Posts Tagged ‘emotional abuse’

Just got an email this afternoon from my ex-spouse (the emotionally abusive one) that he is getting married in a month.

So how do I handle this?  I don’t care on 99% of the levels but I do have some concerns.  He’s replacing me.  My kids have grown further and farther away from me in the past year and now it’s starting to make sense.  He’s had this person by his side the whole time and the girls kept it from me as well as he did.

So how to be dignified and graceful in this situation?  I’m not quite sure yet that is why I’m writing this down in the hopes that someone can relate to this situation or be helped by something I say here.

So a month.  Really?  He made sure to include the fact the girls like her and she cooks, plays Minecraft, colors with them.  Basically replacing me as I do those things too.  She’s never had children of her own…and she’s moving in on mine.  Maybe she’ll be great.  I’d like to meet her.

I’m going to have to up my A-game but in a dignified way.

How do you be dignified when you are in primal mode?  I really need to listen to my chill out playlist on iTunes.  And I need to listen to the Matthew West song “Forgiveness” until I can forgive him for this last thing he’s done to my  heart.

This week I was verbally assaulted by my children.  Know this:  I’m a very tough person.  My mom says I’m the most courageous person she knows.  My brother said that too.  I get out of bed every day, whether I feel like it physically or not.  I have fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder with a significant amount of anxiety that goes along with the bipolar disorder.  Yet I get up, I work.  Sometimes I’m so physically tired I can barely do anything when I get home.  My parents don’t understand it.  I wish they would.  They think my house should be ready for company at any time.  And that THAT is the reason the kids don’t want to come over.

Which leaves me with my dog.  And my two birds. Right now I want to go home, get my exercise clothes on and walk my dog, in the dark.  And walk until the hurt dies down a little bit.

If you have any suggestions as to how to rise above the emotions I’m feeling I’d love to hear from you or hear your stories.  God is still on the throne.  The sun will rise again tomorrow and the moon will come up tonight.  Tomorrow I will get up and it will be another day at work.  Then I have a whole weekend with my girls.  I have plenty to do with them.

See…my chains are gone.  Forgiveness means my chains are gone.  I’m no longer a prisoner of hate.  I’m ME.  And that is enough.

 

 

 

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One email derailed my day. I’m mad that it did but it did and now I lay here trying to unpack my emotions like a suitcase full of wrinkled dirty clothes.

We’ve all heard the phrase “we don’t negotiate with terrorists.” This post is not about the worldwide terrorism, it is about emotional terrorists.

Emotional terrorists are small people. Power hungry people who devise pleasure from hurting others. Sometimes it is those they live or used to love. I know. I was married to one.

People who control others are weak and pitiful. But they still inflict great chaos and hurt to those in their path. The sick part is that is WHY they do it. They utilize your vulnerabilities to their advantage.

After reading an email from my ex this morning I was transported back to feelings that I do not care to relive. Every time I write an email requesting what is normal and expected in a situation it is either: 1. Not answered 2. Answered but like a day later even though I know this person constantly checks his email 3. Met with opposition-always and without exception.

Unless you’ve lived through one of these type of abusive relationships you can’t imagine the PTSD like response your body goes into after such an interaction. It’s like fight or flight. Adrenal pumps. Emotions erupt and threaten any peace you currently had that day.

I remember feeling like this every single day. My mind never got a chance to recover day to day and it felt like every day was fight or flight. I’m not talking physical abuse here but emotional abuse. These physiological responses threatened my health physically and mentally.

I used to feel like this every single day. It might not be the best choice of grammar but it sucked. Big time.

The human part of me wants to retaliate with shock and awe. To what end? Not willing to put my children in the middle of two warring parents (even if we’re no longer married). The rational side of me knows engaging the enemy in this case is what they want so I will not issue shock and awe upon their heads but I’ll be honest, I really want to. But that is the hurt talking.

I don’t get to be the judge but there is some comfort in the fact that God will someday. Even saying that makes me feel small. Truth be told I’ll only recover from my anger and hurt when I hand it over to God. And I’ve been miserable all day because instead of handing over my hurt I’ve nursed it.

Opening up my tight little fists slowly….

The right words at the right time. This week I had to step out into the stairwell at work to call my dad. I was upset and frustrated and worried. A lack of timely communication about my daughter had me feeling hurt and worried.

As my dad often does, he talked me through the rough situation, offering insight into me and the other party involved that was wise and timely.

After we discussed my reaction to being hurt, again, my dad said these words which wrote on the very surface of my heart:

He can’t hurt you anymore.

And with that, something healed in my heart and head. You see, I HEARD it and believed it. No, I won’t live a life without hurt or loss. How I react to it is what is important.

I’m done. No more power is being given over.

He can’t hurt me anymore.

