Breaking The Cycle(S) Of AbuseSomehow I think this is appropriate for our group. SM's all contain, at their cores, levels of dysfunction & yes, abuse.
I was born to a teenage mom who already had a son (my older brother). My mother was the daughter of a raging alcoholic mother--the youngest, my mother often bore the brunt of her mother's rage. My biological father was also alcoholic and abusive. It was when he started hitting & abusing us that she left him, moving back in with her parents until I was about 8.
I have about three conscious memories of my biological father. I do, however, remember my grandmother's drunken "episodes." My mother one time locked my brother & I in a closet (I think I was around 4-1/2, 5) becAuse my grandmother was on a rage and chasing my mother around the house with a knife. It wasn't always that dramatic--in fact, rarely--but gives you an idea what I was exposed to as a young child. She dated and we met at least 4 of her boyfriends that I remember. I'm thinking that was when it was getting "serious." She married her second husband when I was 10. It has been a sexless marriage with a passive aggressive man. She, is prone to erratic mood swings and at times hit my brother & me as we were children. As we got older, I became the target for her rages. It wasn't until I was 13 (I think) that, during a couple of her rages, I started screaming while she was hitting me. She stopped soon after, but she continued using words to "hit."
I give all this background to demonstrate my roots. My brother struggled with drug & alcohol addiction and has at least twice been involved in domestic abuse issues. He is, though, "clean" and 99% in control and has been for years.
I waited until 30 to marry. My ex was verbally abusive and it was a SM. I divorced him and moved on. I met my STBX a year after the divorce. My STBX *seemed* to be everything I'd ever wanted in a life partner. He also grew up in an abusive home, had/has strong feelings about abuse, was loving, supportive, sweet, etc. He drew me in really well. The sex was never off the charts & signs were there but I didn't see them at the time.
Down the road a piece, it's been many years and we've had all the talks, etc. He verbally abuses, is extremely controlling, and the whole relationship is a giant mess. I am on my way out. We have a child who, I am absolutely determined, will never willingly put up with ANY form of abuse in her life. Seeing mommy take steps to change our lives for the better is the living proof I am going to give, that NO ONE should put up with abuse. EVER.
Why am I writing this story now? I've seen several ILIASM stories lately with different levels and kinds of abuse in them. It's hard to see when we are in it. But it IS abuse. And WE need to stop it.
I remember my mother, when I left my ex, telling me how lucky I was that I had the courage to do it and start over. I remember telling her: luck has NOTHING to do with it. Do you think it's easy? Do you think I'm not afraid? Do you think I'm going to waltz off in to the sunset & be free & clear just because I'm divorcing him? It will take me years to recover from the financial damage alone. But the alternative--staying--is worse. So I am doing it, no matter how hard it is, because I *know* that leaving is what's best for me.
I said it then and I say it now. It is NEVER too late to buck up, gather your courage, and MAKE those positive changes in your life.
BREAK THE CYCLES OF ABUSE.