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Need to vent, been keeping this in for years

Open Discussions About Verbal Abuse.

Need to vent, been keeping this in for years

Postby PartlyCloudy » Thu May 23, 2019 11:03 pm

Hello everyone,

I'm posting this because I need a safe place to vent. I don't have any friends right now, and I'm working on seeing a therapist but it's months until the 1st appointment, so there's nobody I can talk to right now, and I feel like I really need to get this off my chest.

I'll try to keep this as short as possible, but this is years' worth of stuff so it might be long, sorry. My husband has been emotionally/verbally abusive to me for many years. He has been suffering from a condition that causes lots of pain for roughly the same amount of time, and for years I attributed the abuse to that. Before this, he was the nicest guy on the planet. I don't mean like buying me flowers or stuff like that, I mean he stood by me and helped me get through some of the darkest moments of my life when I had nobody else to turn to, which was not for a short span of time. We dated several years before getting married, and I thought he was the one. I would have never in my life dreamed he could inflict such an amount of anguish on me.

When he began having medical issues, things escalated from occasional problems with pain to him being unable to do almost anything, and on top of that not getting any medical answers as to why, and things were coming down all around us. But I was more than happy to help him, be there for him like he was for me. I was determined to do whatever I could. I became his caregiver, but due to his needs I can't work, so I am stuck home with him most of the time.

At first it started out just with anger- which I could understand. Of course he has a right to be angry, the situation was not good. At some point the anger turned into anger directed at me. I tried to defend it, but as it got worse I had trouble, wondering why he wanted to hurt me so much when all I was doing was trying to help him. No matter what I did, it was never good enough, and I was always wrong in his eyes. It went from yelling, belittling and cursing at me, throwing and breaking things, to witholding affection, silent treatment, keeping me from eating and sleeping-once I was awake for days straight and began hallucinating. Then at the worst times if I was saying something he didn't like, he would hurt himself deliberately to make me stop talking-banging his head against the wall, hitting himself, and implied threats to harm/kill himself, which one time he tried to follow through with, but luckily I was somehow able get help and stop him. These were only some of the things he did. I was already exhausted from all the caregiving responsibilities, and I could barely function with walking on eggshells all the time. It was a daily occurrence for me to dissolve in a puddle of tears during one of his "episodes" while he glowered angrily on. I can't cry anymore. This went on for years. What could I do? The only plan I had in place involved calling the police if I felt like he was a danger to somebody (I can't include any more details as to why)

It hurt my heart so bad to lose his love and have only contempt in its place. It seemed like he was just filled with hate for me, he never acted like this around anyone else. This is what started making me suspect it was abuse as opposed to just being upset, so I began to research psychological abuse. Lo and behold, his behaviour matched. I had enough, and in the middle of his next meltdown, I decided to call him out on it, and if he threatened suicide again I planned to call 911, make sure he got help, then leave him. But he didn't...he got eeriely quiet and I steeled myself for whatever words he was going to attack me with. But he said that he would try to do better by me. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Of course I didn't believe him, but oddly he has improved over awhile (still has some meltdowns, but it doesn't escalate to what it did before, and there's less of them) even showing close to normal levels of affection, which left me in a fog of confusion.

But...I can't relax. I'm in a constant state of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm stressed, depressed, and messed up from this. I've developed a chronic condition from the constant stress of abuse and caregiving. I was mad when he decided to act better, because after years of treating me like *beep* he decides to "act better" just because I asked him to? Why didn't it occur to him to treat me with any decency sooner? I don't buy it. My trust is completely broken. I feel absolutely terrible because while I still love him in a platonic way and only want him to feel better, I don't trust him as a husband anymore, and I want to leave. But I can't. I promised myself when I realized he was being abusive that I'd stay until he got a treatment that helped so he could function on his own. But it hasn't happened, and it feels like the chances are getting slimmer. Even if his family wanted to help him, they are also emotionally abusive as well, and despite how he's treated me I would hate myself if I made him have to live with them. I'm so stuck, and I don't know what to do, and it feels like it's killing me. I know I need help, yet I've been over it in my head a thousand times with no solution. I hope the therapist will be able to help, but it's far off. If anyone's been in a similar spot and has any advice, I'd love to hear it. If nothing else, it feels better to get this off my chest, I've kept it a secret for so long, and haven't told anyone else.

