Dealing with the ravages of emotional abuse
I think one of the most misunderstood things that can happen to a woman is one who is suffering in an emotionally abusive relationship. I know because I was one of them. It is easy to tell yourself things like 'there are woman suffering worse then I am, some are getting beat" and so on and you end up feeling like you don't deserve any better.
It is especially hard when your family is not supportive and you feel that you as a person really don't matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. It is enough to know that you are a caring person and that somewhere hidden deep inside yourself is that spark of 'you' that no one can harm.
I made tentative gestures to my family but mainly got back that I was spoiled or such. How I did 'nothing' all day but lay around reading. I had had 4 children in 3 years and somehow in that time when I was tired things changed in my marriage. I would have nightmares when I got up the courage to think of leaving him that he came and killed me. What terrified me was not that I was killed but that my daughters would be left with him or my family and neither option appealed. I stayed in the marriage being 'good' and waited and hoped for a way to change things.
Things had to change though. I can remember vividly going to a woman's resource center, still in my 'pretend nothing is wrong' mode and asking for general information. I remember begging the lady with my eyes to please care about me, please care what happens to me. She saw my eyes and said maybe I should talk to someone there. That was the start of it, a very long and hard road but so worth it and now it is almost 1 year divorced.
I knew things had to change because someone pointed out to me what message was I sending to my daughters staying in this relationship. Even though we lost everything and are just now beginning to dream of buying a house for us, the difference in our lives was amazing. I no longer feel like I am a worthless slug though am still a long way away from feeling 'like myself' -the me I know I am deep inside. I had to write my story for other woman who are in a similar situation and need that extra nudge to finally change things. I think what held me back was the fear that maybe I really was worthless and not worth caring about. The fear that I would finally get the courage to ask for help and not be thought worth helping. I want to let other woman know that they are worth everything and though it will be very hard it is so much better then what it was before.