship and there are trained people that will help them to overcome their fears and give them a greater understanding of the situation.
The foremost reason victims do not leave an abusive relationship is their inability to provide shelter and food for themselves and their children although threats, safety, fears and love are also contributory factors.
If you feel you are being abused, or know someone who is, you need to get help. Keeping the abuse a secret doesn't protect a person from being abused - it only makes it more likely that the abuse will continue.
What to Do if You Are Being Emotionally Abused
The very first step in the right direction is to recognize and admit that you are in a dysfunctional relationship and the victim of emotional abuse. This is a very serious situation to be in and is as bad if not worse than physical abuse. You must realize that you are not to blame for your partner's abusive behavior.
Emotional abusers often resort to aggressive behavior and this could easily lead to physical violence or murder. Have a safety plan in place and take your safety and that of your children seriously.
If your partner has threatened to harm or kill you phone 911.
When you do make a decision to leave your partner seek legal advice.
- Victims of abuse are at the greatest risk of being harmed or killed when they leave.
You and Me
the world knows a different you
you tell them i'm crazy and they believe it too
why shouldn't they - you're so gentle and kind
they don't know what goes on in your mind.
if i told them that there is a different you
a person they would loathe if only they knew
they'd probably think that i was to blame
and i'd only be putting myself to shame
cos emotional abuse leaves no scars they can see
you are not breaking bones - you are breaking me
you trample the core of my being - deep inside
taken away my dignity, my respect and my pride.
i can't wait for your leaving in the morning
and dread your return at night
being around you makes me edgy
just waiting for the next fight
what will i be ?- a slut or a bitch?
useless and ugly and an evil witch?
or will it be i'm just a cheap whore
someone nobody loves anymore?
or will you ask me what i did with my day
and then not listen to what i say
waiting to accuse me of lies and deceit
saying i slept with every man on our street
will you throw out the meal i prepared for you
find fault with every single thing that i do
will you punch me with words so hard that i cower
all in an effort to gain control and power.
or will you resort to threats of violence and death
i wish i could tell you to just hold your breath...........
cos you cannot kill someone who no longer exists
who died a slow death caused by words and not fists.
its always the same ending after a fight
you expect me to make love all through the night
when all i want is to be left alone and in peace
in a happy place where the hurting can cease
in this dysfunctional relationship that you call love
you torture me daily without a push or a shove
but the hurt cuts deeper than gashes and bruises could
and my heart bleeds more than my body ever would.
for time will never heal the scars that i bear
i just bury them deeper year after year
and change to who you want me to be
it makes it far easier than me being me
Laura du Toit - 2009