Abusive Relationships: Breaking the Vicious Cycle

by Toni Steenson, Coraki, Australia

When I was living in a very abusive relationship I let the fear of the unknown keep me captive in the relationship: I would rather have faced extreme abuse than take a step into the unknown, and end the relationship. Looking back several years later, this now seems crazy.

So, in this scenario I allowed fear to run a program of thoughts through my mind: it was this fear-based program that actually supported me in making the choice to live in a very unsafe manner by continuing on in the abusive relationship. From this experience and others, I have come to see that when we put a lot of time and energy into these thoughts, we can actually make it our physical reality by creating situations that support and prove the ideas/fears in our head to be physical facts. Now this is scary…

For years I lived in fear. The abusive relationship allowed me to foster and build on this fear in myself as a young adult, although looking back, I see fear was present many years before the abuse. There was a strong fear of not pleasing my parents and schoolteachers, there was a strong fear I was not the same as other kids/teens, there was a fear of God and my priest.

So what is this fear; why was I so attracted to it?

My feeling is that fear occurs because I have ideas of what is right and wrong in my head that I form from what others say and do. I then have even more ideas of the consequences that will occur if I cannot live up to these ideas. I feel I am attracted to these ideas so I do not have to feel what actually works for myself, and then to trust this. So, basically I feel fear is just a bunch of ideas that I have collected and given importance to, that keep me trapped into living life in a certain manner. An example is when another asks me to do something that does not feel right to me and I do it in the fear they will think less of me if I don’t: or I fear they will be angry with me because I am not in agreement with them. So I will choose to please another to win favour, rather than trust my own feelings. Another great example is how I chose to stay in a harmful relationship rather than take a step into the unknown, for fear I would not be able to survive.

It is awesome to realise this, because to break this vicious cycle all I have to do is to stop giving importance to these ideas, and the fear will have no platform. Over the years I have applied large doses of just this, and the difference within me now is huge. This fear no longer plays out in my daily life as I no longer choose to believe I am stupid or that I deserve to be harmed – because all I do when I give power to this fear, is harm myself and others. The big one for me is I no longer feel others have the right to own and control me. I used to accept others had this right; thinking they knew better than me, that I owed them because of past behaviours/occurrences, or because I had wronged them in the past.

Serge Benhayon commented a few years ago… “Toni, when I first met you, you were as timid as a little bird who was scared to look at anyone, now look at you”. So I am living proof that fear, no matter how life is playing out physically or emotionally, is in essence coming from ideas running around our head that we have the power to stop if we choose to, and seek the support when required. I found this support in Universal Medicine.

168 thoughts on “Abusive Relationships: Breaking the Vicious Cycle

  1. Powerful take home message: our greatest ideals which can make us feel safe can also be our greatest prisons.

    its similar to being safe from danger if you lock yourself in a prison cell, meaning no one can get in or out but… you are in a prison cell!

    1. Powerful point Luke and a great visual as a prison cell may have no-one coming in or out but having worked in prisons I can say that they are cold, lonely and at times very frightening places.

    2. What an analogy Luke. We can also feel very safe inside a suit of armour…Henry the 8th style. We can clank around in life guarded by plates of metal…we can only see straight in front through a tiny slot, nothing to the side, above or below. We cannot hear properly through the echoing metal chamber we have sealed ourselves in. We cannot taste or smell, for nothing can touch our tongues or enter or nostrils when we are too afraid to lift the visor. And touch is an impossibility, except for the touch of the cold metal that keeps the world at bay.
      Are we safe in our moveable prison? Maybe. But we can trip and fall, and there are always gaps in such armour that fail and allow weapons in.
      But what if we are in the greatest danger of all…a living death if you will that arises when we stifle the expression of our love in this world?

    1. Great point Rachel, in walking away from any negative situation we must also be prepared to heal our hurts from what has happened, then we can walk away and be free.

