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Invalidation. My Most Difficult Post.

I’m a fairly easy-going person.  I’m not just saying this.  People tell me.  When the office orders pizza, I’m the one who responds, “I can pick off what I don’t like.” I’m not allergic, so that nano-drop of pepperoni oil isn’t gonna kill me, even if I gag a little in my mouth.

I also understand that no one has a perfect memory.  If I tell you I hate ketchup and you present me a burger with that puke-inducing condiment, I will eat it with a smile.  The next time, I will tell you, “Please, no ketchup.” I don’t have a perfect memory.  Case in point, I emailed my dear Revis congrats on his Bengals win over my Lions.  He reminded me that his team is the Panthers.  My apologies, dear.  I get it.

The fact that I’m easy-going, doesn’t make me a push-over.  If you continue to bring me a ketchup slathered burger, despite my reminder, I will wonder what value I bring to our interactions.

Furthermore, despite the fact that I’m easy-going, certain things do hurt me.  “Seriously, Jaded?  But…but…your poetry, it’s so CHEERFUL.”…I know, looks are so deceiving.

My ex is one of two people in this world who makes me violently ill.  I’ve been thinking a lot about him, and I haven’t been feeling well.

For the last 10 years of our relationship, I let him keep me in a perpetual state of confusion.  After I accepted his proposal, I became his property.  It was probably like that for our entire almost 14 years.  I mistook control for security.  I am a horrible interpreter of emotion.  Despite my confusion, my sane mind kept me from:  mixing our finances, co-signing on a house we couldn’t afford, and marrying him.  Thank you force.  See? No push-over.

One of his tactics was to ignore a response.  Then he would deflect an angry response, from me, back at me, in the form of guilt.  In short, if I was angry, it was my problem, get over it.  Nothing was his fault, at least when it came to me.  My hurt or anger was dumb, invalid.  I would never hurt you, stupid, don’t you know that?  Oh, and stupid is a term of endearment, don’t get angry, now.

During our last year together, I drove in for our annual party.  It was something we threw to honor the start of hockey season.  On the way, I realized that I forgot the keys to his and my mom’s houses.  I called him to ask if he could please leave the light on and the door unlocked. I apologized for my stupidity. The light was key as the steps were wobbly and the deck was slippery.  His response, “Sure babe.” I called him again when I was about an hour away.  His response, “No problem.”

I arrived at 1 AM.  The light was off and my immediate reaction was, “Sh!t, the light burned out.” So I butt navigated up the wobbly steps and across the slippery deck.  The door was LOCKED.  Double Sh!t and WTF?  Neither he nor my mom answered their phones.  In my mom’s defense, she has a hearing aid, and it was out.  I slept in the car.

Later that morning, I nonchalantly asked what happened?  His response was, “Sorry hun, I forgot.  Maybe you’ll remember your keys in the future.” Thanks teacher, let me peg an apple between your eyes.  I was dumbfounded.

Before I knew what I was saying, the retort, “I hope those heathen kids from next door shoot your light out.  Then you will have to ass climb your butt up those stairs and across the deck.  At least you’ll have your key.”

Silence.  Pin drop.  Explosion.

The tirade began.  He told me that I better pull myself together, because guests were arriving in under 3 hours.  He continued by saying that my anger at this situation was unacceptable, and that I better grow up, and how dare I make this about him, because he did nothing wrong.  He didn’t deserve this.  I fought the urge to tell him that I only had one father and he was dead.

I drank a plenty that night.  If I did a shot for every time I heard what a wonderful guy I had, I would have died from alcohol poisoning.  I simply smiled, nodded, and refrained from saying, “I wish you were me, just a few hours ago.”

The next morning, it was as if the incident never happened.

“Hi, how are you?”

“Fine, you?”

Incident deleted.  Memory erased.  Invalidation completed, until next time.

Except, memory not erased.  A recent happening caused it to flood back.  I’m not saying this was abuse.  I don’t know what it was.  I feel that sick sense of confusion.

My questions:  What makes someone abusable?  Some are repeatedly abused by multiple people.  Others never experience it.  What is the denominator?

Your input is most appreciated.

Jaded.

