The woman who abused me from an early age was none other than the woman who brought me into this world, my dear beloved mother! A mother in name only.
My dad left her after I was born. It was my fault that he left. She used to tell me that if I had never been born, he would still be around. I didn’t know any different.
My brother was five years older than me. My mom gave him all the love she had and there was none left for me. I was the accident, the disappointment she wished she never had. My brother never did anything wrong so she allowed his friends to the house and I had to go to my room. I was always the cause of her embarrassment and never did anything to please her so she wouldn’t let my friends come round.
I grew up believing that I was not good enough. I tried hard at school hoping that she would be proud of me but she never was. If I did something that displeased her she would acknowledge me at all. I used to go to my room and cry wanting her to hear me and show me the love that she gave my brother. I waited and waited but she never came. Why would she? I was hard to love, so she said.
I couldn’t wait to grow up and leave home and I did as soon as I was working and earning a wage. She tried to make me feel guilty for leaving and said that I should stay and help her and pay her back for raising me. I believed I owed her something and sent her money every month. When I met my wife, we were saving hard and I told my mom that I wouldn’t be sending her money any more.
I told her that I was getting married and was saving for our home. The verbal assault was something else. It was hard to listen to her rants about how she was sorry that I had been born. I figured out then and there that I owed her nothing more.
I hung up the phone, wished her a nice life and have never spoken to her again. I don’t feel guilty for cutting her out of my life. I did for a while and went to therapy. The support from my therapist and my wife helped me see that her presence in my life was toxic for me. I still have feelings of low self-worth at times but my therapist is helping me deal with those. I know that years of conditioning me to believe I was worth nothing played with my mind and cemented those feelings in my brain.
My second ex wife and I had been friends for several years. We met at work, which was the inpatient cancer unit of a paediatric hospital. You would think anybody who can do that kind of with is automatically a good person, but that’s not the case.
I had to quit working shortly after we started dating after years of battling chronic illness. I have severe fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and anxiety. We were still in the love bombing phase, and she vowed to support me and stand at my side, and I believed her.
Her mask started to crash around the time we got married. She began to have angry outbursts that scared me. After we married, her mask came off altogether. The sweet, seemingly empathetic person I had known disappeared and was replaced by a sarcastic, critical, raging monster. Most of the emotional and verbal abuse took place behind closed doors. She was charming to coworkers, friends, and frankly, but vicious behind their backs. She would crack sarcastic jokes putting me down all the time.
She would constantly deride and belittle me, as well as others. There were days where I would be incapacitated in bed, literally shaking with fibromyalgia pain, and she would stand over me screaming and cursing at me. Her former admiration of me was replaced with resentment and contempt.
She had no interest in listening to anything I had to say, but expected me to listen to her whenever she wanted to spew venom. She isolated me from family, friends, and the finances. She knew stress made my condition worse, but she did not care. She would storm around the house throwing things and slamming doors. Her rage was unpredictable and terrifying. Her own children were afraid of her, but when I would try to advocate for them, she would rage at me and deny all the abuse.
The stress from the abuse became so bad that I began having seizures. I felt like I was on the verge of a stroke, and my doctors told me that was a very real possibility. I reached out to some friends she had isolated me from, and they believed I was experiencing narcissistic abuse and was in an abusive relationship. I planned my escape over the course of three weeks.
The day I left, she was at work and the children were with their father. I had to gather seven boxes of DVDs to sell to Movie Trading Company to get enough gas money to drive thirteen hours cross country to my parents. I have never been so scared in my life. I had to pack up my car and grab my car, and do all of this while literally shaking with Fibro pain and fatigue, and under the weight of anxiety that she might come home early from work.
I made it to my parents that night with $12 left, with my cat, and with my life.
Life since then has been hard. I have been diagnosed with PTSD from all the trauma. She was vicious and nastier than ever after I left. She had blocked communication with my stepdaughters and is trying to poison them against me.
I fell into another relationship shortly thereafter with my childhood sweetheart, whom I had known for twenty five years. She ended up being a covert narcissist who used me and my family and threw us away like trash. I am devastated. I am in therapy trying to break the cycle of abusive relationships I’ve been living, trying to heal, and trying to learn to live myself again.
Narcissistic abuse is terrifying, powerful, and insidious. It sucks your soul dry, destroys your health, ruins your finances, shatters your mind, and erases your value and sense of self. And it knows no gender. The road to recovery is long and arduous. Trauma bonding makes you miss the narc, in spite of what they did to you, and feel like you’re going through drug withdrawals that are so painful that I wanted to commit suicide just to escape the pain.
I’m slowly beginning to heal, but sometimes feel I will never escape this trauma. Thank you for bringing awareness to this issue.
The subject of men being abused by women is very real and something that needs to be addressed by society in general.
Police, legal professionals and the court systems need to recognize different perspectives in relation to emotional abuse. Men need to talk about abuse without the fear of not being believed simply because of their gender.
Let go of the notion that admitting to being abused is a sign of weakness.
On the contrary, talking about abuse is a sign of strength. It is not easy talking about what has been done to you especially if you hold the belief that your story will be dismissed. So come on guys, let’s talk about this. Let’s get this information out there. Change your mind-set. Make this a topic that is no longer taboo.
Let’s get men being abused by women out in the open.
Written by Anne McCrea
Originally appeared in Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse
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- How Can I Stop Being in Love with Someone Who Abuses Me?
- How to Leave A Narcissist or Abuser
- Projection: The Lethal Weapon Narcissists and Abusers Use To Target Empaths