Concrete Angel

My youngest daughter showed me this video yesterday.  I’ve heard the song plenty, but never had seen this.  I did not cry!  There was a hollow-ness inside where the images and the words just bounced around uncomfortably.  I thought of so many different things all at once, rushing around my mind faster than my ability to feel or process them all…

My mother, my teachers, the abused children I’ve met in my work, my own children, Dave as the little angel boy, Dave as the abuser….

They aren’t supposed to run off to play in heaven where he knows her vulnerabilities and her weaknesses.  She trusts him…and feels so grateful she has someone who loves her and cares for a change.  And then he uses them to further hurt her, without ever “intending” to do so, of course.

I can’t help but think is he wounded too?  Is that why he has become this?  At this point, I can’t afford to let myself care, but I wonder what creates this vast discrepancy in his character?  Annyway, it matters not, as he is so strong and so proud, even he would not admit to himself if it were.  So, he has that blanket of strength to protect him and give him the coldness (the sense of entitlement?) to jump on other people to get what he needs to make himself feel better.  Somehow while standing in the line of vulnerabilty, I wasn’t given one of those self-survival blankets of protection.  Sure wish I could buy one of those!

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emotional abuse

My youngest daughter woke my spirit up a little yesterday with the sweetest, most heart warming conversation.  She told me how she doesn’t want to grow up because if she gets older, then I will get older and then someday she’ll be alone because I’ll be in heaven.  So we talked for awhile about the pros and cons of growing up and when the people we love are in heaven.  She told me that she thinks she picked me to be her mom before she was ever born and that she chose me because she wanted the most perfect mom in the whole wide world.  And that she wanted to grow up just like me because I have the most beautiful, purest heart of gold. 

Considering recent events and the past three years of mental hell I’ve been through, as well as my recent overwhelming feelings of giving up on it all, I was choked to tears.  I held them back for awhile, but eventually tears came running out of my eyes.  I told her I was crying because what she said made my heart so happy that tears came out!  Which of course is partially true.  The rest was guilt and shame at what I’ve allowed him to create in our life.  What I’ve allowed to go on for so long that it has become utterly inexcusable and totally unacceptable as a role model of any worth whatsoever to my beautiful children.  And I realized at this point, if my children grow up to be psychological doormats or  have extended relationships with emotional abusers, then I have no one but myself to blame for demonstrating that for three years of their lives.  While I (with his help) simultaneously buried myself further and further in despair and confusion, knocking away the breath of any sense of self respect or feeling wothwhile.  I allowed him to repeatedly knock the wind out of my sails or even steal the wind altogether….in spite of the fact that my daughters are riding in this boat with me!

I feel so frustrated at not being able to define why this is crazy and how it’s changed me so completely.  Psychological, mental, and emotional abuse is so difficult to prove because it makes the victim feel like she is crazy and deserves it.  I have gone crazy.  I have responded completely inappropriately to random situations; looking very much like the psycho crazy girl, while he looks like Mr. Calm-Cool-Collected because no one sees what’s going on behind the scenes. 

Not one to pass the blame, I always have to be sure I accept responsibility.  No he has not held a gun to my head or punched me out or even made any verbal threats.  In fact, it is I who have on a few occasions become physical, although strangely enough I have never before been a physically violent person.  Is it wrong to say he has pushed me, molded me, manipulated me into something other than what I was before?

In the past three years, I have become quite shy and withdrawn in public… painfully insecure and mildly paranoid about being judged.   More characteristics that  are complete opposites of my personality before him.  I could never say this is all his fault, since there was no physical force to accept these circumstances.  No, just lies, manipulations, and guilt tactics.  Not a single other thing was used to mold me into what I am today.  And yet although there was no physical force, I have been changed into something different – someone different.  And I just stand in awe of how this has happened.  I think of all the excuses I made for his behavior when people were telling me how cruel he was and how wrong his behavior was.  I think of actually believing in his deepest soul as a good person who could never be capable of intentionally doing these things…although he has been doing them for three years straight.

Why must I carry the burden of craziness?  He accepts no responsibility at all for any of it, so why must I be worried about  being certain I shoulder my part in it all?  Why can’t I just hate him, blame him, and feel like I’m righteous and justified?

