Learning to recognize psychological abuse

An episode of Oprah during a quick at-home lunch break introduced Yolantha to a thing called psychological abuse. Just days later, she experienced first-hand how it can turn into physical abuse when her husband wrapped his hands around her neck.

1. Psychological abuse is abuse.

His favorite color became her favorite color. She decorated the house the way he wanted it decorated. Her friends couldn’t call when he was home. She had to change clothes before she could go out. This is psychological abuse.

2. Walk away the first time he loses control.

“I didn’t even realize that it was abusive until he tried to kill me in front of my daughter.”

She thought his anger as proof that he was a man’s man, but she learned the hard way that a man who hits the wall is a man who hits… and it’s just a matter of time until he hits you. It took her a long time to learn that she was confusing passion with control and abuse.

3. Realize you’ve got choices.

Yolantha thought that finding a man who paid attention to her and wanted her made her lucky. She became so caught up in the relationship that she risked everything to keep that relationship. Sometimes we love a person so much that we allow ourselves to fall in the trap of letting them control us. But we have a choice to break the chain.
Instead of, “I made my bed, now I have to lay in it,” we can say “I made my bed, but I can sleep somewhere else.” Our choices in life are not permanent; we have the ability to change. Yolantha said, “I made this choice, but I think I can make a better choice.”

4. Do something positive.

After everything falls apart, go back to the things that inspired you from the past. What do you want to do with your life?

5. To be a survivor, all you have to do is make it through, instead, be a victor.

Not only is it important to stop the abuse, stop being just a survivor and come to the full glory of who you are as a woman. Be victorious.

Yolantha’s victory has come in helping other women with their domestic violence issues. She has written pamphlets to make other women realize that when they are in an abusive relationship, they need to get out.

When she works with women she asks them to tell her in their own words what the abuse was like so that she can tell other people what it actually feels like–not what clinicians say, not what doctors say, not what the lawyers say, not what the legal system says–but what the women say.

Even though it was terrifying and life shattering, Yolantha said she wouldn’t trade her experience for the world because it’s made her the woman she is today. Without her past of abuse, Yolantha said, “I wouldn’t be able to talk to other people about it. I wouldn’t have the same heart and compassion. I never would’ve been able share so much of my life with young children.”

From the hurt of the abuse, Yolantha was able to make something good, lasting and positive. You can too.

Visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to join the fight to raise societal awareness about violence against women and children.

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

Survivor, Mother, Artist, Poet, Activist
Yolantha’s full of surprises and talents, mastering everything from the written word to fancy footwork. See more at the Kentucky Arts Council.

Love Is Respect
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for crisis intervention, safety information and referrals 24 hours a day—no matter where you are.

Yolantha’s Wisdom
Get it straight from the horse’s mouth with Yolantha’s books “Wing Plucked Butterfly” and “Where the Thunder Hides,” available on Amazon.

How Marcie Got Her Groove Back

81-2_marciec_166x115Marcie was sexually abused and treated as if she was good for nothing but sex at the age of 7–she didn’t even know what sex was. The three men responsible: her uncle, cousin by marriage, and her father’s best friend. It was clearly an abuse of power and it happened until she was 9 years old.

“I was in therapy for a short amount of time for the abuse, so I knew that children who are sexually abused go one of two ways: they have this intense fantasy life as far as sex goes and they’re afraid to bring it out into the world because then they’ll be a dirty little whore, or they act out on those fantasies and are very promiscuous.”

Naturally scared of becoming a “whore,” Marcie didn’t lose her virginity until she was almost 20 and then married the man she lost it to. But her marriage was miserable. She had to get out.

“I was a frigid wife, so our sexual relationship was not the best. I decided to leave him because I hadn’t experienced anything in my life, and I watched all my friends living it up while I was living in the suburbs with a young daughter and a husband that I was not attracted to.”

It was a huge turning point in her life, Marcie needed to do things her way. Perhaps they are slightly unconventional, but in order to get her sexual groove back, it was perfect.

From being afraid of who she was, playing the ‘mysterious’ card to keep from telling anyone about herself, to an honest, happy, and powerful women, it is clear that Marcie’s truly took back the power that was taken from her so long ago!

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for crisis intervention, safety information and referrals 24 hours a day—no matter where you are.

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

A Community Against Violence
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is fighting to raise societal awareness about violence against women and children.

Trauma Tips
There is no easy way to get through traumatic events, but there are some things to keep in mind while time heals the wounds. Understand symptoms, how to care for yourself, and how to recover, thanks to the University of Iowa.

The Awakening
Women across the globe can unite in hope, faith, and solidarity with this journal of spirituality.

C’mon, Get Happy!
Visit Aymee’s happiness hub for tips on finding – and maintaining – a happy outlook.