By Ananya Agarwal
Love might be one of the most beautiful feelings in the world. What makes it beautiful is the communion of two people, two souls, and two thoughts. Relationships need to be maintained with utmost care, love, and understanding… Especially when accompanied by reciprocation and concerns.
A lot of people fall in love and rejoice, a few regret. Some of those who regret fall out of it. They get out of the terrible mess, sooner or later. They realize self- love is more important than validation from the “better half”.
Still, there are a few people who don’t choose to move out of it, in spite of the constant pain and self- deterioration.
Though, they make an informed choice to stay in an abusive relationship with a lover turned devil, with promises reduced to ashes and love faded and erased from the mind, yet these choices aren’t rational and have a devastating effect on person’s mind and health.
Let’s get to know how:
Lowering of self-esteem: Abusive relationships lower the self-esteem of the victim. The abuse needn’t be necessarily in terms of physical harm but it can be emotional and mental harm too. If your partner goes ahead to underestimate your choices, beliefs and doesn’t respect your opinion, then it makes you feel worthless.
The normal human mind can’t take criticism for long and if this continues to happen over a period of time then the mind stops framing thoughts of it thinking, whatever you might be thinking isn’t right and it stops being as constructive as it should.
Less communication from outside world: The victim chooses to limit his/ her contacts from the outside world, simply because they don’t the world to pass a moral judgment on their condition and do moral policing.
The victim feels that the situation is their own and in order to avoid questions or reprimands, they cut off their contacts with the outside world.
Loss of social skills: Due to limited contact and lowering of self-esteem, the victim begins to fall short on their social skills, which affects their social and mental growth. They begin to grow shadily introverted which hampers life- skills and social interaction. This leads to the victim growing aloof from people and not being able to interact or share things with people openly.
Distrust in People: Being in an abusive relationship causes the victim to start misunderstanding and mistrusting people when they express their concern towards them.
They start to feel that their well- wishers don’t respect their choice and hence, begin to form a cocoon around themselves thinking that these people are enemies of their “love”.
Stockholm Syndrome: This is the most devastating and dangerous effects of abuse. In this, the victim not only becomes bonded to the abuser but also overly identifies with the abuser to stop the abuse.
The victim also starts to defend the abuser and their emotionally abusive actions.
Depression: The inability of the victim to be able to sort out the situations and have a “happy ending” causes them to feel pity about themselves.
Scientifically, this secretes negative hormones and triggers the depression causing nerves. The constant feel-bad enforces the victim to be a prey to their brain and therefore, depression.
Suicidal ideation or attempts: Sometimes, the pain is so grave, both physically and psychologically that the victim identifies one way to end all of this- death. Since they are so deeply involved with the abuser that they can’t think of harming them.
Therefore, the thoughts of suicide easily form a home in the victim’s conscious and subconscious mind and hence, the victim engages in self- harm and may even commit suicide.
Physical pain without any cause: Prolonged sadness and feeling of being trapped cause the victim to have constant pangs of pain without any specific reason.
This happens because brain sends the signal to the victim’s body about their unsatisfactory mental condition. Thus, the body reacts in response to that.
Feeling of Denial: People go into a stage of denial- both about the circumstances surrounding their abuse and effects of the abuse on their self-esteem, health, and psychology.
In most cases, when abuse isn’t physical- the victims go into denial of the nature of their abuser (as if the abuse never happened!)
Physical Damage: Abusive relationships also possess physical damage- essentially if the nature of abuse is physical. Such damage can cause lifelong injuries, disabilities, and even death.
People raise your voice. Don’t stay in an abusive relationship just because ‘it was meant to be’. Don’t let yourself be treated, the way you shouldn’t be.
Gather your voice and shout, break free and stand out alone!
Love Matters India is an online platform that provides blush-free information and news about sexuality and sexual health for 18 to 30-year-olds in India. They are the first bilingual (English and Hindi) sexual health website in India with open, honest and non-judgmental attitude towards all topics related to love, sex, relationships and everything in between. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.