Healing from Abuse

Dear Readers, this post is very hard to write about. I am not sure I will keep it. The intention in writing this is to bring awareness. It is to help others who might be suffering — maybe they can learn from my pain. Abuse is not always obvious, which is why many survivors will endure years of abuse until they take action of leaving the situation for good.

To anyone who has been subjected to abuse, please know that: You can heal. You are already perfect as you are. You are not alone in your suffering. Healthy love and kind people do exist and you are worthy of it. What happened was meant to happen and the goodness of why that happened will be realized later. Have patience. Be easy with yourself. Don’t give up.

Videsh-Heaven-On-Earth-Film.jpg

The above photo is from director Deepa Mehta’s Videsh (Heaven on Earth, 2008). A poetic film that portrays a young woman’s experience of domestic violence.

Idealize, Devalue, Discard

I was in denial. Sure, I had heard about the abusive cycle, but it didn’t occur to me that I was experiencing it. In the aftermath, it all makes sense now. With him, I experienced the narcissistic abusive cycle (idealize, devalue, discard) multiple times over the past 3 years. In other words, multiple times in three years he would come back to me after discarding me, and would declare he was now ready to be serious, he was sorry for his past behavior and he was madly in love with me. The pattern became predictable towards the end. Our ending itself proved everything that I came to suspect towards the end — that he is abusive, he does lack complete empathy and therefore, there was never any love at all.

 

A Short Summary of My Experience:

In the beginning, he mirrored my personality so I would find commonality in him. He would love-bomb me with affection to make me feel we had something special and shared endless commonalities. He seemed intellectual, he seemed cultured, he seemed non-conformist and uninterested by typical trends in Western pop-culture. Looking back in retrospect, it was a lie and a tactic for him to make me feel he was someone I would find interesting. I would have never liked him nor welcomed him in my life if I saw his true persona beneath the mask he put on.

Then once ‘in love’, his actions shifted dramatically. This was the devaluation stage. In an abusive relationship, this shift occurs because the abuser got what they wanted from the “love” stage. For my ex, having a woman fall in love with him fuelled his fragile ego and filled him with confidence, but sadly not in a wholesome way. I now know that he, a narcissistic abuser, is incapable of reciprocating love in a wholesome form — they are only looking to benefit themselves. After the ‘ideal’ stage, his abuse always started off subtle, eventually becoming more severe and obvious. Abuse, anger, threats, intimidation, lies, hypocrisy, projection.

Now, the irony is, I am not a submissive type at all. I consider myself quite resilient and intolerant to being mistreated. However, my ex abuser really had me confused, and I later realized this was a very common experience among other abuse recipients. When the abuse gets severe during the devaluation stage, an abuser will throw in breadcrumbs of affection/kindness to confuse their partner. The purpose of doing that is to excuse the abuse that occurred, and also to instil hope that the abuser has good intentions after all. During these tiny moments of kindness, the abuser will do things such as future-faking, which could be promises of marriage, declarations of ‘true love’ or the infamous, “I promise I will get help and change.”

It was always at the times when I was convinced my ex was being abusive where he would throw in his speckles of kindness and affection. I recall a day when my ex and I had a public altercation, which led to me break down in tears and hurry to go back to my home. We went to my home together. Once back at my home, his previous hostile attitude turned soft. While I was crying and rather traumatized, he began apologizing and caressing me lovingly. He then started trying to pleasure me in erotic ways while I was in that traumatized state. It was extremely strange and confusing, but I wanted to believe that he was sincere and really cared. I accepted his apology. The next day he raged at me in anger, screaming at me that I had the audacity to break down in public, run away from him and “cause a scene.”

Reacting to the abuse and defending myself was a way he could manipulate things and blame me. I had never been with an abusive man before, so I would defend myself and say often, “Men who truly love a woman do not behave this way.” He would then break down and say I am attacking his manhood by comparing him to all the other men I had — I felt really guilty for making him feel that way. Defending myself always resulted in me apologizing to him for causing him distress. I made excuses and justified his abuse — he, himself, admitted he mistreated me, yet he later would justify it because I was “a prostitute” or because I reacted ‘crazy’ in response to his abuse. Back then I didn’t realize this was his tactic of gaslighting (psychological manipulation). Gaslighting was a way for him to deflect from the fact that he was abusing me.

At the discard stage, like a typical abuser, his attitude towards me became the exact opposite of the Idealize stage. The “I love you for you are and I don’t care that you are prostitute and have had every man in the world! I want to be with you for the rest of my life” reverts to You are a whore and you will never change. I can’t trust a woman like you. Go back to whoring yourself.” By the discard stage, I was always partially destroyed by his endless campaign of devaluation — it harmed me not just emotionally, but I would physically begin to feel unwell. At that point, an abusive narcissist see’s their partner as useless, so they usually discard their partner or treat them incredibly cruel so the partner walks away themselves. The reason for this is because the abuser needs new supply to fuel his ego– a destroyed lover is useless for his ego that constantly needs inflating — so as such he will seek out a new supply (a person) to idealize.

