Tag Archive | physical illness

Songs About Abusive Relationships

Over the years, I have always been able to identify with lyrics of songs. There are so many songs written about being hurt by abusive people, narcissists, and emotional manipulators. A few songs like Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri, Because Of You by Kelly Clarkson, Fighter by Christina Aguilera, and now this song Praying by Kesha. Knowing others have struggled and I am not alone in these experiences. That is also another reason I write in this blog so that maybe it will help someone else who is going through something similar.

Well, you almost had me fooled
Told me that I was nothing without you
Oh, but after everything you’ve done
I can thank you for how strong I have become

On more than one occasion, my ex had me believing I wouldn’t be able to survive without him. He said he didn’t want me living in some “roach infested apartment”. He told me I wouldn’t be able to get a job because I didn’t have a college degree, that no one would hire me. These were all lies, I have accomplished so much and he was wrong about everything. I have a great husband, wonderful job, and live in a beautiful home.

‘Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I’ll just say this is “I wish you farewell”

Living with my ex-husband was never without chaos and daily insanity. Every day I walked on eggshells and the environment was so toxic that I became sick all the time. In fact, I was worried that I had cancer or would eventually die and then my daughter would be left with him. Also, I was afraid to leave him because I was sick, but he was the reason I was sick. I wrote about this in one of my blog posts Was My Husband Poisoning Me or Was the Relationship Toxic?

I hope you’re somewhere prayin’, prayin’
I hope your soul is changin’, changin’
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin’

Despite all my ex-husband and his wife have done. I still do not wish them ill will, in fact I wish they would find a higher power (or God) and be happy. This is something I have prayed for not only for myself, but for my daughter as well. Not that I haven’t wished on a few occasions that he would stop breathing, but these moments are short.

I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come
‘Cause I can make it on my own
And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
I’ll bring thunder, I’ll bring rain, oh
When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name

At times I have focused on the negative more than the positive. There was a time in my life where more negative things seemed to happen over positive things. But that is not today! Today I have many things to be grateful for and I have to remind myself to think that way. This past year has been especially difficult, but I am too strong to let it knock me down. Today, I continue to become a stronger and healthier person. Maybe without my ex-husband I wouldn’t have had so much motivation to get healthier and stronger.

You brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I’ll just say this is “I wish you farewell”

In 2004, I left my ex-husband for the final time. I have never regretted the decision to leave to this day. At one point I remember the pain of the present was greater the fear of the unknown. Then I had to navigate being a single parent and parenting with an abusive ex-husband.

I hope you’re somewhere prayin’, prayin’
I hope your soul is changin’, changin’
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin’
Oh, sometimes, I pray for you at night
Someday, maybe you’ll see the light
Oh, some say, in life, you’re gonna get what you give
But some things only God can forgive

I definitely still wish him the best. I still pray for good things for my ex-husband and his wife. I hope he will wake up and see the truth of what he has been doing. Not for me, but for my daughter. She deserves that from her father.

I hope you’re somewhere prayin’, prayin’
I hope your soul is changin’, changin’
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin’

The reason I like this song is because it does speak of being hurt by someone, but it also focuses on the hope and future. This song talks about forgiveness for those who wronged you. This forgiveness is not for the other person it is for myself. Letting go of resentments. There is a saying in Alanon about resentments being like poison, but that they only harm the one with the resentments.

“Resentments are like swallowing poison, but hoping someone else will die.”

I will continue to focus on joy and happiness. I have come too far to allow his negativity to continue to be part of my life. One day, I think my daughter will come to see the truth and understand. Now my focus needs to be on continuing to work on my own health and become the healthiest person possible.

Effects of Verbal Abuse and Stress

So, this entire situation has been stressful for my body. Stress takes a serious toll on my body and I have physical symptoms that are impossible to ignore. I have done a better job managing them over the years, but getting over years of verbal abuse has been a challenge. Some days are better than others and certain events certainly trigger past feelings. My ex-husbands relentless manipulation and using our daughter was extremely stressful. In the end, all my trying to rise above, be the bigger person, not react… was all for nothing… she left anyway.

