Hello there, if your anything like me, then the title of this post may bring a specific person to mind. Maybe your like I used to be when I was around 15, and your thinking, toughen up, its just words. As social media plays a bigger and bigger part in our lives, and stories of bullying and the like surface with worrying levels of viciousness, it can be hard to see the lines between normal trash talking, and harassment.
Emotional or Physcological abuse, what is it? You can go to google and type those words in, and as google does, it will come up with a definition.
Heres what you may find:
It seemed to only grow after that. When I would come home from school, she would ask me how my day was. If I said anything negative she would make comments like “thats how things work down here.” And “your not in the city anymore little girl.”
The trust we established in the beginning, was twisted. She had tricked me into telling her all of the things I had done before living with them, and let me tell you, I was wild in my early teen years. My moving to Kentucky was a fresh start for me.
In december of 2012, my parents were given custody of my Nephew, and right off the bat we were best friends. He was 5, and he loved to draw, make forts, and walk with me. As much as I loved him, I was in no way happy to have the responsibility of taking care of him.
I’m not sure how it started, but eventually, Kristy my curent wife, and my newphew, became my world. I got him up for school, got him ready, and got on the bus with him. When I got home from school, I had a half hour before he came home, and I was expected to watch him while my dad watched tv, and step mom cooked.
I would help him with school things, and play with him, because if I ever told him I was busy my step mom would act like I was spoiled and talk about how she was made to help with her brothers and sisters growing up. He slept with me most nights, and although we would go lay down and watch a movie around 9, he normally wouldn’t be asleep till 11 or 12, and after that I could do my home work.
Every other weekend I could go somewhere and do something, because those were the weekends he went to see his mom, and they worked weekends. Those weekends I gave to Kristy, if I was able to see her. sometimes I bairly got a weekend a month, if my nephews mom blew off another visit. My first summer after my freshmen year, I spent all week watching my nephew, and most weekends. By then, she would start taking my phone, saying I needed to spend time with him.
She spent a lot of time on her phone, and acted like I was mean to my nephew if I didn’t always give him my attention exactly when he needed it. I couldn’t get dressed in my room, because the door had no lock, and he would come in whenever. Anytime I said anything to him, about breaking my things or privacy, she would lecture about my privileges.
I hated my time at home. I never knew what to say or not say. Eventually I just stoped talking to them, which made her say I was bruding. I began to dislike myself, I was up at 5 to get ready and get myself together by 6, to get my nephew up and ready, and much of my time was spent changing and changing again.
I normally wouldn’t go to bed till 1 or sometimes 2 or 3, I was always wondering when she would go through my room, and feared her finding my journal, or throwing away my clothes she didn’t like. She would constantly argue with my dad, she woukd start a conversation with her sarcastic tone, and just keep talking rudely to him over the course of a few hours, until he was yelling so she could yell too.
My Sophmore year, my dads drinking was so bad, that even when he was supposed to be watching my Nephew, I couldn’t trust it. I had tried out band for the first time, and I loved it, but I quickly realised it wouldn’t work. Learning music, and to march, all at once on a highschool level isn’t easy.
I tried my best for a whole year, but my nephew wanted to play with my trumpet, and I was afraid he would break it, but of course anything I said only caused a lecture. Practising was near immposible because I had to watch him, and eventually there was bitching about rides to practises, games, and compitions.
A month before my 18th birthday, I sat in my parents living room watching t.v. with my dad and nephew, and my step mom started yelling. By now, I spent so much of my time mad, I didn’t have room for much else. My family in ohio, only saw one of my step moms faces, her perfect one. That was what most people saw, a kind hearted woman in her 50’s, taking in children, opening her home and wallet.
I was either thinking about how much I hated her, myself, or the people that disn’t see her for what she was, or I was bitching to any of the few people who did. I sat there that night, listening to her yell at my dad who had stopped even responding, and then..I heared her say that she would bruise herself and call the cops. I’m not sure that I had a plan, but I took out my phone and recorded it.
The next day, my dad started complaining about her, as he usually did when she walked out the door. I showed him the recording, and he was happy, he seemed proud of me. After a while he started talking about us getting a trailer, and how simple life would be. Sure he was a drunk, but..he just drank and passed out..I wouldn’t be taking care of him, or dropping my head when I hurried through the house.
I was excited, and felt an actual connection with the man who had walked away from me at 4 years old. He told me he found a trailer sometime that week, then he went on vacation with her for their anniversary. My nephew and I had to stay with some of her relatives, and I knew that the woman already didn’t like me. The weekend was spent with her trying to get me to tell her why I didn’t like my step mom….
