Ditto! Her description of drowning and paralysis resonated with me. I felt I was drowning and was always panicked, never knowing when the next wave was going to hit. The darkness and devastation this coward inflicted upon me was life changing, but I am a fighter and I am someone who fixes things. I am hanging on because I am determined to make this nightmare into a positive. Not sure of the details yet, but ideas are percolating. His weakness is evident in his inability to look at himself honestly and the delusional scenario he has created to cope with who his is. I now find it hilarious that he thinks I’m still in love with him, stalking him and doing whatever it is that I’m doing. I don’t really care what he thinks or feels – This is my story. It’s my right to tell how I survived being with a man who wanted me to kill myself. It is my right to share my story and help others not feel alone. It is my right to want to contribute to society’s betterment – There is so much to my story that I can’t talk about yet but I plan to do everything that I can to make real changes happen so that other women don’t go through the nightmare I lived through.
Step 3 in the Cycle of Abuse
Disclaimer* I am not writing this blog for myself- I don’t need to vent, I don’t need to express emotions and I don’t need to whine about some boy- writing these things triggers me and brings back PTSD symptoms- it doesn’t benefit me at all other than letting me help other survivors relate to someone and bring awareness to those who can’t relate. I am writing this blog solely to help others and raise awareness about mental health.
Crazy-making is a term used that mostly applies to narcissists’ actions towards their victims. It can be many different forms, but mostly, it involves turning abusive situations around and blaming the victim. For example, my abusive ex would tell me that I was paranoid about him looking at other girls because I was projecting- this is an insane mind-fuck because he was projecting something onto me while blaming me for projecting things onto him. (In actuality, he has cheated on many girls and actually attempted to rape me after we had broken up- attempting to cheat on his new girlfriend/victim.)
For most of my abusive relationship, I was in therapy- not for the abuse but to fix what was wrong with me in the eyes of my abuser.
My relationship was going downhill and he told me that it was my fault- that something was wrong with me, so I went to therapy, desperately trying to fix myself so that I could be better in this relationship. I was the problem. Like my ex said, my dad left because of me, my male role models like coaches left because of me not being good enough, my friends have left because of me; everyone left because of me.
I would cry in response to something he said. He’d tell me I was emotionally abusive and manipulative for crying in front of him.
I couldn’t be away from him without having panic attacks and becoming suicidal- he had made himself my entire life- convinced me that I was worth nothing- I was lucky that he cared about me at all. I had nothing without him, so when we were separated, I was so unstable that I couldn’t handle life. He had isolated me from friends and family. I was alone, so I turned to him for help when we spent time apart. He told me I was emotionally abusive, attempting to isolate him and that I was making him suicidal.
He knew my past and about my weaknesses and dad issues. He knew that my dad had been emotionally abusive and manipulative. He knew how to exploit my worst fears- maybe he didn’t even know how bad he was- maybe he did.
“I think I’m your worst nightmare, Big Mac (his super-special nickname for me- implying that my body needed work). I’m all of your worst fears put into one person,” he said to me one day and laughed, just joking around and making a casual observation.
I was now the cause of anything bad in his life.
He told me that I was trying to sabotage him if we had a disagreement before a test that he took. He told me that I was the worst thing in his life.
He told me that I was his only problem in his life and that his life would be easy without me.
He told me that I deserved any abuse that he gave me because of something that I had hid from him once at the start of our relationship (though he had been hiding something just as important and though we both came clean to each other on the same day.)
He would yell at me every night until I was so stressed that I scratched at my legs and arms until they bled just so that I felt something that distracted me from the stress.
I sat on the balcony of the seventh-floor apartment that we shared every night and looked down to the ground debating whether or not I should jump. But I was emotionally abusive, according to him, because of that. I didn’t deserve to live, but I didn’t deserve to die, in his mind. I was stuck in this never-ending, personalized hell. I deserved nobody. I deserved nothing. I was just a burden in life to him, and he was all I had. I had no control of my life- I was his prisoner and I couldn’t do anything to change it.
I was drowning.
Do you know how people end up dying by drowning? They trash. They swim in any direction in a vain attempt to escape the water and find the surface. They’re paralyzed by fear and can’t think straight. They end up swimming under the water’s surface until their bodies give out.
Do you know what to do when you’re drowning to escape death? When you’ve been hit with a wave and you’ve spun out of control under the water and can’t find which way is up? You breathe out and follow the direction of the air-bubbles. But in order to do that, you have to calm yourself enough to be logical.
If you’ve read my previous posts and have followed my story so far, I’m sure you can guess which person I was.
Eventually, I was able to calm myself and find the surface, but this was not that time.