Divorce is painful and you don’t get over someone you spent your whole life loving in a month or a year. If you don’t deal with the feelings, the baggage goes with you into your future relationships. This morning I was thinking about why I loved him so much, and why I stayed so long in an unhappy marriage. Why? Because he loved me way back, before I was the beautiful unicorn goddess I am today. He loved me when I was fat and ugly. He loved me when I was completely fucked up. I met him when I just turned 19. I had just gotten out of my fourth psychiatric unit for attempting suicide. I had cut marks and burns on my body from self harm. I had like 4 dresses to my name and would have been homeless if the state of Georgia hadn’t moved me into a low rent apartment instead of putting me out on the street.
I was a total mess and he still loved me. I look back on my life. I have told many people he never called me beautiful, and never bought me flowers. I was grateful that he stuck around. This morning all I could think was I was fat and ugly. And all these people that think I am cute and funny now would have not talked to me back in the day. You wouldn’t have liked me back then because I was a fat, ugly freak.
THIS is what I want to blog about. I was NEVER a fat, ugly, freak. I was a beautiful unicorn goddess waiting to happen. Emotional abuse wrecks your self-esteem, makes you feel like you don’t deserve love, don’t deserve to eat, don’t deserve to be happy. My eating disorder and body dysmorphia started at 18 when I decided I was fat and ugly and didn’t deserve to eat. It has stuck with me all the way to 46. I still struggle every day with how I look, what I eat, and my self-esteem.
This morning I started reading about emotional abuse and realized exactly how long I have been dealing with it. It goes way back to childhood. I moved in with my aunt and uncle at 14, when my family fell apart. I thought my aunt and uncle were an amazing family at the time, but now I realize how much emotional abuse went on in that home. I was not able to pick out my own clothes. My aunt picked them out for me. It was an extremely Christian home. I liked the boundaries there. But this morning when I was reading about emotional abuse I realized that the controlling that went on in that house was emotional abuse. And when I stopped being perfect, they kicked me out of their home.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18 after I attempted suicide. My uncle told my boyfriend at the time, I don’t care if she sleeps on a park bench she’s not coming home. That was pretty much the last time I talked to them or the boyfriend. I met my ex-husband shortly after. And he loved me when I was a complete disaster or so I thought. But, a person that loves you nurtures you, builds you up, and tells you that you are beautiful, smart, funny, and amazing. You are what you think you are. I didn’t become a beautiful unicorn goddess until I believed I was one. That is my blue energy for myself for today. You are and ALWAYS were a beautiful, smart, creative, funny, passionate unicorn goddess.
Here are some of the signs of emotional abuse. This list is a partial list from womenshealth.gov
You may be experiencing emotional or verbal abuse if someone:
- Wants to know what you’re doing all the time and wants you to be in constant contact
- Demands passwords to things like your phone, email, and social media and shows other signs of digital abuse
(My ex-husband took my phone from me all the time. I am still touchy about anyone handling my phone because of this.)
- Acts very jealous, including constantly accusing you of cheating (constantly)
- Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family
(He made me unfriend friends or stop talking to people all the time.)
- Tries to stop you from going to work or school
(I stopped going to Libertarian meetings)
- Controls all your finances or how you spend your money
(I asked permission for everything I spent, including $3 items FOR YEARS)
- Calls you insulting names (such as “stupid,” “disgusting,” “worthless,” “whore,” or “fat”)
(He called me fat and a freak)
- Threatens to harm himself or herself when upset with you
(The night before I packed up my bags and left, he told me he was going to kill me and kill himself)
- Decides things for you that you should decide (like what to wear or eat)
(My ex did not do this, but my aunt picked out everything I wore and controlled my eating. I believe she is responsible for my eating disorder)
I decided to blog about this because I want to influence women. When a social worker asked me if I was being abused, I said no. I had no idea that I was, in fact, being abused. Abuse isn’t just physical. If you are being emotionally abused, get help. Go see a therapist. Talk to someone. Talk to me!