Why Did I Take Him Back?

I had empathy and patience for his “I will change” declarations. He was very convincing in the love-bombing stages where he went to all lengths to convince me to take him back. He would send me money to prove he was serious in caring for me. Beautiful flowers. Sweet words. He apparently wrote poetry about us. I foolishly believed his declarations of love and his “we are soulmates” claims. But more than anything, I had hope in who he claimed to be as a person. He told me he suffered from severe anxiety and other mental health issues, which made me want to help him and not give up on him. I believed that he was sincere deep down, and I thought his own pain would make him a better person in the long run. I didn’t want to believe that he lacked empathy. It was only until his repetitive abusive patterns became so apparent and destructive that his mask truly came off. Everything was a lie.  Words truly mean nothing. The entire three years was a fraud. There was NO love at all. His intent was to destroy the confidence and strength I built for myself, which he lacked and craved.

Why Did He Gain?

For a sociopath, the gain is sex, power and ego. They wallow in self-hatrid. The sad part is a sociopath cannot overcome their insecurities. It is normal to have low self-esteem and insecurities — but there are wholesome ways to gain confidence. I knew my ex was insecure, which is why I loved him and wanted to care for him. I thought he was simply a product of his circumstances and was battling to be become a better person in a healthy way. I thought loving him and showing my affection would help him. This simply never worked because he was devoid of emotion. He was incapable of introspection, incapable of empathy. His true character was hidden, so I fooled myself in the end by thinking compassion could cure him. Normal people do not destroy others to fuel their self-worth. His love-bombing tactics were all a ploy to get me to lower my guard and trust him again, which would make me consent to giving my body for love. Falsely claiming love and promising a woman a future (security) to get sex is an utmost cowardly act.

The Aftermath:

art-pain

Hypervigilance. Fearing to trust anyone. Depression. Stress. Wounded. The negative physical effects of emotional trauma and pain. What a woman should feel the most excited for is now something that fills her with fear and pain.

I worry more about other women that experienced what I went through. What is the fate of women who have been harmed and whom cannot cope without numbing their pain? How many women react in self-destructive ways in response to being harmed by an abuser? How many women blame themselves for the abuse they endured and believe that they were “not good enough?” The truth is many abused women are not coping. Most abused women I met suffered severely from being harmed by others. Many develop a very poor self-image and self -esteem. Often, they get plastic surgery or take drastic cosmetic measures to appear more superficially beautiful. They end up attracting the same type of shallow, unempathtic, conformist jerk. In some extreme cases, some women will seek revenge on all men, thus perpetuating the cycle of abuse. So how does one cope with just feeling the pain raw? The answer is: invest in your SOUL. Take care of your soul. Your soul is a garden that needs proper care and nourishment. It takes time, it will hurt, but you will heal. 

For any male reader — if you are wondering why some women are starting to view ALL men with fear and mistrust, ask yourself WHY did she become this way? I completely denounce Feminism, because indeed good and decent men do exist. However, the abusers are giving decent men a bad name. It is time for MEN to start calling out indecent men who think it’s “cool” to brag about the number of women they’ve slept with or discarded like an object (which is essentially bragging about exploitation and abuse). The normalization of sociopathy and soulless attitudes needs to be exposed. Silence only allows harm to continue, which, in the end, hurts everyone in society.


Reflections

Many years ago I used to work with other escorts. I noticed a sad phenomenon that, back then, made no sense to me. Many escorts I met were in relationships with abusive men — pimps and/or controlling, manipulative, abusive jerks, for lack of a better word. I used to feel sad for these women, and I couldn’t understand, “Why do these girls stay with men who treat them bad?” Back then, I felt lucky that my partners were very loving and compassionate men.

But now, I understand those women. I understand why they resorted to drugs and other harmful means of numbing —  they were hurt and in pain. I understand why they tolerated abuse — trauma bonding. I understand why so many became went from vibrant souls to empty shells — depression, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, hyper vigilance (ie: fearing to trust anyone).

I understand now the behavior of so many fellow escorts I used to know. I remember my sweet former escort friend ‘Parisa’ who was once a vibrant flower. After many months of absence, she came back to the brothel. She was no longer the vibrant flower — her eyes, once alive and filled with life, clearly indicated she was broken. She told us girls that she ended things with an abusive ex. I remember when she broke down at the brothel in tears, when she began drinking excessively to numb the pain, when she broke down and confessed how she was suicidal. Broken women — these are the women who find themselves in prostitution. And then to think there are some (not all) men who brag about how they ‘conquer’ prostitutes as if we are objects to be claimed — soulless demons.

