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How Ruby tackled her mental abuse

Many of us face abuse from the same person whom once we thought would be the source of ultimate happiness for us. But what to do when things don't turn up the way we thought?

It all started when Ruby met this boy from her College. He was charming and had a great sense of humor. They started dating immediately and post ten months, she gradually started exploring different parts of his personality. After he had already won her heart, a few digs or small putdowns started to come her way.

Months started going by and between many of the good times, there were put-downs here and there. Going to a restaurant, where there was this table and a chair near the wall, he says to Ruby, “Why don’t you sit there in the corner and put a hat on it”, like she was a stupid or something. Other comments like Idiot, Crazy came later as the intensity of their relationship got worse due to the verbal abuse and other factors.

Over time, she started realizing that he manipulated her to make her think that she was the reason for his emotional or verbal abuse and then, she had to finally wake up. So, the greatest gift that she gave to herself last Christmas is to walk away from him and get her spirits back.

So, here are few steps to get out of such mental exploitation:

Get your power back: The easiest way to do this is to be willing to move on from the relationship. This makes you to move forward with the next steps from a place of power, not a place of fear.

Set limits for criticism and emotional outbursts: Listen to the concerns others have about your actions and how they affect them, but don’t engage in conversations that attack who you are as a person.

Consider others concerns: Don't agree to do things simply in order to keep the peace or save the relationship, especially if deep down you know it isn't right for you.

Be clear and honest with yourself first: Consider your values, goals, and needs. Make sure your decisions are in alignment with your highest self, needs and all.

Find people and experiences that celebrate who you are: Find ways to reconnect with the powerful person you truly are. Engage and connect with other peopel who support and love you for exactly who you are.

At the end of the day, only you can decide if his controlling behavior is something you are willing to live with or not. Relationships should be something that supports your growth, not something that diminishes it.

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He went down on his knee and proposed to her. “I promise to protect you, but that doesn’t mean I would not support you.” A tear fell from her eyes on the rose he was holding for her, waiting for a reply. She nodded. It was a moment of utter bliss. However, Neha’s confession changed the atmosphere of the situation. It became tense and morose.

“He touched me inappropriately again. The first time his hands brushed my thigh, I thought it was a genuine mistake. But, today when he slide his hand under the desk to reach my leg, I felt violated,” Neha said.

He had vowed to protect her. His expression changed. He became restless. In a fraction of a second, images of his childhood flashed in front of his eyes. He could not look her in the eyes. He could not breathe. In a moment’s time, he felt sick that he had to lie down.

After gathering himself, he apologised for his sudden rush of emotion and asked Neha to report the assault. She didn’t respond. He urged her again to take action, she still didn’t respond. Upon shaking her to get an answer out of her, she said that she doesn’t know how to.

Akash tried to help her in more ways than one to come to a conclusion regarding this situation. However, every time Neha was unable to report the abuse to her boss or the HR of the company. Unfortunately, when the assault happened the third time and she shared it with him, he could not take it anymore.

“Why don’t you get that this is a violation of your dignity and completely unacceptable,” he shouted at the top of his voice. This time, she mustered the courage and spoke to her boss about the abuse.

Akash felt a sense of relief and satisfaction. He went back home and wrote this.  

“Life has come full circle. It has been twenty-three years and I have faced a similar situation. Earlier it was me, now it is someone who I love a lot. Getting abused, beaten and insulted when I was a kid, not knowing what was happening to me was frightening. I felt like hiding in my bedroom and never coming out. I did not feel like talking to anyone. I did not respect my body. The trauma of the constant abuse became a part of my life and affected me greatly. How I wish I could go back in time and change my fate. But I’m glad I could make a difference in her life.”

Since then Akash volunteers with several NGOs who work for the prevention of child sexual abuse. He says that he will always find time to prevent another child being abused.

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