What are the Odds?
According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center, 25% of women will have experienced domestic abuse in their lifetime.
That is very disturbing fact, but it is one that cannot be ignored. In a way by my posting this anonymously I feel like I am keeping the secret rather than breaking the silence. However, I feel like I can speak openly without fear of my ex-husband finding this out. I am even concerned about co-workers knowing this information when I have nothing to be ashamed about.
Abuse and Denial
There is a big problem with abuse and denial of its existence. Oftentimes women being abused try to deny that it is happening, family and friends may attempt to deny it and of course the abuser will say it doesn’t exist. It did seem is my abusive ex-husband could see when abuse was happening with other women but he did not believe he was doing anything wrong.
The Silent Rules
When I was married to the abuser, there were many silent rules in our household, rules that were never stated but were created by arguments and fights. Ridiculous rules, such as;
- I was not allowed to change the sprinkler system settings
- I was allowed to plant flowers in the backyard but not the front
- He was allowed to go out and stay out late but I was not
- He did not have to sleep in the same room with me, but I had better be available for sex when he wanted it
- He could spend, hide and control the money and I was not allowed to ask questions
- If he lost his temper it was excusable, if I lost my temper it was inexcusable
- He could lay around the house and watch TV all he wanted, but if I did that he would say I was ungrateful or lazy
- He could do whatever he wanted and I was suppose to be okay with it
- Although there were no stated rules, I was not suppose to break the rules
There were so many rules, more than what is listed above, and everyone of them was established as a result of experiences. This was not an equal house where we both had rights and act how we felt. The rules were very much one-sided.
Recovering from Abuse
Another big issue I am always experiencing is recovering from so many years of verbal abuse. It is not as easy to forget and there are many times when situations trigger memories. At times I have tried to just get over it, move on and just forget about it. I do not dwell in it and it does not prevent me from living my life. It also rarely produces anxiety or as much pain as it once used to. I would imagine as time continues to pass it will continue to get better. Today, I can talk about this and not feel sad, angry or so emotional. Today I feel like I am continuing my recovery from domestic abuse.
A counselor once told me the reason I was unable to just ‘move on’ is because he continues to offend. Unlike my father who no longer does the things he use to, my ex-husband continues to do weird things through our daughter.
I hope my writing this is helping someone. I just refuse to believe I went through all of that for nothing if only to share my experiences and perhaps help just one person.
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