How Abusive Relationships Kill Your Sense of Self

abuseOne thing about abusive relationships that is widely misunderstood is the effect it has on the sense of self. This is seen in the typical questions abuse survivors are asked: Why don’t you leave? Why do you let this happen? Why is it still affecting you so much? Why can’t you get over it? What people don’t understand is that by the time you realize the abuse is happening, there’s often very little you left.

Abusers systematically dismantle your identity piece by piece. They aren’t interested in dealing with real people, so they make sure that you retain as little personhood as possible. They degrade and belittle. They minimize your accomplishments and strategically target everything that makes you an individual.  They manipulate your time and attention so that your thoughts are always focused on them. They leave you wondering why they behave the way they do, when they’re going to blow up next, what you can do to prevent it. You’re hypervigilant, always sensitive to the slightest shift in their mood.

As time goes on, you may even begin to relinquish parts of your life willingly. Maybe you stop painting so much because you notice that every time you do it seems to accelerate the abuse cycle and cause blow ups to happen more quickly. Maybe you stop wearing your favorite dress because it’s just not worth the disapproving looks. Maybe you stop visiting your family and friends so much because it’s too difficult and humiliating to talk about your life, or maybe it’s to save you from the inevitable accusations or silent suspicion when you get home. Whatever it is, slowly but surely, the things that made you unique fall away, and you’re left wondering what exactly is left of you.

Luckily, astrology offers a way to understand abusive relationships. What’s even better, it offers a way out.

Do you know someone in an abusive relationship? Have you been there yourself?

Consult with Midara.



How Abusive Relationships Kill Your Sense of Self — 20 Comments

  1. Been there, done that…
    And contrary to my usual long comments, this time i rather stay silent about the story itself. I despise seeing myself as a victim in the sense that i am finally coming back from the ashes. I fell badly but now i think the bullets just go through me… as for the astrology:
    Sun 1st in opp pluto. NNode 1rst. Mars 1st opp saturn. Tr Uranus now conj sun in taurus. Natal uranus in my 8th now being conjoined by tr jup rx. I broke free from the shackles of a very bad relationship 11th march 2015, 3rd and last sq between tr uranus and tr Pluto. Of course it took me years to even start to feel myself again. If this helps anyone, i be glad.

  2. Yes one constantly comprises themselves and needs; bad bad marriage horrible abuse ,abused as preteen too by family frightening ,even though some are dead, trouble can pop in parts of my mind , and I never know what the trigger is.most just don’t believe me if it comes out .it’s hard to free yourself of fear ,it’s like a shadow ,it just comes with you everywhere .yes you get the generic
    “Well it must have been ok or why did you stay?”yeah right of course???why didn’t I know that
    Not most, can understand . I can’t really share ,even my little sister
    Who I love,wants me to “just forget it”
    She wants me to forget my life
    She wants me to trust men, strangers ,go places ,do things and wear stuff, and believe he will never find me.I wish it was that easy.
    she is always trying to take my
    Picture ;she doesn’t understand that
    I can only see the scars . I can wear down and feel low, but that is a human condition.good news
    I got away !!!been 5 years, proud of myself
    How far I’ve come and how wonderful this world is.

    • Raerae, I get it .It has been over 20 years since my divorce I had even re married. To this day if I even see him I feel terror.
      I had to trust again or I would never have met my wonderful second husband.

  3. “They aren’t interested in dealing with real people, so they make sure that you retain as little personhood as possible. They degrade and belittle. They minimize your accomplishments and strategically target everything that makes you an individual.”

    Can someone spell PERSONALITY DISORDER? 🙂

  4. You’ve given me food for thought, Midara. Opened my eyes to something that may explain part of what is happening to someone in my life. Timely post. Thank you very, very much.

  5. My first marriage for 19 years. I was physically, emotionally and mentally abused. Not sure what the astrology is. Maybe scorpio sun and Saturn in 12th house? This was during the pluto in scorpio transit.
    I was abused as a small child as well so this was explained to me by the experts to be expected. Cycle of abuse.
    No matter how much control one thinks they have over the conscious ,I have found that the subconscious has a lot more control.
    I have analyzed it and put it to rest. I have been free from the abuse for over 20 years.

