The text said, "I just wish that you would think about me and respect me and my needs sometimes."
(He took a pan. ONE PAN. No other dishes, plates, silverware from the house since he moved out, but he went to the house and got a PAN. Maybe he should have just lived without like he's done for SO long.)
Somehow, that was just too much...
I was raped almost everyday for two years, but that was not the worst part.
The worst part was that I BELIEVED it was okay that he did that. I BELIEVED it was MY job to let him. There were so many beliefs that kept me there, motionless on a bed, when I could have walked away. The worst part was believing I was nothing but a tool to be used, and also believing he loved me. He SAID he loved me. And then he'd say things like, "Don't be selfish. I have needs too." or "I just wish that you would think about me and my needs sometimes."
I believed that if I said no to him, or if I had any wants, desires, thoughts of my own, that somehow hurt him. THAT is the worst part about being in an abusive relationship.
I believed that love = sacrificing everything so that my spouse could be happy. Unfortunately, my spouse seemed to believe that love = his spouse sacrificing everything so that he could be happy. What a recipe for disaster!
I spent much of the evening angry, sad, hurting, facing the hurt, and trying to come to grips with what I had just seen and realized about myself. (This wasn't totally new, but still seemed very big and important to face.)
This morning, I got a message from his ex.
"Would it be okay with you if I ask you some personal questions about your sexual abuse before and during your marriages? Yesterday, I had an experience with a friend who started opening up to me about some stuff in her past and the first thought that popped in my mind was to talk to you. That might seem strange given what's going on, but I can't shake the feeling, so there must be a reason. Thanks, xxx"My first reaction, "Are you fucking kidding me?"
Second reaction, "Oh. Hell. Yes. Lets talk. I'll TELL you what its like to be abused. I'll TELL you how it feels when your spouse is so controlling and demanding that you forget your own worth. I'll TELL YOU!"
And then I got on the phone with my mom. I shared that I had no desire to "talk" in order to be helpful. I wanted to yell, and scream and fight and beat her down. Once I got the swearing and the yelling out of the way, I heard myself say, "Even if I DID answer her questions, that won't help her understand her friend any better. If she wants to understand her friend, she needs to listen to her friend."
On the other end of the phone, I heard, "See. I knew you'd figure it out. That sounds like the perfect response."
So, this is what I sent:
If you really want to understand your friend, listen to her. You could ask me questions about my abuse, but it wouldn't help you understand your friend any better. What every abuse victim (every human) needs is for someone to really see, hear, and understand them personally.I feel peaceful. I don't know if she'll be able to accept my answer. I hope so... for her friend's sake. But either way, I feel like I just went through one very intense process. And I came to a place where I am very comfortable. I also offered the most precious and honest advice I could give. She may not see it, but I gave more of me in those few sentences than if I had said all of the things I thought I wanted to say.
There are a multitude of resources on the web. But again, the most healing thing you can do for anyone is to listen to them. REALLY listen. Your friend will tell you everything you need to know about her.
I hope that helps.