He would get very upset when I would say true things he didn’t want to hear, or didn’t like. He would demand apologies for them. Even though I told him that I wouldn’t mean it if I said it.
He wanted me to apologize for being true to myself, for sticking up for myself, for having any kind of self-worth. His feelings were more important than the reality of our lives.
Saying I was sorry made my life livable at the time. I’m not sorry. Even though I said I was.
On this day:
In 2010 – how to avoid rape
In 2008 – I really miss having a garden
In 2007 – I used to take drumming lessons!
In 2006 – That time I realized that people actually try to make abortions illegal.
In 2005 – A comedy of errors?
I made some tweets using the #beenrapedneverreported hashtag. I was terrified to do the first one. And then the next day I did three more.
My world didn’t explode, but I also didn’t cross-post them to Facebook, as I usually do.
I’m concerned about backlash from the person they reference, but also, these are all undeniably true occurrences. I was reading a post about emotional abuse just moments ago and many of the ways to tell if you are being emotionally abused applied to our relationship. Here are the applicable ones (bold indicates what I relate to):
Abusive Expectations – Makes impossible demands, requires constant attention, and constantly criticizes.
Constant Chaos – Deliberately starts arguments with you or others. May treat you well in front of others, but changes when you’re alone.
Rejecting – Refusing to acknowledge a person’s value, worth or presence. Communicating that he or she is useless or inferior or devaluing his or her thoughts and feelings.
Denying – Denies personal needs (especially when need is greatest) with the intent of causing hurt or as punishment. Uses silent treatment as punishment. Denies certain events happened or things that were said. Denies your perceptions, memory and sanity by disallowing any viewpoints other than their own which causes self-doubt, confusion, and loss of self-esteem.
Emotional Blackmail – Uses guilt, compassion, or fear to get what he or she wants.
Invalidation – Attempts to distort your perception of the world by refusing to acknowledge your personal reality. Says that your emotions and perceptions aren’t real and shouldn’t be trusted.
Isolating – Reducing or restricting freedom and normal contact with others.
Minimizing – A less extreme form of denial that trivializes something you’ve expressed as unimportant or inconsequential.
Unpredictable Responses – Gets angry and upset in a situation that would normally not warrant a response. You walk around on eggshells to avoid any unnecessary drama over innocent comments you make. Drastic mood swings and outbursts.
I can’t find a link to the original source. I’ll update if I find it.
Because he wouldn’t let me sleep until I stopped saying no. #BeenRapedNeverReported
— Tiana Dargent (@tianadargent) November 1, 2014
Because he threatened suicide, I didn’t want to be ‘responsible’ for it. #BeenRapedNeverReported
— Tiana Dargent (@tianadargent) November 2, 2014
I shared this link on my facebook page and wrote this:
I remember getting the argument that I obviously wasn’t fully into making my marriage work because I refused to sign over all of my assets to my husband.
Good fucking lord.
We split all our expenses 50/50, except for the fact that he lied to me about how much our car and home insurance cost and so I was actually paying even more than my share, while he was consistently making $20 000 more than me per year.
He spent money from our savings and racked up debt from buying guitars, a vintage car, sports season’s tickets and burberry shirts.
I was the only one who bought things for the kids, toys, shoes, clothes (other than in gift-giving situations).
He was so irresponsible with money. Signing my money over to him would have probably been even more stupid than marrying him and having babies by him.
At the end of our relationship, it was he who said I never really tried and he gave me a long list of reasons that were his supposed proof.
-I didn’t give up my money to him
-I didn’t take his last name
-I didn’t choose to leave work and raise kids from home (another way of having no financial independence)
-Once Bobby was born, he became my priority over my ex
-I didn’t want to have sex the way he wanted to have sex (all of the associated story to this makes me want to barf a million times)
The other day, Shawn and I were talking about a sign and for whatever reason, I just could not wrap my head around what he was trying to explain to me. At one point he became visibly frustrated and sarcastic and a tiny bit mean and I instantly felt defeated, deflated, and small. I felt like there was no point in me talking, in me trying to understand. There was no point in doing anything other than closing in on myself and crying.
This is how Brent treated me pretty much all the time. Even now I still get super long text messages or emails with no apparent intent other than hurting me. I’ve gotten away from it and have surrounded myself with people who treat me with kindness and dignity but even still, people will sometimes legitimately become frustrated with me and behave in a similar way.
I have learned to mostly avoid it but I haven’t yet learned to deal with it. Even now, a few days later, I’m feeling uneasy about the interaction between Shawn and myself. We’ve obviously talked about it a whole bunch and we are so very good. This uneasiness is not about Shawn. It’s about me learning that I have to develop a new skill but WTF I just don’t even want those situations to happen because they hurt me so fucking deeply, but they will happen, even inadvertently, by people who love me and never ever want to hurt me, and so I need to practice coping with that. How do I practice that without just repeatedly feeling awful?
UGH. I am just so fucking tired of dudes.
*trigger warning: references to sexual violence
But I guess it’s really that I’m so fucking tired of Brent continually triggering me, and of being triggered in my life about shit that happened at his hands.
Shawn and I were having an intimate/not necessarily sexual moment last night and this one thing happened (it was not a bad thing because Shawn is so tender and loving and careful, but there was a certain similar sensation and then my body just reacted out of muscle memory or something and I just had a whole bunch of fear about physical harm in my crotch area) and I just could not stop having awful visions in my mind. I stayed up late just trying to keep my eyes open to stop picturing things.
But it’s like.. I was so horny and then had a meltdown and so I guess doing-its are no longer appropriate because all of my hard emotions but I’m still horny and frustrated and so I’m mad that Brent has fucked that up for me and I know it hasn’t been that long that we’ve been apart and I’ve started to heal but it also feels like sometimes I just feel way more traumatized now than when I was even with him but I guess I just turned everything off and was just numb back then.
So there’s that.
And there’s also all the stupid dicks who are #notallmen and it fucking grosses me out and I’m happy that I don’t really have to personally deal with any of them. But at the same time, women who are close to me do and I want to be supportive of these women but I ALSO find their interactions with these men semi-triggering but mostly incredibly frustrating. Like, I’m mad at these dudes for even being in my friends’ lives and not taking their lived experiences seriously.
ON THE OTHER HAND
I’m so glad I have a beautiful network of friends who Get It and I don’t have to live this crap in all of my interactions. I’m glad that I can have lunch with a group of my coworkers and we can mock the sexism and homophobia and racism that we all encounter in our workplace and have a sense of solidarity. I’m glad that I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to curate my life so that I am finally in the life I want and have the support I need to grow and move forward instead of just fighting for whatever space I am allowed to have.