    • I think it’s Pluto. Maybe some Neptune aspect as well (i have the sqare to venus… not fun at all), since it can give you the victim-saviour complex. You wanted to save yourself by saving him from himself, maybe? Happens a lot when one has been abused somehow as a child and that gets coined in the subconscious mind as if it werent love without suffering… hopefully you’re now in a better place. Bless

      • Thank you, Yes I am in a much better place. You are spot on when it comes to trying to save him to save myself. I spent years trying to help him ,understand the psychology of why he was so abusive. He and my Mom had the same pattern of abuse . They would abuse then cry after the fact and ask for forgiveness. My Dad instilled in us forgive ,forgive,forgive as he was a religious fanatic and needed a whole lot of forgiveness as well.

  6. I have been there. For eight years. Your description was very very accurate. I left when Pluto crossed my ascendant. I also grew up in an alcoholic and abusive home, shocker. I wouldnt wish the hell that I lived on my worst enemy, not even on those that abused me.

    Today, I love myself. Im sober. Im learning about myself every day. Im finding that I am loveable and likeable. I do have some ptsd moments still, but they are getting less frequent and less severe, as I walk deeper into the spiritual path. I can honestly say that I have no regrets.

    Healing can happen, but it only begins once you walk out the door. The real work comes after.

      • Wow, thats kind of a trip. I know astrology is real, but sometimes it especially blows my mind. In my case, it was the DAY that it was exact. Im glad we both made it out. Some dont. You hear all the time about women who try to leave and get killed. My ex told me that he was going to kill me. Actually he told me that all the time, but the last time he said it, I could see in his eyes that he meant it. We are the lucky ones.

        • I’m so glad you made it out.

          That really illustrates the beauty of Pluto, doesn’t it? For a planet that gets such a bad reputation, I think we sometimes forget how much of a liberator it can be. Yes, it rules destruction, but sometimes that’s not such a bad thing. Some things shouldn’t last.

  7. Welcome, Gregory.
    I’m so sorry for the pain you’re in. It radiates off the screen. Seeing your chart would be very helpful. Feel free to post it in the forums and I’m sure the community will be happy to help. Or, alternatively, you can purchase a consultation.
    I keep my prices very low to make it accessible to as many people as possible.

  8. My dad is in an abusive relationship.
    And he is slowly detoriating due to the crazy b*tch he is with.

    It’s sad, really.
    I’ve been in one myself also, it was like a giant, karmic pimple that needed to shed all of that stuff you’ve been holding up. Coincided with Pluto squaring natal moon in the 8th house at the time. No wonder it blew up in flames!

  9. Great!!! article Midara

    So to the point, making it easy to understand something so hidden.

    Such a valuable tool for people to clearly see themselves or others in situations that are never clear.

    Your depth and clarity is so beautiful and powerful to read.

    Like a shining lighthouse illuminating the shore 🙂

    Simply by being *You* you are assisting so many people.

    Thank You 🙂

  10. My mother could be very abusive to me and my father. She had him so nervous at the dinner table with her rantings about politics or something while putting down his thoughts and ideas about it, that he made his hand into a fist and his leg would bounce up and down and he’d just kind of stare off. I felt so badly and it’d ask her to stop fighting with him and she’d say “we are not fighting dear. Your father just is an ass and can’t understand my point”. She once snapped a knife at the dinner table in half. As far as for me, she once poured the kitty litter box in my bathroom sink because I forgot to empty it. Chased me with a broom to swat me because I talked back. I don’t know if she had personality disorder or was a Narcissist or both. She had her sweet side to though and I loved that part of her. She made me a beautiful birthday cake once, and she was very nurturing when I was a younger child. But something happened and she kinda snapped. My poor Pisces dad was in denial…when she passed he’s say “Sweet Margerie, Sweet Sweet Margerie. Oh I miss her so much.” Though they did have a good life in many ways (traveling and living in Europe, jazz concerts and entertaining friends for dinner parties)it’s just hard to look back on their relationship and remember all the emotional violence at the dinner table.

    • It’s hard to do this.

      It has taken me so long to finally recognize and accept that what I have with almost all important female figures in my family are abusive relationships (mom, stepmom, sister, stepsister, some aunts, grandmothers). My mom and my grandma hurt me the most to recognize because it has not been abusive 100% of the time, and for a long time I convinced myself that the good moments made everything else worth it.

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