When He Makes You Feel Like It’s All Your Fault (Even Though You Know Better)

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Maaike Nienhuis / Unsplash

Emotional abuse, it’s harder to see than the physical abuse. Black eyes aren’t always easily covered with a matte concealer. Truth be told, I think it would be easier to take a fist to my jaw instead of these constant verbal jabs to my heart.

There’s no point in trying to explain anymore. Instead, I hang my head down, looking only at the floor, and tell him what he wants to hear, “It’s all my fault. I’m sorry. I’ll try and do better.”

“Be better.”

What is better? Every reincarnation I’ve adapted in almost twenty years of our relationship, he ALWAYS found fault with the better version. I’m never going to be good enough. He keeps covering me with the overall generalization that I just need to be nicer to him. It’s all my fault.

The only voice I have is on this screen.

He says our relationship will be better when I stop writing. I need to choose: writing or him. Choices have been made. As you can read, I can’t stop writing. I tell him he might as well cut off my hands. Writing is part of my biological make-up. You can’t make it go away.

He’s already cut off the love, the sex, and the affection. I’m already alone with my baby. My son hears me humming as he watches with curiosity at the veracity my fingers are capable of typing.

This is my truth. This is our truth, son.

One day, I hope you and I have an understanding. It’s not that I didn’t love your daddy. It’s that no matter who I tried to be, your daddy never loved me. 

I want to run. I want to divorce him. Abuse stretches far beyond the fact I’m not good enough, and it’s all my fault. It stretches into bank accounts. It stretches into the fact he won’t and never has considered combining our finances.

Putting us on equal footing as man and wife, as a family. Instead, bills are divided into ‘yours’ and ‘mine’. And yes, mine mostly includes everything our child needs. We do split childcare services. Straight down the middle, perfectly halved into unequal portions if you count the percentage spent out compared to amount of the checks being brought in and deposited.

I’ve furnished a house. I’ve kept shoes and clothes on a constantly growing boy and on myself, I’ve bought and paid for cars, and up until last year I maintained all the utilities. I’ve done all this on less than $20,000 a year. If I need money, I am forced to either make it on my own or ask.

When I hustle, when I pick up side jobs, I’m told how those jobs take away from our family time. I’m told I’m a bad mother. I face constant degradation, and it’s all my fault.

Because I’m crazy. I come from a white trash family. This is what he tells me, and it’s my fault I came from THAT kind of family. His exes were crazy liars too. Yet, the one common denominator seems to always route back to the fact we’ve all dated the same man, him.

It’s not my fault.

I don’t choose to take responsibility for his lies.

I am not responsible for his affairs.

I grew up in an abusive home.

If I hadn’t, maybe I would’ve spotted his abusive emotional and psychological tactics sooner. I wouldn’t have married him.

You are not crazy. All those girls he dated in the past, they weren’t psychos either. It’s not your fault he doesn’t know how to budget and he overspends on himself. It’s not your fault you didn’t see the warning signs and you feel suffocated in loneliness talking to a computer screen with your hands.

Don’t give up.

He’s going to blanket you with his blame. Eventually, the blanket will wear thin and a time will come where you will leave. And you pray your children understand:

WE DESERVED BETTER.

All those years, they were his fault. TC mark

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