I now realize — the last three years of my life I became one of those girls —  I was with an abusive man. I justified the abuse. I made excuses for his abuse. Very typically, I believed things would get better. I blamed myself for defending myself. I thought his apologies would eventually become sincere.

During the painful ending, earlier this year, my ex abuser was completely unmasked. I feel disgusted and completely violated at realizing whom he truly was. Since his recent abusive episode which resulted in our ending, he has since attempted to repeat the whole cycle of abuse again – -apologizing, telling me he will change, pretending to care about my well-being. No more. The mask is off. The pattern of his abuse taught me that whenever I began to heal, he wanted to reappear in my life only to break me down again. Nothing fuelled his ego more than breaking down a strong, resilient woman like myself by exploiting her biggest strength: my heart. 

In my religion, Islam, we have a saying for all situations that occur in life — we are thankful always in all circumstances (good or bad). We say “Praise to the Creator” Alhamdulillah. This was my fate, and I know this happened for the best of reasons. Allah deals justly. SubhanAllah.

That’s Not Love

Love is imperfect in the beautiful sense that it has ups and downs —but love is certainly not abuse. Love is not supposed to harm. Love is uplifting and gives a sense of tranquility. Sadly, as noted in my blog, we live in a world where love is now grossly abused. The reasons are complex, and I hope to elaborate on this topic in further posts (ie: How Porn has dehumanized women and enabled the normalization of exploitation).

Resources for those Being Abused

The following books “Why Does He do That” and “Psychopath Free” provide great clarity to very traumatic and confusing abusive relationships. It can also help one refrain from going back to an abuser by explaining their false tactics of idealization, or guilt-tripping.

Psychopath-Free-Book                  Why-Does-He-Do-That-Lundy-Bancroft


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For my dear fellow prostitutes or readers, please feel free to share any experiences you have had with individuals who violated, abused or conned you. How did you heal or cope? Or did you heal at all?

 

 

10 Comments

Filed under Relationships

10 responses to “Healing from Abuse

  1. Sending you love. Know that someone out there is caring and watching out for you, sister.

  2. mooremia

    Hi Sahar. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It takes courage and strength to push through narcissistic abuse. It does definitely get easier. And eventually makes you stronger. You will begin to value yourself more highly b/c of what you have pulled yourself through, singlehandedly. I experienced a lifetime of narcissistic abuse by a so-called “dysfunctional family” (a euphemism for a bullying and abusive family). I was the scapegoat, an empathic person who was was set up in the role to take on everyone’s misery and pain. That is the reason I ended up in our line of work. Just as you say, broken women are the ones who end up here. Many cases it was our original family who broke us, causing us to have no one to turn to, and drove us into a life of needing to depend on the kindness of strangers. And set us up to be further victimized by strangers who are not kind, and instead have ill intentions which we cannot perceive. I don’t mean to sound negative. There are things in life we have to accept, because we can’t change them. Our job is to pull ourselves up. Not many can do this successfully. Those of us who can are lucky. It feels lonely as a survivor of abuse. So many experiences that No one else can understand. So much we can’t say. Anyway, it is nice to relate. I am glad to know that I am not alone…and neither are you. You will pull through. I know it with all of my heart. It is love for yourself, and respect for life, that is powering you to push through all of this. That is how you know that your heart is still in its place, and no one can make you stop believing in love. xoxo

    • escortdiary

      Dear Mooremia,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story and your kind words. I am happy that my experience made you feel less alone. Your story also helped me feel the same dear. *Big hugs*

      I love what you said here, because it is very true:

      “Many cases it was our original family who broke us, causing us to have no one to turn to, and drove us into a life of needing to depend on the kindness of strangers. And set us up to be further victimized by strangers who are not kind, and instead have ill intentions which we cannot perceive.”

      That was put so beautifully, and I hope to quote you again if I ever write a more detailed post about why women enter the sex industry. Family background is critical in whether a woman becomes a prostitute or not. Some outsiders tend to think prostitutes (whom were not forced) had a ‘choice’ to become a prostitute. I despise that mentality and the notion of ‘choice.’ It is circumstance that led us to this life, and prostitutes come from a lot of difficult circumstances. It is the pain we experience that makes us all the more beautiful and interesting — it give us character.

      There are things in life we have to accept, because we can’t change them. Our job is to pull ourselves up.

      Well said. We have to learn to be strong, we cannot change the past. I am happy to hear you have such a strong head on your shoulders dear.

      I wish you the best dear, and I am grateful for your contribution.

