It’s easy to spot an abusive relationship – from the outside. From the inside, what is familiar seems normal, and experiences that are unhealthy have little frame of reference for comparison. Getting out of an abusive relationship, if you’re in one, is incredibly difficult. This is because we as humans hate change. We fear what we do not know. Unhealthy experiences that are familiar are preferable over healthy experiences that are unfamiliar, simply because we fear what we have not experienced. It’s miserable to stay in an abusive relationship, but at least it’s not an unknown quantity.
It’s one thing to be in an unhealthy relationship with another person, but it’s entirely worse to be in an unhealthy relationship with yourself. We all have a relationship with ourselves, built up by our self talk, personality, preferences, and thought life. While we can escape an abusive relationship with another person by putting into effect physical boundaries, there is no way to escape our relationship with ourselves. It’s worth taking the time to learn to like yourself. Replacing the negative things you say about yourself in your head is one of the most important things you can do.