I am realizing just how much my core personality was affected over the years, maybe not my personality per se, but my behavior? The biggest example is my lack of assertiveness. I take way too much shit from way too many people. I seriously had not realized how this affected other areas of my life. I have learned to not confront and basically let people walk all over me. I was NEVER this kind of person. Even at work I'm now noticing how I take shit, let the resentment build, then get angry over something relatively minor and unrelated. I do not stick up for myself. I think I have become a "rugsweeper" in all areas of my life ... avoiding conflict but letting resentment build. Argh!!! Hopefully, these realizations are the first step in getting back to my true self. To the person I was BEFORE I met the POS. Because you know what?? I LIKED that gal, and I MISS her This wishy-washy, struggle to make decisions, take your crap gal? NOT SO MUCH
I have been dealing w/triggers(?) that have been popping out to me regarding the abuse. Subtle criticisms to outright insults from the POS - to which my responses varied over the years from tears to outrage. The outrage often occurred in public settings that made ME look like a bitch. (I now understand he designed it this way) He would tell me often "I'm just joking. You have no sense of humor."
One of the saddest things about some of these triggers, unfortunately, is that many are coming from my kids. An example would be my DD11 made a comment last night very matter-of-fact about me being a horrible driver. I had a flashback: 10-12 years ago I kind of all of a sudden noticed I was terrified to drive. It was strange but then it started popping in my head about how POS would criticize my driving constantly and I somehow had managed to internalize this "voice" so that I heard it even when he wasn't in the car!! I had to work really hard to get that voice OUT OF MY HEAD so I could drive my damn kids around w/out the anxiety but I managed to do it and then I dealt w/him when he was in the car by basically telling him to shut the eff up. (Obviously not in those exact words when kids were with) But still comments continued to be made over the years to which I'd simply give him a "look" and he'd shut up, the damage was still there though, just got a little quieter and more subtle. Got to the point where I couldn't stand to have him in the car or would just make him drive. Let's be clear here too - I am a good driver - he, on the other hand, has had so many accidents, tickets of every kind, DUI's, doesn't really understand a lot of the common sense rules of the road, has wrecked MANY vehicles and has even had lots of people comment that someday he is going to kill someone w/his stupid driving. Hmmm... project much??? He does a lot of "projecting" his issues on to me. I did appreciate one of my sons defending me last night by calmly and nicely pointing out to his sister that a. mom is NOT a horrible driver and b. you are 11 and what do you really know about driving?
There are lots more examples of abuse triggers lately but just thought I'd start here for now. It feels good to start getting some of this out and working on me for a change. It really brings me clarity and helps me realize that I can NEVER be around this guy again. I will heal myself and protect my children the best I can. I will be ME again.
Anyone relate to this shit out there????
I am so sorry to hear that your DD picked up some of your XPOS's verbal abuse. Hopefully with time she will be reprogrammed a bit and you will also be less susceptible to triggering.
And I'm not nearly as friendly and outgoing as I used to be. I wall myself off now. I know it is a defense mechanism -- but I don't want to be close to ANYBODY! I'm sure that has something to do with the fact that it was my BFF that propositioned my husband for sex and he took her up on it for 3 years or more. Ya know -- with friends like that who needs enemies??? Not sure I want friends right now.
TRIGGERS -- from random stuff -- not quite as frequent as they were in the beginning -- but they still happen. Luckily, not too many with my kids -- but it does happen.
I'm not sure that I am of any help to you at all. But wanted you to know that you were heard.
For the longest time I made my needs as small as possible so as to not poke the bear - but what ended up happening was the bear started thinking my needs were small.
It was so subtle I found it hard to call it abuse - he wasn't hitting me so could I really call that abuse? I now see it for what it was - emotional abuse. Like a frog boiled slowly it wasn't until I was away from him that I realised how hot it had become in that pot.
All of this is good stuff. I've rediscovered myself in this past year or so and I'm slowly peeling away layers of my onion. The 'me' in this mess. What led me to someone like him. Why I stayed. Where I went.
Examples include many violent outbursts over the years such as:
*throwing a bottle of Baby Magic baby lotion (when DSs were babes) so hard onto carpet that it shattered and lotion splattered everywhere - I honestly don't even remember what he was upset about
*I was late getting home from buying groceries once (as in about 10 minutes) which didn't make him late for work, he simply couldn't be as early as he wanted to be - and he came flying at me off our front porch shouting/screaming every profanity you can ever imagine - pure rage - I remember standing there after he tore out of our driveway and it felt like I'd been violently raped - like it would have felt better if he'd just hit me - and it was so unbelievably uncalled for??? I packed up my then aged 2,2, and 3yr. old sons and headed to a motel for the night. He ended up calling every single person I knew, including some of my friends parents trying to find me and sobbing to everyone. Oh, he felt so so bad. It would never happen again. Blah blah blah. But the scars are there for me. BTW that also turned into "how miserable he was at his job" "how he felt like he just couldn't talk to me about it" - this turning it into the let's feel sorry for the POS would be/is his theme song - and he can be very convincing
*One night several years ago after he'd been drinking heavily I made some snide comments to him and went off to bed - I don't even remember what I said, wasn't thinking it was too provoking? but he flipped out - ripped my flipped phone (yep, it was a few years ago) into 2 pieces (literally) slammed a barstool so hard on our kitchen floor that it went through the floor, the whole floor, subfloor and all, and broke the solid oak seat of the stool in half..., took a chair from kids' little kitchen set and swung it at the entertainment cabinet breaking both the chair and the door to the cabinet... I could hear him raging and remember thinking WTF?? I remember feeling confused as it wasn't like we'd had some big fight, like his behavior doesn't = the situation. Needless to say when everything got quiet I went to check on him and found him laying in our entry sobbing and once again it was poor, poor POS, I don't know what's wrong with me, blah, blah, blah - (Sidenote here: thank God no children were home that night)
*then there's the multiple Ddays and his rage at getting caught - argh, I can't even write about the things he did/said to me on those days... I will get there but just can't right now...
Sorry for the long post. I just really feel like I need to get some of this out of me. I so want to move on.
Long repressed memories of quiet and not so quiet acts of violence. - it always gives me that trapped, anxious tightness in my chest and it makes me want to run. I'm learning to turn around and face them, name them, take away their power to make me want to run.
You getting this out could help someone else find their voice. Be mindful not to turn on yourself. Shine a torch there for sure, just don't club yourself over the head with that torch (I did, still do sometimes).
Keep reading. Keep posting. You are cutting the noxious weeds off you right now. You'll see a chink of sunlight and then it gets bigger. One day you'll be basking in the sunshine.
My STBX didn't fly into violent rages or yell, but his voice would get deeper and lower and NASTY MEAN. Freaked me the fuck out. I am talking SCARY.
I was never afraid of him physically because I come from a long line of Beserkers (and no, I'm not kidding) that's my heritage. I am physically strong so he never pushed that button. I do not, however, always think I look good or have confidence about my appearance. My family are robust (if you're being kind), and I'm not a small or delicate woman. So that is the way he would attack me. Insidious and subversive shit, all the time.
I've only been NC since about 3 weeks ago and I already see so many ways I just rolled over and let him determine what we did, where we went ... so many things I just 'didn't have an opinion' and now I realize I just wanted to avoid making him angry/upset.
What scares me the most is this: when he can't get to me, he fucks w/the kids. Emotionally, verbally and right now he is busy manipulating them. He is a sick twisted bastard. How the hell do I protect my kids??? How do I counter his damage??? Two have already started IC and the other two start mid-January. I feel so helpless and I am utterly terrified.