I was active in my church. I was Sunday School Leader and a day care teacher. I was on the board of our church and on the board of our day care.
I was hurting and wounded and couldn’t explain it to anyone.
Another man on our church board, who I admired and liked very much as a friend, made a comment to me about wanting some of the birthday cake I had left at home for one of my children. I replied with a “F*** No!”
He squirmed uncomfortably in his chair and I wondered why in the world I had just done that. I saw that I hurt him and I couldn’t understand why I would have done that to a man I admired. (I don’t even LIKE using that word!)
I was wounded and hurting. I had begun doing something called “Passive-aggressive” behavior. I could not explain why I was wounded and hurting because my mind was such a mess from the emotional and verbal abuse. To be perfectly honest, as I have been writing my story, I cannot even recall specific instances in enough clarity to write them down. Most of the time, I am writing things out and I cannot even explain why I thought that way.
I have now learned that it is what is called “Passive-Aggressive” behavior. I could not verbalize or even explain what was going on in my life, so I would do things like the above story. I read this on a website from AARDVARC (an abuse, rape, domestic violence and resource collection) :
For adults or children who have experienced violence from a loved one, the ability to identify feelings and wants, and to express them, may not exist. This could result in passive-aggressive behavior. Rather than telling others what they want, they say one thing but then express anger or frustration in an aggressive manner (such as burning dinner, or not completing a report on time for their boss).
These types of behaviors, I have come to realize, give a sense of power to a person who feels powerless in their situation. Adult or child. For me, it played out in ways like the above story, sometimes hurting other friends around me. I would do things like making us late for events- he hates to be late. I might have spent too much money and left it for him to figure out. There are lots of ways this sort of thing could be played out, and I used many of them.
Emotional and verbal abuse is a serious thing. You might say, “at least he is not hitting me” and that is true, however, being verbally and emotionally abused is just as painful and causes similar deep wounds. Walking on eggshells around a loved one all the time is not at all fun! Playing the games around them to keep them from exploding or reacting in a negative way, is exhausting. That confusion in your mind because of how a loved one messes with it, is not healthy.
You are Worth it. You don’t have to put up with the abuse any longer. You are worth it. You do not need to stay in a situation where you do not feel safe or valued. You do have the power to stop the cycle. Sometimes you have to leave and that is ok. I will tell you right now, IT IS OK.
The goal is to stop the cycle remember, get off that merry go round and make a stand to say I am not playing this game any longer. Get to a place where you will be safe while you go through this period of time if you have to. Get counseling. You are important enough and this is important. Do not allow yourself to minimize this.
YOU ARE IMPORTANT. You are valuable and you are indeed worth it.
That is the lesson I have learned over time. We have come through. We still struggle with some things. He is doing much better in most areas. I am doing much better in most areas. Yes, we are still married, as you know from some of my other posts. It was not easy for our friends and family around us, but we have come through this thanks to their support and encouragement.
Our children have lived through it and some have some things they need to deal with relating directly to this, and we know it and can see it. We are aware of these things and we are doing what we can to stop the cycle with us. The blessing in this, is that they have many friends and family around them who recognize the signs and are helping them now.
Its not an easy thing to admit or talk about. But it needs to be. If this sounds anything like a situation you are in, get help now. Seriously. Take this seriously please and get help now. You are indeed worth it.