He never hit me
That’s right he never hit me, so I stayed.
On our wedding night we lay in bed and he ‘playfully’ told me how dumb I act when my brother is around. “Like a little bitch, trying to please him” and he was right, so I laughed. Gazed in his eyes and convinced myself that this is what love is, this is what happens, your soulmate knows you so well that their commentary is valid, helpful, even if it hurts. I didn’t know shit at 21.
I didn’t know shit at 21, but I was fly. NYC fly. Career path, education, supportive parents, pretty face, nice ass, top gear, head on straight fly. He was lucky to scoop me, move me to the midwest where he could isolate me and break my confidence down. I thought it was love. I didn’t know shit.
The shit I knew was that being single was hard, and the attention from a loyal man was comforting. I no longer had to worry if he was into me or not. We had matching rings and we were together. He knew me since my bra was filled with kleenex and he still cared. He cared enough to tell me moment to moment how every one of my actions was flawed, and he STILL loved me.
Mine is not a story of defeat, he never hit me. I never felt physical pain. It took me 12 years to realize that verbal abuse is a slow, unconscious demise. Words slowly eating away at my emotions, tearing apart my self worth. It only took me 3 years after that to sever those emotional ties with him. Now I am free to raise my children without my every move being attacked, combatted, stifled.
Every other weekend we have to communicate, just long enough so that I know when our kids should be waiting curbside. They squeal with glee when they see him. He never hits them either.