The most frustrating part of verbal and emotional abuse is that there are no visible bruises. If you trust anyone enough to share a bit of the truth, they generally don’t believe you. “You look happy.” I’ve gotten pretty good at smiling even when my heart is breaking, thanks. “Surely you’re exaggerating.” I wish I were. “You must be causing it.” Well, I’ve spent nearly four years walking on eggshells, trying to serve and please so the swearing and breaking things won’t start again. I’ve stopped talking to men my age, in hopes that the blatant accusations of unfaithfulness might stop. Several times, I’ve gone without food, water and/or heat, because all the money had been used for “fun projects” instead of paying bills. I’ve listened to the tale about how I’ll never be good enough. I’ve changed my hair color, because it was said I’d be more attractive if I did. I don’t ask to go places because I get scolded for “wasting” fuel. I’ve lived through emotional unfaithfulness and have been told there’s nothing wrong with completely confiding in a woman you’re not married to. Even if you’ve had sex with her. I’ve had everything I say discredited and ignored. I’ve been called “just the wife”, and yet I’m “stupid”if I say words hurt. When I calmly say something wounded me, I get accused of lying and making up the very things that were just said.
So if I’m somehow causing the abuse, you’ll have to explain it to me. I’ve sought Christian counsel in many ways, followed the advice and still end up walking late at night – crying under the stars and asking God for wisdom.
I once hoped to be like Beauty and the Beast, calming the anger with love and understanding. Now I know that some beasts don’t want to change, no matter how gentle the beauty.