I have spent the last 8 1/2 years being the subject of subtle, yet incredibly destructive, domestic abuse. Most of this abuse has been financial, social, and emotional.
After I discovered my husband's infidelity, I became the abuser. I was horrible to him for a period of around 6 months.
Psychologically, I think this is because I had endured so many years of torment and finally the ball was in my court.
He says he never intended to be abusive. It was the only way he knew how to show he cared.
But what he didn't understand was his jealousy, his control, his rage - it all made me feel like a child, or a caged animal. I could not take it any longer.
The hardest thing for everyone to understand is why I keep going back to him.
He is so sweet, so loving, kind, compassionate in between outbursts. But more importantly, he has brainwashed me to believe that I am worthless and that I cannot survive without him.
I see this sometimes, and I feel strong, and I feel like I can rise above.
But more often than not, these feelings overwhelm me and I get right back in to old patterns, thinking I can't do it. I can't survive. I don't know how. I need him.
Jealousy and control DO NOT equal love.
I don't want to be controlled anymore. I don't want to do this.
I want to be free, independent. I want to do my own thing.
This doesn't mean I want to meet another man. If I do, and he's truly a good guy, then great. But that's not what I want.
I want to have a bank account. I want to pay bills. I want to do my dishes in my kitchen sink and know that this is mine, instead of feeling like I am living in his house (which is how I have felt for many years.)
I don't want to feel guilty for things I can't control. If the car breaks down, that's not my fault. If the dog pees on the floor, that's not my fault. If the kids tear the house up while I'm in the bathroom, that's not my fault.
I don't want to live in fear. He doesn't hit me very frequently, but he often uses threatening gestures and facial expressions, or breaks things to intimidate me. I don't want to live like that anymore.
I don't want to have to check in everywhere I go.
I don't want him to follow my shopping trip in real time anymore. He always tracks where I am during the day by looking at the bank account to see where I used to debit card.
I don't want him to call me his fucking inventory anymore. What kind of nickname is that for someone you love!? He always calls me that - he'll be looking at me admiringly and I ask what he's looking at, and he always says "Just checking out my inventory."
It's not funny anymore. It's not cute. It's fucking disgusting and I don't want to do it.