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Why am I addicted to abuse

(19 Posts)
Theodoreb Sat 12-Sep-20 19:06:01

I been abused first at age 8 then by my first boyfriend at age 13 since then it's been one abusive relationship after another now at age 27 I decided to stop it for my kids sake but yet I'm still drawn to abusers and it's like without the abuse there is no attraction. What kind of sicko am I? That I find abuse attractive? And how do I stop it?

OP’s posts: |
roundandsideways Sat 12-Sep-20 22:32:36

It's good that you've noticed a pattern. You're still young and you can turn things around. I'd recommend you do the freedom programme

username501 Sat 12-Sep-20 22:47:52

You're not addicted to abuse, it's a. Familiar to you and b. Associated with love.

Anordinarymum Sat 12-Sep-20 22:51:50

These people gravitate towards someone they know they can dominate. They tell you they will look after you, but the reality is you don't need looking after, and you have got used to someone else telling you what to do.
They remove decision making from your life. They look at you like you are a failure and then that's when the abuse starts. it's a spiral.

You do not need a man to look after you. That's what you need to start thinking.

Theodoreb Sun 13-Sep-20 02:16:23

I do believe they will care for me, as they promise me the world however for this reason I have stayed single for the last 4 and 1/2 years. I was offered to do the freedom program but I walked out after the first session I guess I wasn't ready to do it at that point I'll give it another go.

OP’s posts: |
Anordinarymum Sun 13-Sep-20 02:23:42

I think you need to do something to help you break the spiral of making bad choices and not seeing the warning signs

something2say Sun 13-Sep-20 10:50:27

You've been taught that abusive ways are ok.

Say you try on shoes that are too tight. You are bought them and made to wear them.

As an adult, when you go shoe shopping, you still choose what is wrong. What is right feels too loose, not right, not restrictive enough.

Basically, you have been taught that wrong is ok.

But it can be unlearned. Think about signs you saw and sailed on by. Those signs, other people pick up on and say 'whoa.' Be like that and you will begin to sidestep people who are abusive.

Note I dont say you can heal them or change them or it will magically change. The shoes are as they are. It's just time to stop buying into the wrong thing.

PamDemic Sun 13-Sep-20 10:55:35

It's a mixture of these people spotting you and recognising that you're abuse-able (abusers are skilled at this - do read Don Hennessey) and you not having the boundaries/self-esteem etc to recognise and/or walk at the first red flags

You're not addicted to it - it's just a pattern. If you can afford it, get counselling - it's immensely helpful.

AnnaMagnani Sun 13-Sep-20 10:56:37

You are not addicted to abuse. However abusive relationships are normal to you so you probably do not recognise signs that would tell someone else 'Get out now!'

You've mentioned one in your post - they promise you the world. That's a red flag that this is going to be an abusive relationship. However as it's normal to you, and it happens in the lovely stage on the relationship, it seems like you have found a really nice man who is going to take care of you and be a lot better than the last one.

You aren't stupid. You sound extremely resilient and strong. No abuser is abusive all the time - otherwise they would all be dumped on the first date.

Have another go at the Freedom Programme or read Lundy Bancroft 'Why Does He Do That'.

username501 Sun 13-Sep-20 11:01:15

The roller coaster of abuse gives you a kind of high, it's familiar and draws you in. You probably won't notice people who aren't abusive, seeing them as 'boring' or 'not my type'.

Therapy would really help OP. You could contact NAPAC for advice on where to go from here. Check the BACP website if you can afford therapy, if not, research some charities, take a look at MIND, self refer via the NHS. Anxiety UK offer low cost therapy if you are on benefits or earning below a certain amount. Also check out EMDR and take a look at the symptoms for C-PTSD.

Take a look at the Freedom Programme which is currently running on Zoom. You need to start rewiring your brain and you can start with your low self esteem. You have a certain ingrained image of yourself and abusers are treating you as worthless because you feel worthless. You seek out people who make you feel bad because you feel like a bad person that doesn't deserve to feel good about yourself.

Depending on fitness levels take up yoga or something like qigong which is a healing exercise. It reconnects you with your body. Abuse dissociates you from your body and your feelings. Practice mindfulness which after a while, will help you to catch those negative thoughts and stop ruminating. Try the Headspace app for guided meditations.

