I absolutely love the classes I’m taking. They’re very basic classes–Intro to Sociology and Violence in Literature–but I love how they intertwine how the information in one class is relevant in the other. It’s just a great cohesion. We talk a lot about violence in my classes. Violence against a group of people and violence against an individual. Actions aren’t the only form of violence. Words can be violent too.
No one know everything that happened between my soon to be ex and me behind closed doors. I tend to find it easier to open up fairly anonymously than to my friends and family. There’s less judgement (hopefully) and I get a different perspective on things.
At the end of October, I told one of my friends almost everything that happened while I was married and it’s taken me this long to process and repeat what she said. She said he was emotionally abusive. And I have a hard time taking that to heart.
I’ve heard the stories and know the warning signs, but it’s not the same. He didn’t put me down (directly). He didn’t say I was stupid or worthless or good for nothing. He didn’t threaten me. He didn’t control me (again, directly). So because his behaviours didn’t fit exactly in the definition of emotional abuse, I’m having a hard time calling it emotional abuse.
But when I look at it, really look at it, I can see that it was.
- He called me names. Names that I don’t feel comfortable repeating. He would call me names when he thought I was sleeping. When I would confront him about it, he was apologetic and said he’d never do it again. But he did.
- He would say other hurtful things and after I was crying, he would say that he was joking and that I was being silly and over reacting or I was being too sensitive. He would also say that when I shared my emotions with him.
- He would “jokingly” threaten to beat me.
- He would say that my thoughts/morals/ideals were stupid and I was going to hell for having them.
- He would often say, “God is punishing you,” if I tripped, or something fell, or if something didn’t turn out the way I wanted.
I would get angry. I would be hurt. I would cry. I would wonder why he would say those things. I would wonder if he loved me.
I use school to escape my real life. I bury myself in school work so I don’t have to think about what’s really going on. And the rest of the time, I have the eating disorder blocking me of any real chance of dealing with anything. I don’t mind so much. But when the terminology starts to become applicable to real life situations, I tend to have a hard time accepting it. Those terms, those circumstances, belong to other people. Not me. But they do belong to me. I was a target of domestic violence.
That is really hard to admit and accept. And I’m not sure I do as of yet. But I can see it. Next I just have to say it.