Sent: Saturday, August 28, 1999
Subject: I left.....
Dear Dr. Irene -
How happy I was when I found your website. How little people out
there know about or understand verbal abuse and the damaging effects it
leaves on those who have been abused. In reading some of the
stories, I can so totally relate to these women. Been the whole
route of leaving and him promising things would be different if I came
back. I truly loved the man I thought I married and since I wanted
to make the marriage work, I came back. By the grace of God, I'm
Thank you for
sharing your story. Perhaps your words will help restore sanity to
Please look for my comments within your text:
He was so devious, he tried to
have me committed as being crazy. I had never been around his kind
of behavior so didn't know what I was dealing with. I too read the
book "Abusive Relationships" - what an eye opener.
Before reading it, the things he was accusing me of, I'd think to myself
--- did I do that??? I don't think I did. I didn't
understand the 'projection' sickness part of this. For those who don't understand "projection,"
it is when an individual who is guilty of a particular act or way of
thinking or behaving, accuses another person of doing same! When
projection is severe, it can be delusional. The individual usually
doesn't realize they are projecting their stuff onto the other person,
though in milder forms its hard to say when they don't see it vs. when
they won't fess up. Projection is related to paranoia and anger.
I'm not kidding when I say he was
devious - he was going around behind my back spreading lies about me,
calling the police, etc. I was totally amazed at what this man
was/is capable of. At one point, he even had my own parents
convinced I was nuts. He did it in such a way that he played on
their fears and like he was so concerned about my well-being.
His was a sudden change. When we were dating, I noticed he had
some control issues but I could put him in his place and he would
apologize and laugh at himself for even doing it. He turned on me
as the enemy about 2 months after his father died suddenly. I mean
it was an overnight change. One day I was his best friend --- the
next, I was the enemy. He has NEVER been the person I first knew
and fell in love with since - it's like something went haywire in his
brain. Is this a common thing????
I don't know
how common such a radical switch is, but the temporal proximity leaves
no doubt in my mind that it was related to his dad's death. Abuse
stuff usually evolves over time. Your husband probably had the
predisposition and was sent over the edge by his dad's sudden death.
Something did go haywire in his brain. Literally. Sounds as though he
may have suffered some sort of "nervous breakdown." Don't
start guilting yourself about leaving a sick person, etc. I've never met
anyone so out of control that they've lost their free will, even during
my days in the local State Mental Hospital.
Well, our divorce was final on Monday, August 23. I grieve the
death of what I thought we had and the person that was good to me, but
he is definitely still as sick now as he was when he first went off the
deep end. I'd like to tell other women that there are worse things
than being lonely ----- get a dog.
I have two and they're great
companions - they never put me down - I know what kind of a mood they'll
be in when I get home from work and they're not going around poisoning
people about me. It's so much better than living with Collin the
way he turned out. I think I'm going to start going to Al-anon and
another support group because I realize the damage he did is worse than
I at first thought.
Great idea. You need
to process this whole thing.
I realize I am going to need some
support to get back to the old Doreen - this kind of damage is
Yes! Now you will question
yourself... how, why, etc. Go through this process. Listen to your
internal voice. You can only learn and grow stronger and closer to
yourself and to your Maker.
I'm determined though that I am
going to get my old self back - my self esteem and all the rest. I
am a Christian, so I lean heavily on my Heavenly Father - He has seen me
through so much.
Thanks for listening, and I would appreciate any feedback you could give
me - on the questions I asked and anything else.
And you too, -Dr.