Spousal Abuse. The Emotional Toll Lasts For Years

MountainGem By MountainGem, 4th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

It has been a long time since I lived my horror but the affects are still with me.

Spousal Abuse: The Emotional Toll

Watching a television program this morning on abused women brought back many troubling memories for me. It has been 32 years since I was in that relationship but the affects it had on me are still there. When I was a young woman I had tons of self esteem. It didn’t take long for him to knock that right out of me. One would think that getting out of that relationship and moving on with my life would help but it doesn’t.
I didn’t stay married to him for long. Only for 16 months but I lived in the same house with him for about 8 months. It took me getting pregnant and fearing for the life of my unborn child to work up the courage to leave. My lawyer said that we would not finalize the divorce until after my child was born but I left him 6 months after we were married.
There are times even now that I have nightmares about him. I dream of the time he got out his rifle and told me he was going to shoot me right then and there. I dream of the time he sat on the couch and told me how he was just holding himself back from beating me to death. I dream about killing him.
I did not kill him but I often thought about it. This was back in the 70’s, before law enforcement was more educated in spousal abuse. I never once called the police on him. I didn’t think it would do any good. He quickly alienated me from my friends and was trying to do the same with my family. He would show up on my job and my boss was getting ready to fire me because of it when I left him. So very typical of all the behaviors we all read about now. He would cry and apologize after hurting me and tell me he would never do it again, only to repeat the action, but worse, in a matter of days. It was a violent, painful circle.
The physical wounds healed but the psychological wounds I still carry with me. I never got the counseling I should have. I look back at my behavior over the years since and can see a pattern of self-destructive things that never would have taken place if I had not been abused by that man. I gained a lot of weight and have trouble losing it. There were some substance abuse problems early on and I was promiscuous. In and out of relationships that were no good for me at all. Thankfully, I found a man who loved me for the person I was on the inside and we have been married for almost 26 years.
I can sit and know what triggers some of the things I do and have done, but fixing them is hard. Facing a past that is so painful takes a lot of courage and I don’t know if I am ready for that yet. I still have a lot of work to do but I am so glad that I had the courage to get up and leave when I did. I honestly don’t think I would be here now if I hadn’t. Thinking about that time still makes me cry and I don’t think about it very often. I keep the door tightly closed on those memories most of the time. It takes something like the television program this morning to crack it open and then I have to deal with them for a while. But I will be able to shove them back into the dark and slam the door on them soon. At some point I will be brave enough to see a counselor and put them to bed once and for all. Just not today.

Tags

Abuse And Violence In The Home, Abuse In The Home, Abused Wife, Abusive Relationships

Meet the author

author avatar MountainGem
A published author, wife and mother, poet, and teller of tales. Creative writing is where my heart is, but I write where my mood takes me.

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Comments

author avatar Steve Kinsman
4th Apr 2012 (#)

I celebrate your courage, MountainGem.

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author avatar Retired
4th Apr 2012 (#)

you are very courageous indeed

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author avatar Tini K
27th Apr 2012 (#)

Glad to hear you've found happiness with someone new and hope it helps with your healing process. Insightful story, thankyou for sharing.

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