November 11, 2008
This declaration of freedom from abuse is my statement to the world of my boundaries from this point forward. Therefore, instead of referring to my husband by name in this list, I’ll use the word “you” because I am unwilling to put up with verbal abuse from anyone anymore.
I will not submit to any more verbally abusive communications in nor outside of my home, while alone, with our children present, or in front of someone you consider to be as unimportant to you as I am.
I will not quietly observe the manipulation of our children, family, neighbors, or friends in which you cast yourself as the “nice guy” and cast me as the “unappreciative know-it-all,” “lazy wife,” “incompetent mother,” or “mentally unstable, selfish, holier-than-thou bitch.”
I will not allow you to subtly insult me in front of other people with words that only you and I know are insults; instead, I will say, “Excuse me, everyone, I know you don’t know what I’m talking about, but I am leaving this conversation because [my husband] is insulting me without your knowledge.”
I will not continue any conversation with you in which you
- twist what I’ve said to your benefit,
- put words into my mouth,
- yell over my voice,
- dismiss my opinions,
- tell me I’m wrong because you “can’t see it any other way”,
- sneer or laugh at my comments and accomplishments,
- talk in circles, attempt to confuse me, or otherwise divert the conversation from its subject,
- use “examples” that are untrue in an attempt to prove me wrong, or
- any of the other tactics you have learned to manipulate, control, or simply wear me down in order to feel “right”, get some reaction from me., or whatever it is that you need.
I will not pretend to agree with you in order to avoid verbal battering.
I will not enter into your make-believe world where situations are only as you say they are and my answers to your questions designed to humiliate me must always be “yes” or “no.”
I will not tolerate you telling me:
- why I’m doing something,
- what I’m doing to you,
- what I am thinking,
- what I believe,
- what or who I love,
- what I feel, or
- how “fucked up” I am for doing the things you say I am doing, saying, thinking, or believing.
I will not allow myself to be bullied into a corner or blocked from leaving a room.
I will not tolerate your rapid hand gestures slicing the air within inches of my face during any confrontation.
I will not “do my duty” as your wife to appear happy and loving toward you in front of your co-workers so you aren’t embarrassed; if you verbally assault me on the way to a party or function, I’m going to tell all those people who ask me “Are you okay?” that “No, I am not okay; I was verbally assaulted in the car and feel like I’ve been punched in the throat.”
I will not, under any circumstances, fake or deny who I am any longer.
This is my declaration of freedom from abuse.