Mental cruelty

I do not understand waging psychological warfare on another human being…unless perhaps it is during an actual war.  In which case, I’m still adamantly against it, but it makes sense in a life or death situation.  I will never understand  random pathological liars merely for the sake of mentally torturing someone.

I think of the movie Sybil and how that mother just got her kicks by knocking down her daughter literally and figuratively over and over.  It makes no sense and that is the cruelest abuse of all.  Typically, I’d look at abusers and be disgusted, but also know that they’ve their own demons they’re fighting and feel some sort of compassion, even if only a little.    Randomly waging mental abuse on another person for no reason except for the sheer pleasure of it, is just senselessly cruel and disgustingly sick.

How do you even fight back against that?  I do not believe in fighting back.  I believe in turning the other cheek…but what happens when both cheeks are raw and bloody and the slapping continues?  You can’t call the police for help because it’s all figurative…the only wounds are mental and emotional.   There is no “crime”.  No laws have been broken except moral laws against humanity.  There is no protection from this except to escape.  And what do you do when there is no escape?  When the abuse has so damaged your spirit and your thinking that the fight or flight response has left your resources and you can only hover in the corner waiting the next attack and praying that this isn’t the one that kills you…or hoping it does just to finally be free of it.

Is revenge ever righteous?  I fully realize it’s often warranted, yes…..but is it ever appropriate?  I’ve always believed that living well was the best (and only appropriate) revenge, but I’m learning that in some cases, the abuse itself prohibits any chance to live well. What then?

There are some seriously ill people in this world.

Dead

He died Saturday.  He’s dead.  I’m in shock and submerged in my grief.  Can’t eat.  Can’t sleep.  Can’t think.  Can’t love.   Is it true he died three years ago but I’ve been wrestling and playing with his ghost all this time?  Wrestling and playing with my sanity is probably a more apt description.

I have permission to be angry.  Permission to grieve.  Permission to self-consume in my broken misery.  Temporary permission only though.  I’ve already devoted three years to the ghost of love-past.  I’m  not afforded the luxury now to dwell here for long.  As much as it feels I can’t and as much as I don’t want to, life must go on.  I must insist that it does.  I have too many beautiful blessings to let this injustice end everything.

Death is a part of life.    It just is.  A part of me is dying even as I type this, but my physical body is still gripping to life and for that, I should be grateful, not resentful.  I’m fighting that resentment.  Fighting the pathetic wish to be as dead as he is.  I am alive and he is not.  There must be a reason for that and as much as nothing makes any sense to me right now, I’ll just  have to find it and go on.  I’m not in charge today.  Someone else is calling the shots.  No sense in fighting it.  It has been decided, determined, fated, destined.  I’m just a drop in the ocean of the bigger plan.  My job is to just be/do what I’m meant to be/do.

Dave K. is dead.  I must go on.

Indignation

I have the divorce and I’m grateful for that.  I want an annullment.  I’ve wanted this for several years now since shortly after the divorce.  I can’t understand why my ex-husband refuses to cooperate!  We are legally divorced, so why would he be unwilling to give me the information the church requires for an annullment?  This is confounding and frustrating! 

And why on earth would his girlfriend (the one he cheated on me with during our marriage) also not want to cooperate with an annullment?  Because she is so jealous, I’ve even skipped requesting the information from him, in an attempt to honor her insecurities and their relationship.  I’ve given her the control…going to her to request the information so my attempts could not be misconstrued as an attempt to connect with him.  I would think she would be delighted for the church to disregard one of her boyfriend’s previous marriages?  If we were granted an annullment, she would no longer be guilty of the sin of adultery.  Seems it would benefit everyone involved and do no harm whatsoever to a single soul.  

Please, someone explain to me why these people won’t cooperate with this?  It is such a simple and mutually beneficial endeavor that I must be completely missing a critical element that stands as a huge deterrent for them.  This makes no sense at all to me! 

Why should this be so difficult?  If they are going to prevent me from obtaining an annullment of a senseless, horrible marriage…  if they are so madly in love as they want people to believe…  if they are going to spend the rest of their lives together……….  WHY?????

If they are going to choose to stand in my way with this, I desperately wish I could at least understand why…

&#&%! (aka: the pathetic, useless righteous indignation of a bad little “good girl”)

&$^% the system! $#&^%!  What purpose did it serve?

