How to help yourself

In the world, theres this assumption that when someone is in an abusive relationship, they're
super aware of it. Because like, how could they not right?

And when we think of abuse, our mind jumps to physical abuse 90% of the time because those are the stories we hear, the stories we see on the news or online.

"So and so arrested for domestic violence against their partner."

You never hear; "So and so arrested for screaming at their partner for taking too long to reply to a text", do you?

It' so confusing to kind of figure out what counts as abuse and whether you're just over reacting or misunderstanding something - what if you bring it up to someone and they just think you're being silly?

It's hard and stupid and overwhelming.

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It is not normal to:

- regularly feel like a burden in your relationship
- feel like you have a lack of intelligence, and only if you were smarter then maybe you'd be
more interesting to your partner
- be told your interests and hobbies are unimportant, and they don't add value to the world or life
- be on edge at all times, for the fear that you will upset someone or do something they don't like
- regularly get silent treatment from your partner as punishment
- carry and do all the emotional labour in the relationship
- feel obligated to do things sexually or brush off worrying sexual instances because someone
tells you to

In my personal experience, I didn't realise what had happened until after it was already over.
It was so weird, I just woke up one day and felt like I had the worst hangover in the world. What the flip happened?


How had I not noticed all the horrible crap happening to me?

The thing is, so much of emotional abuse is subtle and manipulative and sneaky - it's like when you go hard on burgers every weekend then one day you try on your old favourite pair of jeans and they don't zip up anymore.

Um excuse me?! I did NOT eat that many burgers. ... Did I?

The super important thing to remember is, no matter what point you realise that your relationship is not healthy - there is light on the other side, and there are so many ways you can help yourself.


How do I talk to someone about my relationship?

First off, talking to someone is both the best and hardest thing to do. It's so scary because it's
admitting out loud that this isn't okay, and you need help. The person you talk to doesn't need tohave been through something like this, they just need to be kind, trustworthy, and there.

You could talk to a school counsellor, a parent,  your friends, Youthline, It's Not Ok, Lifeline, or even the Police. When you talk to someone, you have to remember that this is definitely not your fault, and you may feel guilty - but that's okay.

It might be a bit embarrassing to admit things or tell someone the bad stuff that happened, but sharing these things actually help us push through them and grow into even stronger people.


You don't need to feel silly because you're ashamed this happened -you did not ask for it.

What do I do next?

First off - girl, remind yourself as often as it takes, that you don't deserve this and you can 100% do better. I don't care if you have to tell yourself every 5 minutes - make sure you repeat it as often as you need to.

You need to figure out how to move forward.What that means is up to you - trust your gut.

If you decide you need to leave, here's what we recommend:

- Ask for help.

If you want a support system to help you through each step, then find someone you can trust and open up and let them help.

- Realise that you don't have an obligation to that person. 

If you don't feel like you can leave in person, you absolutely can do it by text or over the phone, any way you like.

- If you feel unsafe, tell the police. 

That is what they are here for, you absolutely will not look stupid if you ask them for help.

- Go no contact. 

Completely wipe your life of that person. Block them on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, block their number, and wash your hands of it. If you see them around, always popping up on your timeline or getting texts at any hour - all it does is remind you of the crap they did.

- Find an outlet.

I was extremely confused and hurt after my abusive relationship, and I needed something to just take some of the angry thoughts out.

I wrote all my thoughts, no matter how pathetic or agro they were, down in a journal.

I also forced myself to hang out with my friends a lot and pushed myself out of my comfort zone and tired a lot of activities. You need something to distract you - it can be anything you like!

Maybe just binging Love Island for 8 hours a day, that's cool too.

How do I get over it?

My girl.
All I can say is; it takes time. It takes a lot of time.

Finding new ways to implement self love into your life, making time for fun and family and friends, and accepting that what has happened cannot be changed but you're in charge of what comes next.

Arohanui xx

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Irene Wakefield