Thanks for letting me vent.
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Re: Need to vent, been keeping this in for years

Postby Terry E. » Fri May 24, 2019 7:42 pm

Wow, there is a lot there but one of the rare occasions here that a long post could not have been shorter. I think one of the hardest things is losing your love for him. It is kind of like grieving for something lost. Something very real that is gone and you doubt can ever return. Funny how while you still loved him you could endure so much. You could only really call his bluff when that stopped, so don't beat yourself up over "why did I not do it sooner" .. would you really have wanted to stop loving him earlier .. which is what it would have taken.
I can relate in ways. I feel for you I really do.

and Vent here by all means. It helps it really does.

I will come back to this later today ( I am in Australia and it is now 5.42am - and I should still be asleep, I guess)
Take care
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Re: Need to vent, been keeping this in for years

Postby realityhere » Sat May 25, 2019 7:55 pm

"I had enough, and in the middle of his next meltdown, I decided to call him out on it, and if he threatened suicide again I planned to call 911, make sure he got help, then leave him. But he didn't...he got eeriely quiet and I steeled myself for whatever words he was going to attack me with. But he said that he would try to do better by me. You could have knocked me over with a feather."

That was an ultimatum you gave him and he understood that your leaving him would be abandonment. Calling a person's bluff is the great equalizer. You were the one who wrested control from him. It's understandable that he lives with a lot of pain, but it doesn't excuse him from abusing you, his only caretaker. Caretaking itself is a very stressful and thankless job. Husband/wife roles get lost in the mire of caretaking, now it's patient/caretaker, sometimes child/ parent, sometimes escalating to abuser/ victim, depending on who controls the mire.

My husband has had very trying moments with an angry father who is paralyzed on the left side from brain trauma and has lived his life in a wheelchair for now 20 years. He would just leave his father fuming, left to his own devices, and walk away for a while. There's only so much a person can take. Then he'd return to find his father quieter and resume helping him.

While my MIL cared for her husband for several years, my husband and I witnessed many fights between his parents, fights that escalated into emotional and physical abuse on both sides. It was sad and depressing for my husband. The grown kids had to step in finally, and had their dad placed in a long-term care facility.

There's something that happens when a loved one is ill for a long time, you grieve for the person that he was before he got sick. As you watch how the illness changes his body and personality over time, the grief process changes to a point where you realize you're done with the grieving and you're simply doing caretaking only because you feel obliged to. It's sad to reflect that come the day we bury his father, there probably will only be relief, leaving too many bad memories behind.

Go to your therapist appointment. Sessions with a professional can help clarify what you really want to do. In the meantime, if you care for your husband 24/7 and aren't working, check out social services in your area about respite services for caregivers to see if you can get some breaks while someone else fills in for a few hours.
AWAY from mod duties, please contact another moderator.
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Re: Need to vent, been keeping this in for years

Postby PartlyCloudy » Sun May 26, 2019 5:46 am

Hi again,

I'm sorry I wasn't able to respond for a long time, I have a mobile device that I can use to post, but sometimes it can be difficult to be typing away on it without drawing my husband's attention to it. (The last thing I need is for him to lean over and see this)

Terry E-
Whoa, 5:42, did you get any sleep that night/morning?
You were able to put a better word to what I was feeling- grief. That's exactly what it is, I just never thought about how it could be possible to grieve for someone that physically is still there, but not their original personality/self, the part of them that you knew and loved.
That makes me feel better, I had felt like I should have acted much much sooner, but you're right-it was just a long time before I was ready to stop loving him.

Thanks so much for your kind words, it means the world to me.

Realityhere-
This struck a chord with me too, as a lot of times it felt like it was a mother/child relationship instead of wife/husband, which sounds really weird to write but it does make sense. It sounds like you and your husband have a lot to deal with for your parents...that sounds very very difficult. I have trouble sometimes figuring out what to say to someone who's going through a rough time despite going through it myself, but I just want to say that I know how flipping hard it is and I understand what you're going through.
What your husband was able to do, which was temporarily walking away so both he and his father could calm down, that can be really hard to do, you feel guilty or feel like you're abusing them, but it is really important to have that cooldown time. Otherwise you just burst eventually and they can use that against you.

I will look into the social services, it would be good to have a break. And don't worry, I'm definitely keeping my therapist appt, that can't come soon enough I feel. Thank you for your caring post.
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