There is a quote that says:
If she flinches when you go to put your arms around her…someone else’s hand once wasn’t too sweet.
If she questions you…someone else lied to her.
If she doesn’t tell you things…someone else once betrayed her secrets.
Behind every cranky, complicated girl or girl who is scared to love, is a girl who is tired of being broken.
Domestic abuse/violence will leave you broken. It will leave you shattered in so many pieces, you fully believe you will never be whole again. Take it from someone who knows — sometimes the damage is so horrific, you don’t want to be put back together again. Not because you don’t want to be healed, not because you don’t want to be whole again; it’s just safer to be behind that wall. It’s safer to be shielded.
Opening up again after a harsh relationship ends means putting yourself in a position of vulnerability. It means putting yourself out there again, knowing there’s the possibility of being gnashed again mentally, emotionally, or physically. Domestic abuse/violence occurs far more often than some people imagine. It happens in every single corner of this world. It happens in wealthy communities. It happens in poverty-ridden communities. The thing is, mental and emotional abuse can be hard to spot. You can’t see the bruises that these two forms of abuse leave, but the wounds run just as deeply as those that are left by physical abuse.
Before we talk about the wounds, though, let’s talk about some the ways mental and emotional abuse manifests itself. Here are some of the things I personally experienced:
- Character assassination. This usually involves the word “always.” You’re always late, wrong, screwing up, disagreeable, and so on. Basically, they say you’re not a good person.
- Dismissiveness. You tell them about something that’s important to you and they say it’s nothing. Body language like eye-rolling, smirking, headshaking, and sighing help convey the same message.
- Put-downs of your interests. They might tell you that your hobby is a childish waste of time or you’re out of your league when you play sports. Really, it’s that they’d rather you not participate in activities without them.
- Unpredictability. They’ll explode with rage out of nowhere, suddenly shower you with affection, or become dark and moody at the drop of a hat to keep you walking on eggshells.
- Trivializing. When you want to talk about your hurt feelings, they accuse you of overreacting and making mountains out of molehills.
- Disputing your feelings. Whatever you feel, they’ll say you’re wrong to feel that way or that’s not really what you feel at all.
There are a multitude of other ways mental and emotional abuse show up. Whatever way they come at you, know that it’s never your fault. Regardless of what your abuser says, it’s not your fault. You are not responsible for the foul actions of a person prone to abusing other. You’re not. The examples I gave above were found at https://www.healthline.com/health/signs-of-mental-abuse#what-to-do, but I lived them as well as many of the others. Check this page out for extremely valuable information on what to look for and how to get help.
For the man who chooses to love a woman who is brave enough to try love again, take heed to this:
I’ve learnt that a woman with a broken past needs to be treated with patience. She needs time to breathe, to heal, to rediscover herself. A mistreated woman will reject love countless times before she gives in because she’s lost sense of what it’s like to be treated right, but the beautiful thing about broken women is the wisdom the past has given them and the capacity of love they have to offer. It’s endless.
For the woman who has been broken, know that you’re of Him. Trust that you are enough.