A Guide for Supporters of Abuse Victims and Survivors

What does being in an abusive relationship feel like?

Every survivor’s experience is different, so you are likely to get different answers for this question. However, it is quite common for men and women alike not to realize they are in an abusive situation. For me, it took an intense conversation with some friends to see that what was happening to me was actually abuse. I knew that my relationship was toxic and that it was hurting me tremendously, but since I’d never been educated on emotional abuse, I didn’t realize the full extent of what had happened to me. After I left, the floodgates opened, and all that…


Photo by Quinton Coetzee on Unsplash

My journey as a writer started in childhood when my grandfather gave me a special gift: a working typewriter I could use to write my stories. Back then—in the 1980s—it wasn’t as common as it is today for everyone to have a computer in their home, so having a typewriter was not out of the ordinary. That was the first memory I have of writing. My love for the written word blossomed from there as I got into writing poetry and found myself on the newspaper staff at my high school for two years.

But somewhere along the way, life…


Poetry on life after narcissistic abuse / emotional abuse

Excerpt from Red Flag Conversations © Tina Morlock, 2020

We used to take steamy showers together,
but now it’s not the heat burning my skin —
it’s the reason behind your denial; it’s her.

You spent hours tending to your appearance
that day — waxing, shaving, putting on cologne,
and the clothes that made you irresistible.

I questioned you in my mind, but only my mind,
because I knew you would think it sounded crazy,
but the truth came out later when she told me about

my obsession with you and my denial about your true nature. It was all…


Poetry about life after narcissistic abuse / emotional abuse

Excerpt from Red Flag Conversations © Tina Morlock, 2020

Your hand closed around her throat
as if you were reaching for her heart,
but instead you stole her voice and
gave her the gift of victim; did you
think you could get away with it?
Did you think she wouldn’t learn

how to scream? You couldn’t silence her.

She’s still as drawn to you as I am,
so you enjoyed playing us against
each other to make you feel like
you were important. You were not.

You were only a nightmare disguised
as a dream, with our screams giving

you…


Poetry on life after narcissistic abuse / emotional abuse

Excerpt from Red Flag Conversations © Tina Morlock, 2020

Reflecting pieces of who I was,
the mirror judges my messed-up
hair, runaway mascara, and
bloodshot eyes. I am the hot mess
and the undead princess incarnate.

Tied up to his invisible bed,
I lay awake; sprawled across hell
every time he’s denied me, but
have I ever denied him? No, never.

Screaming and thrashing, I beg him
to see where I’ve been and to try on
the ripped fishnet, the combat boots,
and the spiked collar he once adored.

He won’t travel — not to me and not to himself…


Poetry about life after narcissistic abuse / emotional abuse

Excerpt from Red Flag Conversations © by Tina Morlock, 2020

My bed is only a slight comfort —
because I know sleep won’t come;
it never does when the high dies down.

Dripping wet hair soaks the pillow as
your words buzz around behind me
like a dagger slicing through my
turned back: you have more than
enough to give to her but never
enough for me. Trust is a label I
could only give to her, not you.

She needs to go home, I beg of you, but the words are as empty as feelings. I’m crazy. I’ve gone too…


Marilyn Manson Concert, photo by Tina Morlock (Dallas, 2008)

I am a die-hard Nine Inch Nails fan, and I was first introduced to Marilyn Manson back in 1995 when they opened up for Trent Reznor during The Self-Destruct Tour (along with The Jim Rose Circus). The infatuation with his music, lyrics, and philosophy came slow, but over the next few years, I quickly became a superfan. Looking back on that first concert I attended—there have been seven altogether—I would always silently smile at the fact that I saw him when he was a nobody walking around the concert like everyone else was. …


Yes, you are right. That realization is the first hard step. And it is difficult. I have my good days and bad days, but as long as we're looking forward, we are doing ok. Thank you for your thoughts. :)


How Switch-Tasking Saved My Sanity

Photo by Ewan Robertson on Unsplash

Below is my foundational schedule I used to work from every weekday. I used it as a guideline only—I did not literally work 70 hours a week every single week. Some weeks, I’d have priority projects that need to be done right then, so I toss away the entire schedule to do what needs to be done, then pick back up on it the next day. And I, of course, took breaks here and there for meals, errands, housework, etc. So, I was not a freelancing robot as much as I wish I could have been.

6:00 a.m. This is…


If They Can Do It, Why Can’t You?

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

“Six-figure” is sometimes a cringy word, isn’t it? Do a search on any web browser, and you’ll more than likely find hundreds of people begging for your attention. Buy this program, book, or coaching service, and you’ll earn six figures, “Just like I did!” It’s enough to make you roll your eyes and give up on the idea. Today, I have no snake oil to sell you—but some stories to tell that I had to do some real digging to find for you.

If you’ve been freelancing for a little bit, you probably already know about Fiverr. It’s a freelance…

Tina Morlock

Self-help author and advocate for survivors of abuse, trauma, and addiction.

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