What had the police done when she was 11 years old and her mother had beaten her with the buckle end of a belt until she bled?  The scabs thrashed up and down her back end from her lower back to her ankles for three weeks afterward wasn’t enough proof that she had been beaten…

What had the justice system done when she was 19 and her ex boyfriend violently raped and beat her because she was trying to leave?  The medical personnel claimed her “injuries matched perfectly with her story”.  The detective claimed he believed every word she said.  The man’s ex girlfriend even came forward and reminded the police that he had once done the same thing to her when she’d wanted to leave.  Sorry… The prosecuting attorney decided regardless of the evidence, cases of acquaintance rape were just “too hard to prove in court”.  The bruises in the distinct shape of four fingers on both sides of her neck were consensual?   The rest of the scrapes, bruises and abrasions over her body from being dragged around were typical of consensual sex?  No, they were just “too hard to prove in court”…

What had the police done when her ex husband was high on drugs and had been drinking excessively?  They pulled him over for doing 45 miles around a street corner and then let him go because he claimed he was just “really upset about 9/11.”

What had they done when the neighbor called them when her husband had beaten her face black and blue?  They chauffeured him to his brother’s house to keep the “two apart for the evening.”

What had the police done when she was mugged and raped at gunpoint in the baseball field next to her house?  They had sat in the parking lot of that park for 3 hours “waiting for the neighboring community to deliver their canine unit” so they could go look for the guy who was running on foot.

What had the police done for the past two years when he drove falling down drunk to her house at least 200 separate times to tell her lies and manipulate her?  Nothing.  Not a thing.  After all, he was an upstanding member of the community, not to mention an excellent liar…  What would they ever want to do about that and why would they bother?

She knew being angry didn’t help anything or make anything a bit better?  It only created ugly anger and pain inside her.  It did nothing else.  But her righteous indignation was choking her as she suppressed it, telling herself that feeling anger just made her life more difficult and didn’t change anything anyway.  Still, it was difficult  at this point to not feel angry.  It had been difficult for some time, but she clenched tightly to her beliefs and continued telling herself anger just begets anger.  It’s useless and serves no purpose except to possibly do more damage.

No, no one ever said life was going to be fair.  She easily remembered her mother repeatedly telling her that as a child. “Well, life just isn’t fair.  Get over it.  The sooner you accept that and learn to just sit quietly no matter what’s being done to you, the sooner you’ll feel better.”  How true….  how very, very true.  Keeping quiet and being a “good girl” never once stopped anything from happening, but it had kept her from getting in more trouble for being noisy and complaining.  “Just be a  good girl and take your knocks as they come.  Don’t cry like a baby.  Don’t get angry and stomp around like you’ve the right to be treated as a human being.  Don’t whine and complain.  That will only get you in more trouble.  Just shut up and smile sweetly like it doesn’t hurt and it will be over faster.  Otherwise, you’re only hurting yourself more…”  Blah, blah, blah!

And in some twisted sort of way, that ingrained theory was what kept her feeling victimized.  Well, not just feeling victimized, but victimized.  The quiet child is always an easy target.  What are they going to do about anything?  Yet still, even as an adult, standing up for herself and for what she believed was right, had only  served to get her in trouble, no one else.  It had never brought justice to the circumstances.  It had never protected her or defended her or prevented things from happening again. 

What do you do when you’re not allowed to get angry?  When that just makes you a person struggling to demand what you’re never going to get.  Something that somehow, by curse or birth-right just wasn’t yours to ever have?  It’s difficult to remain a faithful, quiet good girl for thirty years, as the world seems to just tromp all over you more because you’re such a good girl.  Still, getting angry resolves nothing.  Changes nothing.  So it sits in there simmering and stewing, until it turns back against her and results in self-hatred and depression.

Don’t pray for her.  She gets what she deserves.  She’s just a pseudo human being and pissed off because that’s her lot in life.  Just ignore her unless she serves a purpose for you.  She’ll get over it or die unhappy.

Anger.  Was it her friend?  Was it time?  Had she earned the right yet?  Would it even help at this point?  Would it only create more hatred and bitterness in her life?  The law of attraction says so.  At what point is there any other choice?  When anger-turned-depression becomes consuming and so cycle-perpetuating, what the heck else is there?