There are various things one needs to look out for to find out if they are in an abusive environment. My Name is Anastazja Gajkowska, I'm the Creative Director and Founder of Expose Multimedia & Productions. Our Mission is to Highlight 1 Million Individuals who survive and thrive in Life even after being in an abusive relationship.
Did you know that 85% of Domestic Violence are Women and if that’s not enough 324,000 women each year experience Domestic Abuse during their Pregnancy and for every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
Just take a quick pause and a deep breath and let those stats sink in.
These are just some of the few facts about Domestic Abuse.
Do you feel abused? Speak up !
Do you know someone that is going through one?
Let us know or seek help.
RED LINE number: 800-799-7233
THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST CONTAINS SUGGESTIONS AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCES RELATED TO DEALING WITH ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THESE SUGGESTIONS ARE BASED SOLELY ON THE WRITER’S PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS, AS WELL AS INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED WITH 88 SURVIVORS. THEY ARE NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE OR SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE OR THERAPY. THE WRITER IS NOT A LICENSED THERAPIST OR COUNSELOR, AND THEIR OPINIONS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT ANYONE SEEKING HELP FOR AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP SHOULD SEEK THE ASSISTANCE OF A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL WHO CAN PROVIDE TAILORED AND PERSONALIZED SUPPORT. THE WRITER ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY FOR ANY ACTIONS TAKEN BY READERS BASED ON THE INFORMATION PRESENTED IN THIS POST.
I know it is hard to imagine that while you are reading this articulate somebody behind the wall is praying for help to escape their situation.
I never knew I was in abusive relationships until the day when I was sitting in a police officer giving a report for the abuse I experienced.
“Eres víctima de abuso de género “/ You – said police officer
“Has sobrevivido esto” / You survived it. – she smiled towards me and the whole room got brighter.
Even after hearing those words, I still was not able to accept the fact that what I went through during the last 4,5 years wasn’t coaching but it was hell on earth.
I was scared to be called a victim
I was afraid to own my victimhoo
I tried to pretend that “I was ALRIGHT “ because as a good girl I was conditioned to “be a strong, independent individual “.
What does not kill you makes you stronger?
If that was the truth, would it be that those who experienced the most trauma wound be the most caring individuals?
But the truth is we live in a world where a certain level of abuse is tolerated, socially approved and celebrated in some cultures ( dare I say )
There are various things one needs to look out for to find out if they are in an abusive environment. My Name is Anastazja Gajkowska, I’m the Creative Director and Founder of Expose Multimedia & Productions. Our Mission is to Highlight 1 Million Individuals who survive and thrive in Life even after being in an abusive relationship.
We celebrate the fact that there’s people out there who have the courage to Speak their voice and realize that they deserve better, whether that be in a relationship or environment.
As a survivor myself. I will be sharing some of the things I have learned from my Journey. I’m going to share with you our struggles, me and the other 88 INDIVIDUALS across 6 CONTINENTS.
We have a premiere happening soon but before that, I am hoping that this blog post will inspire and give someone wisdom and courage to speak up.
The cycle typically consists of three main stages:
1. Stage one
“What is wrong with you?”
“You probably have your period”
Have you ever heard those words?
Have you ever felt that you were “too much”?
Tension-building stage: This is the first stage of the cycle, and it is characterized by an increase in tension and conflict between the abuser and the victim. During this stage, the abuser may become irritable, critical, or easily angered. The victim may feel like they are walking on eggshells or trying to avoid the abuser’s triggers. This stage can last from a few hours to several months.
2. Stage two – Danger
Acute or explosive stage: This is the second stage of the cycle, and it is characterized by an incident of physical, emotional, or sexual violence. The abuser may become physically aggressive, verbally abusive, or engage in other forms of harmful behavior. The victim may feel scared, helpless, and trapped. This stage can last from a few minutes to several days.
3. Stage three
“I am really sorry”
“this will never happen again”
This is called the honeymoon or reconciliation stage: this is the third stage of the cycle, and it is characterized by the abuser showing remorse and apologizing for their behavior. The abuser may promise to change, buy gifts,flowers or be extra affectionate towards the victim. The victim may feel relieved that the violence has ended and hopeful that the abuser will change. This stage can last from a few hours to several weeks.
It is critical to take note that emotional abuse, such as name-calling, belittling, and manipulation, can be present in all three stages of the cycle. It’s also important to understand that the cycle of violence is not always predictable or consistent and can vary from relationship to relationship. What makes it challenging for some, especially if you have survived through one, is that you will meet other humans who have the same characteristics. If there is one piece of advice I’m going to leave you today, here is that. There are people in the World that will show you care, love and devotion. I’m telling you this in the hope that you don’t close yourself to meet others, just be aware that both abusers & genuine people will display compassion, but what is different is the intention behind their actions.
TOP 3 THINGS I LEARNED THROUGH EXPERIENCE
Do it with the right leg again.
He liked to tell me that I was arrogant .
And he found a way to “make me feel inferior” in the most joyful moments of my life .
