And I don’t use the word “abuse” lightly. (It’s not a word meant to be thrown around.)
I don’t use the words “sexual assault” lightly either…
I don’t want to minimize what anybody feels. People can always use whatever words they deem necessary. But sometimes serious-type words get potentially slightly overused, I think…
So, I have been so afraid to use them. I don’t want to be blowing up a situation. I don’t want to be playing a victim if it’s not fair. (I don’t want to be a victim generally at all, really…)
But words are important. And sometimes they are appropriate. My therapist and I painstakingly go through literature about abuse, signs of it, the wheel of abuse, gaslighting behaviors, and all of that. And I literally highlight things that apply to him (and we end up with huge swaths of yellow paper).
And the reason I need worksheets is because sometimes I *still* try to give him the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes I *still* think I’m crazy and completely misunderstanding everything… I guess that’s what happens when you are gaslighted. (Gaslit?)
And as I tell stories to her of my time together with him, and I try to minimize his behavior and say why it “wasn’t sooo bad” or “maybe he didn’t mean it,” she – as the professional – tries to kinda keep me on track and show me that what happened is exactly what abuse looks like.
So, while I don’t want to be harsh (and I certainly can’t say I’m perfect, or did things right 100% of the time), I have to acknowledge the situation that I was on the receiving end of an exceptionally emotionally abusive relationship (in the broad sense of the word relationship)…
While I don’t want to be this wildly blame-y person. I do have to recognize the truth, because it’s part of this story. And that is the truth of it.
So, just know that as I tell stories in this kind of cycle, or whatever, and I use words like “emotional abuse,” “sexual assault,” and “gaslighting,” I have thought a lot about them. And I believe them to be true. And I do not take these things lightly.
(Thanks for reading.)