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Woman Shares The Upsetting Reality Of What A Birthday Surprise Looks Like From An Abusive Partner

Photo: @lindsaygoodmancoaching / TikTok
Lindsay Goodman tiktok

Abuse can often be a difficult thing to put into words, especially if there is no physical violence involved. 

Lindsay Goodman, a survivor of abuse in a queer relationship, dedicates her entire TikTok platform to speaking out and debunking the myth that abuse only happens when someone is being punched and hit, pointing out that emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse are all real things. 

To prove her point, Goodman routinely shares a video depicting the reality of living with and experiencing abuse from a partner.

She shared the upsetting truth of what a birthday surprise looks like from an abusive partner.

Goodman, who is open about her experience of having been in an abusive and toxic relationship, will often repost a behind-the-scenes video of a birthday surprise that she had gotten from her now ex-partner on her birthday every year to show how much she's grown.

In Goodman's video, she uses overlay text to explain her emotions during the birthday surprise, which would seem sweet to an outsider who was unaware that the situation between Goodman and her ex-partner was abusive.



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"This is what a birthday with an abusive partner looks like," Goodman began in her video. She was being filmed by her partner as she walked into her living room holding a box full of flowers and blueberries that she had picked for herself.

As she walks into the frame, Goodman begins smiling uneasily as she notices the birthday surprise left by her partner.

"Coming home from doing an activity alone [because] your partner didn't want to go," she wrote. "Confused that they actually did something for you. Trying to look happy and thankful, but suspicious at the same time."

As Goodman's partner pans the camera, viewers can see the birthday surprise, which consists of a "Happy Birthday" balloon, a pastry with candles in it, presents and a card all laid out on the table. Goodman approaches all of this hesitantly, still keeping that uneasy smile on her face. 

"Wondering if they're going to keep being nice or if this is it for a while. Wondering if they'll use this one nice thing as an excuse not to do anything nice for a while," Goodman continued. Despite her video being relatively short, it highlights the scary reality for many abuse victims, especially in queer relationships.

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In queer relationships, abuse is often a taboo topic with a lack of resources and awareness.

In a 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey conducted by the CDC, it was found that nearly one in three lesbian women have suffered physical violence by a partner. Bisexual women were also most likely to experience rape, physical violence, or being stalked, with a lifetime prevalence of 61%, compared to 44% of lesbians and 35% of straight women.

For bisexual men, experiencing stalking, rape, and physical violence was 37% compared to 29% of straight men and 26% of gay men. Additionally, according to a review of 42 studies by the Williams Institute, between one-third and one-half of transgender people experience violence at the hands of a partner at some point in their lifetime, compared to 28 to 33% of the general population.

For queer individuals, there is often a lack of resources made available to them when it comes to experiencing abuse in their relationships. This only ends up creating an environment where queer people are hesitant to discuss their relationships, including any abusive dynamics, for fear of facing scrutinization.

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That's why people like Goodman are making it their mission to draw awareness to the different types of abuse that are prevalent in queer relationships, whether that's physical, mental, or verbal.

Goodman's birthday surprise video is now 2 years old, and she has since left her abusive partner.

In a TikTok video Goodman uploaded on her birthday this year, she reflected on her past video about her abusive relationship. "Little did I know that I would eventually post that moment of my life and millions and millions of people would see their story in mine."



"I don't wanna dwell on the fact that two years ago today I was still being abused, but I want to amplify the voice that I have to spread awareness of abuse and to also encourage people to get out and get on the road to healing, because look where I'm at now."

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse or violence, there are resources to get help. For more information, resources, legal advice, and relevant links, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or, if you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.