Abuse doesn’t always look like a black eye. It’s not always loud and explosive, and it’s not always easy for the loved ones of its victims to pick up on it.
Sometimes, abuse is silent. Sometimes, it comes packaged in a handsome face and seemingly romantic gestures. Sometimes, it presents itself a winding ride that makes the victim second guess if she is truly being mistreated, or if it’s all in her head.
Abuse can take on so many different forms, but always, it is so very, very lonely.
In a Facebook post that went viral this week, full-time college student and working single mother Kelsey Baker opened up about her own experience and lessons learned from an emotionally abusive relationship she recently found the courage to leave.
She urgently reminded the world that the actions of an emotionally abusive partner are inexcusable, even if it doesn’t get physical.
Baker wrote, “Maybe he doesn’t hit you, but you have to walk on eggshells every day to ensure he is satisfied enough to remain calm and happy. Maybe he doesn’t hit you, but he steals your sense of comfort and security, leaving you paranoid and ‘crazy’.”
She goes on to recount specific instances of the drastic highs and lows, control, and jealousy that are trademark of an abusive relationship.
Baker’s words are haunting, heartbreaking, and so very important for women (and men) to hear.
Baker told us she’s been surprised at the overwhelming response from her post. “It breaks my heart how many women go through this pain daily,” she said.
She also said much of her motivation for leaving the nearly year-long relationship came from the desire to do the right thing for her young daughter’s sake. “I definitely came to the realization that if I can’t be strong enough for myself, I have to be strong enough for her,” Baker said.
It takes a brave voice to stand up and share such personal details with the world, and in the face of her own turmoil, Baker has chosen to use her story to empower others to know their worth and never settle for poor treatment.
It’s a stand that’s resonating around the world; Baker’s post has been shared nearly 60,000 times . . . and counting.
Baker said her inbox has been flooded with messages from women who have written her to share their own abuse survival stories or the heart-wrenching details of their current situations. Remarkably, Baker has made the effort to respond to as many of the messages as possible, because in her words, “No one deserves to go through it alone.”
Ultimately, Baker’s wants abuse victims everywhere to be sure of this: “This is not OK. And you are not at fault . . . You are worthy of love and happiness and respect . . . He is broken. Do not let him break you.”
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