On symptom occurs when I am sleeping and I clench my teeth more at night. One of my molars has broken three times in less than 15 years. The first time was when I was married to my ex-husband. Living with him produced so much stress I was breaking my teeth in my sleep. During those years, I also had tension in my neck, TMJ symptoms, migraines, and light sensitivity. Today, I realize if my teeth are taking a beating, I need to find way to reduce the external stressors.

Another physical symptom is a rash that doesn’t seem to go away. I have been diagnosed with Skin Lupus and nothing seems to work on these rashes to make them go away. They show up and stick around for months. One website suggests that stress could cause the first appearance or trigger flare ups for someone who already has the disease. This rash first appeared five years ago when I was working at a very stressful job, it went away for several years and showed up about a year ago. However, no treatments have worked to remove this rash. I guess I can be grateful it is just red and only itches on occasion.

Another symptom is difficulty sleeping. I just do not sleep well anymore. I can get to sleep, but after a few hours I wake up and it is a challenge to get back to sleep. So I feel chronically tired. The doctor gave me Belsomra to try and it had an opposite effect and kept me up all night. I have also tried Melatonin which gets me to sleep okay but doesn’t keep asleep. Plus, my clenching my teeth at night can really hurt my jaw, affect my ears, and sometimes causes headaches when I wake. My past revisits me in my dreams. Sometimes I have dreams where I am dealing with my ex-husband again.

Another issue is anxiety which is often triggered by fear. I love my daughter so much, but our current situation is not a good one. She is living with my ex-husband and is looking at him through rose colored glasses. My ex-husband and his wife are extremely passive aggressive and they have been undermining me at every step for more than a decade. One of my fears is will this be an issue forever? Will she ever open her eyes and see the truth. One fear is accepting that she might not ever see the truth, may never want to see the truth. That thought truly frightens me. Plus, I am afraid if she is unable to see the truth, she may end up marrying an abuser or narcissist herself.

This past year has been extremely stressful. Dealing with my ex-husband since our divorce was over 13 years ago. You would seriously think we were newly divorced. Learning how to deal with him, or not deal with him rather, was difficult enough. The worst thing was how he would manipulate and use our daughter to get to me. As a mother, you want nothing more than to protect your child. This was something I was unable to prevent. It is shameful when someone uses their kid to hurt another person. I find it impossible to believe that person really cares about their child to subject them to that.

Another challenge was after our daughter became a teenager. She began pushing the boundaries, rebelling against the rules, and believing the grass might be greener. Plus, whether she would choose to admit it or not, she did learn how to play us agains each other to get what she wants. In the very end, she said many hateful things to me and I heard her father through those words. My response wasn’t so great. My husband’s response wasn’t always so great. We knew we had no control over what my ex-husband and his wife did with my daughter, but we should have had better control over our own reactions. That part of this I do have to own.

One plus side, I have not had one conversation with my ex-husband in an entire year. However, this bonus is bittersweet because I lost my daughter in the process. Although some say I haven’t lost my daughter forever and that she will come back around. I truly hope so. Sometimes it seems like he will never let me get away and be happy. Like he will win at all costs. I am grateful he and I haven’t had a single conversation in the past year. Although this is a game I never wanted to play, didn’t sign up for, and there are times I feel like he won.

Still trying to believe that everything happens for a reason. Hanging on to the belief that some day I will look back and realize this happened exactly as it was supposed to. However, I certainly don’t feel that way today.

 

 

 

Abusive Boss and the Unhealthy Workplace

So this week I received a call from a former co-worker who was still working for my old boss.  Well, she was until Monday when she made the decisions to quit.  My response was, “OMG Congrats.”  She said, “I feel so free.”  I asked her what she was going to be doing.  She said “Nothing!”  She said she had just had enough and just quit.

