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I was going to this training, there’s something called the power and control wheel. On this wheel there’s I believe it’s like 8 different forms of abuse outside of physical, sexual, and emotional violence.
And everything on there I could relate to. He doesn’t let me spend my money the way I want to spend it and he tries to control the way I do my hair and he tells me I’m stupid and I don’t know anything and tells me what I can and can’t wear and I have to clean up after him and cook dinner and all these things.
That this had been going on for years and I didn’t connect it, I realized that he’s done that, he’s done that, he’s doing that now. Those things, it really, it was shocking.
It’s very empowering to know that I’m not giving something that happened to me the power and control over me anymore. I’m not letting that part of my life shut me up anymore.

Lynnea never looked at unhealthy relationships and saw herself. She realized she was in an abusive relationship and recognized that was not okay.

Recognizing the Signs

It’s not always easy to tell if a relationship is or will become abusive, and not all abusive relationships look the same. When you love someone, it can be hard to recognize the signs. It may feel like you don’t deserve better or don’t have a choice to leave.

The National Domestic Violence hotline identifies some behaviors as signs of possible abuse including:

  • Controlling who you see, where you go or what you do
  • Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs
  • Using your HIV status to control or shame you

For more warning signs, visit

The first step is recognizing that the situation is not okay. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can get the support and care you deserve.