Domestic abuse isn't going away any time soon. In fact, in Utah, where I live, the first half of this year it was on the rise compared to previous years. Hearing the alarming numbers of domestic abuse, I realized I haven't done much to possibly help. That's where this episode comes in; recognizing abuse in your relationship. Join me in this informative episode where I define and identify six different types of abuse, what they are and what they can look like. I'll also provide common ways someone may downplay the actions and behaviors of an abusive partner. Whether this episode opens your eyes to the abuse, you've recognized it for a while, or maybe you're just not sure - help is available. This conversation is crucial, and my goal is to approach it with utmost care and sensitivity, offering awareness, resources and support to those who may be in need. The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). Utah Domestic Violence Coalition Website National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233 or Text START to 88788 National Domestic Violence Website Loveisrespect.org
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Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome back to Becoming you Again. I'm your host, Karin Nelson, and you're listening to Episode Number 124. Welcome to Becoming you Again, the podcast to help you with your mental and emotional well-being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the grief and trauma of your divorce. We're going to do that by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. Welcome back to the podcast everyone. I'm so glad that you're here, that you're listening. This is just a quick little reminder that, if you are liking the podcast, if you've gotten anything great that you feel like is helping you as you go through your divorce, deal with your mental and emotional needs. This is my plea to please take just 10, 20, 30 seconds right now and leave a quick rating and review on whatever podcast app you are using. I really appreciate it and thank you so, so much. All right, my friends, welcome back to today's episode. This episode is, as you've probably seen from the title, it is about recognizing abuse and I felt like this was something important that I needed to talk about. I haven't really covered specifically this topic on the podcast yet, and so first of all, I just want to say obviously this topic has a trigger warning. It's possible that as you're listening to this, you may recognize some patterns, some behaviors, some attitudes in your relationship, and if you are recognizing things, of course there is help available. If you recognize you are a victim of domestic abuse in some way, I'm going to be putting the link to the national abuse hotline in the show notes and also other local resources for at least people in Utah, and there will be other resources available as well in the show notes. So if you need help, you're recognizing something or you're just not sure if what you're experiencing is abuse, please check the show notes and get the help that you need. So I was reading an article on a local news channel website a few weeks ago, and the article was about domestic violence in Utah and how, in Utah in 2023, over the first six months of the year, domestic violence cases were 63% higher this time of year than the same time period the previous year and higher than the same time period over other previous years, and that number to me was very disturbing Because it really got me thinking about how abuse can show up in so many forms and how often abuse is the cause for divorce, can be the cause for divorce. It isn't always the cause or the reason for divorce, but it can be and it's like I said, it's definitely a topic that I haven't specifically covered on this podcast. I realized this is a touchy subject. I realized there's a lot of trigger warnings that may be happening and I really want to be as sensitive as possible about it. And at the same time, that number is staggering to me 63% higher than last year. It really made me recognize that abuse in relationships. It is not going away anytime soon and the more information that we can put out there, the more we talk about it, the more people who are in abusive relationships become aware of the abuse or aware that help is out there or aware that they don't have to stay in those situations. Hopefully, more people can get the help they need to get out of those abusive situations, to get out of the abusive relationship and be able to create safety for themselves, their children, their lives moving forward. So that is why I am doing this episode. It is going to be mostly informational, but I hope that even if there is just one person who hears this and recognizes something in them, in their relationship, and is able to get the help they need, then to me that is 100% worth putting this episode out there. So I hope that this will be informative and, of course, remember I will offer so many links in the show notes phone numbers, links that you can click, places you can text all of that kind of information. So make sure and check out the show notes if you need to. