Duck is my husband. He is the rock in my life. He keeps me tethered to the earth when my mind might otherwise let me float away. But there are some negative things in our relationship. Some negative things in our lives. Things that are starting to break me down. Break his hold on me. I’m starting to get lost in my head again .
When I was a teenager, I was in a severely abusive relationship. He emotionally, physically, and sexually ripped me apart. He destroyed my physical well-being, my sense of self, and my sense of personal safety. He took away my strength. He took away everything I had.
I got out of there. It took years of leaving and returning, but I finally escaped when I was 18 after a near-death experience at his hands. I don’t talk about the years of my life that he stole. I try not to remember them. I try not to think about the fear he put into me. The fear that I thought would never go away.
My Duck, my wonderful wonderful Duck, made me feel safe again. My Duck is teaching me that I have value in the world.
But my life isn’t letting me feel that anymore. Duck’s mother lives with us. She’s going senile. And as she loses her grip on reality, she’s getting mean. Really mean. She uses a tone of voice when she talks to us that is the same as the Abuser used. She calls me names. Makes me feel insignificant.
How do I keep my fragile sense of self from breaking when I’m surrounded by the same sounds as broke me in the first place?
I’m so very sorry you’re going through this. I too was in a bad relationship and know all too well how a tone of voice or a sound can bring me back to that. Have you talked to your husband about it? I know the feeling of wanting to not revisit the past, but perhaps you need to have a heart-to-heart with him. Do you have other options for the care of your mother-in-law? You are significant, and you can get through this. it sounds like you have a wonderful husband. Big hugs to you 🙂
IT might be a good idea to look into some therapy; if money is an issue (and who ISN’T it an issue for?), look for some free support groups; I think if you call one of the domestic abuse hotlines they could point you in the right direction. Living with an abuser can trigger the same feelings even years later. I send up thoughts of strength for you and your Duck.
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I can understand how people, places and etc. can trigger awful painful memories and put us right back where we were.
You’re mother-in-law’s tone is taking you back where you don’t want to go. I completely feel your pain. I wish she didn’t have to live with you. Any advice I would have would not be enough.
The only way I could ever deal with this is to have a talk with husband . You’ve suffered enough previously and he knows this. You deserve to live the rest of your life without such agony. I hate saying this: but it is he who will have to make a very tough decision. Other arrangements should have to be made for her. She will only get worse.
All the love and all the best to you ~~ Mimzy
PS You may want to have a talk with either your or her doctor. Maybe he/she can help you cope in the meantime.
Definitely talk to your husband about the difficulties you’re having and why and also, when it cannot be avoided just try to remember that she’s not saying those things to you and if she were in her right mind she’d be mortified. That guy from all those years ago said those things on purpose just to hurt you, your MIL is saying them through no fault of her own. Maybe by shifting the focus off of it making you feel bad to being understanding of her, it will hurt you less. This must be extremely difficult and I’m so sorry you have to relive those terrible memories. Don’t let it break you this time. She’s not doing it on purpose.
All you can do, all you can ever do, is breathe and remind yourself “This is now. This is not then.” It’s a mantra that’s gotten me through a few things, and it’s gotten others through more. It’s a pitiful offering for such a horrible situation, and I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. As terrible as it sounds, though, this (and her) too shall pass.
I am so very sorry. Maybe for your mental health, your MIL needs to move in with another relative or move in to a care center. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Thank you all so much. Although it won’t be fixed immediately, I know eventually it will. Eventually I will have a home where I am safe and loved again.