Look after yourself because you are unique and special. Start your day with positive self affirmations: I'm a good person. I'm kind and worthy of love. Find something that works for you. Eat well, cut down on drink and focus on building positivity, clearing out toxic elements like dysfunctional friendships and habits.

OP this is all aimed at rebuilding your self worth, trying to stop compulsive thoughts and feelings, reconnecting you with yourself and helping you build positive relationships with yourself and others. It won't all happen at once, it's a gradual process and you'll want to give up but don't. Just take it a day at a time, recognise the good things. Don't beat yourself up for having had bad relationships, pat yourself on the back for no longer being in one. Some days will be worse than others, breathe through it, journal and take care of yourself.

fantasmasgoria1 Sun 13-Sep-20 11:07:29

Abusers seem to recognise people who have been in abusive relationship and suffered abuse. I have had 2 abusive relationships and after the first I thought I would not make the same mistake again. But after a couple of years his true self began to emerge. Im sorry you have gone through all of this.

AnnaMagnani Sun 13-Sep-20 11:12:24

Think about a man who is going to be a good life partner - he is dependable, happy to do the school run, share the chores, has a solid job, shares decisions and finances with you, knows how to cook and wash up after, you have shared friends plus time for your own friends.

Are you currently dismissing him as boring in favour of - gives you flowers, takes you out to restaurants, declares undying love, lives in a man's world, always busy doing his important blokey stuff, you like to look after him and make him meals, keen for you to start a family and you be a SAHM, monopolizes all your time which seems v romantic.

Man 1 seems a bit dull but over the course of 20 years he is going to be bloody amazing. Man 2 is great for about 2 months but even writing his profile while some stuff sounds nice, it's all starting to go wrong pretty quickly. You are going to be left with the kids and no money.

AllWashedOut Sun 13-Sep-20 11:16:25

You aren't a sicko. You suffered abuse from a very young age. I'm very sorry. No one should suffer like you have flowers.

Unfortunately this has instilled a pattern of familiarity which can feel like an addiction (something that has bad consequences but you keep doing regardless). As other posters have said, you would likely benefit from counselling, and it seems you are ready to take that step now. Good luck, OP

Theodoreb Sun 13-Sep-20 13:30:45

I also have bipolar which I think makes me a target, hence why I've stayed single so long but my psychiatrist has wanted me to undergo specialist rape therapy and domestic violence therapy for a while so I think he will be happy to give me therapy if I ask.

OP’s posts: |
slousa Sun 20-Sep-20 17:16:21

Please consider joining one of our freedom programmes online, the support you get is immense and when you really do learn about the cycle of abuse and hear the tactics they use and see how every women on that same zoom can relate to it, it is life changing.
We dont tell you to leave,
we are just there to show you this truth, the truth about how the abusers work. Happy to chat and pass on some information if you would like x

Fuckityfucksake Sun 20-Sep-20 18:59:10

You're not addicted to it, although I do understand how and why you'd think it.
You've been conditioned from being young to accept negative behaviours and treatment from abusive sick people so in some form, it feels normal to you.
That wasn't and isn't your fault.
I know from personal experience being abused from a young age certainly clouds your view of normal relationships and (for me) males in general and what they want from you.
It's true that abusers can spot you a mile away and target vulnerable people.
I think you are amazing for knowing you needed to keep yourself single and away from more abuse. You can see that it's the best option for you. Many don't and bounce from one disastrous abusive bastard to the next at the psychological and physical detriment to themselves.
Please do read the suggested books mentioned here and do try the freedom programme again too.
Honestly, once you arm yourself with such information and you learn more about the things discussed, it helps.
You deserve to be free and happy OP
Best of luck x

Kanaloa Sun 20-Sep-20 19:27:46

I agree it’s amazing that you’ve decided to be single at the moment - it’s so much better to be single than with the wrong person. Is there anyone at all you can talk to about this? You can speak to the charity Minds, who can sometimes help you access counselling services. Sometimes being able to actually chat things through with a real person is the best thing.

Theodoreb Sun 20-Sep-20 20:46:07

@slousa I am definitely interested in the freedom program.

@Kanaloa thank you for your in-depth reply and your praise I find it difficult to trust now maybe I am too guarded now who knows I get asked out a lot but always find a reason why they arnt what I want or see a red flag and I'm gone.

OP’s posts: |
slousa Mon 21-Sep-20 11:48:15

Please do email me

No pressure as this is a free programme but it really is a life changer x

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