This is what keeps running through my head: how can I be a smart, competent woman, with a M.Ed., years of successful job experience, well read, etc, and been abused for seven years without knowing it.
How does someone not know they're being abused?
I knew about my husband's pornography use and compulsive masturbation. I knew he had a serious "anger" problem. I knew he sometimes put holes in walls, and screamed and swore in my face. But, why didn't I put the pieces together? How did I not see it? My Husband Was Arrested For Domestic Violence
In the fall of 2015, my husband he was arrested and charged with domestic violence. And that's when it started to sink in. But even after that, as I visited the domestic violence shelter, I still felt like my case was different. My husband was different. But I learned that he was actually a very typical abuser. It blew my mind.
Many women think my husband is mean. I tried to help my husband with his anger problem for seven years. Soon after my husband's arrest, I hit my own rock bottom and realized that my life was totally and completely unmanageable. I started attending SALifeline Betrayal Trauma meetings weekly and working daily with my sponsor.Infidelity and Abuse = Betrayal Trauma
Here are some of the signs of emotional abuse that applied to my situation:
- He became angry and upset right before events or other activities I had been looking forward to: my birthday party, going skiing with friends, vacations.
- I felt uneasy about being with him and my friends / family at the same time.
- I felt frightened of what he would say or do if I was late or if I changed my mind about something.
- I felt like I had to speak very carefully or avoid speaking to avoid upsetting him.
- I was often plagued with feelings of dread.
- I suffered from chronic fatigue and other strange physical symptoms.
- He told me he didn't think I was beautiful and that he wished he could find someone else to love and take care of me.
- He swore at me.
- He screamed in my face.
- He punched walls, and destroyed property.
- He hated when I tried to clarify what was going on or ask questions.
- When I asked for kindness or compassion, he refused.
- He would often stand over me and yell as I cried on the floor.
- He would become very angry when I stated my opinion and stood my ground. For example, when I stated that the tomatoes were overgrown.
- The abuse came from his perception of how I should be. When I didn't say or do something the way he thought, he would become angry. And blame me for his perceptions and behaviors.
- His abusive perceptions keep him stuck thinking that he is the victim - not that he is accountable for his actions and that his choices are the reason we are and continue to be separated.
- His verbal violence and physical intimidation eventually escalated to a physical attack - he sprained my fingers by pushing my fingers all the way back toward the back of my hand and pushing me against the kitchen cabinets. He also took my phone and refused to give it back (which is abuse in and of itself), until I had calmly asked him for it back several times.
This podcast is to give others an honest look at what Betrayal Trauma sounds like, what it feels like, and that there is hope. It is an effort to carry this message to others.
To protect my anonymity, the anonymity of my husband and children, my voice has been digitally altered.