She said it was so bad that she would wake up in the mornings with her neck & shoulders so tense it would make her hands hurt.  It is awful to be in a work situation that takes such a toll on your physical well being.  I found myself feeling some sort of excitement that she quit.  After thinking about it for a while I realize the strongest feeling I felt was ‘validation’.  Now there has been 2 others that just flat out quit and one that you couldn’t have paid her enough to stay.  The common denominator in this job was our abusive boss.  The biggest complaint for all of us about our job was specifically our boss.  According to a Huffington Post Abusive Boss article, over 80% of employees leave their jobs because of their boss.

It really is a shame that there are so many unhealthy work environments in so many companies these days.  This creates a very unhealthy situation for the employee and there is almost nothing that you can do to stop it.  In my work situations both bosses were making the company money and that meant more to the company than a healthy work environment.  In fact, the first company made that very clear about my boss making the company at lot of money and they were going to pick him over me.

Plus other employees often need their job and would not be willing to stand united against the boss.  The employees just quit one-by-one over time.  One quit over a year ago, another a year ago, I quit 8 months ago and another this week.  Now they have a bunch of new employees that haven’t hit the point of sick and tired quite yet.  Three out of four of us quit without a new job lined up.  Things typically have to be pretty bad for you to choose to do that.  My choosing to quit was certainly going to impact my family and I thought long and hard before making the decisions to resign.

Things to watch out for in a Company:

  • Are they chasing the almighty dollar?
  • Do they have a revolving door of employees?
  • Is your boss the only person you can report to?

It probably wouldn’t take long for the abusive boss to figure out they are not going to get fired and without consequences they have no reason to change their behavior.  Knowing they won’t get fired could even make the situation even more difficult to endure too.  This knowledge would give an abusive boss quite a rush of power to be able to abuse his/her employees without any risk of losing their job.

A situation with an abusive boss would have to be done through emotional, mental or financial abuse tactics.  I am sure you are going to find a few sexual abuse situations but at least there are laws that make it harder for someone to get away with that.  However, how could you prove emotional abusive from a boss any easier than you can from a romantic partner?  There are no visible wounds to prove what is happening.

Also, I would think it is much easier for an abusive boss to abuse their employees in today’s economy.  With so many people looking for jobs or coming out of college it makes it easier for the company to pay less or the worker to accept less than what they are worth.  Plus in salary positions where they are underpaid and overworked it just makes it even worse.

It is just as easy to feel trapped when your financial well-being is a stake, most people can’t just up and quit.  I spent a year trying to decide how I was going to quit and trying to get another job.  I had some really decent interviews but they were always out of state and wanted me to move there.  That was extremely frustrating at times.

A companies health starts from the top down and if the company is more interested in earning money than creating a healthy workplace then that is a real shame.  There are many companies that recognize it is very expensive to hire & train new people.  These types of companies do their best to create a healthy work environment for their employees.  Unfortunately, I do not think there is as many healthy companies as unhealthy ones. Of course, this is just speculation on my part, but finding a healthy company to work for seems easier said than done.

 

Abusive Bosses in the Workplace

Abusive BossOne thing to keep in mind is the Abusive Boss does not stop being abusive after you are no longer available to him.  They continue to abuse other people around them.  Most abusers seem to be pretty careful to not do anything that will get them caught.  They seem to be careful to avoid any lines that could impact them legally.  If someone who is abusive has that much control then they know what they are doing.  I am going to give these people some fake names so I don’t have to say her or him all the time.

I spoke to Susan, an old co-worker, the other day and she said it was still terrible to work there and they are all jealous I am gone.  She said Janet, his personal assistant, who is only 25 years old now has a bleeding ulcer.  Apparently Janet’s doctor scheduled a colonoscopy for her and Jack, my old abusive boss, was angry at her for having to take time off for this.  When I was there I remember seeing Janet crying because Jack just tore her apart in a ‘performance review’ meeting.  It seems like ‘performance review’ for an abusive boss is a fancy word for then to have a ‘reason’ to put you down.

Susan also said she wanted to report him but was afraid to speak up.  She said she saw him do this to Mary last year, Dave last year, Donna last summer, Me and now to Janet this year. She was afraid if she reported him there would be retaliation.  She said she didn’t have enough cushion to leave the job and was still trying to get another job.

