Note: Identities and any identifying details are OMITTED for privacy.
***Trigger warning: Deals with verbal abuse****
I recently read an article that a teenage wrote and before you groan at me, its about overcoming verbal abuse. It was really well written, and this post is based off of that, although it’s my story. So here goes.
You were supposed to protect and guard me from outside dark forces. No matter what those were. No matter what they consisted of. Instead, what you did is far more sinister than I could have deemed possible. It started off nice enough, talking, supporting, laughing at silly things…building the bond that was needed. Building trust. Building mutual respect. Until it all went wrong. You said I didn’t look good with so much makeup…so I have paired it down to just the basics, usually eyeliner and mascara with powder and eyebrow pencil. You didn’t like how I looked with the clothes I choose…the word “slutty” was thrown around, so I started wearing clothes that covered me. You didn’t like my strength, which you mistook as an attitude, so I changed how I came across to people. You didn’t like how loud I was….so I became quiet..while you in turn, became louder than life.
You didn’t like how thin I was….saying I was attracting others attention. So that changed..something I’m still working on. You didn’t like how heavy I was becoming, or if it looked the slightest bit like I had put on some weight…so in self defense, I covered up again and ate less every day, because those accusations were constant. You didn’t like my weakness….so I built up my strength once again, which turned into more of what you didn’t like. You didn’t like me talking with my friends, you complained when I did, made smart aleck responses which I caught every time, and would slam things down. So I talked to them less and less until eventually, they quit being so present and moved on. You didn’t like my music….so I changed that….over and over. You didn’t like it when I typed anything at all..you would get suspicious and read every last detail. You didn’t like when I blogged, so I quit that, much to the dismay of my readers.
You complained and belittled me about my lack of a job, and focusing on being a student while I was waiting to hear back from jobs I’d applied too. In your opinion, I was lazy and unmotivated. Quite the opposite as I was taking a full course load, and that trend continues to this day. You didn’t like how I dressed up…so eventually I dressed down, wearing mostly what made me comfortable. You didn’t like when I brought in others to help..you would demean them, shame them, make them uncomfortable to the point that they would flee. You picked arguments with them constantly and you didn’t like my resulting anger, saying I was too “hot headed” and quick to erupt. So I let it go. You didn’t like when I would confront you about everything you were putting me through, so I finally went silent and shut down. Then you even complained about that!! To my friends, no less. The strong ones stayed….the weaker ones just left.
I was finally able to bring my cat here…you complained about her as well. We got a dog…you eventually complained about that. I would close the windows on a chilly night, so the room would get stuffy. You had the audacity to complain numerous times about how my room smelled bad…which embarrassed me to no end. You then decided I smelled and would point that out at every available opportunity, even when I had just showered. You complained my bedding smelled, even though I tried to keep it washed…and even now it needs laundering, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. You complained about how dirty the carpet was, even though you knew our vacuum broke. You complained about how dirty the room was, and lost sight of the fact that I was too down to care about it. You didn’t like it when I would find a feather and keep it. You complained about me making coffee in my room, even though I am very careful to keep it away from you, and the coffee pot is mine. You complained about me yelling in the middle of the night, as your actions kept me awake. You didn’t like it when I reached out for help, and would lie to the ones who came to my aid, or even prevented them from doing so.
You had the audacity to accuse me of drinking, when it was clear I had stopped, and when I drank on occasion, you complained. I’m living with a friend, and you complained about him every time he moved around at night. I’m living in his mom’s room, and you disrespect the space constantly, and disrespect her memory on her birthday. There was a laundry list of things that needed to be done, and those were your responsibility to do…however, you didn’t like that either and complained until you were forced to do them…and you still complained, or did them halfway. You would constantly belittle me and say I was a bit**, I was a whor*, I was mean, I was cold…when in reality, I was being myself. I wasn’t even sleeping around. I was being raped….but you still used those names to describe me. Despicable. You complained about me walking so close to you at night…even though this is close quarters. So I tried moving further away from you….which just caused more problems. I was finally happy..and you chose actions and decisions that deadened that and still found a way to blame me. When I would blow, I was accused of being “over-dramatic” “drama” and simply too angry. I had to forgive and forgive and take the punishments and blame. That was my responsibility and place. I would put my hair up and that was attacked as well until I just started wearing it in a low ponytail. I would be hit physically..without provocation, and without me hitting in return, and it was simply my fault.
You complained about what I ate, instead of focusing on the fact that it was food. When I said anything, I was belittled for that. I was belittled so much that finally I remained silent and tried to make things work, because there was no available help coming at that time. I tried so much to make things work that I stressed myself out and lost sight of what really mattered to me and my life. I ended up pregnant and you even complained about that. I had a miscarriage, and you still complained!! You said I made the whole thing up, me and my friend “lied” about the entire thing. Only recently have you admitted I was telling the truth, and I still hear your lies. I even went through the nightmare decision to forgive you, and did. You didn’t like my mouth so you told me “find a dentist” rather than accept me as I am. You didn’t like my breath, so you told me to improve my hygiene. I was so down I didn’t care about my appearance, so you told me to “improve my image.” I tried to just deal with the situation because changing it seemed impossible at the time. You destroyed my strength, my self-esteem, my confidence, until I was just an empty shell. Then you didn’t like that, either.
This was over the course of an entire year…I am now trying to build myself back up o being strong. I wear whatever I want, even if most days its only sweats and a sweatshirt. When you step out of line, I confront you on it…albeit gently. I’m still angry…although not as deeply as I was. You destroyed the bond we had until I decided to break free completely, you destroyed my faith and trust to the point that you will never have the opportunity to receive it again. I was too strong for you to handle, so you had to break me down to the core, and try to mold me. Only I can’t be molded because I’m not clay. I am a person…and I am who I am. I know who I am deep down underneath all of this….and that person is emerging once again. I am trying to heal from everything with you still present and still opening your mouth, even though its wiser to keep it shut. You really don’t like that I’m putting this out there….and you didn’t like the fact that I told a friend. Well ..that’s how we heal…we heal when we feel heard. You don’t control me, nor do you own me, nor can you ever mold me. You can try but you will not succeed. A lesson I hope you learn because you have given me one hell of a lesson in return.
NEVER let ANY type of abuse slide….it keeps going, and it gets worse. It thrives on secrecy…and the ones that don’t want others knowing their bad behavior become angry as you tell the story. But keep on telling it..because eventually it’ll land in the right hands and things will change. Use my experience as a lesson…..and keep on teaching others how the correct way to treat someone actually is. Lisa.