Before I begin, I want to welcome all my new followers, and to say THANK YOU to all the support, kind words, and friendships I have received over the last 24 hours. I love you all, and I hope you will find strength as we journey together.
It is really hard to decide what to write about next. I just have so much to say. I left off writing about moving to Big City. I will dive into this subject more in a future post, but my mother-in-law was just as bad, if not worse, with emotionally abusing me (Please remember that my intention is NOT to bash or degrade them. I’m simply trying to convey what happened so others can learn the signs). When we were about 500 miles away from Big City, she called (I’m going to use DVP for domestic violence perpetrator from now on) DVP to tell him that we wouldn’t be able to stay with her for a few days because she was thinking about divorcing her third husband, and didn’t want us around with all the fighting going on. That’s a great first impression for someone you’re about to live with for the foreseeable future (and a warning sign I missed!).
When we did finally move in with her (they didn’t get a divorce), things were okay for a few days. But, I started to see just how dysfunctional DVP’s relationship with his mother was. In normal family relationships, it isn’t uncommon for children to argue with their parents. It happens. Especially in those teen years! However, the arguing that happened between DVP and XMIL (ex-mother-in-law) was far from common. It was EXPLOSIVE. The entire house suffered when they fought. It was a two-way street: He was extremely disrespectful, and she was extremely stubborn (for lack of a better word).
They would fight over the smallest things, like him playing video games too much (another form of abuse, but more on that later), to debating about politics. I never understood why they would debate so much over politics. They usually shared the same view, but if DVP said anything somewhat different than her beliefs, she’d argue the death out of it, even when what he was saying was almost exactly what she was arguing. The fights would get so bad that he would end up calling her bitch, cunt, and whore (I apologize if I offend anyone, but it needs to be said). Both of them would talk over each other, make silly noises while plugging their ears so they couldn’t hear what the other was saying. She’d tell him things like, “I don’t know how you became so ignorant when I raised you differently”, or “You must get that from your dad”, and “What is WRONG with you?”.
Her husband also did not like DVP. Because of this, he spoke maybe five words to me the entire five years we lived in Big City. I’m not even kidding. He loved XBIL (ex-brother-in-law) and his then girlfriend. He would buy them things, talk to them (it is sad that I even have to clarify that), watch television with them. But never, ever with me or DVP. XMIL said it was because he can’t stand how DVP treated her and me, but why exclude me? It was like I didn’t exist to him. I would pass by numerous times a day while he watched T.V. to get to the kitchen and I felt like a ghost passing through.
I want you to understand that she wasn’t all bad all the time. She did a lot for me. We had a good relationship for a long time, though I didn’t recognize her abuse until towards the end. She would listen to me sob when DVP hurt me. The most confusing thing though was that she would take my side while listening to me talk about how her son hurt me, and say things like, “I wouldn’t blame you if you left him!”, and then later deny that anything ever happened between me and her son. She would eventually even tell me that I was the one to blame, that I was at least partly to blame for his abuse. I’ll get to that later. But the most infuriating thing was that she would constantly degrade and bash her son to me. When we would be in the “honeymoon phase” of the abuse cycle, I hated hearing what she had to say about him. His mother should not be telling his wife all of these things. She should be confiding in a friend or other relative if she wanted to gripe about him. Sadly, I felt like I had to side with her too, just like I had to side with DVP because of the backlash I would get if I disagreed with her or stood up for him (she was using the same domineering and fear tactics that he was using. More signs).
So why tell you all of this? Well, have you heard the saying, “Watch how he treats his mom, because that’s how he’ll treat you”? It is 100% accurate, and a warning sign of abuse if he treats his mom in any of the ways I described above. Her treatment of him (and me eventually) is just as much of a sign of emotional and verbal abuse as his. Please, please, please, don’t take it lightly. If his family doesn’t get along with each other, or doesn’t get along with your significant other, there is always an underlying reason. Do not dismiss it. And trust your gut! I will say this often, but I mean it. Your intuition is there to save you. Every horrible name he called her, he called me, and worse. The way she would treat him in arguments, he would treat me. I could see it clear as day. When he’d yell or argue at me in those ways, it was as if she was yelling at me. The disrespect he had for her was hard for me to comprehend, and I didn’t understand that I was being disrespected as well.
Please tell me how I can help you! I have a long, long list of topics to write about, and telling you my entire story will take time. If you need to hear about something, let me know. I’m also looking for stories to share of other victim’s abuse for a later post, so if you feel comfortable, please let me know.