I was in two minds whether to open up about this topic or not, due to the fear of any negative come back I might receive and due to it still being very raw. However, I seen this picture on Facebook and it sums up abuse so perfectly that I decided to go ahead and do a little post.
As a part of my ongoing therapy, I wrote two separate lists one being the physical abuse my ex-partner subjected on me and the other being the emotional abuse. It was an eye opener to see the difference of size in the two lists with the emotional abuse list filling the whole page and the physical abuse was just 8 lines. This highlighted very clearly that for my personal situation as much as the physical abuse was there and was extremely distressing, it was much less often than the daily torment of the emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse is much harder to spot and actually at the time I didn’t even realise it was happening, friends and family would talk to me about it but I didn’t understand what they was going on about. It was only till recently, 4 months after the break down of the relationship that I am starting to fully digest the extent of the abuse I received. My ex-partner constantly criticised me, I was repeatedly told I was to blame for the way she behaves, she would turn anything into a row and drag it out for days on end, she would then punish me by either leaving me for a few days saying we we’re over or she would just give me the silent treatment, she blamed me for everything wrong in her life for example whilst we was together she gained weight, she put the blame of that on me, she would get so worked up to the point of anger over trivial things and take her frustrations out on me, crushing me emotionally and mentally. She used to hide behind her “good” job, preaching to me that no one would ever believe me if I told them about her hurting me, that she had a well-respected job and because I was in an abusive relationship in the past it makes me the problem and people would see that. Unfortunately though anyone can become abusive it doesn’t matter what job they have or what their status is in the world. Any form of abuse is wrong regardless of who is carrying it out.
The physical side was obvious to see but in saying that I still made excuses for my ex and forgave her. In fact tangled up in the physical side was also the emotional side which I couldn’t see, for example she would get so upset after hurting me that it would be me comforting her, making her feel better, even though I’d been the one that needed comforting after being attacked by her. One time after she lost it and hurt me after a night out, the next day she told her family and friends that I had attacked her which was obviously untrue. This was another way to again keep me crushed and quiet to say look what I can do. There was no point in fighting it and telling the truth as her friends and family believed her lies.
All this being said the relationship wasn’t always bad; she could be so loving and sweet. We did have some good times together mainly near the beginning of the relationship however the bad far outweighed the good.
I was chatting to a domestic violence support worker the other day; I was so upset that it’s taking me so so long to get over my ex even though I see now how bad for me she was and how abusive she was. The DV worker told me it’s perfectly normal for it to take time to get over this sort of relationship, love doesn’t just stop because you see the wrong doing in the relationship, emotional abuse goes deep and I’m having to rebuild myself, my confidence has been stamped on, my self-esteem is low and I’m having to challenge all the negative views she shoved on me, like that I’m to blame for her actions and that no one will ever love me, that I’m not able to love anyone because I’m too damage, that I’m just being a “Vicky victim” if I was ever upset by the way she treated me. All these comments that my ex used to say to me are not true they were just her way to belittle me and make me feel worthless.
My ex has no concept of the level of heartache and pain she has put me through, she has hurt me more than anyone ever has in my life. She doesn’t care about the damage she has caused, she has just happily thrived in her own life, whilst I was left wounded, broken, torn into pieces by her actions.
The part that has upset and hurt me the most is that I didn’t find it easy to trust in the beginning due to being hurt in the past. She encouraged me to let my guard down and let her in, she used to tell me I was safe with her, that she would always protect me and show me what real love is supposed to be like. Eventually I opened up to her more than I ever had with anyone else in my life. I completely trusted her. It wasn’t that long though before she shattered my trust and used my own deepest fears and painful things I opened up about against me.
The DV worker informed me that I would have a very strong case if I wanted to press charges against my ex, however after some thought I made the decision not to do this and instead to thank my lucky stars she is out of my life. She was the one that in the end walked away; in fact she told me she had gone because she couldn’t stand hurting me anymore so maybe this was her finally showing some remorse (Although she was later very cruel and nasty during the break up). I’m grateful she did leave me regardless of the reasons why she left, as I would have never had the guts to leave. I was blinded by love.
Now instead of being upset, I am taking steps to heal all my broken pieces and get “me” back. I lost myself in this relationship and it’s time for me to slowly not only find myself but to grow stronger from this bad experience to gain the knowledge and skills to help me never put up with abuse ever again.
I cannot go into any more details as it’s too painful but I wanted to do this little post to hopefully encourage others in the same position to open up, to know they are not alone or to help someone who maybe still in an abusive relationship to see it’s wrong and no one should have to suffer at the hands of a partner.
I am getting stronger and happier with each new day. I am not a victim! I am a survivor
Being a survivor of emotional abuse is fighting daily battles in your head with a person you no longer have contact with.