Please be kind, as this is a story I’m afraid to share. It’s taken a lot for me to get to this point. I want to mention that I am in no way blaming anyone for my depression, it’s simply the result of how I’ve reacted to others’ actions.
This may cause some upset, if so, speak directly to me. I will respect you more if you talk to me directly rather than go to someone else first.
After texting with a friend yesterday, it finally hit me. I know why I’m struggling so badly with depression. It’s a subject easy for me to talk about, because then I can act like it doesn’t bother me much. But, writing about it, I can’t hide the pain it’s caused. I feel weak, vulnerable. But, it’s something I need to write about so, here’s my best shot.
Sitting on my patio, coffee by my side, cigarette in hand, here goes nothing. Or, everything.
For over a decade I have been emotionally abused. For the first time in my life, I’m not being abused by an outside force, only the thoughts that still linger in my mind. It’s odd not having someone else put me down daily, and I find myself craving that again. As odd as it may sound.
When you break free from abuse, you think you’ll feel lighter, more in control, happier. That’s not always reality. The abuse sticks with you. The words said linger in your mind and continue to drive you crazy. Even if you have an amazing boyfriend that tells you daily how great you are, how pretty you are, and how much he loves you, you still can’t shake this feeling that you’re not good enough.
For years, these are the phrases I heard from my mother, and then my (now) ex-boyfriend:
“No wonder you don’t have any friends.”
“Who would want to marry you?”
“You belong in a mental hospital.”
“You’re acting like a 2 year old.”
“You’re a spoiled little bitch.”
“You deserved to be raped.”
“Why don’t you go back to Arizona and take another plan b pill?” (Referring to my rape.)
“You’re a slut.”
“You’re a drug addict.” (Never have been.)
“You’re selfish and don’t care about a damn thing. You’re lazy.”
Surprisingly, the abuse from both people started because of the same issue. I have (or had) debilitating severe anxiety and panic attacks for over a decade.
More times than not, the abuse would always begin at the first sign of a panic attack. When my mind is at the level of a little child, when I’m scared of even myself, when I’m rocking back and forth, when I’m hyperventilating, when tears are uncontrollable, when I’m no longer in control of myself. Nothing makes me feel more weak, scared, and vulnerable than when I have a panic attack. And that’s when they chose to strike.
Sometimes, their abuse brought on a panic attack and it just worsened. There were days I’d find myself sitting on my bedroom floor, back against the door, trying to keep my mother out of my room. There were days I’d drop to the ground in tears, broken by what they had said. There were days laying in the fetal position grasping for air while they yelled at me. I couldn’t escape.
As I got older, the abuse from my mother got worse. Eventually, she’d start getting more physical. I was afraid for my life, at age 21. I couldn’t fight back, she’s my mother. She Has Fibromyalgia and I just couldn’t ever bring myself to call out for help in fear that she’d be locked away, unable to get her medication to stop her pain. I suffered in hopes she wouldn’t have to.
One day, I found myself bent over the back of the sofa with her hand in my hair. This being just after she threw her metal cane across the room at me. I found my way up, and hid behind my father. Someone who was always in the middle, unable to help me. Unable to help her.
The worst part of having an emotionally abusive relationship is, no one believes you. They act so kind, so nice to others that it seems like you’re the liar. In high school, my friends thought I was the problem, that my mother only cared. After breaking up with my boyfriend, his parents thought I had beat him, that he was the victim.
The words they spoke still linger in my mind to this day. The feelings of worthlessness, sadness, pain, and shame are all still alive within me. I don’t know if they’ll ever go away but, God, I hope they do. I hope I overcome this to be happy again. Maybe I need to forgive them still, but I just don’t know how to.
If you’re in an abusive relationship of any kind, seek help now. Professional help. Please, do it for your future.