  2. ‘I feel fear is just a bunch of ideas that I have collected and given importance to, that keep me trapped into living life in a certain manner.’ Wow Toni you have explained so clearly how we imprison ourselves through our own thoughts and fears. The beauty of this is that we hold the key to this prison and can unlock it at any time – it is always just a choice away.

    1. ‘I feel fear is just a bunch of ideas that I have collected and given importance to, that keep me trapped into living life in a certain manner.’ Indeed Helen we can imprison ourselves through our own thoughts and beliefs.

  3. Thank you Toni, for sharing your experience. I can relate to having fear control my thoughts for many years because I lived in my head and allowed them a free run. Through the support of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I am now learning to break this pattern through accepting and appreciating myself.

  4. Fear is so confining, it is keeping us in the sphere of life we have created for ourself from all the ideas we created. It is very inspiring to read, and I am starting to feel that it is just about not giving these ideas any importance, as they are only creating a vicious cycle of fear.

  5. Toni your journey from being timid and stuck in an abusive relationship to now a power-full and loving woman is deeply inspiring to read. It is beautiful how many people have turned their lives around in amazing ways with the support and true love offered by Universal Medicine and all it’s Practitioners. I feel blessed to be a student of ‘The Way of the Livingness’ where I have watched for many years hundreds of people make more loving choices and begin to live who they truly are.

  6. Great blog Toni – “I feel fear is just a bunch of ideas that I have collected and given importance to, that keep me trapped into living life in a certain manner.” The power of a choice clearly revealed, thank you for sharing Toni.

  7. Tony, I celebrate with you not just the fact that you have much less fear today, more so I celebrate that you decided to say ‘no’ to the ideas of right and wrong. The day we start doing this can be celebrated as a birthday!

  8. I agree Toni – fear is a big life stopper if we are not prepared to take back control of our lives. Easier said that done I know – but the alternative is to continue to live a contracted, shallow life where everything is left to the whim of others. Congratulations in taking such a stand in your life which now is a shining, bright example to many other people around you.

  9. I agree it is pretty scary that we can make the thoughts we conjure up in our heads our reality and rule our lifes. Universal Medicine provides several tools like the gentle breath meditation (free meditations at unimedliving.com), esoteric yoga, awareness of the influence of food, the time you go to sleep etc. that can help us move back from our heads into our bodies and come back to reality.

  10. A really powerful blog which exposes the simple truth about the composition of fear – ‘just a bunch of ideas that I have collected and given importance to, that keep me trapped into living life in a certain manner’ and then gives us the way out – ‘all I have to do is to stop giving importance to these ideas, and the fear will have no platform’. Our beliefs can be very insidious when we fail to recognise what’s actually at play, but this simple breakdown of what’s really going on shows where our choices haven’t fully supported us and gives us the chance to choose differently next time.

  11. “So, basically I feel fear is just a bunch of ideas that I have collected and given importance to, that keep me trapped into living life in a certain manner.” A great insight Toni and, as you say ” to break this vicious cycle all I have to do is to stop giving importance to these ideas, and the fear will have no platform.” This blog deserves a wider read, as so many are trapped in fearful situations and are too scared to break out. ‘Better the devil you know’ is an English saying………which keeps many stuck.

  12. Gorgeous Toni. “I feel fear is just a bunch of ideas that I have collected and given importance to, that keep me trapped into living life in a certain manner.” so true, i love how you have fully sussed out fear for us all. Thank you

  13. We harm ourselves by allowing our thoughts to control us. Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine invite us to feel and respond to what we feel and know is true from our body. There is nothing to fear in the truth of what we know, only in what our thoughts imagine.

  14. The harm we do to ourself by creating Ideals of how we should be is enormous, it is creating fear for that what we don’t know for sure, that what we can’t predict. But also are very able to create for ourselves to keep us in this vicious cycle of self abuse, creating situations that confirm our fears is the ultimate form of holding ourselves back. Keeping ourselves small in the ‘safe’ world we created for ourselves.. what an incredible ways we have to not be the amazing human beings we all are.

