As I sit in bed, watching a movie and doing my homework from therapy - do a Google search of what makes a man abuse a woman - I am feeling some definite 20/20 about the past.
Characteristics of an Abusive Man:
3. Selfishness and Self-Centeredness
6. Confusing Love & Abuse
8. Contradictory Statements & Behaviors
9. Externalization of Responsibility
10. Denial, Minimization, and Victim Blaming
11. Serial Battering.
Literally all 11 of these apply to my past relationship with Lucifer. Fucking prick.
When he and I were together, I would have glimpses of these traits and think, huh, that's an odd response to my request. I would recognize something as strange - something like how possessive he was over his daughter, not wanting to accept anything her mother thought or said as fact - but it never occurred to me that these were red flags. I just thought he was weird, and that the way he communicated was abnormal. In fact, when he and I decided to go to couples therapy together, it was because we "couldn't communicate effectively."
(Uhhh...yea, because I communicated like a human, and he communicated by throwing me into doors.)
He was one of the most entitled people ever...and everything was always happening "to" him; we were always having pity parties over something someone else did to ruin his day. He was selfish as all hell and incredibly self-centered. It didn't matter what I wanted to do or that I wanted to go out - he had a bad day and was tired and his daughter was annoying and being a brat all morning so they were late getting to school and she made him late for work and his mom was such a bitch and his boss was all over his ass about something that he didn't have time to get done because I was texting him about how I wanted to go out that night and why can't I ever just leave him the hell alone?
Looking back on our relationship, I now recognize the signs of abuse - all 11 of the ones on the list - the way he controlled and manipulated me, the way he isolated me by asserting his superiority and by blaming my friends and family for things. The way he could explain away the fact that we'd been dating for 2 years and yet I had still attended 3 family weddings, dateless. And then of course, the more obvious actual abuse - the hair pulling, the shoving, the screaming in my face - and the denial that he was hurting me because "I didn't fucking hit you, stupid."
When a man abuses a woman, he can deny hitting her if he doesn't actually punch her in the face. Because he's a man. If he's gonna hit something, it'll be a closed fist. Deny, deny, deny. Did he ever hit me? Not in his head, no. Because he never actually made a fist and hit me with it. Never mind the Tupperware dish to the face or the cell phone to the side of the head, or the back of my head to the wall, or my back into the door. Never mind the times I was pinned to the bed by my hair while he screamed at me, or the times he chased me down the hall as I scrambled to lock myself behind the bathroom door, or the times he pulled me back by the arm because he was faster and tore holes in my clothes. Deny, deny, deny. None of that was hitting...when of course, in reality, it was all hitting. Anytime you assert yourself physically, onto someone else, you're hitting.
There was a day shortly after I moved out, in the couple months that he was calling and texting me, trying to get me to come back (yea right), that I finally gave it to him straight. I texted him that he'd been hitting me for over two years and that basically, he could fuck himself. And he told me that if I was ever being hit by a man, to certainly call the Police. Thanks for the advice, ya douche...you clearly need to have your head examined. Or better, beaten to a pulp.
Hindsight can be 20/20. Sometimes it takes experiencing things firsthand to learn a lesson. It can take years of constant battle to get to the point where you have learned the lesson. It can take a long time to look back, healed and strong, and recognize that you were a victim and that it wasn't your fault. What I am learning, is that by being open and honest about what took place behind the closed doors of my house, I may just be able to give someone else the insight and the knowledge to get out before she has to learn for herself.
My counselor said today, you'd be shocked to know that some of the strongest, bravest, most courageous women out there, are in fact the ones being abused in the privacy of their homes. It happens every day, and it keeps happening and is a huge problem.
And she's totally right. I am a strong woman. I'm a tough cookie. And still, it happened to me. I feel like today's blog is a bit of a PSA, but I'll do what it takes to make sure it isn't one of my friends that ends up a victim. Don't make excuses for someone's shitty behavior. If someone is treating you poorly, they will never change; it will never stop. Get out, get out, get out. You are a strong woman, a tough cookie, and a bad ass. Don't let some moronic, selfish little prick turn you into a version of yourself you don't recognize. You're better than that.
Hindsight may be 20/20...but it's even better when someone else's 20/20 vision can teach you a painful lesson before you have to learn it on your own. If I prevent one woman from falling victim to an abusive man, I've succeeded beyond what I even hopes for myself. He doesn't control you isolate you, or blame you because he loves you. He's just mind fucking you. He doesn't call you names and tell you you're ugly to help make you a better person. He's mind fucking you into believing that he is the best you'll ever have, that you don't deserve to be happy, and that you in fact, had it coming. Get out, get out, get out.
And now, I will get off my soap box.