“I’m not courageous, brave, or strong. It’s not like I was being beaten every day.”
I still have to fight back the urges to constantly justify the terrible way that I was treated for so many years. Always repeating to myself that yes, I am a survivor, I have overcome obstacles that would have kept me a prisoner in my own home. There is no form of abuse that is justifiable. Regardless of the severity, we need to understand that it is an incredible accomplishment to free ourselves from it.
“How could you cry while singing the song at the funeral?! It was your job to maintain composure for the sake of the family and you completely ruined it. I never should have let you take my place, I should have just sung through my hoarse voice.”
“It’s all your fault we’re overdrawn again, I should be in control of the finances. You will give me your paychecks from now on.”
“I’m calling in to work again today, I’m going to say that one of the kids is sick and you aren’t able to stay home from work with them.”
“If you don’t like it then just stop reading my text messages because I’m not quitting pain killers.”
“F@%* you then! You do nothing but nag!”
Over and over again, I would repeat to myself, while alone in my misery. . . “It could be worse, at least he doesn’t hit me.”
We ALL have stories. Varying in degrees on the platform of abusive behaviors, but nonetheless, abuse. Whether it be that one night when you were in high school and that boy made you think the only way you were attractive or worth anything was if you performed sexual favors for him. Or the girl that constantly put you down and made you feel like you weren’t good enough. Or the guy that beat you senseless because you used a “condescending” tone with him. Or the spouse that made you feel like you were worthless, incapable of success, and crazy. These are all abusive situations that have undoubtedly left an impact on your self-esteem, self-worth, and on your life. None are to be excused with a “well it could have been worse” attitude. Never let yourself think that you were in any way deserving of those situations. Never let yourself justify their actions because you don’t think it was severe enough to be considered abusive. Never tell yourself that it was no big deal.