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About 1jaded1

Jaded in Detroit

Discussion

53 thoughts on “Invalidation. My Most Difficult Post.

  1. Your ex is my father, it’s awful. They’re narcissistic/sociopaths. This might help you at least not be hard on yourself.

    My therapist told me that those of us who’ve been abused, lack oxygen to the part of our brains that enable us to stand up for ourselves, when we’re in a situation that it’s called for. That may be why we get abused over and over. Does that help at all?

    Like this

    Posted by behindthemaskofabuse | October 27, 2013, 1:12 pm
    • Thank you, Zoe. This helps. I’m thanking whatever intervention allowed me to stand up for myself in those three instances, and to leave. I can recognize it now. I see it happening in other relationships, but my mind still asks wtf? And the sad part is that someone I know IS the abuser. I’ve seen it happen and talked to her about it. She never listened until he left. Now she is broken. And I am sad. The funnyish part, is that she attempted it on me, and I shot her down..bc I can recognize it, now….but this recent incident with another has me confused, and a little sick.

      Like this

      Posted by 1jaded1 | October 28, 2013, 12:33 am
  2. It was abuse. “Stupid” is not a term of endearment. It is a term meant to tear a person down. To strip them of their self-worth. “Forgetting” something after being reminded twice about it showed how little he valued you. But remember this: You are worth more than him. You are a beautiful person with a beautiful soul and an amazing ability to write. Do not allow yourself to be stripped down to nothingness by a person who realizes that they have nothing and wants you to be the same as them. They do it because they know you are better than them and it makes them insecure. He might not have lifted a hand to hurt you, but he certainly had no problem using his words like knives. I’m glad he is your ex. He should have no place in your heart or in your life.

    Like this

    Posted by Angela Death | October 27, 2013, 1:14 pm
  3. I ask myself that all the time jaded,,,your ex sounds exactly like mine. Everyone thinks he’s this all great wonderful person,,,,and do NOT ever make any problem about him,,it’s never his fault. It was always mine.
    I have asked myself lately over and over,,,why I attract these kind of abusers, maybe there really is something wrong with me,,maybe I am the one who is wrong all the time.

    Like this

    Posted by overitblogdotcom | October 27, 2013, 1:21 pm
  4. That is a really deep question… where is the line between just being an asshole and actual abuse? I mean, physical abuse is sort of easy to determine. But emotional and mental abuse are a little vague. Is it a matter of how bad the words are, how much they are meant to hurt and injure? Is it a matter of duration, how long it goes on, how systematic it is?
    I also just realized how lucky I am. I am too big for most people to try to abuse me physically. I mean a fight isn’t the same… it just happens once. And I would never take anyone’s words as an assault. I have too big an ego. Words really wouldn’t hurt me. Say crap about me all you want. I will just think you are wrong. And if someone was continually saying bad stuff too me, I would just leave. I mean why put up with it?
    I can see how kids can be abused this way. They have nowhere to go. A cruel person could train them to have no self-esteem and hate themselves. But if you are an adult and you have someone in your life that is just negative, don’t spend time with them.

    Like this

    Posted by pouringmyartout | October 27, 2013, 1:37 pm
  5. I think you are a very kind and selfless person. A person who gives up her own personal preferences not to rock the boat. (I can soooo be that way) I think you were in love with the guy and he probably had qualities that were good and you obviously invested a lot of your time with him. But then his mask fell off and you saw the real him. He was manipulative and a bully and that became unacceptable to you. And it takes a lot of inner strength to stand up to that and say I’m not taking this anymore (especially when you’re kind n sweet to everyone) I think you deserve the guy who loves you just the way you are and would never bring you a burger with ketchup or a slice of pepperoni pizza – because he’ll know you don’t like those things.

    Like this

    Posted by whiteladyinthehood | October 27, 2013, 2:05 pm
    • Thank you, Lady. I’m past that point of thinking I will find someone, and that’s ok. You bring up something true. The first three years were really good. Then things started to collapse. I’m glad that part of life is over. Things jog the memory, but I don’t have to live it, anymore. Thanks again.

      Like this

      Posted by 1jaded1 | October 28, 2013, 4:54 am
  6. Abuse of any kind is horrible, but verbal, mental and emotional is difficult to describe to people if they haven’t been exposed to it themselves.