  15. Abuse is something we say yes to. It is our choice and we all have the choice to say no to abuse (or yes). I have allowed forms of abuse in the past and it was not until my love for myself grew that I was able to even see it was abuse. It can be a viscious cycle with a strong momentum, but we can step out of that momentum at any stage. Knowing we have that power is indeed empowering.

  16. Fear can control us, or so it seems. But it’s grip is non-existent once we see it for what it is – nothing more than thoughts or an energy that we let in – and we are the gatekeepers.

    1. True Nikki – we are indeed the gatekeepers and are fully responsible for the energy we allow into and express through our body. When this is more broadly understood, I feel the world will be a very different place.

  17. Fascinating how we can have ideas in our head of how to be, fed by images from our childhood, our parents, the media or where ever… and that we let these over ride the feelings we have in our body. The body is us, our unique instrument that can gauge what is appropriate in any situation. Far better to be taught to play with that instrument than listen to the cacophony given off by everything else.

  18. Beautiful that you have chosen to lose the fear and no longer fall for it , simply by you letting go of old behaviors and occurrences, and that you have found something that has supported you with this all the way – Universal Medicine.

  19. Powerful Toni you wrote: “So I am living proof that fear, no matter how life is playing out physically or emotionally, is in essence coming from ideas running around our head that we have the power to stop if we choose to, and seek the support when required.” You are now a living testimonial that fear can not own us for all to see and feel – how inspirational is that!

  20. Thank you Toni for a beautiful sharing, I can relate to carrying around fear, fear of being seen fear of offending and so many more, I knew I had a strength underneath all of this fear but the ideals and beliefs kept me in the fear, looking back on my past life now I just shake my head that I held on to the absolute lies of beliefs systems that were fed to me at the time, i thank heaven for Serge and the light of truth that he brings and the freedom we now have.

  21. ‘I feel fear is just a bunch of ideas that I have collected and given importance to, that keep me trapped into living life in a certain manner.’ When we start looking inside ourselves instead of outside and feel our body and how in essence we have the power to let go of ideas and beliefs we have , fear loses its hold on us. Also I have felt how important it is to appreciate every step that we make in building a loving relationship with ourselves.

  22. This is a very powerful blog Toni. Many people are being drive and imprisoned by fear, your blog supports us to let go of fear and to not give our power away to it. In my experience fear can be debilitating and it often feels like invisible chains holding me to ransom and immobile. By choosing to connect to truth and expressing it, truth disables the invisible chains and allows me to be free of any false imprisonment and just be myself.

  23. Toni it’s beautiful to read of the changes you have made with the support of Universal Medicine. Your exposé on fears and how we can use them as tools to avoid a deeper responsibility for ourselves is powerful. There is something also very powerful about what you’ve discovered because it’s not theory or ideas but from your lived experience. I really enjoyed the simplicity of how you dealt with fears; “all I have to do is to stop giving importance to these ideas”. How true, it’s giving myself the time to stop and question thoughts and examine them truly. And a great reminder here to let go of destructive relationships as well, to let love rule our lives, not fear.

  24. This is a very important sharing for many, to actually realise how you can so no to the thoughts that keep you capped and make movements to change what you have allowed to be your reality by reconsidering how you approach life and no longer digesting the thoughts that held you back.

  25. We rightly call it ‘giving our power away’ when we allow another or something outside of us, like an ideal or belief to run our lives. And so it is up to us to claim our power back and claim back a quality of thoughts that support us instead of being kept captive in the fear. Serge Benhayon is a man that empowers people by bringing them into contact with their inner most and showing them the tools that support us in life to nurture and strengthen that place in us which holds all our power and glory.

  26. I love that you are no longer a captive of your fear and have been able to come out from hiding under the wing of another and learnt to spread your wings and fly. Sometimes it takes another to show us the power we have but in the end it is up to us to choose it.