When you deal with someone who is emotionally abusive, it’s like they say “hey, let’s play Russian roulette” but then proceeds to hand you a fully loaded gun.

Their desire is to hurt, to kill – in my case it was not physically kill – but the intent was and is to hurt me deeply, over and over again. His intent is to kill my spirit.

It does not compute in my mind, it never will. I understand it and have studied and lived through abuse but I will never fully “get” it. It is indescribable and well, nuts.

When a manipulating, controlling abuser gets you frustrated he has won. I let a situation and person frustrate me tonight and I responded in frustration and let him know I was angry. Although I felt vindicated for about 1/10th of a second, I also knew that I had lost. By reacting to him I fed his madness.

So I develop a plan to avoid this situation with him by planning and out smarting him.

This is my reality. Dealing with it stinks but it just IS. He probably won’t ever change and I know this but I can learn to outwit and outsmart him.

Tonight I lay here listening to worship music because I am not going to let my hurt or anger take on a life of its own. You see, if I do that then the Enemy and this person wins.

Laying here trying to wrap my head around some things that have happened in my world lately. If you have lived through any type of abuse, such as emotional abuse, when I talk about times when things happen that literally slingshot you back to another time and place you will understand.

It can be some unkind of hateful thing from someone you care about and all the sudden you are struggling to keep from disassociating. Your mind and body want to flee the situation. You desperately wish you could just scream or just not talk for about a week or both!

A parent who abuses emotionally whether it is to his or her spouse will inevitably teach these “skills” to his or her children whether the kids know it is happening or not. Often the kids don’t know it is happening. Their world gets slowly turned upside down until they are no longer who they once were. What is normal to them is warped but it’s happened to them so slowly they don’t even know it. I know. It happened to me as an adult.

I have been free from these feelings for a couple of years until just recently when I started writing about abuse openly. This time around I know what’s happening to the parties involved and can prepare myself better. It’s still hard though. I want to scream and lay it all out for my kids but they are not ready yet.

My heart hurts as I struggle to stay present, to keep my mind from temporarily going on vacation. I am tempted to check out mentally (stick my head in the sand) but I will not. You see if the abuser gets you to that point they have won. And I’m not defeated. My God is bigger than any of my adversaries. And ultimately He will sit in judgement and that frees me from doing that.

Words have power. We all have heard that. We have probably all felt good at the accolades from another and felt bad from the hurtful words of another.

Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.

What a dumb, dumb phrase some of us were taught and used as children!

Emotional abuse. Many hear that and immediately think, well it can’t be THAT serious. Verbal abuse can be yelling but it’s so much more than that. Emotional abuse is hard to put into words and I’ve lived through it.

For me emotional abuse was like being held down in cold water only to be let up once in a while to breathe. Quick breath then whoosh, back into the water that threatened to drown me.

Even though I am out of my marriage I still to this day cannot fathom how someone who professed to love me forever could do and say the things he did. It still doesn’t compute even though I quite well versed in abuse. Hundreds of hours of counseling later and I have come to this revelation.

I may never fully understand it. Some people get lost in the hurt and I did too for a while, a long while. One poignant email is seared in my mind. The person wrote telling me that essentially he was a race car, speeding along and that I was a klunker. I’ll admit I’m no Ferrari but neither was he. That is so beside the point.

I wish that I could unread that email. It was years ago. I’ve forgiven him many times (not because he asked but because I needed to, for me).

Forgiveness is a process. And it’s often something that requires ongoing forgiveness if that person is still in the outskirts of your life. 70×7.

Words have the power to build up and destroy. Words can rally an army to victory and words can cause a person to give up on life. Pick your words carefully and speak to others as you hope they’d speak to you.

I will not forget but I choose to forgive.

Hurt. Control. Manipulation. Betrayal.

These are just some of the tools in the arsenal for the emotionally abusive person. Small people use them to feel big but really it just shows how small they really are.

Betrayal hurts no matter who does it but when it comes from someone who used to be family it is especially poignant. Abuse is never okay no matter the type.

Recovering from being in an abusive relationship is complicated and a journey. Six years out of mine and I have come so far but there is still more to learn, more healing to do. More forgiving.

Things happen. Situations happen and I’m whisked back to a time when most of what I felt was hurt. Unless you’ve lived through it you cannot imagine the almost PTSD like symptoms. That adrenaline that kicks in that floods your body….fight or flight.

Many years ago I got hives all the time from all the stress I was encountering. It was a outward sign of the inner turmoil. The type of stress that about caused my body to stop functioning.

So here I lay, writing both to process things and in the hopes that perhaps God could use broken ole me and my story to help someone else.

To write about God’s Grace and how God rescued me and holds me even now in his hands. The all powerful God of our universe knows my name and knows exactly how many hairs are on my head at this very second.

I matter. Not because of who I am but because of who He is.