Freedom From Abuse

Around 2 Million People Experience Domestic Abuse Each Year

Are you living in a toxic household?

It all starts of great. Lots of cute memories, chocolate and roses.
The magic continues and the L bomb is dropped.
Small signs of abuse start to show, until a full blown abuse relationship develops.
It all comes crashing down to an end.

Growing up in a dysfunctional family is a nightmare and usually leads to chronic mental health problems in adult life. But most young people have no idea it’s happening – your abuser is literally hiding in plain sight, the classic ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, in fact, often accusing you of being the wolf! Most people just feel low and bad about themselves, believing that any problems are of their own making.
Here is a list of 45 questions, where, if you answer ‘yes’ could be red flags that you are living in a toxic, dysfunctional home and suffering emotional/narcissistic abuse. There could be more than one toxic person in your home, and it could be anyone, a parent, sibling or anyone else living with you as a family. Some questions are geared more towards parents and others more for siblings/other household members. Go through these questions with each family member in mind.

  1. When you’re with this person, do you find yourself checking what you’re about to say to either meet their approval or avoid their disapproval?
  2. Does this person interrupt and/or shout you down a lot?
  3. Do you just have an uneasy feeling when this person is around?
  4. Do you have to ‘walk on eggshells’ when this person is around?
  5. Does this person tell you that you have negative personality traits that you weren’t aware of and that no one else tells you that you possess?
  6. Does this person seem angry all the time?
  7. Does this person rant?
  8. Do all your discussions with this person end up in a full-on blazing row?
  9. Do you find that issues never get resolved with this person, but you keep going round in circles?
  10. Does this person insist they are right all the time?
  11. Do things suddenly blow up between you and this person? One minute everything is nice and calm, the next, you’re screaming at each other?
  12. Does this person tell you that you’re crazy or mad or mentally unstable?
  13. Does this person give you the silent treatment?
  14. Does this person actively ignore you?
  15. Does this person make you feel guilty when things go wrong for them that actually have nothing to do with you?
  1. Does this person give you the silent treatment?
  2. Does this person actively ignore you?
  3. Does this person make you feel guilty when things go wrong for them that actually have nothing to do with you?
  4. Does this person blame you for things you haven’t done or predict that you are going to do something wrong/break something/mess something up?
  5. Is this person nicer to you or do you feel safer when you’re amongst people from outside your household?
  6. Is this person nicer to you or do you feel safer when you have a friend round?
  7. Does this person have a special set of rules you have to follow and becomes enraged if you don’t follow them?
  8. Does this person tell nasty and/or untrue stories about you to their friends to encourage them to dislike you?
  9. Does this person forbid you to have anything to do with their friends?
  10. Do you feel more relaxed when this person isn’t home?
  11. Do you look forward to this person going out?
  12. Does this person blame you for everything?
  13. Does this person twist the things you say or ‘turn the tables’ on you so you end up looking like the bad guy?
  14. Does this person exaggerate stories about you which make you feel bad?
  15. Do you feel nit-picked by this person, that you can never do or say the right thing and that you’re ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’?
  1. Do you feel a constant urge to show this person the ‘real’ you, and that they would like if only they could see it?
  2. Does this person tell you that you overreact or that you’re oversensitive?
  3. Does this person (or another family member) tell you that you just don’t understand them and that if you knew how to treat them right and did things their way, there wouldn’t be any issues?
  4. Does this person sneer at or belittle your talents, opinions, interests or personal principles?
  5. Do you ever feel that this person has deliberately targeted something they know you find upsetting or scary in order to hurt you?
  6. Does this person have a ‘special sense of humour’ that everyone in the house has to respect?
  7. Does this person have beliefs that are out of step with regular thinking – like extreme religious beliefs or superstitions?
  8. Do you find that you’re a different person when you’re with this person – as if you have to chameleon yourself to be more like them or to please them? 
  9. Do you feel responsible for ‘bad vibes’ in your house and that everyone would be happier if you weren’t there?
  10. Does this person make you feel that their emotions and needs are more important than yours?
  11. Does this person make you feel that your emotions and needs are trivial or that you are being selfish to have or express them?
  12. Do you feel bad when you’re around this person?
  13. Do you always feel worse about yourself after you’ve been with this person?
  14. Does this person try to make you believe that they and the whole family are better than other families, more intelligent, more interesting, better looking, fitter etc. and that you mustn’t let the family down by failing to be these things?
  15. Does this person tell you that certain things are ‘private’ and you mustn’t go around telling people things about the family?

Please remember that we can all have a bad day – the chances are that everyone you’ve lived with has done all of these things at some point or another. What you’re looking for is a pattern, or repeated behaviour, when those behaviours are the norm rather than the exception. That’s when there’s a strong chance that this person is emotionally abusing you.

Anyone can suffer from or be guilty of dating violence. If you are dating for the first time, an abuser will know if you can be abused.
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