First Step to Healing

It has taken me over fifteen years to realize I was a victim.

When I was eight, my mom met my step-dad.  For the next few years he would frequently get drunk and beat her up.  I once watched as he almost put a sign post through the windshield of the car she was sitting in during one of her attempts to leave him.  He eventually started going to AA and the physical violence stopped, but the verbal abuse continued.  She finally divorced him three years ago when he started drinking again.  As I've gotten older, I've understood that his abuse of her affected me, making me shy away from relationships, afraid I would repeat my mom's mistakes.  I've always thought of myself as the daughter of a victim.

Tonight, for the first time, it occurred to me that I was a victim, too.  My mom used to tell me that one of the reasons she was able to go back to him over and over again was because he didn't hit me, that if he ever touched me she could never forgive him.  Neither of us ever considered the fact that his belittling me, his anger with me over inconsequential things, his need to control me, were just as damaging as a punch would have been.

I don't know why this has come as such a revelation to me.  I just hope that recognition will help me in my ongoing efforts to heal.

jahg8r jahg8r
26-30, F
2 Responses Feb 18, 2009

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I think being emotionally abused is just as bad, if not even worse than being physically abused. No offence to your mum, but going back to him was a **** idea. She can't have possibly thought it wouldn't effect you in anyway..