Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Walls Put Up When Emotional Abuse is present!

Posted by Hannah at 4:47 PM

Focus Ministries as a piece called "Walls", and it really hits home for a lot of people that are experiencing all forms of abuse including emotional abuse and verbal abuse. I found that a lot of it pertains to most circumstances, but remember all doesn't have to apply for it to have the same effect. Some people call this detaching from their spouse due to the abuse within the relationship. It speaks to how the relationship starts, and how it continues. Its very moving!

The Walls are used to protection, and they are normal response to Emotional abuse, Verbal abuse and other types. This piece speaks about how they can be removed. Its not an easy journey, and it will require both parties to participate fully!


I have built a fortress around myself . . .
to protect my emotions
to protect my self-esteem
to protect my individualism

This fortress will not allow me to share my heart with you, or express any affection toward you. It protects me from you.

Once, before I built this wall, I trusted you completely—enough to pledge my life to you and my future. When you first wounded my spirit, I believed you when you told me it was my fault. Yes, I was naive, but I trusted you. I believed the lie—if I could look different and act different, then you would be pleased with me.

For many years I continued to believe and trust you while you continued to express your disappointment in me and made me the scapegoat for all the reasons why you weren’t happy. I was so vulnerable to your opinion of me that I accepted what you said about me as true.

I tried in many ways to please you, but you were never satisfied. You pointed out numerous areas in my life where I had failed. The talents and gifts that I had to offer were either never good enough or taken for granted.

When I tried to share my deepest feelings with you, you made fun of my sensitivity by lecturing me or making me feel stupid.

You were the one who controlled what I should think, what I should say, and who I should say it to. If I made any comments of which you did not approve, you would lecture me and question my motives. If I was too quiet, you told me I was self-centered and didn’t care about other people.

You demanded all of my time and emotions for yourself, and when I didn’t meet your expectations, you broke my spirit by constant criticism. You even justified slapping me occasionally. You assured me that if I had performed to your liking you would have had no reason to hit me, so therefore it was my fault. You placed all the responsibility of your actions upon me.

Picture me as a woman who was constantly trying to please, but could never meet your demands; one who didn’t know whether to speak or keep silent; and one who withheld her emotions and deep feelings so she wouldn’t be ridiculed and embarrassed by the one who should have understood her the best.

This defeating cycle of co-dependency had such a hold on me that my worth as a person was dependent upon your value of me as a woman and a wife. It was easy for you to use me as the reason for your problems . . . because I let you and I believed you!

As I struggled with my own feelings about myself versus the incompetent, uncaring person that you described me to be, the Lord was working through many sources, and I began to find my identity in Him. I began to realize that I had allowed you to close my spirit, and I had believed your perception of me to be true. This had paralyzed my ability to function, and several years passed by without any real growth and progress.

When I finally accepted and truly believed that my self-worth is only found in the Lord, it changed my life!

My first reaction was to put the broken pieces of myself back together, and escape from the awful control and manipulation in my life. I began rejecting your perception of me, and yes, I began rejecting you! I built walls of protection from you so that your verbal vomit and cruel attitudes would not hurt me any more.

I began to live my own life, making my own plans, and daring to dream of living free and happy without your control. I built walls so high and so thick there would be nothing you could do to penetrate them.

When we began talking with a marriage counselor, you wrote a catalog of sins—my sins that you believed had caused all our problems. Where are your sins? When have you taken the time to take a really good look at who you are?

Look at the man who screams and strikes out when he’s upset, and then denies or pretends that he’s not guilty; who manipulates the facts to make his wife look like she’s either crazy or lying.

Look at the man who frowns and sneers when he talks to his wife, and then accuses her of having a bad attitude.

Look at the man who is a master of manipulation, demanding his own way, his opinion, and then accuses his wife of controlling when she is simply assuming the responsibility he has declined to take.

You are so full of rage and bitterness that you have to blame someone, and that someone has been me. It is interesting, however, that the very things you have said about me are actually reflections of you.

You tell me not to get hysterical when you’re the one screaming and out of control. You tell me to change my attitude when you have the sneering, frowning face, and have made the sarcastic remarks.

You call me the liar when you have an ingrained habit of constantly manipulating and exaggerating the truth to meet your needs.

You call me compulsive when you are the one who rearranges the refrigerator and pantry shelves after I’ve put the groceries away.

Because you are always on the edge, I walk on eggshells around you, never knowing when something I say or do is going to set you off and cause an explosion. It’s almost like being in a war and never knowing when I’m going to step on a land mine and get blown up.

Now look at the way it could have been—my talents and abilities complementing yours, and instead of rejecting, criticizing, and destroying me because I am not like you, we could have established a wonderful friendship and partnership with each other, with each of us compensating for the lack of the other.

When you begin to care about me instead of verbally attacking and blaming me, then maybe some of the walls I have built up will come down. We can both learn how to honor and serve each other, with one of us carrying the entire load at times (giving 100%) when the other needs help, without complaining about it later or keeping a scorecard to see who is giving the most.

This is not about who cleans the house and who takes out the garbage. It is about accepting, forgiving, caring, tolerating, and loving—without deliberately hurting, controlling, and keeping score.

Let’s give up the war and begin reconciliation. The next step is up to you . . .

Focus Ministries has released a book, and I wanted to endorse it at this time!

Does any of the article hit home for you? It speaks of how emotional abuse within marriage can effect everyone! We look forward to hearing from you!

Additional Poems:
You can't
What It Means To Be A Victim
A Chosen Vessel
Will You Love me To Death
Shattered Pieces
Recycled Rose
Saturday Night Special

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Anonymous said...

Wow - I don't know what to say. That describes my situation completely. Explains and goes through some of my exact feelings about my own relationship. Very thought proking and makes me feel like I am not alone and that it is not normal.

Anonymous said...

I agree. It put into words what I have been too confused to say. I ordered the book and it helped so much. I was able to identify abusive behaviors that I just thought were wrong. I thought that staying was the best thing for the children but it helped me see that it wasn't! If this article speaks to you then get the book. I got one for our pastor because I've been going to the church off and on for 8 years and they just don't know what to do.

Anonymous said...

Wow these words really hit the nail on the head for me . For so long I knew how I felt but could never really explain it , but this really helped

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