Friday, May 7, 2010

Being Honest with Myself

We resist being honest with ourselves because it hurts and seems overwhelming. These create defining moments when we must decide to conquer fear and trust God for strength to push through the pain and achieve the honesty we need.

I have been married for 10 years.  For most of that time it has been an abusive relationship.  Not physical.  But emotional and mental abuse.  If it had been physical I would have been out of there a long time ago.  But emotional and mental abuse is much more subtle and takes time to take it's toll.  Emotional  abuse is toxic, clearly. But when on the receiving end, it can be confusing, debilitating and often keep you spinning.
Emotional abuse is like brain washing in that it systematically wears away at you self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in your own perceptions, and self-concept. Whether it is done by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under the guise of "guidance," "teaching", or "advice," the results are similar. Eventually, the recipient of the abuse loses all sense of self and remnants of personal value. Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be far deeper and more lasting that physical ones. In fact there is research to this effect. With emotional abuse, the insults, insinuations, criticism and accusations slowly eat away at the victim's self-esteem until she is incapable of judging the situation realistically. She has become so beaten down emotionally that she blames herself for the abuse. Her self-esteem is so low that she clings to the abuser.

This has been my life.  It is not my life anymore. The details are not pretty and I won't go into them, but I am very much my "old" self again.  It has taken time, patience, love, friends, family and a counselor to help me reach who I am.  The one thing that needed to be done and I have not been able to do is admit that I was in an abusive relationship.  You are embarrassed, you are ashamed, afraid of what others might think of you.  I am no longer embarrassed, no longer ashamed, it still bothers me what others might think, but I'm getting over that too, this post proves that.  It's my way of being honest with myself

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All the "research" I need comes from you affirming my own experience for the past 25 years, Jan. I have lived your life. Like you, no more though.

I remember the shame and then started living my shame...and finally, being able to take no more, began numbing my shame.

I had to die in almost all ways...physically, emotionally and spiritually to finally say, "huh uh, I'm worth more than this".

The intrigue for me is discovering all the underlying "stuff" which paralyzed me into staying as long as I did. The human psyche is fascinating to be sure.

Welcome to the rest of your life, Jan! Seize it for all you desire....all you deserve.... my fairest of friends!