Leah’s Signs of Being Abused
I researched verbal abuse online and found myself connecting to 90% of the information.
Leah’s Emotional Signs of Abuse
Confusion, Anxiety, and Panic
Leah’s Story of Abuse
We met in college, that was 11 years ago. We were both 19, and had the world at our fingertips. We fell in love immediately. This was my soul mate.
Three months into the relationship things began to unfold. He asked me how his cock size compared to my other boyfriends, I honestly answered, “it was a close second.” That was my first mistake. This comment led to multiple fights, and I eventually changed my answer to, “He is the biggest.”
He confessed around this time that he had been molested, and I supported him in his efforts to get help for that. I confessed to him that my past boyfriends had not been so nice to me, and I worried that he would be the same although I truly loved him.
In college there were a few warning signs most of which happened after a night of binge drinking on both our parts. He would grab me often and I even had a concerned friend ask me about the bruises, and if he was abusing me, as she had seen these same bruises on her mother after her dad had abused her.
He smothered me with a pillow one night giving me a black eye, another night he slapped me, and ran out of my car bending the antennae on it and moments later picking a fight with a random stranger, but in the end just damaging himself by twisting his ankle. He even damaged an ex-boyfriends carbecause he talked to me at the bar one night.
I knew better at the time, but think I might of been in denial, as I didn’t think a man that loved me as much as he did would be abusive.
After college we moved in together. These were trying times because I became pregnant, and we together decided to have an abortion. When we made the decision together we did not have jobs or health insurance, and from what we both decided could not support the child.
Another challenging thing about living together was that he was a night owl, and I a morning person. My inability to stay up with him at night left him “feeling alone,” and recently I found out that he cheated on me because of that.
On top of this, once we moved in together my parents disowned us because we moved in without being married first. They of course reacted happily when my brothers and sisters did the same thing shortly after. This and 10-15 small, unintentionally hurtful, but hurtful comments that my parents made to him left my future husband feeling unaccepted by my family.
Of course he was not the only one in the family that they made these comments to. His family on the other hand had always accepted me with open arms, and were our support in these trying times. I even took much of his criticism toward me as honesty, and things that I needed to change to better myself, because they often did make me a better person.
We were married four years ago, after being together for six, and this is when the abuse began to escalate. I bring up the incidents from our past because “they are the reason he is mean to me.”
- He still asks about his cock size and this is usually when I know that the storm is coming.
- He blames me for not knowing how to love when we first met, and
- for the way I treated him.
- He blames his comments on the fact that “I aborted his child” as if he did not have a chance to talk to me about it, help me pay for it, and even take me to the clinic.
He blames my family and often associates what they said to him with the way he thinks I am feeling. He not only blames them for that but often blames them for the abortion saying that if they had taught me how to love, and supported me in my decisions we would not have had the abortion.
When I tell him not to blame my family he then tells me it was my fault for being selfish, and wanting my career, but that I ruined his life and took everything from him because of it. Finally, I am to blame for his infidelity because I fell asleep early, often, and since he felt unloved and all alone he went out and cheated on me.
Things escalated more when I got my MFA. While in school he was often upset that I was not spending enough time with him, and upon graduating I had a 4.0, he said it was because my program was ‘easy,’ and often asked if it was even an accredited university.
Aside from the impact of all of these major issues that we had in the beginning of our relationship after we were married we began “fighting” about minor issues.
When I think of a “fight” between a man and a woman I assume it goes something like this… Someone gets upset over something, and expresses that they are upset and why, the other person hears what they are saying and (with a little discomfort) tries not to do whatever it is that is bothering their partner anymore. Of course as my husband and I have discussed in terms of his behavior, “no one changes overnight,” but I would imagine that they would at least put in some effort for the person they love.
Our fights, however, are him bringing up something that bothers him such as
- me not flushing the toilet right,
- being a bad cook,
- working too much,
- spending time with my family or friends instead of him,
- not planning anything for us to do together,
- me falling asleep early,
- not putting enough ice in the cooler,
- me breaking something,
- me not doing anything while I am not at work
[I feel I must make] changes to myself right away (or face verbal battering again). Some changes were easy, while others left me feeling confused as to what he wanted and took me years to change.
Sometimes I would try to stand up for myself, but what I said was never heard, or twisted into what he thought I was thinking, trying to do, etc. He would tell me that I thought it was all about my emotions, or that I was the queen of denial like my mother and aunt.
