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?

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The filthy stain on my heart

little girl

 

You know that I am quite small and my heart is big.  The only thing larger might be my  conscience and sense of guilt and responsibility.  You may be bigger than I but I am much bigger than you on the inside.

You dangle forgiveness in front of my nose so closely that I can smell its invigorating scent; almost tasting its saving grace…  But you do not let me hold it except brief moments when you drop it unexpectedly in my lap like a prize from a carnival game.  Overwhelming me with its presence and as I slowly realize it is right there, you snatch it away…running off while tossing insults at me about things you don’t even know.  Please keep your insults to what is real and fact, although I understand at this point you know very little about me and understand even less.  It must be challenging to find valid insults.  Your brief glimpses at me do not expose many of my faults, but they are there.  I am not hiding them and I am not ashamed.  I no longer chase the elusive forgiveness you dangle.  I know it is merely a tool you use to torture me, like mother dangling a moment of freedom in my face before  locking the door and tossing away the key. 

I do not want your forgiveness.  I do not need it.  I am forgiven.  I Am the forgiven.  You do not hold the power of forgiveness any more. You never did.  That was an illusion I had in the chaos of love and mistakes.  I can’t know if I see clearly now, but I do know that my eyes are starting to open and see you for what you are.  It’s so ugly it’s painful to see and it rips at my memories, creating questions of their validity.  You may be satan’s helper.  You may be the devil’s essence itself.  I may not ever know, but I know you are ugly through and through and in the presence of beauty you lost yourself and hungrily grasped at the only source of power you might ever have the chance to hold over it.

That is ugly.  You are ugly.   I leave you to dwell in the misery of your own making.  Get drunk and forget yourself.  Have sex with hundreds of unsuspecting victims or vixens in their own right.  I do not care.  Just go away.  Every time you come near, your sickness leaves a filthy stain on  my heart that takes months to scrub clean.  Stay away.  Do whatever you have to do.  Just do it somewhere else.

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.