It’s not your fault,
You didn’t’ know your words would eat away at my heart.
It’s not your fault,
You didn’t’ know your words would break my spirit.
I don’t blame you,
You couldn’t have known.
I remember my sister once told me that you should be happy most of the time and have a few unhappy days, when you are in a relationship. I was unhappy most of the time and lived for the few days when things were good. I didn’t realize at the time that there was a cycle that I could count on. I was too busy trying to do everything right to be able to notice anything around me. The verbal, mental and emotional abuse was something I had to deal with daily. I did not ever know if I should speak or have an opinion of my own. I was always on edge. There would be times when we would be in the middle of a “normal” conversation; everything would be great and then I would say something wrong and everything would change. If my words were not EXACTLY as he thought I should say them, the accusations and name calling would begin. We came from different life styles, we came from different cultures and evidently, I didn’t know how to speak or express myself correctly. I tried so hard to say the right things in the right way…I just couldn’t get it right. If I talked “too much” or explained things in detail, he would accuse me of treating him like a child. I have been used to talking in detail with my children and family…we talk and repeat the same thing in several ways. We analyze and we discuss in detail, however when I spoke this way with my husband, again, I was accused of treating him like a child and I had to pay the price by being yelled at and called names. If I tried to explain, it just made matters worse. Even as I write this, I feel my heart start to beat fast because I am afraid I am saying “too much”. If my children called me, I had to be careful of every word I spoke in fear he might take something wrong.
I learned how to listen verbatim. If I paraphrased something and didn’t get it right, he would yell at me for “putting words in his mouth”. If I said something and then latter changed it, I was “lying” or “up to something”. If I forgot something, or didn’t remember exactly as it was said days before, I “was stupid” and a “damn liar”. Anything I got wrong could easily be turned into proof that I was cheating on him or that I was somehow putting him down. I wasn’t and I couldn’t find a way to show him.
I felt like I was losing my mind. There were times when I knew something was said or not said. It may have been that I didn’t remember word for word or that I had a different understanding of what was said then he did; it didn’t matter….I was always wrong.
If I argued what I believed I had heard, I would have to pay with his verbal assult on me.
I was a “damn liar”; I was a “m…f…”; I was a “c (word)..”; I was a “b (word)…”; I was “stupid”; “No one could be that naïve, so I must be lying”; I was a piece of “s (word)”; I was a “w (word)”;
His anger was so strong and the tone of his voice was so harsh, when he spoke these words to me, I was scared and felt helpless.
When you are in school, they call it bullying….as an adult it is abuse. Years of hearing the same types of things carried into my adult life reinforcing and strengthening each word and each name as it was yelled at me.
The name calling echoed in my mind every day and it got louder and louder each time the words were repeated.
There was a very fine line between the verbal, emotional and physical abuse. One crossed right over to the next and any one could trigger the other.
In school we learned
“Sticks n Stones may break your bones,
But words will never hurt you.”
My Daddy always told me
“Don’t care what other people think”
Why do his words hurt me so much?