ORLANDO, FLA. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Halloween is happening this month. But for many people, their everyday relationships are scarier than the threat of ghosts and goblins. In fact, one in four women are in a physically abusive relationship. One in two women have been psychologically abused by their significant other.
A friend, a boss, or a romantic partner. Chances are, you’ve been in a “scary” relationship with someone at one time or another!
Mary Mitchell says, “It made me question who I was.”
Kim Stewart says, “I shut that down and didn’t feel.”
Mitchell also says, “I felt like a liar because people thought that I had a perfect life.”
But how do you know when an uncomfortable situation is becoming unhealthy?
“One that comes to mind automatically is abusive, so physically abusive, verbally abusive, sexually abusive, mentally abusive, financially abusive, all of those things.” Explains Cherlette McCullough, License Marriage and Family Therapist.
Some signs of a toxic person in your life: they constantly tease you; they pressure to do things you don’t want to do, they demand all of your attention, they’re jealous of your other important relationships, they always blame you, they ask you to lie or cover for them, or they gaslight you.
McCullough says, “What gaslighting is, is it’s actually making a person feel like what really causes them emotional harm is really not true.”
So how can you escape a scary relationship? First: build a support system of family and friends to help you. Make a detailed plan and follow through. If you want out, be honest and cut contact for good. If you’ve made your decision to end the relationship, stick to it. It might help to journal your emotions during this time, and, therapy can also be a good resource for helping you heal and move on.
If you’re in an abusive situation, you should seek help without delay. The National Domestic Violence hotline offers free, confidential support 24-7. That number is 800-799-7233.
Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.
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