Darkness, a deep oppressive darkness, had begun to creep in and envelop me in hopelessness and despair. The walls of what I intended to be the perfect marriage and family had crumbled away until there was nothing left to stand on. I had fallen into a depression so profound that I started contemplating hurting myself to escape the pain and reality of my situation.
“Maybe if I just drive my car into that steep ditch I will get the break that I need, then maybe he’ll change and realize that he needs me. Maybe seeing me dying on a hospital bed will wake him up…” These were the thoughts that plagued me for months.
One afternoon, the desire to drive my car at high speeds into a tree was so strong it shook me. I realized at that moment that I needed help, something had to change or I would absolutely lose my will to continue living. I didn’t know about resources like Safe House for Women, or national hotlines for women in abusive relationships. I honestly didn’t even realize that the pain and despair I experienced was due to my verbally abusive relationship. I only knew I was miserable, and that most of the time I felt the urge to hurt myself was after some sort of heated dispute with my spouse. On occasion, I would spend countless hours driving around aimlessly because I felt I had nowhere to turn. I was too ashamed to go to my family or friends, mostly because I had been led to believe that talking about issues with your spouse was a huge no-no when trying to maintain a healthy relationship. In ordinary circumstances, I feel that is somewhat correct. However, if you are being abused, degraded, lied to, and cheated on, then you are not in a healthy relationship and need to tell someone in order to get help! I lost all hope in ever feeling happy again and was in dire need of putting an end to my pain. So I called the crisis number located on my health insurance card.
At first, I began to tell the woman on the phone that I had strong urges to hurt myself, but that I didn’t want to die. I had three children that needed me, but I was severely depressed due to issues with my marriage. She began asking me questions about my spouse, what was happening in the marriage, did he abuse us? Immediately after she began asking me these questions, I shut down. I felt it was a betrayal to accuse my spouse of being the reason behind my pain. He never hit me, so I didn’t think I was being abused. I withheld the truth and the severity of my situation, I began to downplay my condition, making it seem as though I was just overwhelmed that day and there really wasn’t anything to be worried about. I did have her schedule an appointment for me to meet with a family/marriage counselor. I agreed that for the first appointment I wanted to go alone, and then I would have my spouse accompany me for the following appointments.
In that first meeting with the counselor, she was dumbfounded at the information that I gave her. She was amazed that I hadn’t broken down sooner and told me that I most definitely needed help. She said I was trying to be superwoman, in taking care of everything on my own, and that I needed to ask my spouse to help more. That was the goal, to get him into a session with me and let him know why I was overwhelmed and that he needed to help. Only that wasn’t the main reason I sought psychiatric help, I didn’t disclose any information about how verbally abusive and controlling our relationship was, because at the time I believed it was my fault. I felt as though that was normal for relationships and didn’t relate it to the stress causing my depression and misery. After my spouse went with me and we met with the counselor, he agreed to be more helpful and of course, was incredibly polite and pleasant in front of the counselor. But immediately afterward he began to suggest that the counseling session was pointless and a waste of time. So, that was the one and only session we went to.
. . .something had to change or I would absolutely lose my will to continue living.
I can’t stress enough the importance of being completely honest with yourself about the things you are experiencing. If you are dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts, seek help! Most importantly, when seeking help, be completely open with the person on the crisis hotline. They are there to help, they won’t judge you for any of the information you tell them, and they need to know the extent of the situation. If we continually make excuses for the way our abusive partners treat us, we will never get the full amount of support that we need. It’s crucial to your mental and physical well-being to give all of the facts to those trying to help. Be completely honest with those around you, they deserve to know the whole truth so that they can effectively get you the assistance required to help or possibly save your life. If you are in a physically abusive relationship and are trying to get out, ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. ALWAYS have someone else with you any time you may be around your abuser. ALWAYS understand that they could snap at any given moment. Please visit our Helpful Links section and find out how you can get yourself to safety. Know that there is help. Know that you are not worthless and you deserve happiness. Know that a better future starts by finding help.