How to protect yourself from abusers?

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I need to start my own thread about something similar but to your question, from my experience, I dated abusive (emotionally, manipulative, malignant types) but just "dating" few dates and I got my marbles back and got the hell out of there.

I do not have magic bullet but one thing I swear by is this: have friends that you can truly trust, talk about real things including your character, whom you can correct your emotional reactions to them in safe and reciprocal ways...if you do not have friends you cannot trust fully and love them, I think it is quite a leap to do that with one person in intimate level and burden with all our needs as human. I am not suggesting this is the only way but I know for me it worked. With the intimate, most abusive will most likely take no for an answer especially no to sex...this is not a joke. As Maya Angela said long time ago "when a person shows you who they are, believe them".

It seems impossible to find something so great if we do not have a real imagination or actual experience to sort of base what we are looking for.
 

Friday

Moderator
Thats a very interesting thought! Do you have an idea why people choose healthy relationships after a longer period of single being?
Since it was such an across the board series of arcs? (Depending on whether one was male or female, married or dating, kids or not, etc.). Regardless of personality type, socioeconomic status, life goals/needs/wants/desires, cultural background, education level, level of support, etc.?

I expect the answer is the time itself. In that some things just take time.

Like not just wanting different standards, or having new standards, but having really solid & comfortably secure standards… that suit your personality and your life right on down to the ground? Isn’t something anyone can just magic into happening. Or flip a switch and apply. It’s a process. Whether a person is learning what their own standards are for the very first time, or is attempting to return to how they used to operate.

Snicker. I often use the example of my own standards just after my divorce (and I’d thought I’d done pretty durn well in maintaining my personal integrity during my marriage. Turns out? Not so much!). Because ALL I wanted, my first year out? More than anything else in the world? With my whole heart?

💗 Was to be held 💗

Yeah. My standards for a man were at the astronomic level of “Does. He. Have. Arms?” >.<. Faaaaaaawk.

I have a list around here somewhere that I’d revisit every year or so, just to see how I had changed. Not something I started on purpose, but it was so mind blowing the first time I did it, that I both kept it up, and referred back to it whenever all I WANT would start to get overwhelming. Whether the new heights I was reaching above and beyond arms was “Not Dead” (to lay my head on their chest and feel their heartbeat, the swell and rise of their chest beneath me), or “Able to grow hair” (rubbing my face across stubble on their jaw)… or something actually more substantial & if not unique to them? At least something that set them apart from every other good/bad/indifferent billion blokes on the planet.

Because… nope! I am NOT someone who is voluntarily single / single by desire. Ever. Before my divorce it was rare for me to go a whole week between lovers/partners/potentials. And that suited me -still suits me- right on down to the ground… until I got into my first abusive relationship. My judgement was wicked good with men/people/myself. I could trust and rely on myself. It wasn’t a static thing, I was always learning/changing/growing, just a very baseline thing. I did NOT have some sort of epiphany during those years where I grew to like being single, or got better at it (I suck at it, and am an infinitely better person inside of a relationship, even a bad one). The “only” thing that happened during those 5 years? Without my even having to try? Just as a simple byproduct of time? Everything meaningful.

Did I have to start dating again, to continue that process or did it just sorta keep ramping up & up & up? Personally, yes. Once I’d reached a certain kind of baseline… there was no noticeble change in me at all in years 6 & 7. Wacky, right??? For others, who enjoy being single, or just keep getting better and better at it, or who have different situations they’re starting from or living in, or who defy the odds, or any of a zillion differences that makes them-them, and me-me? it may well be the case that they just keep improving. For me there just came a time where I maxed out my potential outside of a relationship.
 

Changing4Best

MyPTSD Pro
I hope I am right here with this question?
I am wondering how you learned to protect yourself from abusers? I think it is very common for survivors that they meet again and again abusers in their life. That they start eg relationsships with abusive partners over and over again. Or brutal partners. Or alcoholic partners.
And I already read in some diaries here that you got over this pattern.
I would really like to know how you got there?
I always fell for abusive partners. And I have really NO idea how to change that.
And there are signs/red flags, yes they are there, but I am always excusing the guys. I have tons of excuses for them never thinking about what it does to me!
I am deeply convinced that there a rational reasons for their behavior and that it is not "against me". And it needs A LOT of suffering on my side until I start to doubt this. And to realize the abuse.
Do you know what I mean? Everyone around me already is questioning me intensely but I still cannot allowed me to questioning the guys behaviour.
So, my questions is: how can I protect myself from abusers?
I use a stern voice, look at them with distain and avoid them as much as possible.
 

janincalif

New Here
I hope I am right here with this question?
I am wondering how you learned to protect yourself from abusers? I think it is very common for survivors that they meet again and again abusers in their life. That they start eg relationsships with abusive partners over and over again. Or brutal partners. Or alcoholic partners.
And I already read in some diaries here that you got over this pattern.
I would really like to know how you got there?
I always fell for abusive partners. And I have really NO idea how to change that.
And there are signs/red flags, yes they are there, but I am always excusing the guys. I have tons of excuses for them never thinking about what it does to me!
I am deeply convinced that there a rational reasons for their behavior and that it is not "against me". And it needs A LOT of suffering on my side until I start to doubt this. And to realize the abuse.
Do you know what I mean? Everyone around me already is questioning me intensely but I still cannot allowed me to questioning the guys behaviour.
So, my questions is: how can I protect myself from abusers?
Yes yes yes! I hear you! How many times have I 'married' my father, in every way shape or form. Those red flags are there. I see them now, now I just have to learn how to make it my new 'normal'. It's so hard...and confusing..
 
My line is vague AF when I explain it, but it's clear in my head (with friendships/potential partners), with family it's murky.
And I’m the opposite. I have a very clear line with family and friends but with intimate partners it has been murky. I didn’t start out that way. I had very clear boundaries and thoughts on relationships and what I wanted in a partner. Then I married someone who seemed perfect…..and he very slowly destroyed my boundaries, was emotionally and financially abusive (with a little physical thrown in for good measure) and what self-esteem I had evaporated. The perfect relationship turned into a nightmare. I slowly went from being strong, independent, fierce and trusting to someone who couldn’t clearly define my own boundaries and put up with way too much for way too long. I was confident and well boundaried with friends but ended up as a doormat in my intimate relationship.

When you spoke of tolerating bad behaviour and excusing it, until it becomes so bad that you can’t possibly ignore it anymore, that was all too familiar. The perfect analogy for this is the classic fable about the boiling frog. It describes a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.

There are potential abusers and toxic people out there. At this point,after a lot of bad experiences and a lot of therapy, I think I would recognize most of the red flags. For me it really comes down to establishing and maintaining boundaries, knowing clearly what I will and will not tolerate in a relationship, and trusting my intuition (this is huge for me). And sometimes it can be as simple as asking yourself, ‘would I want my child (insert anyone you love) to tolerate this behaviour or be in a relationship like this?’. If the answer is no then it’s time to get the ‘f’ out.

A relationship is about feeling heard, safe, valued, supported and loved. We all deserve nothing less.
 

happychild

Confident
I know what you mean! when I was a teenager/young adult I was almost avoiding. No one could come close. No chance! I didnt have a boyfriend, hardly any friends. I was a very lonely teenager (and guess what: my parents blamed me for that. It was of course my fault!!)
And now? Its the opposite! I dont have any boundaries...
its weird, isnt it? We just dont have the healthy setup...
 
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