Often during a fight I accepted that what I did was wrong, apologized, and he would continue to put me down with comments that had nothing to do with the original problem. As a defense mechanism I would block out most of the comments he made and it wasn’t until later when I tried to bring up the hurtful things he said that he would ask me what he said and I couldn’t remember so I began to write them down. I was upset because I could only recall about 20% of what he said (later my therapist told me that was plenty).
He would go off on
- how I was selfish or lazy,
- how my parents fucked me up as a child,
- how I was unable to show love or emotion,
- tell me that I was crazy or psycho,
- that I was boring, homely or had no fashion sense,
- he would tell me to leave, run away from my problems (which I often did because I was frightened after a while),
- how I aborted our child
- and called him a close second,
- how his family felt obligated to hang out with me,
- how I was a sad little girl,
- how I would be a bad mother or drop our baby on it’s head,
- how I am a push over,
- how my nieces and nephews are ugly,
- how I was unable to support and help him,
- and on and on.
I exhibit anger during our fights when I raise my voice, and he immediately tells me to be quiet or “shut up bitch.”
I I have been physical with him, accidently, on a couple of occasions, when defending myself. He often calls his family and tells them ‘She is out of control’ when we fight. His mom worries about either of us getting arrested. There have been multiple times when he has threatened to commit suicide when we fight and he often gives me the silent treatment for hours claiming ‘it’s better than the alternative’.
When I spend time with my family now it never fails for him to make me feel bad while I am there. When we baptized our niece he claimed that he wanted to get back to work a day early and we left out of town although it was not in our plans. The eight hour drive back from my sisters was a barrage of put down’s insults, and hurtful comments.
I went without him to visit my other sister and he texted for three days things like
- ‘why don’t you have an abortion together,’
- ‘choose between me and your family,’
- ‘I am going to kill myself,’ etc.
Recently I went away to see my dying grandmother and he again texted me numerous times things like‘This whole trip was a ploy by your big baby daddy, the man who fucked you up in the first place.’
OOn Christmas Day I was with my family and although I had tried to plan for us to attend church together (which was what I said I wanted for Christmas two weeks before) he was so upset that I was‘leaving him alone’ that he would not compromise a time with me. He also complained so much to others (not me) that his parents began calling me and yelling at me for spending the day with my family (we had spent Christmas Eve with them), and he called while I was there to tell me that while he was in church he thought about buying a gun on my credit card and taking it up to the mountains to shoot himself so that I would feel guilty for destroying his life.
After we were married I also noticed an increase in physicality.
- When we fight he is often in my face or cornering me so that I cannot go anywhere and so that I talk to him, and he has also chased me a couple of times.
- While vacationing in NY he noticed I had an ex boyfriend on my facebook page (he also had one on his), and while I was sleeping he shoved me off the bed.
- In Seattle I told him that I couldn’t afford to pay for his health insurance, and he hit me and took my purse, leaving me stranded in Seattle to walk back to the hotel where he ripped the shirt off of my back and I hid in the bathroom for hours.
- One night after a fight I went out to the bar across the street when I came home I was drunk, and he called my dad telling him I was unbelievably wasted (fortunately I had spoken to my dad about 5 minutes prior and my dad said I sounded fine). I locked myself in the bathroom again, and he managed to get his arm in the door he pulled my hair really hard, and in defense I accidently slammed his arm in the door. I was of course blamed for being drunk and out of control and hurting him.
- He has shoved me a few times since then, often kicks me literally out of the bed when he is mad, has grabbed the phone or my journals from my hands, torn/thrown away my clothes and journals. He splashed water in my face one day after I announced I was going to go do yoga.
In an effort to realize what’s been happening and get him to change I have read multiple books and articles on the subject, journal almost every day, and go to therapy. He was the one that urged me to get therapy because “I was the one with the problem,” and as soon as he realized what I was learning in therapy he claimed that it wasn’t worth the money I was spending, on top of saying things like ‘why don’t you go fuck your therapist,’ or asking me to explain ‘what I was talking about in therapy,’ and ask if I thought it was really helping.
He refuses to go to therapy with me because of the expense. I have also tried different techniques such as writing a ‘fight contract’ which he refuses to follow, repeating back to him what he says, andtrying to get him to repeat back to me what he says, and not responding to what he says.
He has claimed to his family that I am falsely accusing him of verbal abuse, and he has written notes to both my family and my therapist asking them for insight on how to get me to ‘calm down’ and ‘do what he asks me to do,’ and asking them why ‘I am the way I am.‘
It is not a secret anymore because of him, and I am not sure if I prefer it that way or not. Change is seeming less and less like a reality, but my confusion and hope keeps me here.