Apparently they were in a meeting a few months ago and Jennifer asked Jack directly where I was.  Apparently she made direct eye contact with Jack and he just looked down as if he didn’t see her and said nothing.  So, Jennifer said, “Did I say something I wasn’t suppose to?”  Andrea said everyone was really quite and the entire situation was really awkward.  So Andrea said, “She left a few months ago and is happy and doing great.”

Anyway, I guess my thoughts are this.  First of all it is really sad it takes other people coming forward to validate I was in a abusive situation and not imagining things.  Second the Abuser did not change his spots and is not nice to everyone but me.  There are many abusive men who use the workplace as an excuse to use their employees as a punching bag.

Resources:

Verbal Abuse is Worse than Physical Abuse

Verbal AbuseFirst, let me begin by saying that I am not discounting physical abuse at all.  If someone is physically abusive it highly unlikely they are not emotionally & verbally abusive too.  If someone feels it is their right to physically abuse their partner or child they must be manipulative, controlling and use some methods of justification for their ‘reasons’ for physical abuse.

“If he ever hits me, I will be out the door.” I said to myself, but with my own believe of what ‘abuse’ was I was giving him permission to do anything else, including; verbal abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and financial abuse.

Society really paints a picture of abuse as being physical in nature.  Abuse is Verbal, Mental, Sexual, Economical, Emotional as well as Physical.  I also read from a source that abuse can also be Digital and I agree with that too.

  • I cannot recall anyone ever telling me if someone makes you feel like less of a person you know yourself to be, that is abuse!
  • If someone uses words as their weapons to hurt you, that is abuse.
  • If someone uses finances as a way to control you, that is abuse.
  • If your husband is determined to have sex with you even after you say ‘No’, that is rape.
  • If your husband uses your children against you as a weapon, that is abuse!

The problem I have found with verbal abuse was that I did not recognize it was happening.  The damage was internal, causing bruises nobody could see and causing other forms of external physical illness as my only signs of abuse.  All of the symptoms I had could be explained away by doctors as stress, IBS or depression.  I had no idea my physical illnesses were being caused by my relationship with my husband and my toxic home environment.

When my daughter was about 6 months old I took a vacation and my husband decided not to go with me.  I was on vacation for an entire week.   I felt much better during that week than I had in a long time.  When I returned home I began feeling bad again.  So I started thinking I was allergic to something in the house, perhaps it was mold, pollen or dust.  I really did not get it that my husband had created such anxiety in me that his physical presence actually caused reactions in my body.

Three years later I left him and filed for divorce.  I drove to my parents house and the further away I got from him the better I felt.  When my cell phone would ring and I saw that it was him calling my head would start hurting, my chest would tighten up, and my stomach would start to hurt.  At one point I remember my chest releasing for the first time in years and I could finally breathe a true deep breath.  I had no idea how tight my chest had been for so long.  I use to have difficulty breathing and I felt like someone was sitting my chest and this was anxiety.

I remember my chest releasing for the first time in years and I could finally breathe a true deep breath.  I had been dealing with chronic anxiety and did not know it.

After a couple months separation I decided to give him one last chance.  Thankfully I am still here to this day because when you are dealing with abusers I truly believe it is not a matter if they will hit you, but when they will hit you.  In fact, studies say that women often make decisions to go back to their abuser based on what has not happened.  There are awful stories about women returning to their abusers for the last time and they are murdered.  They say it takes women an average of 7 times to leave your abuser, before they finally leave for good.  I think that is about the number of times I left my ex-husband while we were dating and married.

While I was married to my abuser I could not understand why other women stayed.  I really wanted our marriage to work, I did not want to get divorced, I was worried if I could financially support my child and I was afraid to leave my ex-husband.  The truth is my abusive ex-husband is far worse in his behavior to me now than he was when we were married.  The good thing is I do not have to live with him every day and I feel safe in my home.

