This post contains story and images that relate to emotional/mental abuse. Very little of my abuse was physical, but some of it was. This is a series of drawings I did during a week when my former abuse was causing me major depression and anxiety.
I was having an anxious day, I decided a bath would be a good way to calm down. Instead, I ended up crying in the bathtub and then sitting on the floor afterwards desperately texting my best friend because I hated my life. Absolutely hated it. I couldn’t find a single good thing to cling on to. My abuse was telling me, “I’m annoying, I don’t deserve to be liked, I’m going to fuck everything up, I shouldn’t have given someone all my attention.”
There was a moment when plans were uncertain and I was sure I would not be included anymore, I was forgotten about. Of course, my anxiety wouldn’t let me wait to see if I was actually forgotten. My abuse tells me there’s no reason anyone should ever remember me, I’m not special enough to take up space in someone’s mind.
One of the things engrained in my mind is that whenever I am shy or socially awkward, I’m perceived as a bitch. For years, I was not allowed to meet my ex’s friends because I apparently came off bitchy. Only when I was dressed up as the hottest girl in town was I allowed to meet some of his friends. One night, I hung out with him and his friend while they played video games, I did my nails. Apparently, that was also bitchy of me. Even though I talked to them. I’ve got it in my mind from then on that if I’m not actively trying to please everyone, I’m the biggest bitch in the world.
One day, I was taking a shower. I was washing off both the dirt and anxiety from the day. I found myself standing in the shower, crying. Again. This time, the years of mental abuse starting from a child was catching up to me. The phrases, “Who would want to marry you?!” And, “No wonder you don’t have any friends.” Began to haunt me. They tore through to my soul. I’m full of love for others, but sometimes it can be so hard to love myself when the past is haunting my every moment.
I was at a Halloween party, full of people I’d never met before. I’m not sure if I was being ignored, but it felt like my date was. He probably didn’t mean it on purpose, but that’s where my mind went considering everything I’ve been through. I felt so out of place, any time I feel out of place I feel unwanted. It’s a horrible mind trap that has been set up. I can’t wait to one day move past it.
As my mind wanders from thought to thought, almost constantly, I’m reminded that each one passes. Each negative thought will eventually go away, if I’m lucky it’ll be replaced by something happier.
These reflect just some of the ways past abuse can still affect someone even when that person is no longer in your life. Just because you mend a relationship, or you cut them out completely, doesn’t mean the pain leaves instantly. There is hope, though. With help, coping techniques, and forgiveness. It’s your life, you have the chance to take control.