To Answer Your Questions…

After finally mustering up the courage to escape an abusive marriage I sought refuge from my family who was all but erased from my life by the narcissist. The first thing I did was call my mom and let her speak to the grandchildren she hardly knew. When the initial shock and relief wore off the blaming started, “You should have never married him,” they said. “Why did you let things go on for so long?” These were just some of the pointed questions thrown at me. I felt so guilty for what happened already, and I was conditioned over the years to accept any and all negative criticism as the truth.

Let me start by saying my mom and dad have helped me through this life and I can never repay them for all they’ve given me. At the time these questions were posed to me, I was numb and unable to answer. Now I can address them. You’re right. I should have never married him. He is a skilled actor, liar and con artist with a mask that fit seamlessly until it was far too late for me to escape without severe damage. I didn’t let things go on. These things were inflicted upon the children and me without any approval, and at least I found a way, on my own, to escape.

In the end, the questions stopped and I regained some of my strength and self worth enough to address these questions to my family and friends.

Victim blaming serves no helpful purpose.  Those who have managed to escape need support, understanding, and comforting – not more questions.  In time they will be strong enough to talk about it more.  Please be patient not critical.

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This will Help

help

 

People have said many things to me about my chronic illnesses. I have chronic migraine, major depression, and complex post traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD).  I’ve tried for a long time to understand what the point is when people say certain things to me.  Why would you say these things to someone you care about?

“I go to work when I’m sick, but whatever.”

Okay. Well I hope it wasn’t contagious! Man, I’ve worked when I’ve been so sick I got lost going to see the doctor (neurologist) during my lunch hour.  Did I mention I’d been to his office at least twice before?  I’m not talking about a bad cold or diarrhea.  I’m talking about getting lost in a town I’ve lived in for almost 30 years, going somewhere I’ve been more than once. Not to mention the intense pain of chronic migraine that caused me to seek out the doctor who prescribed the medication that scrambled up my brain.  I’ve gone to work in severe pain too.  So many times its just a blur.

“You need a better plan. That’s why things aren’t working out for you.”

The best plan in the world doesn’t help me if I’m too sick to follow it.  This isn’t about a plan.  Its about me being chronically ill.  It took a long time for me to get this sick and it´s gonna take time for me to recover and/or learn to live with it.  Things aren’t great for me but the kids and I have a safe place to live, food & clothes.  I think we are doing well, especially considering what we have all been through.

“You just need to get over it.”

Touchee!

“Are you feeling better yet?”

This is such a loaded question.  Better than what?  On the days I don’t have a migraine I’m either exhausted and recovering from one or I’m worried about when the next one will come.  Then there’s the CPTSD.  I want to feel better so badly.  I fight every day to get better.  Please stop asking me this question.  You don’t really want to hear the answer.

“I wanted to be there for you but I was busy.”

I understand you are busy and I respect your time and other commitments.  I only ask the same of you in return.  Please don’t ask me to run errands for you, take your dog to the vet, or deliver business papers. Don’t stop by unannounced and dump all your problems on me.  My cup is full, overflowing actually.  My priority is my children.  You are a grown-up with no children at home.  I think you can take care of your own stuff.  I’d like to be there for you but I’m to busy fighting to get through my day.

“I know how you feel.”

I doubt that.  If you know how I feel you’d never say these things to me.  You would understand how confusing it is to have someone you care for hurt you in this way.

A part of me wants to believe you just don’t understand, but I’ve explained it to you over and over again.  You’ve seen me so sick I couldn’t get out of bed.  What do you think I’m doing here?  Do you really believe I wanted to lose my job?  Can’t you see how hard I fight to take care of my family?  Don’t you think I’d like to get over it?  Somehow you believe I enjoy reliving past trauma?  Sometimes I wonder because I’ve realized you are one of my biggest triggers.  I’ve explained that to you but I guess you were busy or you didn’t listen because you already know how I feel.  I’ve pleaded with you to stop the behaviors that trigger me.  You know I’ve begged you.

I’m trying hard to see the point.  Why do you say these things to me?  Do you think This will Help?