I have a wealth of lessons learned because of my experience with the dark side of humanity. I’ll bet all of you have learned a thing or two because of your abusive relationships, too. Maya Angelou said, “I can be changed by what happened to me; but I refuse to be reduced by it.” Abuse could not reduce me. It tried really hard, but I came out better on the other end. I’ll bet you did too.
“Well, Eeyore,” said Christopher Robin hopefully, “perhaps now we can help you to feel a bit better, now that we’re here together. Would you like to go visit the rest of our friends? They’ll be so happy to see you!”
Eeyore moaned, “Oh, I don’t know…my tail is bruised and they will all want to talk about it – not that I don’t appreciate your help Christopher, but – “
Her mouth is half-blocked like her voice is slipping away, she’s sacrificing herself on a cross, there are vortexes sucking the little woman away, watery graves, naked and unprotected caught in a silent scream … I drew this image and still didn’t consciously realize I was stepping into an abusive relationship.
This is how it feels to live with a verbal abuser. Nothing I say or do is of my own choosing. He assigns motives to me…some good and some bad depending on his mood, and tomorrow, he could change his mind. Nothing I say or do is said or done for the reasons I give. […]
Abuse of any sort is a hostile takeover. He’s there, everywhere you turn, every thought you think must first go through the filter “Is it okay to do this? Is it okay to say this? Am I going to start trouble if I go ahead with this?” It’s enough to make the sanest person crazy. […]
Originally I titled this “What I Cause” to reflect the feelings my abuser wanted me to assume. It worked for many years. He said it was my fault he blew up in rages, my fault he calmed down and used all his strength to revert to a position of protector, the one who had to clean up my mess.
Blame causes the victim to believe the abuse is their fault. The abuser claims, “You made me do that!” and “I wouldn’t lose my temper if you …!” Don’t believe it. If you were powerful enough to “make” them yell at you, then why aren’t you powerful enough to “make” them be nice to you?
I laid bare the last protected areas of my soul in hope that he could understand me. I just knew if he understood me, the arguments would end.
When I drew her, I thought she was the water giving life to the flowers. I now know that water symbolically represents emotions and she is drowning in emotions that have nowhere to go. That vase is solid. It’s not going to spill or break. There is no outlet for what she feels. There’s no communication (you can’t talk underwater). She’s alone. Isolation is key.