where she stops, nobody knows

I’ve been doing some reading, and a lot of thinking this weekend.

I am starting to admit what I have not been able to.

My husband is verbally abusive to me.

I re-read a book that I hadn’t looked at in a long time, The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans.  I read it first when I interned in a program for battered women (can we say “irony” boys and girls?).

He is not a yeller.  I have never been afraid of physical violence.  Most of the “conversation” examples in the book were nothing like what I experience.   But it was still so dead on.  I spent much of Saturday afternoon and evening in shock because of how accurately me and my situation were described by the book.

Where does this leave me?  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

Maybe I feel a little bit less like it’s my fault, though.

And yesterday I called my mom.  I opened up a door there.  I don’t want this to be a secret anymore.  I’ve been hiding this, protecting him, and taking part in my own undoing for so long–because I never wanted anyone to think badly of him, of us.  Before today I had only ever told one friend about the things he has said to me, the belittling, crazy-making, scornful, sarcastic things he says to me.  I was so ashamed.

I don’t know where this is going.  I am already stronger at setting boundaries (which has never been a strong suit of mine).  Things should get interesting, to say the least.

This is so hard.

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7 responses to “where she stops, nobody knows

  1. This is a huge realization. Recognizing that you are experiencing verbal abuse (and calling it what it is) is putting you closer to being able to deal with the situation.

    My mom grew up with an emotionally abusive mother who suffers from borderline personality disorder, and she had a similar “Aha” moment after reading a book describing situations similar to hers.

    I agree that it’s good that you told your mom. It is important to have someone to talk to about this. Have you considered going to therapy on your own, even if Mr. X won’t go with you?

    Sorry for the long comment–I should email you next time. And thanks for the blog award! I intend to post my honest scrap sometime soon.

    Thinking of you.

  2. Oh sweetie. This makes me so sad for you. I think verbal abuse can be worse than physical because it leaves scars in our psyches that end up hurting us for years and years. I want to give you a hug and tell you you are loved and deserve to be treated so much better. I am glad you told your mom, there is nothing to be ashamed of and you are not to blame for this. I know you know that- rationally and logically.

    I’ll be here to lend you strength, support, anything you need. Come visit me in Ohio if you need a break from all of this.

  3. I’m so sorry that you’re experiencing this. Maybe this is the first step in healing the relationship though. Will your DH go to counseling? I’m sorry if you’ve mentioned that before…

    My dad used to be pretty verbally abusive to my mom. He loved her like mad, but when his temper flared, it really flared. He did eventually go to counseling with her. He also had a heart attack almost 7 years ago, so that’s chilled him out too. Mostly my mom won’t take his shit anymore though. Once she let him know that she loved him, but wouldn’t allow the abuse to continue, he didn’t know what hit him.

    I remember something she told me once. Her counselor had told her, “He uses his raised voice or his hurtful comments to try to ‘control’ you. Once you show him that it won’t work, he may freak out, but will see that his words don’t have power over you anymore.” I don’t know if that applies to you, but use it, if you can.

    Again, you’re in my thoughts.

  4. No words, really. I’m just here for you.

    Hugs,
    Jo

  5. Wow, what a shit I’ve been for not stopping by. First of all, abuse is never your fault. Remember that, and say it once again with me: Abuse is never your fault.

    You know, my parents were abusive and if there is one thing I learned from that wretched experience, it’s this: Verbal abuse stems from needing to get out the ugly, from needing to hurt another. There is nothing for YOU to be ashamed of; it is something that requires therapy and, as you said, healing. And bravery. But you are not alone, and know this: It is not your fault. Maybe you screw up sometimes, but really, there are and should be limits on reactions, expectations of self control.

  6. ICLW. Now that you’ve seen THE TRUTH, you’ve taken charge of how you want to spend the rest of your life. Things can change for the better, please have hope you both have an opportunity to heal – but take care of yourself first.

  7. I’m so sorry for what you are having to go through. I know you will be strong and make the decision that is right for you. Keep you head up, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel for you. ❤

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