This blog could potentially contain triggers. Please make sure you are emotionally safe before continuing.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Emotional Vomiting

I really don't know what else to call it.  It's what happens when I am overflowing with emotions and I feel like they are going to consume me, devour me, if I don't get them out.  That's where I am right now.

I've considered some of the coping mechanisms from my past:  scratching a few deep lines into my arms, burning myself with the curling iron, taking something with a sedative effect (an extra Xanax maybe), as well as others I'm still not ready to talk about.

If I were a drinker, I would go out and get plastered.  That sounds pretty good right now.  Anything to stop feeling what I'm feeling now.

But I will try to do it in a healthy way.  I will face and process the pain, even while wanting to slam the laptop on my own fingers.  I will write.

It hurts so bad.  My heart.  It feels like a black hole, sucking and gaping.  Aching.  Empty.  But still so much pain.

I feel so unwanted.  So rejected.  So unvalued.  Like I mean nothing.  Like I am only good for serving others.  Like if I can't do what they want then I am a waste of skin.  Like I am selfish for wanting anything.  Like I don't matter.

I feel like I am standing in the middle of a high school gym full of people and they are all laughing at me.  Pointing and laughing.  Calling me names.  You're stupid.  You're wrong.  Why are you here?  No one wants you here.  No one likes you.  You are ugly.  You are worthless.  You don't belong here.  You are weak.  You are lazy and good for nothing.  We will use you, take what we want, and throw you back into the trash where you belong.

Look at you sitting there, crying like a big baby.  You're so thin-skinned.  You make such a big deal out of everything.  It's not all about you, you know?  Suck it up like the rest of us.  We have problems, too, and you don't see us whining.  We don't want to hear about your silly little problems.  You're world isn't ending so quit being so dramatic.

Pull your self together.  You're such an idiot.  Sometimes life is hard; get used to it.  Deal with it.

You're not worth my time.  Get out of my face -- you make me sick.

Author's note (the next day):  Writing it out helped.  I am feeling stronger emotionally today.  I am feeling less vulnerable.  I am not going to hurt myself.  I am okay.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Husband's Feelings

I don't claim to know what he feels.  (Okay, sometimes I do; but just when we are arguing and he claims he isn't upset -- not here.)  But I would like to share what he has expressed.

If I were reading this blog, and someone else were writing it, I would wonder how the husband feels.  If he knows.  So I want to answer that question.

He does know.  He reads this blog and everything else I write and publish.  He knows I write about things from our past that are not pretty.

He supports me and is proud of me.

It's difficult for him to read sometimes.  He doesn't like remembering how ugly it was.  He doesn't like that he did those things.  I'm sure there is embarrassment, even though he hasn't said so.

But he also thinks it's incredibly brave.  He understands that it's important to talk about these things, to help others see.  Some of your comments have helped him see just how important it is, how it has touched your lives and helped you.

When I write something particularly offensive, like my last post, I talk to him first.  I do not ask permission; that would be going backwards.  That would be going back to when I was afraid to do something without his okay, when I was so worried about him and his feelings that mine didn't exist.  Or worried about making him angry.  Or representing him badly.

I tell him what I want to write about.  Then I ask him how he feels about it.  I tell him how I will approach it.  I ask if he is ready.  He shares any concerns he might have.  He tells me what he'd prefer I not share, which is usually what I wouldn't have shared anyway (you know, gory details).

And then I write as honestly as I can.  Before I publish I always look it over to see if I feel good about it.  If I feel I represented everything accurately.  If I stayed true to my promises to him.  Then I publish.

He does not read them before I post.

Then I immediately call or text him to let him know it's done.  I want him to read it so that he knows what others are reading.  So he knows exactly how it unfolded.  And, yes, I go into a little PTSD, worrying that I am in trouble until he signs off on it.  That's going to take some time to get over.

I feel that it's important to consider his wants and feelings as I do this.  I don't think it interferes with the process.  But I am working on my marriage and to just throw him under the bus would not help that.

I just wanted anyone reading this to know where he stands.  I have told him that if he ever wants to write a post here, he is welcome.  Writing isn't really his thing, so he doesn't think he will want to.  But the offer stands.

I hope this helps a few people understand a little better.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sexual Abuse in Marriage

This is a very difficult post to write.  For so many reasons.  My husband and I are in a really good place right now.  I have been able to function without any PTSD flare-ups for a while.  And my memories are sparse from this time period.

