I've openly shared my personal experiences with domestic abuse, anxiety, and PTSD. Journaling is something I have always done, but as memories and emotions related to these personal experiences come to the surface, I find myself needing my journal as an outlet more and more. It's been helping me cope with memories of my past, and in a way has helped me become emotionally unattached to them. I'm at a point in my healing journey where I no longer feel anger towards my abuser, but I do feel anger towards myself. This may sound funny to some, but I do feel grateful for my experiences. They have turned me into the woman I am today, and I really like her! These experiences have opened doors for me that otherwise would have been nonexistent, the GRATI shop being one example. It's weird because I am in a place of gratitude, but at the same time I feel so much frustration towards myself for allowing myself to lose my voice.
Today, I decided to open up and share a raw and unedited excerpt from my journal in hopes that it can help someone out there understand that they do not deserve to be treated poorly. If you read this, and at any point you feel an inkling of familiarity, you need to RUN FOR THE HILLS...and when I say run, I don't mean a light jog, but a full on sprint!
On the day of this particular entry, I was struggling with flash backs of memories where I didn't stand up for myself. I allowed myself to be taken advantage of, and my voice had become nonexistent. These are real memories for me, and are examples of the abuse and manipulation that I dealt with on a regular basis.
I found myself getting annoyed thinking about a Christmas spent with ______ today and how selfish of a person he is. He had wanted us to purchase each other 20 gifts that year because he had never really had a Christmas where someone celebrated him and bought him presents. He thought it would be fun to have a big Christmas morning like when we were kids. It's what he wanted, and I did it...spending over $1,000 on gifts for him along with an overflowing stocking. When Christmas morning came he was thrilled by all the gifts, but when it came time to open my gifts I realized he has gotten me 12. My stocking only had one item in it...ironically a journal. Not wanting to seem ungrateful I kept my mouth shut.
One of the gifts I had purchased for him ended up being broken. I returned the item, and intentionally didn't order a replacement as I was feeling bitter about his lack of doing for me what I had done for him. Petty? Maybe? He ended up taking an Amazon gift card that I received for Christmas from my grandparents off of my dresser and bought something for himself to "replace" the broken gift. No discussion about it. He didn't even ask. He just took my gift card and used it. Not wanting to start an argument I kept my mouth shut.
One of the gifts I had purchased for him was a projector. He had asked for it so that he could watch football on a white wall in his "sports" room upstairs. I purchased it for him, but apparently selected the wrong one. About a week or so after Christmas, I just so happen to notice he was selling it on our joint eBay account. He didn't say one word to me about it, didn't ask me to return it or exchange it, he just turned around and sold it, and took the money. Again, I kept my mouth shut.
There was also that one time my brother gave me his old tablet. I didn't end up using it so I attempted to sell it on eBay myself when he didn't want it back. ____ guilted me into giving it to him because he had always wanted one. He already had an iPad, but according to him I was selfish for not even asking him if he wanted it. He kept saying I was materialistic and all about money. So....I gave it to him. The following week HE was the one trying to sell it on eBay. He did...and took the money for it. You guessed it....I said absolutely nothing.
At this point in our relationship I had pretty much accepted that everything would be my fault. There were so many times I could see in his face that he wanted to hit me. He even told me on several occasions that he wanted to. Although he never physically hit me, he would throw things at me out of anger. When he did, it's like he would convince himself and try to convince me that he wasn't abusive because he never hit me with his own fists....like throwing a dresser drawer at my face was somehow better?
I remember how he use to get mad at me when he couldn't fall asleep, and I could. On more than one occasion I would be asleep and he'd come storming in the room at 3AM, rip the blankets off on me, and tell me how f*cked up I was for sleeping when he couldn't. One night in particular he had brought a painting of us into the room and repeatedly stabbed my face in the picture with a screw driver. He kept telling me he wished he could actually be doing it to me. It was terrifying. All I did to piss him off was fall asleep.
There was also that time he kicked me out of the house for wearing an "inappropriate" dress to work. He was accusing me of trying to get my bosses attention. In reality I had actually dressed up so that he would think I looked pretty, and it backfired. He kept following me around the house screaming at me to get out, throwing my stuff at me, but every time I went to leave he wouldn't let me out the door. It's like he got off on screaming at me to leave, but then got mad at me for actually trying to...which led to more screaming. This situation happened often.
Truthfully these memories piss me off. Why the f*ck would I ever let this man take advantage of me? I allowed him to take me away from my family and friends...some of which still won't talk to me to this day. He completely tarnished some of my most cherished friendships, BUT I let him. Never again.
As I work through my own healing I realize that he was just an extremely broken person. He was stuck. He was avoiding his problems, mental health issues, and depression. He had no coping mechanisms. His way of feeling better was taking me down with him. At this point, I actually feel bad for the dude. In a way I hope he sees my success in life as a f*ck you, but at the same time I hope he is working through his own healing. I just pray that he is not so cruel to the next gal.
As for me, I still have work to do, but I am in an amazing place in life. I have a partner who adores me, and treats me like an absolute queen. He's kind, caring, understanding, and is amazingly supportive of my dreams. He's the real deal! He has me feeling grateful, thankful, and blessed every single day!
Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse please reach out to Safe Passage. Safe Passage advocates work towards safety, healing, and justice for our entire community. They are here for everyone who has experienced domestic violence or relationship abuse.
With Love & Light,