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National Helpline for LGBT+ Victims and Survivors of Abuse and Violence0800 999 5428

Email help@galop.org.uk

Home Forums Looking for support? ‘Is it abuse?’ Is it abuse or is it me? Reply To: Is it abuse or is it me?


Hi @shouldhaveknownbetter,

Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story and experiences on the forum. Your words may help other people going through a similar situation. What you have described are what we would recognise as abuse – isolating you from your friends and family, using belittling and degrading language to get her own way, minimising the impact of her behaviour on you, harming your dog, controlling your everyday life and using social media to hurt you. You make a very useful point about it being a repetitive pattern, and this is what makes it domestic abuse – the repeated nature of the incidents. Alongside the fact it comes in many different forms which work together to disempower and control you. It is very understandable that what you have experienced has impacted on your self worth and I’m so sorry to hear that you have internalised some of her negative comments and sometimes feel like you deserve it. Remember these are her words and her angry and it is not you. You are someone totally different and you do not deserve the way she treats you at all.

In domestic abuse work there is a saying, ‘if they hit you on the first date you would never start a relationship with them.’ And the point of this saying is that domestic abuse rarely starts at the beginning of the relationship, usually there are some good times, care and thoughtfulness and this is what makes it complex and difficult to walk away because there is hope that they may be the person they were in the beginning or if you are ‘good enough’ that kind person will come back. Unfortunately our experiences working with many people who have experienced what you describe is a person has to REALLY see their behaviour as abusive and want to change and put the work into changing for a long time for there to be substantive behaviour change. You’re not alone at all with finding leaving an abusive person complex and hard. You’re doing the best you can, and that’s good enough.

You are always welcome to call our helpline 0800 999 5428 and talk to our team about what you are going through. It is by and for the community and we listen without judgement.

has understood your feelings and sent you a message of strength 🙂

Warm regards,

The Helpline Team