Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Abuse Can Be Difficult to Identify - Excessive Jealousy!

One of the things I found out when I was in therapy was that I really didn't know what abuse was. I was so used to being abused that I thought it was normal. It comes in so many different sizes and shapes. It can be subtle or dramatic but mostly it came in my comfort zone. Anything that made me feel bad about myself was what I knew best.

A good example of this was my first husband. He had a disability and didn't work most of the time. He was insanely jealous and I do mean insanely. He would monitor my phone calls, follow me to and from work. Accuse me of all sorts of things with men I might talk to in the process of doing my job. He was unrelenting.

His constant accusations had me so off balance I didn't even realize that they were a form of abuse. It was his way of beating down my self esteem and making sure that I would wait on him hand and foot trying to redeem myself in his eyes when I had really done nothing wrong.

It seemed like the harder I tried to please him the more he accused me of being unfaithful. I could do nothing right. It was a vicious cycle. I found myself believing that somehow I must deserve this treatment.

And worse, I found myself berating myself for doing something that set him off, even though it might be something perfectly innocent. I was so used to walking on eggshells and trying to keep things pleasant, that I took total responsibility for him going out of control. I didn't see it was his problem.

I was unable to see that this treatment was abuse and that he was trying to control my every move. All this time, I told myself he loved me but the truth is he didn't love me at all. The only value I had to him lay in what I could do for him and how I could take care of him.

It was so hard to accept that he didn't care for me at all, only for himself. To me, it was like admitting that I wasn't worth loving. It was so hard to see that it really was him and not me that I didn't somehow make him this way. It was who he was!

I thought because he had a disability I should make allowances for him, I guess. Or maybe, I thought I should be able to be more understanding. What I know for sure, is I thought it was my fault.

As long as I believed that I was somehow responsible for his behavior, then I couldn't protect myself from him. I was stuck in a downward spiral. The only thing that saved me was when I finally confided to someone and they identified the behavior as abuse. I just had been unable to see it myself.

Even then it was hard to leave this relationship. By the time I understood I was being abused, I was so beaten down that I didn't believe I could survive without him. And when I did leave him, he stalked me. I thought I was never going to get away from that man.

After an experience like that, you would think that I would be good a spotting people llike him, but the truth is I still fall into bad situations with people like that occasionally. When I say "people like that" I mean users. Those who prey on other people to make themselves feel better.

I want to give people the benefit of the doubt and give them room to make mistakes because we all do. So sometimes, I give someone a chance who isn't worth the chance. The only difference now is I don't stay stuck in that relationship. It doesn't take long and I get that awkward little feeling in the pit of my stomach and I know. Once I know, I'm gone. Life is too short to waste it on the takers of the world. AND more importantly, I now know, I am a good person and I deserve better than that.


Kat_womanx2 said...

You are a good person..and you deserve wonderful things. You have been through alot and you survived..and continue to survive...thats always the best revenge..."live well"

Lori Schmidt (LoriProPhoto) said...
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Lady Of Chaos said...
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Frazzled Farm Wife said...

"I am a good person and I deserve better than that".....Amen!