When I think about my past, the visions are there but it's always hard to find the words to caption them. You know, words that will make it make sense. Words that would rescue me from the pain and humiliation I felt over and over again at the hands of someone who said he loved me. Words that would ease the frustration I felt with myself as my heart battled my brain, as the tears continuously flowed, and as new bruises covered old ones. I learned that you should never try to downplay someone else's bad experience. Their particular problem wasn't meant for you. Your demon will manifest to you in a way that's effective. This situationship was my demon.
I adopted a narcissist.
My abusive situationship began when I was 16 years old and spanned over the course of 18 years. My abuser was a narcissistic wolf in sheep’s clothing and I was the introverted empath that made his sheep-wear fit tailor made. He was injured in an act of street violence and used that as a governing force for the rancid behavior he displayed... and I believed him. It tugged at my heart strings to think of another human being suffering the way he had to be suffering and I wanted to support him in every way I could, and he used that against me. He would say things like, 'You're just going to leave me like everyone else did. You don't really care about me'. That would hurt me to my core because I did care and I did almost anything to prove it to him. The more he denounced my actions the harder I tried, but it never seemed to be enough. I was full of imaginary obligations. I, somehow, felt obligated to feel bad for one man's entire life situation. A man who wouldn't lose a minute worth of sleep over any tear I shed. A man who validated his masculinity by causing me pain. I was Broadway for him. He would come home and reenact this award winning show of all the things he wished he had the nerve to say and do to the people who he felt disrespected or wronged him. Yet, I felt bad for him.
Even when his anger allowed him to pull out my hair, leaving a bald spot above my right ear, or bite me on my shoulder leaving a visible scar that will never go away and mental scars that took decades to heal, I still felt bad for him. Even when his anger flared because uninvited guests overstayed their unwelcome and his way of asking them to leave was by pushing me down and kicking me 1, 2, 3 times...I felt bad for him because I felt in my heart of hearts that there was something I was doing wrong and I had to fix it.
Even when he choked me until my body started shaking and I nearly lost consciousness, I thought it had to be me because when I saw him interact with everyone else, he was the kindest person. He was sweet, polite, helpful, and encouraging. So, I knew it had to be me and I was confused because I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong or how to make it right. Even when my neighbors called the police after hearing the shouting, the glass breaking and the baby crying. I thought it was me because the two responding male officers asked ME to leave my own home when they saw the scratch he had on his neck from me trying to fight him off as he had his hands around mine. They didn't hear me when I said he hit me while I was holding the baby and she fell out of my arms. Lucky for her she landed on the sofa. "Just go take a walk and calm down", that's what they told me. There was no way it wasn't me. Even the officers saw my flaw. Maybe if they would have came back to see the black eye that resulted, maybe then they would believed me.
“My superfluous obligations birthed his righteous entitlement to my sympathy and I signed over the deed to my sanity, my happiness, and almost my life. “
There were many times when I wanted to walk away. Just turn my back and keep it moving. Leaving no trace that I ever existed but I couldn't give up. I wasn't a quitter. I constantly told myself that I would find the problem and fix it; not realizing the only fix was to give up and walk away. Ladies it's OK to GIVE UP! That is not a sign of weakness...at least not YOUR weakness. That's the strongest you'll ever be. That's your Teflon Don moment of truth.
It took me 18 years to stop caring and feeling sorry for someone else and to start caring about myself. I recently published a book, Making Peace With Broken Pieces, that talks about what I went through and how I got over it. I talk about the war I fought within myself while fighting the external war for my self. Writing that book was my therapy. 18 years was a long time and 190 pages certainly isn't enough to hold all the pain, hatred, and anger I experienced but I said what needed to be said and, at the end of it all…
I found my peace.
Lisette is loving life. She let go of the anchor that was holding her down and found happiness in a healthy relationship with her husband. Together, they work as a team to provide a safe, loving environment for her children. She is an INTP introvert who enjoys volunteering her time hosting The Sistah Circle: Coffee & Conversation, one of many monthly meetup events with a group called Introverted Girlfriends in Raleigh, NC, where various topics on life, love and relationships are tackled. Her book, Making Peace With Broken Pieces can be purchased on her website at www.lifelessonsandlovesessions.com and on Amazon.