      With love
      Sahar

      • mooremia

        Hello Sahar,
        I absolutely agree that the notion of ‘choice’ is despicable when it comes to becoming a prostitute. To suggest ‘choice’ is ignorant and proves only the lack of consideration shown toward isolated and marginalized women. A “choice” between the lesser of two evils at best; a “choice” made with a gun to one’s head, is no choice at all. It was nice to hear your response and yes, please quote any of my words should you expand upon this topic. As usual, I look forward to anything you may write. I am sending you love and healing energy.❤️xo

  3. D.D.K

    I see how damaged I am, after a lifetime of abusive parents.
    One of whom I have forgiven, the other whom I still imagine physically assaulting when they come to mind.
    My tendency to correlate every and any relationship to sex, to avoid emotional connection. I even subconsciously found myself in a group of people generally younger than myself , for whom sex only relationships are sought after. But also some of which have connections based on connections that are not sex or romance.
    I do not know if I have found the “right way”, to exist. But I do know that the abusers in masks of love and affection, are the most damaging.

    I Thank You for sharing such a personal account with others.

    Respect, and Admiration for your Strength.

    D.D.K

    • escortdiary

      Dear D.D.K.

      Thank you for sharing that. I am so sorry to hear what you went through with your parents. I sincerely hope you can heal from it and find wholesome care.

      What you wrote about sex and avoiding emotional connections is a very common reaction to abuse. I knew of women who reacted in a similar way to you. The effects of abuse are very serious and traumatic. You didn’t mention how that lifestyle has made you feel? I can only imagine emotion-less sex leaves one feeling empty after the initial thrill?

      With love,

      Sahar

  4. Greetings Sahar,

    I often follow your posts and blog and yours, was the very first e-mail I read this morning over breakfast. I am very proud of you for breaking free from narcissistic abuse, I have long history of it and very pleased you have educated yourself to break the trauma bonds that are the very reason that the abuser, continues to abuse.

    YES, to answer your question “do you heal at all?”. It takes a lot of Spiritual and psyche healing as narc abuse isn’t only mental, it is soul destruction. One part I found that you hadn’t mentioned that I wanted to touch base on, was spirit (jinn) possession with prostitutes + taking on the energy of dirty, abusive men that leads to the state of your friend who returned to the brothel.

    Many women who enter the sex trade, end up possessed by unclean spirits and these spirits are the REAL REASON for the trauma bonding i know this with experience as I am a former model and I was nearly sold into sex trafficking, personally. As soon as the spirits were removed from me, I began healing properly and abusive men didn’t come into my energy field any longer.

    As a protectionary measure, I began designing enchanted jewellery, out of which, one is dedicated as a narcissistic/abuser shield. It helped me spot a narc, shift the energy out and ensure that abusive people cannot stay withing my force field. In 48 hours, 2 people who were covert narcissists that I had suspected for a long time, dropped out of my life and the enchantment on the bracelet I wear, allowed my narc exes to contact me to physically prove that I could now protect myself against them. I simply blocked them and their energy didn’t hurt any longer.

    Clients began asking for these very bracelets and I have come to realise how much it protects us women (and even men who have experienced evil women!) From Cluster B abusers (narcs/socios/psychopaths). The abuser just cannot stay in the same force field as you, and you are protected 🙂

    I have been conned, abused, lied to, taken advantaged of, and cheated on in ways that are hard to describe. Sahar, (I have a good friend with your name), you are deserving of nothing but greatness, happiness and you WILL find a man who truly does love you, despite everything you have sadly had to endure.

    Your story, is relatable to many of us, including myself and you are not alone. Even on your worst days, when it hurts the most to maintain no contact, know that the hooks that narcs leave within you (the actual trauma bonds), can and will be broken. You will not only survive but thrive.

    Many prostitutes can easily be cleaned, renewed and saved from a life time of misery through exorcisms and Spiritual healing, no matter how broken you may feel you are on the inside 🙂 There is always, life after trauma. I am living proof of it.

    Sending you big hugs and sisterly love ❤

    If you have any questions on what I have written, I would love to hear back!

    Nadia

    • escortdiary

      Dear Nadia,

      Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your experience. It is great that your brought up the topic of spirits (jinn) and metaphysical energy –fascinating indeed.

      Many women who enter the sex trade, end up possessed by unclean spirits and these spirits are the REAL REASON for the trauma bonding i know this with experience as I am a former model and I was nearly sold into sex trafficking, personally. As soon as the spirits were removed from me, I began healing properly and abusive men didn’t come into my energy field any longer.

      Well said dear. I am very glad you got through your pain and grew stronger as a result. Sharing that really helps give hope to those who are going through difficult times.

      Blessings to you and well wishes for the future,

      Sahar

      • Nadia

        Greetings Sahar,

        It is fascinating indeed! I am glad I got through the pain too, and assist others today. You’re such a wonderful lady and it is truly heartbreaking to understand the inner landscape of rejection and abuse we often experience from our families as another individual had commented—to get us to this place. Thank you for your blog, it helps you and many of us, equally.

        Always proud of anyone who breaks free from this horrific abuse and finds courage to begin life again for themselves 🙂

        Nadia

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