It’s interesting how things can come up in life. While I’ve been seeing my therapist recently, it’s come up that the abuse that I sustained for 25 years would also cause PTSD. I should have guessed because it’s repeated emotional pain.
Even more interesting is when you’re faced with your abusers again.
Last night I was in the same space as an abusive ex that I broke up with 8 years ago. It was then that I realized that I still have a lot of anger attached to him. So much to the point where I wanted to go up to him, kick him in the nuts and punch him in the face. Of course, my rational mind didn’t allow for it. Thankfully, my SO (who has said that he wanted to throw the aforementioned ex over a railing) was there to also help stoke my rational mind.
It also made me realize that maybe I should write about that relationship as a way to try and continue to process the abuse.
So, here I am, writing about the abuse that I dealt with at his hands.
He never hit me. He didn’t have to. What he did was more insidious and painful.
He liked to control things. He likes to control things… and people. Which is precisely what he did. I didn’t feel like I had much autonomy in that relationship. We would do what he would want to do. I don’t know how many nights I spent bored on the couch at his place while he would play video games.
But it wasn’t just that. It was never just that. It felt like I was his accessory. I was supposed to be there to make him look good. He even let me know as much.
Every time that I would want to dress up for fun, he would say why are you wearing that. He would never tell me that I looked good or beautiful. He would criticize how I looked. It would be to the point where it was outright derogatory. One time he told me that I looked like a slut.
I never really got to do anything that I wanted to do with him. It was always about what he wanted. He wanted to play video games so that’s what we’d do. He would want to hang out at a late-night diner, so that’s what we’d do. I rarely got any input. When I did, it was ignored or called stupid.
It was so bad that his mom had to talk to him about the fact that he never said anything positive to me.
One time he instigated an argument with me in the middle of a supermarket. When I reacted he would act like he was the calm, collected one and said, “Are you crazy, we’re in public.”
Even more, I felt both emotionally and physically neglected. I never really felt loved in the relationship. I had surgery on both of my feet. I was not supposed to walk for 2 weeks.
Sure, that doesn’t sound long until you’re the person who can’t do it. He never visited me. When I would go to his place he would force me to crawl everywhere… including to get myself something to eat. When we did go on an outing and I was in a wheelchair, he pushed me around carelessly, even ramming my feet into a rock. He would than belittle me for yelling at him in pain because he wasn’t paying attention to where he was going or what he was doing. We would go to his friend’s house and he would sit me in a chair… and ignore me all night. I spent the time staring at a wall.
Granted, I made my mistakes in the relationship. I let it go on for much longer than it should have. I didn’t have the strength to just end it. Instead, I cheated… something that I am not proud of and something that I haven’t done since I took a year off and really reflected on myself.
It was a textbook abusive relationship and I didn’t recognize it. It had to be pointed out to me after I was already disillusioned by the relationship and had to look at what I really wanted romantically.
Even after all these years, I am angry. I think it’s because I haven’t properly dealt with this. I’m not going to cut friends out of my life because he’s friends as well. So, what’s left? It’s time to really deal with it. It’s time to work on dealing with the anger and working on “getting past” it.