How to tell if you're in an abusive relationship

Every time I was shouted at, criticized or berated, I would feel terrible inside. I felt hurt, frustrated, hopeless and powerless. It felt awful. And a part of me kept saying 'this just isn't right. Surely it can't be right to be treated this way'?
I don't share this story very often because it's not the sort of thing one talks about with strangers, or even friends.
I'm sure you know what I mean if you're currently in the same situation.
Fortunately I'm not anymore, but I was for many months, and it nearly ruined my life. And then once I came through it, it became one of the biggest life lessons I ever had, and for which I am now truly grateful.

You see, I was in a toxic, abusive, dysfunctional, unhealthy relationship.

On a daily basis I would be put down, criticized, bullied and belittled.
I was so stressed and anxious all the time I barely had one or two hours sleep a night.
I walked on eggshells all the time, afraid to open my mouth and speak my truth. 
It felt like I was living with Jekyll and Hyde - one day everything would be alright, and the next it was like my partner had turned into a monster. It was exhausting, never knowing what mood would turn up each day.
But I didn't understand what was going on for months, because I didn't know I was in what is classically called an 'abusive relationship' or how to recognize the signs of verbal or emotional abuse. I didn't know I was being treated unfairly and disrespectfully. 
But a part of me knew that what was happening wasn't right.
Every time I was shouted at, criticized or berated, I would feel terrible inside. I felt hurt, frustrated and hopeless. It felt awful. And a part of me kept saying 'this just isn't right. Surely it can't be right to be treated this way'?
Years later I was to learn this was part of my intuition, my inner intelligence, trying to get me to listen to it so that it could guide me to safety. But I didn't know this at the time.
Instead I felt confused, exhausted, frustrated, hurt... but mostly very confused: one minute I'd be thinking my gut feeling must be right, then my head would tell me just to put up with it, things would get better, and that I was making it all up in my head.
And so I put up with this treatment for month after month. I was absolutely exhausted, so tired I couldn't do my job properly. And I got fired.
It wasn't because I wasn't able to do the job - I was perfectly qualified to do it. I was just so brain-fogged and exhausted from lack of sleep and ongoing confusion, that my mind was all over the place, unable to think straight or cope with the simplest tasks. So I lost my job.
The abuse continued, and started to get worse. I started to get hit on occasion, but still I would rationalize ('rational lies') the behaviour away. I would tell myself it was because my partner had a lot on their plate, they were stressed, it wasn't their fault.
Until one day something happened that changed everything. It was the key to me getting out of this toxic relationship - for good.
It wasn't easy, but I did it. And from that moment on my life changed for the better. In fact everything changed: new friends, new job, new life.

Freedom from the Toxic Ties that Bind

Free Webinar Training and Quiz

I'll share what it was that I did to get out of this toxic situation on my upcoming free webinar training 'Freedom from the Toxic Ties that Bind'.
Once you register you can also take the quick 3 minute 'Emotional Empowerment' quiz to test out your levels of emotional authenticity and empowerment.
I look forward to seeing you on the webinar!
If you are in a similar situation to what I was in, and have had enough, I want to show you how you can turn your life around. 

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