    It wounds the soul and if their are children involved and being effected as well, it’s heart wrenching.

    It’s insidious.

    I’m sorry.

    Like this

    Posted by Pocahontas | October 27, 2013, 3:07 pm
  7. I know where you are. I have been there not once but many times. Unfortunately it’s a never ending pattern in my life.

    Like this

    Posted by deanabo | October 27, 2013, 3:11 pm
  8. I keep trying to respond to this post but can’t find the right words to express myself on this.
    I know where you are coming from and I wish I could tell you the answer. The short explanation is it’s not us, it’s them, but I know that doesn’t help really.

    Like this

    Posted by NotAPunkRocker | October 27, 2013, 3:19 pm
  9. I am the same as you, and rarely say anything, easy going, whatever, swallow it back…smile.

    Anyone who thinks to do a shitty thing to us, in order to teach us a “lesson” is an douchebag .In my opinion, that was an abusive incident. My ex did the same sort of thing.

    Like this

    Posted by merbear74 | October 27, 2013, 3:20 pm
  10. My comment is pretty much a duplicate of Mer’s. I swallow it back and rarely say anything as well. And I agree with Mer’s thoughts that anyone who thinks to do a shitty thing to teach us a lesson is a douchebag.

    Like this

    Posted by C.K. Hope | October 27, 2013, 3:53 pm
  11. People call me laid back, too. Go with the flow. I’m a people pleaser. I was abused physically and mentally by my parents for my whole childhood. I was taught to never stand up for myself. As I’ve come into my forties and now have a child, I have been trying to stand up for myself in relationships: friendly or romantic. I’ve found that once a pattern is established it is very hard to change. For instance, I used to have a friend whom I considered my sister. I helped her out ginormically over the years. When I first met her, she could go nowhere by herself. She was that insecure and scared of the world around her. She was also in the adult entertainment business. I bolstered her self esteem ever day for over 10 years. When she wanted out of the adult entertainment business, I helped her. When she wanted to go to college, I helped her apply for scholarships and loans. I helped her study and write papers. Years later, when tragedy struck my life (my best guy friend died unexpectedly) and I dissolved into a crying depressed lump for a year she decided that I was taking too long to get over his death and stopped speaking to me altogether. I tried to confront her about what I saw as her blatant mistreatment of me, after all grief has no time limit and everyone processes it differently, but was told that I was just too depressed for her to hang out with anymore. So, she deflected her culpability on to me saying that her actions were my fault. I stood my ground, for once, and as a result we no longer speak. It’s been over five years since I’ve spoken to her.

    Some people are takers and some are givers. As a person who has been through verbal abuse, you can spot the warning signs early, I’m sure. Here’s a little tip I received from someone I respect: If you feel like you are being f*ck*d, you are. When you feel that sinking confusing feeling, it’s time to get out.

    I hope things get better for you.

    Like this

    Posted by Ribbons Undone | October 27, 2013, 4:25 pm
  12. Getting over abuse of any sort takes a lifetime. Sometimes we are okay and on top of it, but other times it takes hard work. I am so sorry you are struggling at this time, I hope you can get through it and on top of it again soon. There are so many like you. I too was abused but it was sexually and emotionally. Sometimes I am so proud to have got through it, other days hurt or sad at all the years I’ve lost, and occasionally afraid as I wake from a nightmare. I really hope your okay. You can email me anytime if you ever wish to make contact.

    Like this

    Posted by tric | October 27, 2013, 4:50 pm
  13. My on and off for 14 years had this uncanny knack of making me believe that he was the only person would ever want me. I believed him and also believed I loved him. I was young I was stupid, I have no defense. One day I decided enough was enough, I just didn’t want to do it anymore so when I said goodbye, albeit that it was normally, I knew I meant goodbye. I never contacted him again. That was two years past in October :) It seems ok, till you start to look back, so I’m going to clean my specs and keep looking forward lol You with me?

    Like this

    Posted by The Indecisive Eejit | October 27, 2013, 6:08 pm
  14. I wish I had an answer for you, Jaded. I don’t know what makes people behave like that. I don’t know if it’s genetic or learned or perhaps a combination of both. I’m just glad you’re not in that relationship anymore.

