It’s weird. Today, in the middle of nothing, after crying and feeling lost I suddenly realized why I felt so sad and utterly lonely. I no longer had any identity. I had always been doltoid’s wife and had done what he wanted. Now I was without an identity! Who was I? I had always been defined by something, someone...usually twit-brain and what he expected. But here I was. Alone. No one. Nothing. And no me!!!!! Who the heck am I? No wonder I felt so much waiting, drifting. ”I” had vanished.
Verbal abuse is extremely insidious. The effects evolve so gradually that you don’t even notice it. Part of verbal abuse is a slow but deadly process of isolation until your life revolves around the abuser. Neither party seems to be aware of it happening. The fear of doing something wrong, real or imagined is crippling so you wait to “read” the abuser. What kind of a mood is he in? You can’t make plans with friends because he/she may come home and have other plans. If you aren’t available he’ll get mad, sulk and possibly worse. You don’t want to make him mad. As an outsider reading this, it probably sounds ludicrous that an adult could not see what was happening. However, if this is what you grew up with, how would you ever know there was anything different?
I’ve talked to a few other women who have experienced this and broken free, and they’ve said the same thing. In every case so far, the abuser acts impeccable in public and everyone thinks you live a dream life. What’s good is that once the victim is really out of the pattern, they all see the process, if only gradually. Sadly it seems the abuser never really sees this and if it’s pointed out to them, they get angry and deny it. But I digress.
The longer I’m away from him, the more things I’ve been able to see; become aware of. I only wish it hadn’t taken so long for me to wake up. So much time has been lost. This post reminded me of a quote. It’s from Camryn Manhein: Waiting, waiting, waiting. All my life, I’ve been waiting for my life to begin, as if somehow my life was ahead of me, and someday I would arrive at it."