I would never forget the day I meet him, I felt a weird feeling in my stomach,
Something was off and I did not trust it
Something was off and I could not fully believe my 7th sense
I came to Barcelona with 2 big luggages and I rented one of his rooms
I called him from the airport to give me instructions to get to his place
After 2 hours of getting lost in Barcelona I messaged him again asking if he could come to where I was and could pay for his taxi.
He did not see this message until the next day “If I only saw this message before, I probably would never allow you to rent this room”.
Back then I did not realize that I was dealing with an 8 year old in an adult body. From the first sight, I saw how his eyes were sad and bleeding.
I felt that my question was too much.
I smiled in a style of “the good girl “ apologizing for existing.
Back then , I did not have strength to exist .
I did not have the energy to fully embrace my voice.
Back then, before I could speak, I was feeling a huge piece of rock in my throat.
I could never feel unaddressed past traumas.
I had a full body “No” from the moment I met him, but I ignored it.
I ignore my body sweating around him.
I ignored the anxiety on my chest when I was around him.
I ignore him making so many questions about me as if he was a detective Gadget.
Back then I did not know about the power of community and the power of question
What voice are you suppressing?
What are you compromising?
Your body wants to tell you something when You can not fully express yourself around that person.
Most people believe that the honeymoon is something that happens only at the beginning of a relationship and the further in the tunnel the darker it gets
What I found to be true is that the further in the tunnel , the brighter it should feel.
Attention in vs attention out
Most of us women were trained to turn our attention which became a root of self-attack.
“What is wrong with you?
“Why are you so sensitive?
“Why are you so insecure?
I was just joking
Of course, there is something wrong with you ,if you can not take a joke?”
How many of us heard that statement?
I would justice his behavior and suppress my voice even more
I did not question that he never told me how old he was.
I did not question him, when he said “What the hell are you doing you really need a man” pushing me away when I tried to hug him.
I did not question when he screamed at me saying “This is not my business“ when
I asked him for help with finding the traveling bus to Germany .
I did not question that he would sexually assault me/rape me and then read bible saying “God forgives me”
I did not question that he would rent his room for free to some “travelers” in exchange for sex.
What I questioned every single day was myself.
“Everything impacts everything everywhere all the time.”
We are the Universe, if we settle for less we are stopping the lifeforce of the universe, the flow of the Divine.
Miracles are a natural part of everyday life.
I remember so many nights of my night which I spent crying under, taking a shower and beating myself…“If I only was nicer, kinder, sweeter we would not argue, I self attacked since I was 7 years old when I blamed myself for not being good enough reason for my dad to live. “
As a little girl I was trained to take blame and responsibility for others as a way to feel better, I was afraid that others would leave,nI carried that wounded belief to my relationships.
I did not leave because what kept me in that relationship was the need to prove being perfect, prove that I was a good person.
I tried to compensate for believing that I was bad by doing good things for others and minimizing when others were breaking my boundaries.
“If we don’t address our past, we are never going to change the future “ shared Caroline Markel Hammond in Expose Documentary.
We need to face our demons, otherwise our demons will lead our decisions.
Back then I had no idea about coercive control.
The day when I announced to him that I am moving to California to study acting, he said
“You are not qualified for that.”
“You will become a prostitute or drug dealer if you do that.”
“You are nothing without me.”
If you leave me you leave God.
God put me in your life to help you
You would never be successful without me.
Even if you will get married one day, you always need to obey me.
If I call you in the middle of night when you have sex with your husband, you will need to pick up the phone from me”.
I thought he really cared for me because he wanted to know everything about my life but the truth was he wanted to know that in order to control every aspect of my life.
I became his pet, his slave, his speechless bulldog .
But now I changed that meaning to a more empowering one
“ I am all I need to be, I need that experience to see my own demons ‘ reflections in him”.
Others will treat us the way we treat ourselves.
We are each others ‘s reflections.
The way to break your pattern is by changing your relationships with yourself.
I know it sound crazy, but how can we expect others to give us what we can not give ourselves?
What is 1 thing you learned from your previous relationships?
Trust is something that people earn our trust by their actions.
As a young girl, I dreamt of exploring the world and shining like a sunflower. But as I set out on my travels, my heart led me astray, and I fell into abusive relationships with strangers I trusted too easily. I thought that by changing locations, I could escape the cycle, but no matter where I went, I found myself in the same place, with the same doubts and insecurities. It was then that I realized there was something inside me that needed to change. The constant self-doubt was holding me back from achieving my dreams and living a fulfilling life. I knew I needed to start trusting my body and feelings instead of avoiding them and numbing myself to the pain. Through self-discovery, I learned to recognize that every feeling holds a deeper truth about myself, and by exploring these feelings with curiosity and compassion, I developed intuition and gained a deeper understanding of myself. It wasn’t easy, but I found the courage to pursue my dreams and let go of the self-doubt that had held me back for so long. I found joy and happiness that I never knew existed and started living life to the fullest. I want this for everyone – to let go of their doubts and fears and pursue their dreams with unwavering confidence. Don’t let the past define you or hold you back. You have the power to create a bright and beautiful future. Believe in yourself and your dreams. You are capable of achieving greatness and making a positive impact on the world. The power lies within you.