January 27, 2010
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Verbal Abuse, Part I--Excerpt from My Divorce Memoir
From My Memoir: The Year of My Divorce (names are changed)
January 27, 2010
January 27, 2010
I’ve been going online looking for information by PatriciaEvans. She’s the one who wrote “The Verbally Abusive Relationship.” I read it about fifteen years ago. Lo, and behold, she’s written more books. I sent away for all of them. In fact, I bought two of everything and I’m going to give the extras away, like to Isabella to read, or the stake president.
I found out I’m not the only one who’s been going through verbal abuse. It’s amazing that I’ve lived for so long not knowing about it, yet, there it is, plain as day in my life.
Men call their wives names and wives wonder, is that abuse? Men abuse their wives, then the men act happy, like nothing ever happened. Wow. I can relate to that.
Jerry would spend an hour screaming at me, leave me for dead, emotionally, then the next thing I’d hear is him whistling like he was the happiest person in the world. I can’t stand to hear anyone whistle now. It brings up too many bad memories. Come to think of it, my dad did the same thing.
So the website says verbal abusers almost universally act like nothing happened because they feel the relationship is fine and they feel like they have more control—power over. If they get you to feel afraid or to back down, it makes them happy.
Abuse usually happens behind closed doors. That’s true in my life. Most verbal abusers are charming and helpful men in public. Jerry treats me very well in public. He can scream at me Saturday night and the next day in church he is sweet as pie—in front of other people. Most of the time I just stare at him, wide-eyed, confused.
One time he bore his testimony in church about how he owes everything to me and that I help make him the man he is. He had just spent an hour deriding me to tears the night before and I couldn’t even take the sacrament because I had so many bad thoughts about him.
While he went on at the pulpit, I felt like I was going to throw up. I had to hand over my baby to someone sitting behind me so I could run to the bathroom. I can’t remember who it was. I spent the remainder of sacrament meeting dry heaving into the toilet.
When we got home, I told him, calmly, if he ever did that again, mention my name whatsoever, I would be the next one up to bear my testimony and I will tell them all the real story. He never did that again.
The website also says women who have been abused don’t take to an abuser, sexually. That’s because we’re too traumatized and don’t have any trust in the man. Women need to have trust in order to be intimate. I don’t know how many times I’ve said that to Jerry.
Women are not turned on to men who abuse them. I told him one time, men can be ready for intimacy one minute before midnight. Women start at eight o’clock in the morning to be ready for intimacy at midnight. What happens during the day affects them all day.
Reading this website also tells me that men only change to get their partners back, but once they have them back, they slowly start the control again. How many times have I been through that? Too numerous to count. Abuse, abuse, abuse; win back. Repeat.
Once I tried to watch “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” the Spencer Tracy/Ingrid Bergman version. I couldn’t watch it. It hit home too much.
And now, on top of all the abuse I’ve suffered over the years, there’s adultery. How much more do I have to take?
I’m supposed to be working on my marriage and I only have anger that needs to come out.
Forgive me, Lord. What should I do? Help me, Lord.