Being victimized is not an emotional place for happiness and doesn’t offer room for mental growth. Getting away from the abuser is like a bird being released from its cage. After gaining a taste of freedom, there’s no going back.
How can you help young adults become aware of violence in dating?
The interviews below of people all ages were conducted by the author to get their insight on violence in dating.
Lililiketheflower, the artist from Georgia
What are your thoughts on Young Adults Dating-N-Violence?
Lililiketheflower: It starts in your teen years when you’re dating. When you go into dating and start off in an abusive and toxic situation, you get used to it. You begin to think that’s how it’s supposed to be. You think it’s the norm and you accept that feeling . . . that it’s what you deserve. It gets really hard to pull yourself away from it all, the longer you stay in there.
Were you ever caught up in it [toxic environment]?
L: I was young and grew up in an abusive household. So that was just kinda where it all started. It becomes the norm and you don’t realize what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like. And when you’re in an unhealthy relationship, it’s hard to notice that it’s not real love. It’s simply just not real!
L: Yes, you carry that until you decide that’s enough. I don’t want this anymore, and I deserve better. You realize that you’re worth much more. It’s all about self-love and self-worth. Until then, you’re going to allow people to treat you as bad as you treat yourself. So when you treat yourself better, you’re not gonna allow people to treat you badly anymore.
How has it been for you in the dating arena?
L: It was toxic for a long time. I stayed in that toxic environment for five years. I was seventeen years old and ended it when I was twenty-two years old. I’m still having a hard time. Yes, a very hard time healing and really growing from that. Not allowing my past to affect my current relationships and the ability to move forward. Trauma, that’s still a blockage and causing me to not fully be able to embrace who I have, now.
How did you end it?
L: I just didn’t have a choice. I had to walk away from it. I realized that I didn’t love myself by staying in the midst of toxicity. And that if I chose to stay, I was neglecting my health. So, that’s why I knew I had to leave!
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