    Like this

    Posted by Twindaddy | October 27, 2013, 8:23 pm
  15. The answer is this: you were being emotionally abused. I just put an end to mine, so you ought to take those ill-making memories and turn them around to see what you escaped from through your own strength. Good job.

    Like this

    Posted by BrainRants | October 27, 2013, 9:03 pm
  16. The o Bly thing that makes someone “a usable” is not running for cover the first time. Which, of course means we are all victims. You got out. That is the most important thing.

    Like this

    Posted by Elyse | October 27, 2013, 9:10 pm
  17. Oh, I have so many thoughts on this post of yours. (Very well written, by the way) I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we accept the love we think we deserve. I think it’s a self-esteem issue. And I think self-esteem has a lot to do with how one is raised and hereditary factors. It took me a long time to decide for myself (and for my children) that I was worth more and that I deserved happiness. And it took a long time for me to figure out that I was responsible for my own path in life. I could be a victim, or I could be a warrior. I chose to become a warrior. It also took me a long time to realize that I’m the hero of this story ~ I don’t need to be saved. I realized I had to make a choice between being happy and sane or being miserable and depressed. I wish you strength and peace of mind….

    Like this

    Posted by disp4324 | October 28, 2013, 3:53 am
    • Thank you. This makes sense, to an extent. I’m sure it has to do with esteem. The fact that I was able to stand my ground on certain issues – important ones – makes me question, that. I’m glad you were able to get out.

      Like this

      Posted by 1jaded1 | October 28, 2013, 6:11 am
  18. Definitely abuse. As other comments said, stupid is not an endearment, but a way to tear down. Looking back, I see that my ex was very manipulative, he never talked down to me, but he would always make me feel guilty whenever we fought. Like you, it was somehow always my fault. But I feel that the best thing about these kind of situations, is that since we’re out of them, we can look back and use that experience to make sure it never happens to us again!

    And I saw that you said you have a friend who’s exhibiting these behaviors – definitely a tough thing for you to have to watch! And as I’m sure you know, it’s so hard to make people listen sometimes.

    Like this

    Posted by GiggsMcGill Jill | October 29, 2013, 6:22 pm
  19. Hmm… In a way, I guess that I think everyone has the potential to be abused. It depends on the situation and those behaving in abusive manner. Someone who would never let a partner abuse them could let family walk all over them. Someone who has no problem telling their family off could let their friends hold their puppet strings. Where they are in their life – youth, young adult, adult, elder. Who else they have in their life – friends, family, partners. How they view their interactions with everyone around them… Yeah, I don’t think there are some people who are completely free of abuse, that no matter what and who happens they could never be bothered by it. I think the potential is there for everyone…

    Like this

    Posted by djmatticus | October 30, 2013, 4:35 pm
  20. Perhaps the perception of vulnerability?
    I really don’t think the fault lies with the victim. Ever.
    I’ll never go into detail, but I’ve suffered at the hands of others and trust me, I did nothing to invite or warrant the abuse.
    And neither have you.

    Like this

    Posted by The Hook | October 31, 2013, 8:09 am
  21. To me, that sort of behaviour is abuse. If someone really loves you, the very least they’d do would be to leave you the light on and the door unlocked. If someone really loves you, what they’d actually do is stay up until you get home to make sure you’ve got in safely. If they forgot, but they really love you, they’d be really apologetic for forgetting and for you having had to sleep in your car, and ask if they can do something to make it up to you.

    Someone who pressures you into making things go their way, not in a way that benefits both of you, who cannot see that you are just as valid a person in the relationship as they are, is an abuser.

    Jaded my love, I’m so glad you got away from that. Remember, it was NOT your fault. The problems were all HIS. You are worth so much more than that. Take your time and learn to love and respect yourself, and in doing so you’ll protect yourself from these sorts of wankers.

    And if someone pressures you – or tries to – into a relationship, do your damnedest to stand your ground and keep saying “no” until you are ready. If the person is worthy of you, they’ll wait.

    *love & hugs*

    Like this

    Posted by faithhopechocolate | November 4, 2013, 3:29 pm

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