I am going to be completely and brutally honest.
Honest with myself.
I can’t believe I let someone mentally and emotionally abuse me.
In an exchange with friends, I asked this: “Why do I let this person put fear in me? Is this how abusive relationships work?”
Dear Friend #1 said: “Yes. This is exactly how abusive relationships work.”
Dear Friend #2 only reiterated what #1 said.
What an eye opening conversation this was.
No, what an eye opening sentence this was: This is exactly how abusive relationships work.
One, I was admitting out loud that I feared this person. Not feared for my physical self, but feared for mental and emotional self. I had always chalked it up to me, doing what I always do, aim for perfection and then beat myself up when I fail to achieve it. It’s not that. I am scared. I am scared of reactions, thoughts, looks, things, this person will say, and so on.
What a horrifying thought.
For me anyway.
Some people fear spiders (I know I sure as hell don’t like them), but I would rather stand in a field of venomous spiders raining down on me, than having to deal with the mental/emotional torment I put myself through on what I could have done to be “perfect” and what I could have done to appreciated and respected.
Two, I realized that I was defending this person’s actions in the way they treated me. DEFENDING! It’s Tuesday. It’s busy. It’s sunny. It’s raining. It’s stress. It’s meds. It’s how it is. It’s how they were raised. It’s how they deal with things. It’s snowing glitter and candied goddamn unicorns.
What the fuck Shelia? What the fuck?
We think of abuse more so on a physical level and sometimes on an emotional/mental level typically carried about someone you love or trust. I never saw it in another light until this week. There are people we all deal that might make us feel so small and minuscule but we turn our heads because we think of them as just being a jerk or that’s just the way they are.
But the honest truth is we consented and said it was okay for them to make us feel inferior.
Eleanor Roosevelt said:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
I GAVE CONSENT.
But guess what, I found my lost fucking backbone and I’m taking it back and I’m taking consent back.