By Haley Brezina
Our teenage years are some of the most difficult years- we spend time trying to figure out who we are and who we have the potential to be.
High school is also a dating central. You know at least one person who complains about being single, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The point is, having a significant other can be important. People want a connection with someone- they want someone to give their undivided attention to. It’s easy to get attached to people; and in some instances, the wrong people.
It can be argued wildly that teenage relationships aren’t even valid relationships, but even though it may not be real to others at times, it will always feel real to us. When people hear the word “abuse”, it reminds them of physical abuse. But one thing every human needs to know is; you don’t have to be hit to be abused.
It’s not easy to identify an abusive relationship. Especially when you have strong feelings for the person, you’ve put on the Love Goggles and they can do no wrong. One of the biggest questions when someone is trapped in an emotionally or verbally abusive relationship is, “why don’t they just leave?”
While everyone has their own reasons, one of the biggest issues for us as teens is believing that this abuse is normal. Most of us have never been in a relationship lasting for over several years, and none of us really know how a normal and healthy relationship functions.
Another aspect is guilt tripping. If you find yourself in a situation in which you’re being guilt tripped, take this as a red flag. Signs you’re being guilt tripped are: threats to do bodily harm if you leave, claims of “you’re all I have left” and “I cry myself to sleep”, or any graphic details about how much you’ve hurt them.
Zayne Wester, a junior, offers a piece of mind- “Kids become attached so easily. [Especially if their partner has a mental or physical illness], they feel the need to help them and that leaving them would make them feel worse”.
Paige Sorenson, a junior, also agrees with that aspect. “You have the fear that leaving them will hurt both you and them”, she states.
When it comes to trying to identify an abusive relationship, there are several red flags to look for. Sorenson states, “I feel like that if you have to think about whether you’re being abused is a sign you should leave. Both physical and emotionally abusive relationships are equally painful.” Granted, just because someone possesses one or more of these qualities does not immediately mean you are being abused or you are abusing them- abuse is consistent; it is a pattern of verbal abuse and manipulation. This being said, here are some things that can be a red flag to a bad relationship.
It is imperative you stay safe and be careful who you hand your heart to- Angie Godoy, senior, has a message everyone should remember; “You should not set yourself on fire to keep somebody else warm”.