I was researching information on recognizing abuse. Out of nowhere, I realized that I’m the victim of abuse. Not only am I abused, but my abuser is me!
I remember what life was like when I was a child. Pushing the limits of the rules and boundaries we were given. Playing with no cares in the world. So many beautiful, happy memories. But it wasn’t always as rosy as I choose to remember. Our extended family was drenched in addiction, mental health problems & abuse. This is where my self-abuse began.
Anxiety is hard to escape. It grabs hold of you and envelops your entire existence & the harder you fight, the tighter it’s grasp. It comes in the darkness enters your life & never leaves.
Let’s talk about the abuse that created the monster.
~ Abusers look for the vulnerable. They come for those who are in situations that leave them broken, fearful & paralyzed. They swoop in like a hero to protect you from the dark.
~ Abusers slowly begin to break you down & dismiss your feelings. They make you feel defective. Voices telling you you’re not enough, you’re worthless, you’re dumb, you’re ugly, you’re incapable, you need them, they gaslight you, patronize you, judge you, & convince you that you can not possibly live without them. They set unrealistic expectations, condemn you, harass you, treat you like a child, and blame you. They’re in control, because you are not able to make good choices. Your choices are always wrong. Your feelings are ridiculous, silly, & juvenile.
~Abusers threaten violence. Sometimes, they make you think you don’t deserve to live. They put dark thoughts in your head about how much better the world would be without you. They help the darkness grow & push all of the light out of your soul. You start to believe that love only comes with abuse. Good times only happen after bad times.
~ Abusers make you feel paranoid & slowly isolate you from family & friends. They put thoughts in your head. They tell you that others see how worthless, ugly, & ignorant you are. They make you believe, they are all making fun of you, behind your back. They slowly make you question every person’s motives & crush your trust in people. The fear you feel just thinking about walking out in public or attending a family function is debilitating. You can not leave your home, you don’t want to talk to anyone.
Your abuser is completely in control. You’re paralyzed within the world they’ve created for you. You’re now in a prison with bars you can not see. With a warden that resembles Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Tension is building.
Eventually, everything explodes, you’re whirling in a tornado of emotions, and you have zero control of your body, your mind, or your life! Everything is a mess, you’re hurting those you love, you’re hurting yourself, you trust no one, & your abuser is a burden you no longer want to carry.
Slowly things calm and you enter a phase of zen. Everything settles, your abuser loosens your chains & you start to see light again. You are blind to the fact that it’s all false. That there is no calm in an abusive relationship. The whole time you’re feeling like things will be better now, your abuser is building up stressors, waiting to bury you in them, once again.
You see, your abuser is you. It’s your mental illness. It’s your anxiety, OCD, or a million other mental health disorders that bind you. Whatever your diagnosis, it makes the rules, it controls your every move, it takes over your brain & it’s relentless. You can’t escape it, there’s no hiding, no running, the only way past it is through it.
It took me a long time to realize this, to face it as if it was abusing me. I will face it like I would any abuser. I’ll scream, “no more”. I will fight every day to get my power back. I will utilize every tool I have, family, friends, medication, health, therapists, whatever it takes. I will share my story. I will not be ashamed. I am the victim & I’m ready to tame the beast.