When they returned, my dad droped all conversations of us moving out. My birthday was in July, and for a month after, it seemed she only picked away at me more. I convinced myself, that he had done more than changed his mind. My junior year, I found a great friend in my school councilor, I would spend my lunch with her almost everyday. She didn’t judge me, not about Kristy, or anything else. She never played down my anger, or anxiety, and she asked me if I had thought about moving out now that I was 18.
I was fortunate to have family with space, and not longer after my councilors sudgestion, I had a plan. Over the course of a week, I packed my things in duffle bags, and I would take 1 a day with me. My step mom after words would tell people I was a coward, but I feared what might happen if I just told her. Kristy stored my things at her house, and the plan was to tell my step mom I was going to a football game that friday after school. I woke up early friday morning to tell my dad. I Still don’t know what I thought would happen.
After a second of being mildly upset, I explained that I needed him to tell her, and that was it. He left 5 minutes later, and I got my nephew ready, which was the only hard part of leaving. I expected to be pushed out, I knew there would be no way to come have dinner one night, and she wouldn’t let him come see me on the weekends, because she knew how to hurt me.
I don’t regret walking out. I had no car. No money saved. I received $180 on a survivors check, but I only got $40 a month, and I had to buy the kinds of hygene supplies I liked, because she only got what she thought I needed. I’ll save you the details, the first night was a lot of phone calls, threats to call the cops, and to have me thrown in a girls home.
The next day I tried to explain myself, and told her I needed my Social Security card & birth ceritifacte. I received them, along with my check. She told me, there had been a mistake, that my initial price $180, was low, so they bumped it up, and added more to make up the difference. When she handed me the check for $545, I already knew it was a lie, but I confirmed it quickly. They had receieved $545 on me the whole time, and never saved a dime for me.
If you were to talk to my step mom now, she would tell you that I’m manipulating, that I don’t like rules. My dad, never told her anything, his final act of negligence. After giving me my paper work, they cut me out for 6 months, and when they did eventually talk to me again, my step mom sat me down, to tell me that she was sorry.
She was apologizing for failing me, because people told her that me being a lesbian was just the start. She told me that she should’ve listened when people told her to, ground me expect for school, to send me to a bible camp for people like me, to not let me have a phone, to whoop my ass, and to get a restraining order against my girlfriend, who is now my wife. She said, it was her duty as my parent to fix me.
When I moved out, I was told by multiple people that I wasn’t ready for the responsibilites of a home, that I wouldn’t graduate, and that I would come crawling home.
My home has always been clean, my bills were paid, and I graduated with near straight A’s despite working a full time job my senior year.
I have went to bed HUNGRY. I have went 24 hours without sleep, trying to deal with some sort of issue at home, while keeping up with everything, I have had hard days.
I never went crawling back.
I never again apologized for who I loved.
I didn’t look at the floor when I walked through my house.
This is my revenge. My smile. My marriage. My happiness. MY success.
Emotional abuse is not simple.
I had a bed, I had food, clothes, t.v., internet, warmth, a shower.
But she made me pick myself apart. I never felt pretty, my clothes never looked right, my hair just wasn’t what it should be. I was to soft, to whiney. I second guessed what I said, and always wondered if my words would make someone mad. I spent 2 years, convinced that I could never be happy there, because I wasn’t country.
This woman now has custody of a little boy that I see going through the same as I did, and it breaks my heart, but his other options are physically unsafe.
Emotional abuse is real, it hides behind the eyes of the quite teen hiding in their room. It hides in the over achiever, and it lives in the smiley Aunt.
These people are given power, by those around them. By my father who listened to her, and listened to me crying at night, and didn’t want to upset his life to help.
Emotional abuse, tears a person away. It can weather you down until all thats left is the fear of causing it, and the anger of enduring it.
How can you stop it? LISTEN. Stop assuming their making it up, or they’re over reacting. Really listen, and try to imagine how you would truely feel.
How can you survive it? Get away. No matter who it is. You don’t owe them. No responsibility is worth your torture. Your enough. The things they tell you about yourself, do not define you, its a reflection of their fear, of you succeeding.
If you like me, can’t just go, then dream of the day that you can. Plan for it, cling to it. Cry it out, then get to work, deciding on your future.
If your sitting there, with a person in mind, then I want you to know, that one day, you will be free.
This cage they have made for you can’t hold you forever, and one day when your breathing air not stailed by their breath, they will still be stuck inhaling their own fumes.
It gets better.
You are enough.
Never let them make you believe, that you aren’t worth loving, because self love is a powerful thing.