You know what isn’t talked about enough? Domestic abuse. Not just the violence, the real hard damage even emotional abuse does. The cycle of abuse, from what I’ve learned, is alarming. The alarming part is how sneaky it is. You don’t even KNOW it’s abuse, until it’s too late.
Being told you’re unlovable because you’re a young mother with 2 children and stretch marks doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. When you’re in a relationship with someone that has torn you down for years, and has planted these seeds of self-hate it turns into a big deal. Being unlovable is like the lowest of low feelings, any way you look at it. Being unwanted by anyone is a hard pill to swallow.
I have PTSD from an abusive relationship.
Have you ever seen “Gone Girl”? I haven’t. I tried watching it, and I watched a few chapters in before it became too much for me to handle. There’s a part where the wife says something like “you have no idea what it’s like to be afraid of your husband (I’m paraphrasing, I don’t remember the exact verbiage) “ at that point in the movie, I lost it. Uncontrollable tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t stop them . My husband (who is not the one that caused this pain) turned the movie off, told me we weren’t watching it, and held me as I cried. We still haven’t seen the movie.
I guess this was the moment I truly realized I had PTSD. Something as simple as an actor, playing a character, portraying that she was afraid of her fake husband, who was also an actor, made me lose it.
The pain is real. It doesn’t leave. It doesn’t die. My situation was not near as bad as it could have been, or as bad as many other situations I’ve heard of. But my situation was real, and it was terrifying. The day I left that marriage, I cried for hours while driving across the country. I cried because I was walking away from my marriage and I was tearing my family apart. I cried because of how my ex-husband would feel. How he’d miss us, how he’d miss me. I almost turned around several times, but there was this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me to keep going. And I did. As I think back on leaveing, I think about how stupid I was to be caring about HIM instead of my health, Instead of my children growing up in a loving home. I cared about his feelings, even after he put his hands on me.
Abuse looks like a lot of different things. It’s not just obvious bruises on a person’s body. Emotional scaring is just as real as physical. Being told your worthless only to turn around a day later and be showered with love and affection only to then turn around in a week and have someone yelling in your face about how ugly you are. That’s abuse. Someone threatening to end their life if you don’t stay in a relationship is abuse. Pushing you into a door frame, blacking out your eye and denying it, making YOU feel like the crazy one… is abuse. It’s mind twisting torture. I can’t tell you how many times I questioned my sanity simply because my story was denied by my abuser. Do you know how scary it is to question your sanity? “Did he push me? Did I actually trip?”
People say abused women are weak. And that couldn’t be further from the truth. Abused women are brainwashed into thinking they’re worthless and useless without their abuser by their side. Therefore, they do everything they can to prove their love, over and over and over.
I had a breaking point, and I was lucky. A lot of women don’t get to be lucky. My breaking point was a fist to my left cheek. By this point, I’d been yelled at, spit on, pushed, slapped, shoved, poked, choked, but never punched. And I didn’t see it as abuse, any of it, until a fist struck my face. I was lucky, and I left shortly after.
I’m damaged. My emotions are fragile at times, I have unexpected triggers that I don’t know exist until they happen. Abuse is abuse and it doesn’t always look like abuse. Especially when you’re in the situation seeing everything through rose colored glasses.
Talk about it. You never know who may be in a situation similar that they don’t view as abuse. Abuse can take an ugly turn, or it can continue to wear a person down to where they’re a shell of the vibrant person they once were. I wouldn’t want my daughter in the same situation, I’m sure you wouldn’t either.