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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

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4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

No More Excuses

No More Excuses

February 8, 2000

My abuse story starts at a very early age.  My 2 sisters and I were molested by a male babysitter.  I was the youngest at age 3, and the abuse involved penetration, which I later found out was worse than what my sisters sustained.  At first, because of my age, my mind dealt with it by internalizing it.  I was a "good" kid, always did what my parents told me, and I loved going to church.  At around age 5 or so, I began having terrible nightmares, almost nightly, and I was wetting the bed nightly as well.  

Add to this the fact that my dad is an alcoholic and my mother was codependent.  My father was not violent, but was totally emotionally absent, never telling us that he loved us, and never showing physical affection.  My mother was his extreme opposite, highly emotional and had a big problem with spending money - which was their biggest fight.

At age 15, I met my first loser. He told me everything I was dying to hear.  He was more than willing to show me the affection I was desperate for, and then some.  He was also an alcoholic, although his drinking didn't seem abnormal to me. After all, dad had been drinking in front of me my whole life, and there was nothing abnormal about dad.  At 16 I got pregnant, and there was a shot gun wedding. I had the baby at 17.  Just three weeks after the wedding, he began to hit me.  The beating escalated quickly, from what I have learned about abuse.  By the time the baby was 9 months old, he had beaten me to the point of a concussion.  I felt I had no place to go - I certainly couldn't turn to my parents who had divorced while I was pregnant.

To make a long story short, I left, and I didn't take the baby with me.   For six months or so after that, I was extremely promiscuous.  Then, I got a pretty decent job (for a gal without a high school diploma).  I began meeting people who were successful and who were full of self-confidence.  I admired that and knew I wanted to feel like that.  I went back to church, quit dating, and decided to concentrate on myself. 

At age 21, I moved across the country (another long story) and shortly thereafter, met a guy I began dating right away.  I found out shortly after we were more seriously involved that he smoked dope.  But, I stayed with him anyway. He was never abusive towards me.  In fact, I probably grew more during that relationship than at any other point in my life.  We were together for 7 years.  He had a hard time showing affection, which I was able to live with, but always felt empty inside.  We had a child that I adored.  I was able to love that child more than anything I had ever known.  But then came my biggest mistake ever.  I had an affair.

My husband found out, filed for divorce, fought for custody and won.  In court, he brought up all the things I had told him about from my earlier years and twisted them around, making them seem to be my fault - like when my father-in-law tried to sexually abuse me.  The man I was having an affair with and I married as soon as legally possible - which seemed like a good thing at the time, but, the truth was, I spent the first two years of this marriage (which I'm still in) in a deep depression.  

Of all the abuse I've suffered, this has been the worse.  He is extra-ordinarily emotionally abusive.  The worst of it was when I was depressed. He constantly complained that I wasn't a good wife, that I didn't give him enough sex, etc. the list goes on and on.  He began to treat my son from the previous marriage horribly.  I felt he was insecure with our relationship, and he was constantly telling me that he wanted to have a baby.  As usual, I tried to be a "good wife" and I gave him what he wanted.  I thought that this might make him feel better about my son, his step-son, but it hasn't.

Just recently I found this web site.  I am going to get help for myself no matter what.  I never wanted to leave this marriage.  I wanted more than anything to have a happy family in a loving home, but I realize that I have been deluding myself.  I never wanted to be a single mom, but I now know that my children would be better off not growing up this way.  I haven't done it yet, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm through making excuses for him and for my own behavior.    Donna

Dear Donna,

You've been through way too much... Good for you for persevering to find your way! Get help and don't stop until you reach your goal. You started searching at a very young age; you are still searching and are still young. Your insight, honest self-assessment, and motivation are the foundation you need.   Don't let temporary setbacks dishearten you. They are normal and part of the recovery process. Just pick yourself up and get back on track.  You can do this.

My very best regards, Dr. Irene