My ex-husband is not allowed to come into my house ever.  That is the rule because I have a right to feel safe in my own home.  The first year I left him I was afraid.  I remember keeping the doors locked, blinds closed, garage closed and I was so afraid of him.  Then I began to find myself again and my personal strength.  I could not control if he wanted to kill me when I walked outside my house.  I had to start living my life.

I believe part of the reason he continues to abuse me (often through our child) is because he wants to see me suffer.  My best guess is he can’t stand that I am doing okay without him, that I am happier without him and that I don’t want to have any sort of relationship with him.  He is no longer in control of me or my life and I know that is killing him.  He is remarried and should be focusing on his wife and yet he continues to commit ‘Separation Abuse’ by obsessing about me and constantly pumping our child for the information.

Sources:

Was My Husband Poisoning Me or Was the Relationship Toxic

You may find this shocking to believe that I once use to question if my ex-husband was poisoning me.  I actually thought it was pretty crazy to think such a thing.  I certainly did not think a normal person would even consider such a thing.  I cannot tell you how many doctor’s I visited during those years of my marriage trying to figure out why I was so sick.  I never could figure out what was wrong, no real medical explanation and I continued to get sicker.  The symptoms started not long after giving birth to our daughter in 1999 and I began feeling sick later that year.

Dear Reader: If you can relate to what I am posting, please do not dismiss your symptoms as being ‘in your mind’ and consider your body may just be warning you of a present danger.

Post Update: It is strange I finally decide to post this and then I read this article: Tennessee woman accuses physician husband of poisoning coffee with barium.  The story is about a women in Tennessee that says her husband was trying to poison her through her coffee, slowly and over time.  It certainly makes me wonder how many people’s illnesses may be a result of a toxic marriage which can actually cause the same symptoms as true poison.

Real Physical Symptoms

Some of my physical symptoms included:

  • Migraines
  • Blurred Vision
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Stomach Problems
  • Intestinal Problems
  • Full-blown Anxiety (felt like someone was sitting on my chest at all times)
  • Blood in my Stool (this was one red flag symptom the doctor dismissed)

When the initial symptoms started they were very faint.  I almost felt this weird faint pulsing somewhere in my body.  I could not quite identify where they were coming from.

Initially, I thought perhaps I had some cancer that they had not discovered yet.  I also went through all the logical conclusions of food intolerance, reaction to sugar, checked for diabetes or hypo-hypoglycemia. During this time I started to have new symptoms that were probably anxiety over the symptoms.

“Crazy Making” & “Gaslighting”

I guess what really began puzzling me was my ex-husband at the time really did not seem to be concerned that I felt bad.   It was almost as if he was glad that I was not feeling well.   In fact, he often gave me a hard time and would tell me it is probably caffeine.  So I stopped drinking diet cokes and avoided caffeine. He really made me feel like my symptoms were all in my head and I was some sort of hypochondriac.  So many little things he would say would make me feel like I was just imagining these symptoms.

At this point the thought of poisoning had not crossed my mind yet.   One mistake I made during this time was not getting a second opinion.  I trusted my doctor.

When I first began seeing the doctor I told her about the blood I saw when I went to the bathroom.  She dismissed it and said that was normal.  That continued to happen throughout the year and she kept saying it was not anything to be concerned bout.  So the doctors continued to do a series of tests to figure out what it wasn’t; ultra sounds, EKGs, giving me pills like Wellbutrin…   I think the pills only masked my symptoms and prolonged the issue.

Towards the end of 2000 I had finally figured out that this was digestive related.  The doctor tried to explain it away as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This conclusion sounded logical as I had most of those symptoms.  However, when I read about it, one of the comments said that blood should never be present that indicated there may be another problem.

So I contacted my doctor and told her about what I had discovered.  I told her I wanted a second opinion from a specialist.  She told me, “Okay, but I don’t think they will tell you anything different than what I have told you.”  Glad I ignored her and proceed with visiting the specialist.

So I went to see a Gastroenterology specialist.  He said that seeing blood is never normal and had me in for a Colonoscopy four days later.  Apparently I had a polyp in my colon that was the size of a plum in which they removed.  The doctor said that was the largest polyp he had seen in someone so young.  He said it was large enough to block my colon completely.  It was also ulceric which was why I saw the blood and it was spasming which was the reason for the strange pulsing symptoms I had felt.

