|December 29, 1999
I looked up this website because I
had spent approximately 20 years living with a man who emotionally and
verbally abused me. I am writing this in the hope that others will
get the help that I didn't.
I fell in love with a man that I
thought was my Everything. I was young. At 25-years old I thought I
had the world at my feet. I now realize that there were signs I
should have noticed. However, 20 years ago women felt that if you
were not being abused physically, there was no abuse - just a personality
I married a man who had broken a TV
with his fist and who had pushed me down to the ground in a fight. I
dismissed his behavior as "youth." I think because he was
outgoing and fun, I dismissed a lot. I thought this man was It; just what
I had been searching for. From the start my parents didn't like him.
I brushed their dislike aside as their just not knowing him. I wish I had
paid more attention. My parents put their feelings aside and went
along with my wishes, helping me plan the wedding. A few years after
we were married I became pregnant. Close to 30, I felt this was my
only opportunity to start the family I so desired.
Our kids were the real turning
point in my abuse. My spouse could not handle the stress of children
- and starting abusing me and our kids. It took 20 years of abuse
and becoming ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to make me finally
leave. After serious boughts of abuse, I became sick. Numerous
doctors kept telling me that I was "fine," even though I
felt far from "fine". Finally a female doctor sat me down
and asked me about my marriage. She told me that stress and anxiety were
causing me to have this disease. But I was in denial. I was
fearful of telling the doctor that I got really sick after each of his
terrible yelling episodes. I didn't want to tell her I got sick after he
bashed my dashboard and broke it...
I eventually became so ill, I had
to take a leave of absence from work. My relatives were concerned
about me, yet I still told no one about the way my husband treated me.
I was ashamed and tried to keep it a secret. The last straw was when
he told my parents to go to hell. I entered into counseling without
telling him. Soon I realized that I needed to leave for my children's sake,
if not for my own. My parents were great supports; they couldn't
believe I wouldn't confide in them.
It is now a couple years after I
left. I am a much happier person - going to school, raising three teens,
and loving life. I feel as if I am just starting to live at 45.
I thank the Lord that I finally realized what was happening to my family.
I want to educate everyone I can
that emotional and verbal abuse is real. It is out there, and, if you take
the time to recognize it, you can get help. I wish I would
have gotten help earlier. I had to become very ill, lose 20 pounds,
and become suicidal before I could face the problems in my marriage.
In part, my denial revolved around the fact that we were both professionals
working for Fortune 500 companies. It is so easy to fall into the
trap of thinking, "You are married to a professional making a lot of
money, what is your problem?"
Years later I still want to cry
when I think of things that happened in my marriage. I thank God that I
left and am a survivor. Educated professionals can abuse. Abuse is
an equal opportunity employer.
I was in denial for years.
Don't wait as long as I did. Get help. Helen
My very best wishes
and may God bless you and yours, Dr. Irene