Some of this has come from getting to a point where I feel more confident in expressing the fact that I was in a relationship with someone who has a destructive personality. Someone prone to using very sly forms of verbal abuse and guilt inducing tactics to try and maintain, unnecessary, control. A victim of his upbringing perhaps, yes, but there comes a time, when that can no longer be an excuse. For so long I took on everything on my own shoulders, laid nothing at his feet. Because he so vigilantly took no responsibility for our problems, for my despair. I am not without my part, and I accept that, but I will no longer buy into his web of self deception. That time is over.
My mother passed me an article recently. I know it pained her to do so, because she doesn't like to lead, or judge, but it was an article titled 'Steps to protect yourself from abusive people'. I was surprised she would be so bold, like all magazine articles it simplified the topic but I nonetheless identified with a lot of the content. I will rephrase some of it here, just in case this entry finds its way to another beautiful woman like me, suffocating, being suffocated, unable to break free due to self doubt.
These are some of the things the author cited as traits of someone with a negative personality. (I find it difficult to use the term 'abuser' but the author did.)
- They appear arrogant and self confident and feel they are better than you.
- They may verbally put you down leaving no trace of bruises or injury, but the abuse is harming to the soul. (I was told I was selfish so many times that there was a time I felt like I couldn't do anything just for me because to do so would be self indulgent and that's not what good mothers do.)
- They act as if nothing happened, in order to excuse their behaviour, and always manage to justify their actions (Sideways criticisms would be directed at me, and if I tried to stand up to myself, I would be accused of incorrectly interpreting his very innocent remarks. The problem was mine.)
- They are jealous and possessive
- Domination and emotional attachment: abusers expect complete attention and support from their partner/friends/parents and demands complete control and submission on the part of their victim. (As long as I fell in line with what he wanted I was the beloved angel, but if I disagreed or held my ground, he would turn, so rapidly against me. I never felt secure, always waiting waiting for the moment when I would disappoint, fall short.)
- They are unable to understand or recognise their problem.
- Manipulation: they know how and when to make someone feel guilty.
- They stalk you. As an undercover method of maintaining control, abusers will stalk or follow their partner from afar.
As I said, simplistic, and this isn't supposed to be a factual blog, it's supposed to be a creative work based on my experiences, a filtering of those through a language lens, which I hope will get better with time, but I wanted to put this up in case it was needed. I do kind of hate the way I put my pieces of 'evidence' in brackets after each point but I am just trying to show how readily I could identify with these. Perhaps everyone can to some extent but you know deep inside when lines in your soul have been crossed, made a mockery of..
If you recognise the behaviours above, really recognise them, it's possible you are not being treated as you should be and it's time to say 'no more'.
I was told I was loved. In his way. But sadly love becomes meaningless when expressed in destructive ways. No more, ever again.