But it won't go away.  It needs to be written.  It is an area that I have just begun to process, so there is still a lot of pain; my heart is racing and tears are streaming as I write this.  It still hurts so much.

I do not intend to be offensive.  I do not intend to be descriptive.  However, I totally understand if you know me (or us) and don't want to read this. 

Sexual abuse in marriage is a tough thing to judge.  Only recently have laws changed that even acknowledge it.  For so long, being married meant consent -- no matter how it was taken advantage of.  Legally, there was no such thing as rape in a marriage.

Luckily, we aren't that blind anymore.

But abuse is a difficult thing to judge much of the time, no matter what kind.  When does it cross the line?

For years, I knew I was unhappy.  I knew something was terribly wrong.  I knew I was not being treated as a daughter of God should be.  I was not treated with value as a person.  But I wasn't sure it was abusive.  Now I am.

I have already written about how my husband was emotionally abusive.  How controlling he was.  And how I had no defenses against it.  I have hinted at other abuse.  But this time I am saying it.

For years, my husband was sexually abusive in our marriage.  To the point that I could have pressed charges?  I doubt it.  To the point that I should have divorced him?  Absolutely.

If I had known then what I know now, I would have.  If he were still like that now, I would.  Things have changed.

But I feel like I need to address this for others.  There are others who have experienced this or are experiencing this or are doing this.  They need someone to stand up and say it's not right.

I am standing up.  It is not right.

It's not about sexual practices.  It's not about whether or not to use toys.  It's not about location.  It's not about role play.  It's not about having a difference of opinion on what is appropriate and what is not.

It is about one person forcing their wants on their partner.  It's that simple.

Sometimes in a healthy marriage there is negotiation.  I don't really want to, but I will because I want you to be happy.  That's not what I'm talking about.

Honey, I am so uncomfortable with that.  I really don't want to.  Please don't ask me to do this.  Please don't make me do this.  Please don't do that.  No.  I said no.  Please, no.  Begging and pleading to be excused.  And so many tears.

That's what I'm talking about.

I am talking about becoming emotionally violent when he didn't get his way.  I am talking about refusing to speak to me for days until he got his way.  I am talking about being extremely mean to the kids until he got his way (men quickly learn that women will do almost anything to protect their children, even sacrifice themselves).  I am talking about withholding money until he got his way.  I am talking about punishing me and/or the kids in any way he could until he got his way.  I am talking about making me feel worthless for not meeting his needs; no, not needs - wants.  I am talking about expecting that it was my job to be the whore from porn movies.  Whenever and in whatever way he wanted.

I'm not talking about demanding sex.  Although, if one person is demanding it I think that is abusive.  I am talking about more than that.  I am talking about asking me to do things I found offensive.  I am talking about forcing things that were painful.  I am talking about taking away all of my value as a person and making me an object.

He had become my world.  He was the father of my children and the provider for our family.  He had become my lifeline.  He had rescued me from my life so he owned me.  Unfortunately, I think we both believed this.

I did not talk to anyone about this.  I was ashamed.  And it was taboo.  It was my problem to fix.

But he was my husband.  It was a mutual relationship.  What right did I have to say how the relationship would be?

It took me so many years to understand what was wrong.  I violated many of my principles for him, because he demanded it.  And then I felt so guilty.  I felt like it was my fault for giving in.  I felt so worthless for the thing I'd let him turn me into.  It's horrible to feel more like a whore than a wife.

We make the sacrifices we need to in order to survive.  That's what I did.  I used the only tool I had:  compliance.  Giving in.

It was the only way I knew to try to give my kids a normal life.  A life not filled with hatred and anger and fear.  A life where their dad loved them and loved their mom.

It's not like this anymore.  I have learned a lot about myself and my power to choose.  I have learned that in a sexual relationship it takes two yesses to make it right.  And only one no to make it wrong.

I have learned to trust and value myself.  He has learned a lot, too.

He didn't see it.  I have watched him grow to understand.  He will probably always be the gas and I will always be the brakes.  But I need that power to feel safe.

He knows that if that power is ever taken away from me, we will no longer be together.  I am worth more than that.

There is still a lot of pain.  Our past colors so much of our present.  Any type of anger in conjunction with sex can send me into instant PTSD.  We have a long way to go to heal this.

But I believe we can.  Because both of us have opened our eyes and seen what it was.  And we both hate what we see.