* image source: fanpop.com
I wanted to talk tonight about the life of a woman who is verbally, physically, mentally, or sexually abused.
I’m not really sure that I understand a great deal about the psychological aspects of this from a technical standpoint nor the jargon they use to describe all of this. I don’t have any training in psychology or counseling. I am just talking from the other side of the coin, the abused woman’s perspective.
I’m not sure how I ever ended up being with such a monster as the one I was with, but I do have some thoughts about all this and conclusions that I have reached about my life back then since I am now far removed from it and have a wonderful, truly loving husband that has shown me what a woman is supposed to be treated like.
I call Mark my “gentle giant”, partly because he towers over me by 7 or 8 inches and partly because that is what he’s like personality wise. He is gentle, kind, thoughtful, caring, solicitous, etc. but don’t anybody try to hurt me, Sara or one of his daughters ’cause then you’d have a grizzly bear on your hands. He is extremely protective of his “girls”, as a man should be. Mark would rather die than ever raise his hand to a woman or child. When I asked him to start giving me my MS shots, his response to me was, “I can’t do it, babe, ’cause they hurt you and I just can’t be the cause of any pain to you!” It took me a long time to convince him to do for me. It actually came to the point of me sitting one night for an hour trying to give myself the shot and not being able to do it (mental block) and having no other choice but for him to step in and do it for me.
Since I have been online writing this blog, I have “met” several woman who suffered some sort of abuse or all of it. Some of them are okay now and some still are dealing with the effects of it. It is heartbreaking to me to see these women still suffering torment, as if they didn’t deserve to recover their lives and become the person they truly are and not what they have been told there were.
Abuser do that to you, they systematically program you. They tirade at you for hours on end telling you how worthless you are, trash, dirt, sluts, whores, disgusting, hated by everybody, liars, cheats, etc. Over time, you start break down. Your self-esteem goes (however much you had of it in the first place) and then after a little more time, you start believing them. You feel that you are unlovable, that no one in the world other than them would love you, etc.
They program loyalty into you, their brand of it anyway. They tell you over and over again what it means to be loyal. Nothing inside this house ever leaves it. You never talk about yourself to anyone because people can’t be trusted (which does have a lot of truth in it but not in the way they mean it).
They systematically start eliminating all threats to their control over you. They make you alienate friends who might give you strength to stand up to them, family members and relatives are the next to go. When they are done, they can be assured that you have nowhere to go and, therefore, you can’t leave them.
Life for the abused is a vicious cycle that never ends. They abuse you, then you get what is termed as “the honeymoon period” where they tell you how sorry they are, beg you to stay, say that it was your fault really but they forgive you and ask you to forgive them. They shift their guilt onto your shoulders and somehow convince you that they are right. That will usually only last for about a month or two until the verbal abuse starts up again. That will build and build in intensity until the full-out rage stage takes over and they hit you. Then the cycle renews itself.
I used to think to myself, “If I’m such a slut, if I’m all of these things you say I am, then what are you doing with me?” But they keep you so confused in your mind and emotions that you never get any length of time to realize things for what they truly are, insane.
By now, everyone has heard of “battered woman syndrome” where the woman ends up killing their abuser. Well, I came within milliseconds of doing that myself on three separate occasions. I just wanted him to shut up forever, I wanted to be free and didn’t think that there was any other way for me to do it. Of course I didn’t, the angel that guards me must have been whispering in my ear “don’t do it, you’ll never be able to live with yourself if you do, that’s Sara’s dad and you can’t let her grown up with you in prison for killing her dad” and stuff like that…
To be continued tomorrow