It starts off with little things…like being nice, giving compliments, calling you all the time wanting to know where you are and what you are doing. You find it sweet that they care about you so much they always want to know where you are, but it’s really a red flag of control. Its how a potential mate begins to insert themselves into every aspect of your life.
But what you think is love and attention, is really jealousy and possessiveness. Little by little they begin to chip at your confidence with small yet decisive digs to your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well being. The compliments of “I like when you wear your hair like that” to “didn’t I tell you to always wear your hair up/down”. It’s said with vehemence and force. And what you feel as fear, you brush off as love, care, and concern.
However, verbal abuse can escalate to physical abuse, because it almost always begins with words before it becomes physical.
Here are 5 warning signs you may be in a controlling relationship:
1. Constant communication – they are constantly calling you with a desperate need to know your every move. It will begin to feel as if you have to do exactly what you tell them you are doing and not stray from that ‘schedule’.
2. Jealousy – they begin to dictate what you are wearing and accuse you of cheating. They may even go so far as to pick out your clothes. Again it starts with a simple “I like this on you’ and can quickly move to ‘only whores dress like that’.
3. Isolation – isolation from those you love and your support network is done subtly and slowly, but it happens. Family members can be intrusive, nosey, and too inquisitive for their control over you. Again it starts simply with ‘let’s just the two of us celebrate’ to ‘we are not going and that is final’, causing you to make excuses to family and friends.
4. Personality Changes – you may find that your mate’s mood swings are extreme leaving you on edge and not sure how or if you can approach them.
5. Helpless – you feel vulnerable, stuck, and most likely confused because at this stage you have removed yourself from family and friends. The support network you once had you no longer have and you don’t know who or where to turn to.
Here are some helpful organizations in MD that can assist you if you find yourself in an abusive relationship:
As with any list, it is not all inclusive or indicative of all of the signs, but it is my hope that you take a moment and evaluate your current relationship for these signs.
It is never too late to get the help you need and deserve.
Saundra aka SassyScribe