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Do Not Confuse Love with Abuse

By Jordan Cady
On September 20, 2018

It is so common in our generation where the lines between, love, passion, obsession and abuse are blurred. Where we hold on to a person because we care too much or because we feel like we are expected to stay; That maybe it will get better. But most of the time, it is honestly healthier for everyone in the situation to walk away.

Abuse is more than just physical, it can also be mental and emotional too. Where it seems that the other person needs constant control. It is so easy to think that this control is a way of love or protectiveness but there are signs that distinguish between them. The second someone feels uneasy or on edge when their significant other is around and unsure what they might do, that is the biggest red flag. It is so simple to ask the question “why don’t they just leave?” Because the manipulation drives the feelings involved in the relationship.

Shay, a Female Senior here at Plymouth State and a domestic violence survivor is a lot like many others who have faced this difficult situation. She will not be named in this article to keep her identity anonymous, due to the difficult subject matter in this article covers. For now, she will just be referred to as Shay.

Shay stayed in her harmful relationship because of the kindness and love in her heart. When asked about why she stayed so long, she stated “its hard to get out of an abusive relationship because you love the other person so much and you think you can change them. I often blamed myself for the way he acted, thinking maybe if I changed my behavior or the way I was, he wouldn’t get mad and hurt me.”

It is so hard to leave someone, especially somebody where there are feelings attached. But sometimes we have to look at it in a different light and ask the question, is this love or is this control? When in a toxic relationship it is very important to ask questions to oneself and come to terms with reality and what is truly going on.

Once the denial has worn off, the next step is to get help. There are numerous approaches to getting help, whether that be talking to counselors, police officers, family members or Abuse organization’s that are familiarized in these circumstances. No matter which one source someone chooses, getting help is the most important step. Shay also had to go through this process when it came to her own relationship. When she finally went to receive help she said that “first, I went to a counselor here on campus, they then referred me to Voices Against Violence. And Voices Against Violence gave me the true support I needed to get through it all.”

If anyone on campus is feeling lost and in need of help with anything there are counselors that are provided through the school ready to help and listen. The Counseling Center is located right next to Hyde. Students are encouraged to just walk in and they will be immediately sent to one of the great counselors there. Also if anyone is seeking help because of an abusive relationship just like Shay did. Head down to see the people at Voices Against Violence who will welcome anyone with open arms. They are located right on Main Street and open from 8am to 4pm.

Lastly, the guidance that Shay has for anyone who is experiencing anything similar to her previous situation she explains that “My advice to others, is to talk to your loved ones or your friends. My ex had spent so long convincing me to not talk to my friends and hide details about our relationship, just so no one would know I was being abused. Talk to your loved ones, because at the end of the day they know what’s best for you.”

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