It took me about 7 months to completely recover after having this surgery.  My body simply could not function the way it should during this entire situation.  So I began to feel better temporarily then I started to feel worse again.  My symptoms continued from 2001 through the end of 2003.

It was not long after this I started to wonder if my husband was causing my illness.  I could not understand why I was unable to feel better.  I was only 25 at the time and it seemed I shouldn’t be so sick so often.  During this time we had our typically verbally abusive fights.  It almost seemed like my husband hated me and was at war with me.  Yet he did not want a divorce.

He would make many manipulative comments to try to drive fear into my divorce thoughts.  All these comments were meant to make me afraid of how I would support myself if we got divorced.

  • My co-working just got divorced and he got custody of his kids.
  • I can be your best friend or your worst enemy
  • You don’t have a college degree, no one will hire you, we should work on that
  • If we get divorced how will you pay your bills, I do not want you living in a roach-infested apartment, why don’t we get you a degree

I also remember another comment very clearly, and it disturbs me to this day that he would say something like this to me:

“You know I have been so pissed at you at times, I could have thrown you through a wall, but I don’t.” he said to me.

“Emotional/Psychological abuse is referred to in the professional literature by many interchangeable terms such as: emotional abuse, covert abuse, psychological maltreatment, coercive abuse, abuse by proxy, and ambient abuse.”  – CourtWatch, Emotional/Psychological Abuse Fact Sheet

So anyway, we would get in these awful fights.  Then right after he would show up with food from a restaurant he went to or a Starbucks coffee.  I think these were all typical domestic abuse reactions where they feel guilty and try to make it up.   These fights were not occasional, in fact they were more often than not. I still describe my marriage as never being really good, it would go from bad to okay then back to bad.  It never really had a good point.

I remember one night I couldn’t breathe and it was really scary.  I called my ex-husband and told him I was afraid and to please come home.  I think I was having a panic attack at the time.  I ended calling 911 and they sent paramedics who sat and talked with me while I breathed into a bag.  They stayed amazingly calm and helped me through it.  My husband still did not come home after this.

At this point my migraines had gotten really bad and caused light sensitivity, floating spots and blurred vision.  At some point the doctors wanted to send me in for a Catscan to try to figure out why I had migraines.   During this time I was clenching my teeth in my sleep and breaking my own teeth but did not put the symptoms together.

I remember my mother was visiting me at the time.  I also remember my ex-husband was out golfing and drinking with his buddies.  So my mother had to watch our daughter and I had to drive myself to the appointment for the Catscan.  They put me in the big machine where you have to lie completely still.   I was kind of scary because it seems like you are in their forever and you have no concept of time.  I was also afraid it was taking so long because they had found something.  I also remember feeling really pissed that my ex-husband did not seem to care and should have been with me.  Even that he was not home meant my mother couldn’t come with me and wanted to.

Anyways, yes I really began wondering if my ex-husband was doing this to me.  I remember looking up the symptoms of arsenic poisoning.   As crazy as I felt considering this I wondered how many other people had actually been poisoned and did not think they were.

When I left him in the end of 2003 and drove to my mother’s was when I began to feel so much better.  I wrote in a previous comment that the further away I drove from my ex-husband the better I felt.  As I was driving in my car at some point I remember my chest released for the first time in years.  Apparently I had chronic anxiety that never went away until that moment.  It was at that time I realized no matter how, my ex-husband was contributing to my symptoms.

During that time away from him I continued to feel better and started to get my strength back.  I guess I had been living in such a toxic home environment that was so oppressive that it is no wonder I was sick all the time.  I stayed away for 7 weeks and came back home in February 2004.  I allowed him back into the home in the end of February and we stayed married until November 2004 when I finally left him for good.

