A letter to my abuser
You probably still believe that I’m the one to blame for breaking up. You will never understand how you did me wrong. What if you never laid a hand on me? You raped my soul a thousand times, you put me down constantly, you made me feel inferior and that’s why you are an abuser. My abuser. Guilty as charged.
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I’m writing this letter because I want you to know about the bruises you've left behind. No one can see my scars but me. You know, some wounds are still open and they hurt as hell. The intimidation, the venomous name-calling, the manipulation and the fact that you had to have complete and unconditional control over what I did and with whom I talked... all those things you made me suffer on a daily basis that made me feel disgusting and worthless. Verbal and emotional abuse also leaves scars, invisible and scary ones that will haunt me like ghosts forever.
But what hurts the most is your unstoppable tendency to subjugate my spirit. Spirits never subjugate and you should know that.
I have asked myself so many times how could the man I love treat me in such a horrible way. Love and respect is what you promised me. Hate and disrespect is what I received. So, I stopped playing the same question in my mind over and over again as I realized that the answer didn’t matter. Perhaps you were the one feeling inferior and that’s why you wanted me to feel the same way. But there is no excuse when it comes to violence and I have learnt that the hard way.
I will never allow anyone, especially you, threaten my spiritual integrity again. I will never stay in a relationship poisoned with psychological violence no matter how much my “other half loves me”. Nobody deserves that and especially me. I want and deserve to be respected and loved for who I am and not for what they want me to be.
I don’t feel useless anymore. I don’t feel that I can’t do anything right. I don’t feel ugly and guilty for my outfits. I don’t feel inferior to men or to you. I admit that you have made it hard for me to get over you. It was hard for me to find my lost self- esteem. I was brainwashed and that’s why I couldn’t see things. You never really loved me. How could you anyway?
Now I’m finally free from you and your misery and it feels so good. I don’t hate you. I feel sorry for you and for the next woman who will cross your path. That is the last time you’ll ever hear from me.
You have just read a letter of a woman who managed to escape her abuser and who wanted to share her feelings and concerns with us. Her aim is to help other people like her to break free. The letter is addressed to her ex-abuser.
It has always been hard for me to understand how some people end up physically or verbally abusing someone they are supposed to care for and love. Reading about domestic violence on the internet, I came to the conclusion that the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other through fear and intimidation. Verbal or physical is still an abuse.
Domestic violence does not only include the most obvious forms of abuse which are the use of physical or sexual violence. Domestic violence also comes in other types of abuse, sometimes difficult to discern. These forms include verbal or emotional abuse. This abuse is sneaky as it’s well hidden behind words of love and it leaves no bruises on the body. However, it leaves scars on your soul and the psychological damage you suffer can last for a lifetime.
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other. The numbers are really shocking as well. Women, men and children can fall victims to domestic violence. Nevertheless, women are more likely to be victimized by an intimate partner. More specifically, 1 in 4 women worldwide have been victims of some form of domestic violence at least once in their lifetime.
Some people may not get this, but you don’t have to hit someone in order to become an abuser. Trying to control someone by exposing him/her to certain behavior with the excuse of love is also a form of violence and it’s called psychological violence.
It might start with just being mean to someone, including actions such as name-calling, threats, possessiveness or distrust. This kind of behavior can easily be dismissed or downplayed by the abuser under the pretense of caring. What may start out as something that was first believed to be harmless (e.g., jealousy, name-calling, yelling etc.), escalates into extreme control and abuse (e.g., threats and intimidation).
In such cases, victims get confused, no matter how strong they are. They don’t know the difference between what’s right or wrong anymore - especially if the abusive partner apologizes and behaves nicely. They are not in position to realize that even this behavior is part of the abuse. The victims tend to cling to the hope that things will get better. It’s hard for them to end their relationship as the abuser is the person they love. One would simply not understand why people stay in abusive relationships. It’s always easier said than done. Sometimes, people stay with their abuser because they are afraid and have no place to go. Sometimes their lack of self-esteem makes them believe the abuser’s hurtful words about deserving what they‘re going through. And sometimes victims stay with the abuser to protect their loved ones.
However, some people find the strength and courage to escape from damaging relationships, just like Stella did.
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