There are two main types of domestic abuse, physical and emotional. Without a doubt physical abuse is the one we fear the most, I would like to think that physical abuse is not something I would put up with. None of this should take away from our way of seeing emotional abuse though.
I never use to see it that way, for three years I put up with emotional abuse. It was during a period of time after ending things with that high school boyfriend but before meeting Eric. He wasn’t a boyfriend, and I now recognize that that was part of the abuse. I didn’t know it at the time but since we had started “dating” or whatever he had knocked up a married lady. For legal reasons he kept me on the dl, but it wasn’t like he told me about the kid either. I found out by accident. Anyway though, it was shitty and I knew something was off. He had always been manipulative towards me but at a certain point he also became mean.
He made fun of my “wobbles” (my limping and tremors) and how my voice gives out sometimes. He made me feel bad when I’d forget things or become confused. He’d convince me that he was the best I could do but then if I left him he would beg me back. He would guilt me into loaning him money, which I later discovered was child support, but he wouldn’t ever take me anywhere nice. He would never put a label on what “we” were but when he needed emotional support he’d always call me. Oh yeah, and when he was homeless for a brief spell he’d stay at my house.
I didn’t get the nerve to cut him off until I found definitive proof that he had a then two year old son I had never had been told about, and again this was after three years of my knowing him so he has no valid reason for keeping it from me. This was a big part of why I accepted the offer I got from Western Oregon University, because it’s located so far out here I wouldn’t need to worry about him showing up (although he did twice). I blocked him from my Facebook and my cell phone, I cut him out of my life completely and tried to move on.
It was hard though, and not just because he’s a fucking stalker but also because he hurt me. Three years of his wishy-washy asinine bullshit took a toll. He never once laid a hand on me though so I thought I had nothing to complain about. It was my fault for being a dumb slut, so I felt embarrassed and had no one to confide in. I went to the Main Street Pub in Monmouth a lot once I moved out here because I was more interested in dulling my senses than making friends.
He’s been out of my life now for about five years and I finally feel alright calling it what it was, an abusive relationship. It’s not my fault, I was vulnerable and he took advantage of me. I am lucky that I finally was able to recognize the abuse and get out. I thought I owed it to him to be there because his life was hard, even if it was his own fault, and I was the only person willing to stand by him. That’s what I told myself at least, but I see now that taking care of him wasn’t my job. A healthy relationship is a symbiotic relationship, and I just hope that if anyone reading this now is with someone who doesn’t make you feel appreciated that you have the courage to get out. It is never too late to start over and you are never too broken to be happy.