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna describe different types of abuse and then what that could possibly look like. It may look like something that I am talking about. It also could look like something else. So just keep that in mind as you are listening, because what we often do as women and I'm going to refer to this as women because I am a woman and I coach women and so this is the experience that I have Abuse doesn't only happen to women. Abuse happens to all kinds of people, but I will be speaking about it mostly from the perspective of a woman, but just know that it can. Abuse can happen in all forms to all people, but often what women will do is we will downplay things that might be happening to us in our relationship, in our marriages, we will say things like well, he didn't really mean to do that, or he isn't trying to be mean, or I'm partly to blame because I made him mad. Or we will tell ourselves that what's happening to us isn't that bad, because he didn't hit me or he didn't strangle me. All he did was throw his phone at the wall or all he did was punch the wall by my head or something else. But this is why this downplaying, this pretending, this acting like things aren't as bad as they are those types of actions are abusive, and when you're making excuses, when you're downplaying, I totally understand it can be a safety mechanism for you. I understand that. But I also want you to know that help is available. So I'm going to again talk about different types of abuse, what it might look like, and then you get to decide for yourself the next steps you take, and that can look many, many ways, and I'm not here to tell you what's right for you. I'm just here to give you the information. I am getting a lot of this information from loveisrespectorg. Go there, it's a great website. If you can safely do that for yourself, please do that. Again. That one will also be linked in the show notes. I'm also getting information from the news article that I read, which was listed on the KSL website, and I am also getting information from my own experience, from coaching and from my trauma certification. So all of those things come together to give us all of this information about different types of abuse and what it might look like. So here are some of the different forms, and this is not all-inclusive. There may be other forms of abuse, but these are kind of the main ones that I wanted to talk about that abuse can take. This can include physical abuse, emotional and verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse and digital abuse. So physical abuse is any intentional or unwanted contact with you or something that is close to your body. It could also be any kind of behavior that either causes or has the intention to cause injury, harm, even death, and something that I want you to keep in mind as you're listening to this is that abuse, physical or otherwise, it may not always cause physical pain. Like physical abuse doesn't necessarily cause physical pain. It may not even leave a bruise, but abusive behavior is unhealthy and, in any form, it should be taken seriously. So let me give you some examples of physical abuse that it might look like. It could look like scratching, punching, kicking, strangling, biting. It might look like throwing things at you, like their phone or their shoe or a plate. It could look like pulling your hair, grabbing your hair, grabbing your face so that you look at them, so that they have your attention in their hands. It could look like not letting you leave. It could look like them not leaving. It could look like them making you go somewhere that you don't want to go. It could look like obviously threatening with some kind of a weapon, a knife, a gun, mace their fist. It could even look like touching you in a way where you don't give consent, including and we'll talk about this later with sexual abuse. But it could be forcing you to have sex. It could be forcing you to perform some kind of sexual act on them. It could be something else with physicality involved. The next type of abuse to pay attention to is emotional and verbal abuse, and this is the kind of abuse that is anything that's non-physical, meaning threats. It could be insults. It could look like humiliation or shame, intimidation. It could even look like isolation or constant monitoring of everything that you do constant texting, constant looking at your phone, constant tracking all of that. And here's the thing In general, a relationship might be considered emotionally abusive when there is some kind of consistency with abusive words, with shaming, with blaming. There could be bullying. That's happening in this relationship and what happens when those things go on consistently over time is that it wears down a person's self-esteem, it wears down a person's self-love, self-worth and it undermines their mental health. Emotional and verbal abuse can look something like calling you names, telling you what you can and can't wear, yelling at you constantly, consistently. It could look like intentional embarrassment. It could look like intentional shaming of you in front of your family, in front of friends, in front of the kids, in front of coworkers. It can look like preventing you from seeing or communicating with your family or your friends. This can look like blaming their abuse on you and your actions because you made them mad or you made them jealous in some way. It can show up as jealousy of some kind of outside relationship with a friend or a coworker. It can turn into stalking. It can mean offering threats that they're going to harm you, they're going to harm your loved ones, they're going to harm your pets or something that is important to you. This can also look like making you feel guilty when you don't consent to sexual activity, or it can look like something else that I haven't mentioned. The next abuse type that I want to talk about is sexual abuse, and sexual abuse is a behavior that pressures you or makes you do something sexually that you don't want to do. It can also mean that your ability to control your own sexual activity is taken away, and that includes whether or not you're allowed to use birth control measures. I really want you to hear me when I say this. Every human has a basic human right to consent, to decide what they do and don't want to do at any given time, and please know that not all sexual assaults are violent. Sexual abuse can and does occur among married couples, among people who are dating, boyfriends and girlfriends, partnerships among friends, among