Posted by: Marie | June 8, 2014

(937) The quiet side of abuse

Post #937
[Private journal entry written on Saturday, August 25, 2012 – 4:00pm]

I noticed that someone in the United States was reading my blog today. Whomever it was picked up about 40 posts beyond where George left off reading a few weeks ago. That left me wondering if it was George . . . maybe he forgot where he had left off and just took a stab at where he was . . . ?? I don’t know . . .

Whomever it was read all the way to the last post today. If it is George and if he is inclined to reach out to me now that he has finished reading my blog, I guess I will be hearing from him within the next few days . . . maybe.

I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think I’m still pretty much over it. I’m no longer very excited about the possibility . . . probably because I believe it won’t happen. I’m just over it.

Anyway, I’ve been processing everything we talked about in therapy yesterday. Most of the processing I’m doing is around the idea of relationships unfolding organically. In our session yesterday, Edward described what the relationship between my dad and me might have looked like if it was one where organic unfolding was allowed and encouraged. His description is allowing me to finally understand how far off-track the relationship actually was – how unhealthily my dad treated us kids.

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Photo by Martin Chen

That mistreatment was the quiet side of the abuse. I have always been so focused on the outrageous part of the abuse because I thought it was the part that did the most damage. And, I could never understand why the damage I acquired was so significant given the fact that the outrageous abuse was relatively infrequent – I mean, I didn’t get beat everyday and I didn’t end up the hospital ever . . . he never raped me or molested me . . . I always had sufficient food and clothing and housing . . .

It has always seemed to that the relatively insignificant level of abuse I suffered should not have caused the level of damage I sustained. I know the sexual abuse by Jerry added to it, but still . . .

Now, with this new insight that Edward has given me, I have a better sense of what my dad did on a daily basis that caused the damage to be as great as it is . . . I can see how there was pervasive emotional neglect.

Because he didn’t take the time to get to know me and to check in with me and learn about me, I came to believe my existence was about what I could do to help meet his needs and his agenda. I believed he would have preferred I not be in his life . . . because I just caused more work for him . . . I was a pain in the butt . . . so of course it felt to me that our relationship was mainly about him trying to recoup some benefit from the cost of having to feed me and take care of me . . .

So, this was the quieter side of the abuse I’ve never really understood . . . and I can see how it could do a lot of damage . . . how it did do a lot of damage.

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Responses

  1. I think you’re right. Neglect can be more damaging. I would like to see this dealt with more often. Thanks for raising it.

    • You’re very welcome, Evan!


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