  27. We stay in harmful relationships for many reasons, lack of self-worth and fear … fear of not being loved by another, fear of being on our own, … the list can go on. But what you have shown is there is nothing to fear. All it takes is for us to commit and love ourselves at a deeper level than we have done before and this blasts all fear well and truly out of the water. Fear is not a quality …. truth and love are and once we have these as our foundations the rest will flourish.

    1. We must choose our way and what we truly want in life and then allow all of our life reflect that. For this is the most supportive for all.

  28. “…fear, no matter how life is playing out physically or emotionally, is in essence coming from ideas running around our head that we have the power to stop if we choose to..” Absolutely. In which case it makes sense to focus on changing our thoughts, which comes from changing the way we move. How so? Well the way we move is a vibration or energy, so if I move unlovingly, harshly, without consideration, this is the quality of thoughts that will be ‘fueled’ by my movements. If however I choose to move lovingly, gently, tenderly, with consideration and in honour of myself, my thoughts will reflect these movements.

    1. Gorgeously said Lucy. Our movements done without our inner quality then provide an opening for fear because of the running ourselves unnaturally so from the rules, ideals and beliefs the world today is so geared up to provide us with. Living and letting our heart lead the way of our movements, choices, relationships and life is a whole encompassing way that has no space for fear for it is love.

  29. If our thoughts create our reality and perspective of life – then what creates our thoughts? When we consider energy and that we are not the source of this energy but the vessel by which it is expressed, life makes a lot more sense.

  30. This is an extraordinary account Toni of how you have truly healed your fears and felt empowered to break the vicious cycle of abuse you were trapped in. I have heard of many who get the strength to leave abusive relationships and then often the abuse plays out in other ways in their lives as they haven’t healed the root cause – this is why Universal Medicine is so supportive for many as it addresses the underlying reasons that can make space for a true healing to occur.

  31. Universal Medicine supports me see the how and why of the things we experience in life and how much of it was our own creating, and there is nothing/nobody to blame. I find it very humbling and empowering.

  32. I find this blog amazing and very intriguing to read. It presents how we can choose to either perceive life through the body or the mind – the difference is everything.

  33. Fear is as you say a great trap, it is like it paralyses us, ‘An example is when another asks me to do something that does not feel right to me and I do it in the fear they will think less of me if I don’t: or I fear they will be angry with me because I am not in agreement with them. So I will choose to please another to win favour, rather than trust my own feelings.’

  34. What you and many experience with the fear you describe is crippling, and all just from ideals or beliefs as you say. How fantastic that you have come out of this vicious cycle and turned your life around, ‘I no longer feel others have the right to own and control me. I used to accept others had this right; thinking they knew better than me’. What a great healing.

  35. I love what you share here Toni, as it breaks open the helplessness that we associate with fear. We think it just has us and we cannot do anything about it, but as you show we play a very active part in it by giving it power it seemingly has over us. The more we know ourselves the less we will be intimidated by any situation as we meet it with the fullness of ourselves and thus do not give room for doubt to creep in.

  36. What an amazing transformation Toni, I love your closing statement “So I am living proof that fear, no matter how life is playing out physically or emotionally, is in essence coming from ideas running around our head that we have the power to stop if we choose to, and seek the support when required. I found this support in Universal Medicine.”

  37. I have read this before Toni and what was highlighted to me this time was the amazing changes you have made because of the right kind of support you found through Universal Medicine. Universal Medicine has a way of supporting people that is very self empowering, I have found this also, I learn a lot and then apply it to my life and as a result I am making amazing positive changes. Having the right support is gold!

  38. It makes no sense but millions of us choose to stay in abusive relationships. In my case ideals and beliefs prevented me leaving and so I stayed for a long time. The other thing I found was that my lack of self worth didn’t help because I didn’t feel I was worth it. This was the past and no longer true today.

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