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I'm Speaking Out About Psychological Abuse
The Domestic Violence No One is Talking About
Psychological abuse, verbal abuse, ambient abuse, controlling, manipulation: these are all forms of domestic violence. Much of this kind of DV happens behind closed doors. It happened to me and to my children.
So continues my series on the aftermath of destruction left in the wake of my being basically abandoned, along with our two wonderful kids, by my long time husband. It turns out that the man I spent over half my life with is a very skilled manipulator, controller, and liar. In fact, he is so good at being quietly abusive that my extended family and friends didn't even see it happening. That may be the most challenging thing about being psychologically abused. There are rarely any witnesses.
I hope the worst of it is over now. I have been shocked, furious, confused, devastated, hopeless, needy, numb, frustrated, and often terrified. I have had flickers of hope, of joy, and of comfort, but they don't last. What keeps me going is the love I feel for and from my children, my mother, my sister, my family, my friends, and the people here online. Almost everyone I've shared with has been incredibly supportive. That means so much.
I am writing for the women who are not as fortunate as myself, in that they have no one to speak for them, validate their true stories of trauma, and may even be afraid to escape. Victims of emotional, psychological, and other quiet types of spousal abuse must speak out when they can and help each other.
About the image:
The Bruno Mars song "Grenade" hit home for me recently ("I'd Catch a Grenade for Ya, But You Won't Do the Same"). I've never actually had the need to catch a grenade for anyone, but if someone had thrown one at my husband, I'd like to think I would have caught it (out of bravery, not stupidity, mind you). After giving birth to his children, a woman has pretty much already proven she will lay down her life for her man, but if I had needed to reprove my love, I would have.
Another emotional whack to the head...
Today I feel strong. I have not felt strong in a long time. I feel hopeful. And a little mad. In a new assault this week, my abuser chose to call my 82-year-old mother, who has always treated him as family and with love.
There are not many things that will make me as strong as standing up for my mom or my kids. He is totally out of line trying to pull my mother into his web of twisted lies, denying any wrong doing.
I mean, seriously? Who does he think he is?
"Who do you think you are?
Runnin' around leaving scars"
Who Do You Think You Are? - This is a very powerful song. I love this version.
We would have all done anything for this man.
In my family, loves means putting the other person first, being thoughtful and caring, and being willing to tough out the hard times. Family is forever.
There are no divorces in my family. In fact, even when I began to see the abuse clearly, divorce did not enter my mind. If someone is behaving badly, they need love and support. That is the way I was raised. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you; The Golden Rule.
In my family, "inlaws" are family. My husband was taken in with open arms. My parents treated him like a son. They would have done anything for him and for us.
Our love is pure and unconditional. In fact, we still love him and probably always will.
But now we're not sure if the man we love even exists. Perhaps what we have loved is a sort of costume he wears in order to hide what a controlling and self-centered man he really is. As he has gotten older, his mask has begun to slip. Our kids are older. They are my witnesses. Now that we push back against being controlled, he is no longer interested in us. He will not support us with money. He will not communicate in any civil and normal way. This kind of abandoning is apparently fairly common among personality disordered individuals, psychopaths and malignant narcissists.
I had to figure that out on my own.
The irony of the whole thing is that he wanted control, but he already had it. All he had to do was ask and we would have done almost anything for him.
I'd have caught that grenade. But I won't be abused.
"I would die for you, baby,
but you won't do the same."
Grenade by Bruno Mars - Various Versions including Behind the Scenes
Have you ever loved anyone with all your heart?
"I gave you all I had
and you tossed it in the trash."
-- Bruno Mars, Grenade
Have you ever had your heart broken by someone you loved?
I do feel tossed in the trash.
After 28 years of marriage and two great nearly grown kids, you feel pretty certain you'll be with a person forever, ya know?
I could not be more shocked at the way my life is heading. My kids and I have been blind-sided. We have been stunned and are picking ourselves up off the floor. It's like being stuck in an unending really, really bad movie. Our favorite character in the movie turned out to be the evil villain...and that's a lot to take in. It's a plot twist we never saw coming.
This photo is called Queen of Trash 2. The woman floats in emptiness above piles of debris. She is in limbo. She is alone. Some days I feel like that.
Have you ever felt blind-sided by someone you thought loved you?
People who love you
-- truly love you --
will build you up over time,
not tear you down.
One day when I "escaped" I took photos of my eyes to remind me what sorrow looks like.
I want to remember
so I don't forget.
We Deserve to Be Loved Just the Way We Are - Cuz We're Amazing
Bruno Mars, Unplugged Version of "Just the Way You Are"
© 2012 JJNW