Growing up as a child, I never imagined that I would ever know anyone that has been abused. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I used to think that abuse was only physical. I never saw anyone with suspicious bruises or broken bones, so for me that meant that their relationships with their significant others, family members, and their friends were just fine. However, sometimes that is not the case.
When I first realized that verbal abuse was closer than I thought, I was probably around 17 or 18. I had a friend that I used to hangout with all the time, and then all of the sudden they disappeared into thin air. Of course they weren’t actual missing, but it sure seemed like they were. We went from hanging out regularly, to hanging out and then seeing each other every once and a while, to not at all. They hardly answer their texts, our only real communication was at school if I saw them that day. At school, everything was normal. After school, communication was hard. I did not realize at the time why I was being ignored after school even though everything was just fine while attending.
I was obliviously thinking to myself: the world does not revolve around me, and it is none of my business what they are up to. So I kept to myself and focused on other things. After all, their boyfriend seemed very nice to me. I never thought that they had something to do with the situation besides the fact that all a high school girl wants to do is be with their boyfriend 24/7. It wasn’t until the first time they told me that something was not right that I grasped the fact that my friend was in a different type of trouble than they had ever got in before.
I listened to what she had to say, and I immediately got worried. However, I wanted to make sure that she wouldn’t be afraid to tell me about these things because I did not want her to feel judged and alone. I maintained my composure and quietly thought to myself how I could bring up the fact that this is labeled as abuse. When asked what I thought about her breaking up with him, I told the truth. I wanted that to happen, and I told her the reasoning. For that reason, I believe I was shut out. When she decided not to break up with him after all, I did not get any updates.
The problem that young adults, and even adults need to realize is that a person should never control another person when in a relationship setting. It really does not matter what the situation. If you have to ‘make’ your significant other do something that they should do as a courtesy, (such as: wear a proper outfit to a proper occasion, or make their children dinner, or be nice) that is one thing. You should NEVER use force or hurt someone’s feelings in order to gain anything in a relationship. If you feel like it is going to require force in order to get your SO to do something as simple as to stop being grumpy, leave that relationship. That person obviously does not care enough to do the right thing, and that is bound to lead to a few arguments. They should also do the same. If they feel like they get the urge to use force or say cruel things, they should leave you. This will prevent unwanted hurt both mentally or physically.
In all, if your SO calls you names to try and control you, leave them. If they use force to try and control you, leave them. If they threaten to end their life in order to control you, leave them. If they do anything at all that makes you uncomfortable, leave them. I promise you that your friends that you may have ignored while you were ‘away’ will still be there when you ‘get back’. You are not to be blamed for your abuse. You can get help, you will be protected.
If you are a friend of someone that is being abused, know the signs and be there to help when they get out of that mess. Do not give up on them. If you recognize a sign and believe that your friend is being abused, talk to them about it. See if there is anything that you can do to help. There is always the chance that the person may deny it, they may say that they do not care, that they do not know what to do or maybe even that they are scared to do anything and do not want to do anything about the situation. They may even tell you that it is not their business. In any of these cases, at least let them know that you care and are there for them no matter what.