I will say that when I first left him and got into my own house I went through a new set of symptoms.  I think I dealt with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for several months.  I truly believe the reason I suffered with that was because I left a home that was in constant chaos, turmoil and flat out war-zone… and moved into a home that was quiet and peaceful.  I think my body had a hard time processing that change.  I had been so use to living under constant stress.

I am happy to say I began to feel much better throughout the year of 2005.  My ex-husband continued relentlessly to attack, threaten and harass me and would often trigger symptoms.  The good thing is they did not last and I knew he was a big trigger for me.

Today, I still feel good and I am also glad to say I can write about this stuff without feeling the pain and anger I once felt.   I can even respond intelligently to my ex-husbands outbursts and my feelings of frustrating do not last as long.

So was my ex-husband poisoning me?  I would have to say, yes perhaps he was.  Whether it was poison delivered by his own hand or just the constant exposure to a toxic relationship.  I do not remember ever feeling so sick before I met him nor since I left him.  Either way he was pure poison for my body.  I can tell you, his new wife, seems to get sick quite often.  She even had a huge tumor removed from her stomach last year and I find it to be a strange coincidence that I had one removed from my colon when I was with him.

 Facts About Psychological Abuse:

Abusive Experiences – Journal Email Entries 2006

Journal Email Entries – 12/3/2006

Our daughter came home from her dad’s house then she and I went to Walmart to buy her a desk.  When we got home I told her to take a bath.  She was crying and calling for me.  She said her vagina hurt.  I asked her what it felt like.  Did it it burn, itch… She said it stung.

I asked her if she had a bath at her father’s house, she said she did on Saturday.  I asked her if anyone helped her bathe.  She said she did it.  So we talked about cleaning and hygiene a little.  Then I asked her if Sally (her dog) slept in her room.  She said she slept in the guestroom with her dad.

She is taking a bath now and I am calling her pediatrician again tomorrow.

I have discussed this with her counselor, this has been happening for more than two years and so far I have no explanation or facts of what is going on.

Notes about this entry:

To this day there has never been a medical answer for why our daughter complained about her vaginal area hurting for so many years.  I took every step possibly to try to find a reason or solution.  We have been to visit pediatricians, pediatric specialists, therapists and I have documented every complaint for years.  This matter even ended up with Child Protection Service (CPS).  I never had an answer and she has not had a complaint in about 4 years now.

The only common denominator is the times she complained were always after being along with or visiting her father.  During that time her father was extremely defensive, combative and uncooperative.  To this day he continues to tell our daughter that I overact about the doctors.  To this day I believe it would be irresponsible for me to ignore such a complaint.  I am not sure if I will ever feel at peace over those complaints that occurred from age 4-9.  I truly wish I had a logical explanation to this day.  I hate to think the worst but my ex-husbands abusive behaviors & drinking certainly made me suspicious.

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Abusive Men – Why Does He Do That?

Okay so I have been reading a very captivating book called ‘Why Does He Do That’ written by Lundy Bancroft.   It is not the most current book, but I will say it is extremely relevant.  This book is very well written as it gets inside the minds of these abusive men.  At many times throughout reading this book I will find myself both disturbed and relieved at the same time.  I am disturbed because I can see so much of my life written in every chapter in this book.  I am relieved because so many of my experiences are exactly what I thought they were… unacceptable behavior!

He really blows all the misconceptions and excuses, this book shows psychological abuse for what it is.  I use to believe because my ex-husband grew up with a controlling and abusive mother made him the person he is today.  However after reading this book I have such a completely different view.   I will no longer accept that my ex-husband’s abusive, controlling and manipulative behavior is because of… his controlling abusive mother, his big ego combined with a low self esteem, his possibly bi-polar metal illness, his drinking or even his temper he cannot control.   No, it is quite simply a man who desires control, gets angry, and manipulates situations and people to remain in control.

