The One Abusive Relationship You May Be Ignoring: Your Job

Have you ever seen or heard of someone being in an abusive relationship and wondered why they stay? Did you ever think, they could do so much better, it just doesn’t make any sense! Whether it is physical, verbal or emotional – abuse in any form is wrong, can be debilitating, and can truly wreak havoc on the victim’s life and or view of themselves.

4 Reasons Why a Victim Would Stay in an Abusive Relationship

  1. Unaware of Healthy Relationships – The victim may not have witnessed or been educated on what a healthy relationship looks like. The abuse may be the norm in their eyes or they think it is a twisted sign of love.
  2. Financial Stability – The victim may believe that without the perpetrator’s financial assistance they would not be able to survive on their own. This is especially difficult when children are involved. They may feel the security and benefits outweigh the abuse.
  3. Emotional Ties – The victim may have hope that the honeymoon stage of the relationship would return and that the abuse will come to an end. They could also believe that this type of relationship is what they deserve; who else would want to be with them?
  4. Fear of Losing Status – The victim won’t leave, because it is embarrassing – they may lose their position, their status, the protected image that they have painted for the world. Sometimes the most abusive relationships are the ones where no-one knows about. The victim may have a high profile in their communities or highly regarded amongst their peers. They put on a face that their relationship is flawless, with grand smiles for the camera, painting pretty pictures on social media. Meanwhile, behind closed doors and within themselves they are suffocating in abuse.

These are just four of the many reasons why someone would stay in an abusive relationship. Yet it is still complex and confusing.

So how does this tie in with a job/workplace relationship? Think about your job, current or past. Have any of the reasons above pertained to you?

Recently, the day after posting a sarcastic post about my job, my Life Coach friend Lisa Sunshine, called me up and gave me a much needed hour long “come to Jesus” coaching session. The perks of a great inner-circle!

On the following day, (2 days after the post) I was reflecting on what she said – and then I felt God drop this in my spirit and it literally made me fall to my knees!

“Staying in a job that abuses your time, devalues your true worth and sets unrealistic expectations is like staying in an abusive relationship for fear of losing status and financial stability…”

Basically, these two abusive relationships are the same thing. They both come with the same reasons to stay and the same consequential symptoms of being part of an abusive relationship.

Symptoms of Being in an Abusive Relationship

Depression – Burn out, lack of motivation, diminished zeal/passion, lack of inspiration, increased fatigue, loss of interests in activities and hobbies you enjoy, crying spells, and or lack of hope.

Anxiety – Panic Attacks, high levels of stress, feeling overwhelmed, over compensating to meet demands, high highs, emotional instability, lack of sleep, and or racing thoughts.

Diminished Health – Fluctuating appetite, fluctuating weight loss and or gain, stress induced medical conditions, heart palpitations, becoming sick often or staying sick for longer periods of time.

Lack of Self-Care- Loss of self-esteem, confidence, self-worth, letting yourself “go” (reduced interest in appearance, hygiene and or general personal upkeep).

Have you been dealing with similar symptoms? If your job wasn’t a factor – would these symptoms still be present?

In America, it is common to believe that being a work-a-holic is a good thing; it’s honorable. If you work hard, make tons of money, have lots of material things to show for it, then you’re successful! Meanwhile, as we build corporate America and other people’s dreams, we’re neglecting ourselves, our families, and even our own dreams. Society may say this is normal, but you have to know, it’s not healthy.

My Experience

I’ve realized that I’ve bounced from one “abusive” job relationship to another. There would be days that I would sit in my Supervisors’ offices crying about how unhappy I was (not recommended). I would even be upset about having to go to bed, because I knew soon, the morning would come and I’d have to face that relationship (job) again. Where my safety was of concern, I quickly learned how to get out. Yet the hardest ones to leave were where I thought I was physically safe. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and safety. Don’t forget that.

So what do I do now with these revelations? I’m not looking for a rebound relationship (job) or quick fling to help me get over it. But I’m definitely going to continue doing some soul searching, so that I can pin-point the red flags, and learn how to avoid jumping back into this cycle. I wish I could tell you that I’m already on the other side of this story… but probably like you, I’m still working through it.

I encourage you! Review the points listed above –have you been ignoring the fact that you’re in an abusive job relationship? If so, join me in the soul search, reach out for help, make some plans and take action. And one more thing! We all have different gifts and strengths, what is meant for one may not be meant for another. So, if you have a colleague who appears to be thriving and doing well in your same position, maybe that is their strength. Don’t you dare compare yourself to think that you are lacking or are not good enough! You are MORE than enough… it just may be with someone(where) else.

Stay safe and healthy friends!

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