The strange thing is, when it was happening to me as a
child, I had never heard of the term "verbal abuse". I was
little kid that had done something to make Mommy mad, and suffered the
consequences. I was a "bad", "stupid",
"ugly", "fat" child who would have been better off
never having been born.
I did not know, as a child, the effect that these words would have on me,
nor did I know why my mother said these things. I just accepted what she
said, as any child would, and those sentiments grew up with me.
When I entered high school, and finally got a "cool" boyfriend,
I was so happy just to be going out on a Saturday night, that, at first, I
really didn't care if he constantly belittled me in front of friends and
strangers alike. He thought it was funny. I didn't, but hey, it was better
than staying at home and watching Donny and Marie with my parents!!!
After a while though, months and months to be exact, I began to feel that
something was not right about this relationship. It felt like he was
validating so many of the terrible things that I already felt about
myself, that I grew to dislike him - intensely.
Still not ready to break up with him and feeling that nobody else could
possibly want me, I plodded along and followed at his heels like an
obedient puppy. It seemed that everyone thought he was a great guy! Funny,
popular and a great partier! So it had to be me, right?
One night however, things got bad. He locked me out of the house in the
freezing cold, because I had said something "stupid". We were
visiting another couple, and I pounded and pounded on the door until one
of them let me in. He just stood there and laughed at me. I could have
died. I wanted to die.
Then I realized that he was having a great time, but my only purpose was
to entertain him and make him feel like a big man in front of his friends.
I got mad and told him to take me home. He proceeded to hold a pillow over
my face to get me to "shut up", and stop being stupid.
That was it, I called a friend and left. For good.
But the damage had already been done, I felt like a big piece of garbage
that nobody would ever want.
At some point after that, I met my real first love. If it had not been for
him, I do not think I would be here today, telling this story. But he made
me realize that my entire view of my self was messed up. He saw me so
differently, and explained to me what he thought had been verbal abuse by
so many people in my life.
The experience stuck with me, although we did not. And I sort of turned it
all around. I have since gotten help dealing with my self esteem issues,
and feel like a much better person than what I had been told I was. I
realized that other people can not define who or
what you are, and that that has to come from within. It takes a long, long
time and a lot of hard work and self-examination, some of which is very
painful, but in the long run, it is worth it.
Although I still struggle with my own perception of what
and who I am, I realize that I can change that, and become the person I
always dreamed I would be.
Love, Cindy Good stuff you
effected to mitigate ill effects unwittingly caused by your
parents. Thanks Cindy for sharing your inspiring abuse survivor's
story. Dr. Irene