friends with benefits, and other ways as well. Some examples of sexual abuse are unwanted kissing or touching, unwanted rough or violent sex, like I said, restricting access to birth control forms. Sexual abuse can look like sexual contact when someone is intoxicated, when someone is asleep or when they are otherwise unable to give clear and informed consent. Sexual abuse can look like using sexual insults, making someone do an act that they do not want to perform, and it can look like something else as well that I haven't mentioned. The next type of abuse is financial abuse, and financial abuse can be really subtle. Financial abuse is when your financial stability that is directly tied to your health and well-being is being controlled by someone other than you. Financial abuse can look like giving you an allowance or monitoring what you buy or what you're allowed to buy. It can look like putting your paycheck into an account that you don't have access to, or their paycheck into an account that you don't have access to, and then they give you money as they deem fit. Financial abuse can look like telling you whether you can or can't have a job. It can look like taking your keys or preventing you from taking the car so that you could go to work. It can look like taking any type of financial aid check before you have access to it and not allowing you to have that money. It can look like using your social security number or your child's social security number to obtain loans, to obtain credit cards, to obtain any kind of fraudulent money in your name or your child's name. It can look like giving you presents or paying for something with strings attached, or in other words, meaning you are going to have to do something for them in return. And it can also look like refusing to give you money, refusing to pay bills, refusing to pay rent, refusing to get food for you, for your children, or something else. And then the last form of abuse that I'm going to talk about today is digital abuse, and this is the type of abuse where someone uses technology, including texting, emails, any forms of social media, to bully you, to harass you or to intimidate you in some way. And this can look like telling you who you can and cannot follow on social media, telling you what you can and cannot post on social media. This can look like sending insulting or threatening messages or emails. This can take the form of tracking your activities through social media. They're following where you're following. They're putting GPS trackers or spy technology on you. They're tracking your phone, where you're at, what you're doing. This can look like humiliating you through online posts to friends, to coworkers, just to the general public. This can look like pressuring you to send explicit photos or videos of yourself and then, holding that over your head, threatening to release those. This can look like constantly texting you and wanting updates about your whereabouts, and it can even look like scrolling through your phone just to check your messages, to check your social media, to check your pictures, anything like that. And it can look like other things as well that I haven't mentioned. I wanted to end my podcast with a passage called the Narcissus Prayer. This was written by Dana Craig and this passage describes the narcissist's mind and what's going on in their mind, and this includes all of the denial, the gaslighting, the blaming, the blame shifting, the not taking responsibility for their bad behavior and the shaming in one passage, and all of these things can be signs of covert types of abuse. So just be on the lookout, pay attention to your own relationships and what's going on in those relationships, and again, only you will know if what is happening is abuse and perhaps, if you've become aware of it, this might be the time to take action in some way or another, whatever that looks like for you. The Narcissus Prayer by Dana Craig Quote that didn't happen. And if it did, it wasn't that bad. And if it was, that's not a big deal. And if it is, that's not my fault. And if it was, I didn't mean it. And if I did, you it. " That passage definitely very succinctly describes a narcissist and their abusive actions, and so, again, pay attention to your relationships and what's happening within them. You are the person who knows your situation better than me, better than anyone else. If you are listening to this episode and you are becoming aware of some type of abuse, you are becoming aware of a narcissist personality in your relationship, or perhaps you've been aware of this for a while, or maybe you're just not quite sure that what is happening in your relationship is abuse. I want to remind you that you do have a basic human right to feel safe and to be in control of your own life. Use the resources that are available to you in the way that feels safe and loving for you in this moment. Again, everything will be linked in the show notes. Please know that help is available. You are loved. Thank you for being here. I will be back next week. Hi, friend, I'm so glad you're here and thanks for listening. I wanted to let you know that if you're wanting more, a way to make deeper, more lasting change, then working one-on-one with me as your coach may be exactly what you need. Together, we'll take everything you're learning in the podcast and implement it in your life, with weekly coaching, real life practice and practical guidance. To learn more about how to work with me one-on-one, go to KarinNelsonCoaching dot com. That's wwwKARINNELSONCoaching dot com. Thanks for listening. If this podcast agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give me a rating. Wherever you listen to podcasts and for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married, make sure and check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.