As Bancroft points out, if it were really about him being out of control, why is he able to control himself when he has an audience or after I have called the police on him.  At that point he is able to maintain his composure perfectly and act as if I am the one out of control.  If it were mental illness, as I use to believe, why is he able to sit there and stay perfectly calm why he points out that I am the one who is carrying on or making a scene.  Never-mind the fact that the entire reason I was so boiling over is from years of his not helping with our child, staying out and rarely coming home at a decent hour, his unwillingness to consider my feelings, his constant put downs and his unwanted sexual advances when he was drunk and I was trying to sleep.  I did eventually learn not to boil over because I knew that was exactly what he wanted me to do which would help him make me feel crazy.  The real issue was not even any of the issues I spoke above, the bigger issue is that he never treated me like a human being.

I remember when I met my ex-husband, more than 15 years ago, and I thought he was so handsome and wondered why he picked me.   That was one of my biggest problems is I somehow believed I deserved whatever I got.  Over the next decade I eventually wondered why in the world I picked him.  I also realized that he was never going to be the man I wanted to spend my life with, I realized for him to become that person would require that he changed completely… which made me realize it was impossible unless I found a completely new man.

He was always able to be nice to his mother, his sister, his co-workers, his friend’s wives and almost any stranger we came in contact with.  Yet behind closed doors he would become this very dark person.  As long as I kept my mouth shut and never complained, he was happy.  If I didn’t complain that he was never home, or why we were constantly bouncing checks, that he rarely came home when he said, or when he did he was drunk, that he did not sleep in the same bedroom with me, and that he would constantly put me down because I did not have a college degree… life would have been fine.  Actually, life was set up pretty well for him.  He had a wife to take care of our child, clean the house, cook the dinner, go shopping, run most of the errands, often do the yard and would be the body he would make sexual advances on in a completely degrading way and never bothered to please me once.  Why would he complain about something like that, what a great set-up that must have been.

During the time I felt like my life was draining away, my physical illnesses were growing, my energy depleted, my anger constantly growing, my constant state of fear, my constantly feeling like I was trapped and had no choices.  All the very same things that kept me feeling so stuck were eventually the same things that helped me regain my personal strength to get away.  Everything he said I could never do I have done.  I have accomplished the very things he said I could never do.

I have a successful job, a wonderful daughter, my own business, a devoted husband, we live in a great neighborhood and I have people who support me.  I did not have to have a college decree to build my own business, get approved for my own house, work from my home as a single parent, and regain my physical health along with my mental health.  I was able to survive without him and he was not able to get custody of our child.  As much as he has tried to turn her, I have been able to counter with tools to help her learn.

I rarely ramble on like this today because I really believe these things and I am no longer trying to convince myself his truth is not so.  I am just hear to challenge whatever you have heard that may be false.  All those comment false myths women think about men, ones I would frequently here…

Said by others…

* Oh that is just men being men, they are all the same (not true)
* Marriages just require work, that is all (yes but not to the point of draining)

Said by him…

* You will never be able to get a good job and survive without me (not true)
* Everyone has problems, you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors (somewhat true but very distorted)
* My co-worker just got divorced at work and he got custody of the kids (it could happen but not that often)
* You need a degree, without a degree , no one will hire you (not true)
* I am talking to my attorney because he is clear our child should be in my custody (still hasn’t happened)
* You can’t believe what those people say at church, they are full of religious freaks (not true, most of the time)

There is probably more I just can’t think of off hand.  What I do know is I am a abuse survivor and I have the strength to make it through anything.

There were so many red flags along the way that might have given me some insight into the abusive man he truly was.  The biggest reason I could not see those things is because of my own insecurity and low self worth.  I knew early on that he was not treating me the way he should have been treating me, and I broke up with him often, but he would come back and make promises and I would go back.  Sometimes I think that the reason I went back is because he wouldn’t go away, he would harass me constantly, knocking at my door and calling me obsessively.  None of that is okay.  Today, he is really the same man I met so long ago.

Now he is just 50lbs heavier, not in good shape anymore, angry all the time and just not that impressive of a person at all.  He is the same person though, I really can’t see anything different in him.  His irrational behavior still bothers my rational mind even today.  Not so sure why I bother questioning the strange things he does anymore.  He still gives me quite a challenge with our daughter but she is older now and I think she can see who he is even if she isn’t ready to accept that just yet.