Monday, March 19, 2007

You Are Better Than That Part 1

The first time he insults you, you won't believe he actually said that, or meant it. You might laugh it off.

After a while, you won't be able to. Like every other stupid thing your narcissistic man does, the name-calling will escalate. What starts as a half-joking comment on your driving, cooking or other skills will become a full-scale barrage against everything that is you or yours. There is no winning with this man. If you scrupulously do everything right, he will insult you for that.

He is trying to break you down. That's how he feels big, you see. Like other bullies, he gains satisfaction every time he hurts you.

Some of them can be very subtle. You may not even realize the damage that has been done until something happens that makes it obvious. I had been married to SSS for about five years when we took a trip to the coast. While we were there, we met some women who were travelling around the country, camping. They had their own little campers, and their dogs, and no fear. It hit me like a ton of bricks--I had been like them when SSS and I had first met. So how had I come to this place where I spent all my time trying to please this man?

I couldn't do anything right. My cooking was bad, my cleaning was worse, I couldn't even drive a grocery cart, much less a car. I was told that, if our children grew up with problems, it would be my fault. I was told that my talents were childish and useless, and that my friends were using me. He convinced me that I was a pathetic crybaby, barely worthy of food. He told me that I was lucky to have him; that nobody else would want me.

Sometimes, he didn't need to say anything--a sneer would be enough to make me cringe.

He sneered a lot.

I didn't know it was abuse.

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