“I am just too needy and I nag him too much.”
“What I was asking from him was not above and beyond the realm of a healthy marriage. The truth was that I was being abused and I did not have to be! I could leave. I am strong. I am of value.”
In 13 years of marriage my husband rarely shared a room, let alone a bed, with me. There were many reasons for having his own room, most of which were for my own good or were my fault. He had a way of making everything my fault. He knew that I hated sleeping alone and he used this fact to hurt and control me. He continually told me how much it hurt HIM to HAVE TO sleep in another room.
When I would ask him to consider moving into my room or sharing a bed with me, he would say that he sleeps in a another room because he loves me or he would make me feel cheap, like I was some prostitute selling myself to him. His other excuses were usually the same: He didn’t want his snoring to keep me up, or he was afraid he would roll over in his sleep and hurt me (he had hurt me many times in bed, willingly, and used the fact that I cried, against me, saying that he didn’t want to have to listen to me to cry again. After all, he worked hard and needed his sleep).
We also rarely spoke. In fact, I was thrilled when we both got smart phones because at least now he would text me. He would literally be sitting on the couch in the same room as me and rather than speak to me, he would text me.
When I would try to talk to him he would sigh and roll his eyes at me and inevitably pull out his phone. He would choose text over speaking to me because then (in his words) I would be less likely to misunderstand what he said. Of course, I always did then too. He would text me one thing, I would reply or do exactly as he asked and I would somehow still manage to get it wrong. When I would read the text back to him he would claim that I didn’t understand the context or that I was lying even though it was right there in black and white in his own words! HE was always telling me that my perception was off, in relation to everything! I always perceived everything the wrong way.
This changed me from a social person into a recluse. I would get panic attacks just going to the grocery store because I was so afraid that someone would talk to me and I would perceive what they said the wrong way and they would become angry with my incompetence.
I hated it. I felt ugly and pathetic. I would cry myself to sleep most nights, sometimes from physical pain, but mostly from the loneliness and emotional pain he inflicted on me. It weighed on me like an anvil on my chest. For years I felt like I was barely breathing, like I was barely living. I was just a shadow. I was not seen, not heard, nothing… I was of no value.
This nothingness that I felt inside eventually took a physical form as I dropped down to 74 pounds. I was a shaking, hollow shell of the strong-willed vibrant woman I once was.
Through my faith, I believe that God did not abandon me. He held me. He saved me. He is healing me. God brought people into my life to show me that none of this was normal.
One day a doctor took notice and asked me if I was being abused. I had never thought of it as abuse. I could not answer. I began to research abuse, and came across Safe Harbor. I spoke with a counselor there. It was life changing. I realized that this is not how a husband loves his wife. What I was asking from him was not above and beyond the realm of a healthy marriage. The truth was I was being abused and I did not have to be. I could leave. I realized that am strong. I am of value.
While I still struggle with believing that someone will ever want to share a bed with me or enjoy a conversation with me, I am learning to. I have people in my life that make it a point to tell me how much they appreciate me and love spending time with me.
If this touches you and you find that you too are being abused, please don’t suffer in silence. There are people that care about you and love you. You are of value. You are loved.
“For years I felt like I was barely breathing, like I was barely living. I was just a shadow. I was not seen, not heard, nothing… I was of no value.”
“The truth was I was being abused and I did not have to be. I realized that am strong. I realized that I am of value. I realized that I could leave. ”