Thursday, February 17, 2011

Trish's Story: Verbal Abuse

Editor's Note: Hey ladies! Last week I threw out a request for women who had been through verbally abusive relationships and made their way out to find better men and better lives. Several women contacted me, eager to tell their story, and Trish is going to be the first. As a dear friend of mine, she broke my heart telling this story - and I can be the first to tell you how much she loves and raves about her now-husband. But, as we know, it takes letting go of the wrong one to find the right one, and usually there is a lot of pain along the way. I asked Trish to be as honest as she could with what kinds of things were said to her in this abusive relationship, in hopes that you, the reader, would know there are other women out there experiencing exactly what you are. And that you can always, always fight for better. - Lauren

Fresh from a serious relationship, meeting a cute guy my first year of college was thrilling. He was tall, handsome and interested. And I was done for. After a few short months the relationship turned bad, fast. The cards were stacked against me and the game was fixed. I had lost before I knew I was even playing.

What began as a playful, "Pretty girls like you can't seriously get away with eating things like brownies!" became a belittling "Are you seriously passing up salad for pizza? You know you're going to gain the freshman 15, if not 50, if you keep that up."

And that escalated to a hostile "Trish, you're getting fat and I seriously won't be attracted to a fat girl."

The harassment started with what seemed like loving encouragement. Only after the fact did I realize that all the things said to me deflated my spirit and crushed my self esteem.

"When I graduate and make good money - I'll pay to get your teeth fixed. If you're going to be a nurse you need to be appealing to the public and your teeth are distracting."

"Why in the world would you pursue writing? Even on the side. You'll never make money off of it and I really don't think you have the talent to compete."

"I'm not being possessive, but your friends are bad influences on you. Us being together is more important."

"Yeah, I'd rather spend the weekend at my parents - I just don't get along with your family."

"You could have done so much better - why does everything you do have to be half-assed?"

"Why can't you dress like her? You would be so much hotter."

"Do you really think you're anything without me? I could find someone better than you in a heartbeat!"

"If you actually cared about me, you would want to have sex with me as your first. Doesn't our relationship mean anything to you?"

At one point, to get back at me for attempting to discuss us breaking up, he talked to my church youth leader back home about some very personal issues I was dealing with that I didn't want anyone to know about. I struggled with cutting for a few years and it got worse as our relationship got worse. He began the argument with assuring me that he did it to help me and by the end of the blow out he said I was a messed up freak who deserved to have those issues spread around my church. Then they would see who I really was.

I finally gathered all the courage and motivation I could and with the help and support of my friends and family, broke up with him for good on the second try. I thought things would get better and I was sorely mistaken. He used every trick in the book to get me to change my mind. He went as far as to threaten to kill himself if I didn't take him back. The college we were attending eventually got involved and had him sign paperwork promising not to contact me. He persisted and eventually was dismissed from the school. Even after that, it took more than a year for threatening calls and texts to stop.

It was only from that experience that I can look back now and see that I was worth so much more than that. My husband is the most kind, supportive, and wonderful man I could ask for. Knowing how bad I had it makes me love my husband and appreciate a real man more than I ever would have.


Matt Herman said...


Thank you for sharing your story. I know it takes a lot of courage to share after going through something so awful.

Anonymous said...

What breaks my heart is that I've heard some of those exact same statements, almost word for word at times, and didn't even think it was verbal abuse. Thank you for opening my eyes and setting the record straight.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you that you made it out. Some women never build up the strength to get out of there! I've been through a similar situation, but unfortunately it was with my dad so there really was no escaping until I was old enough to do it. His tactics were brutal, but I always wanted to impress him by becoming better. Little did I know, there was no real "better" because no matter how good I did, it was never enough.

Kudos to you girl! You are truly an example!

By Word of Mouth Musings said...

Thank you for sharing this part of your life, so many young women go thro times like these and don't realise that its abuse ... they feel to blame and take it all on their shoulders.
Thank you for giving it a voice, and for being brave.

Jenna said...

i can totally relate. Im glad you shined a light not only on this part of your story, but on what constitutes verbal abuse. Awareness and advocacy take a lot of forms, and telling your story is part of that. Thank you for your courage, and like others, so glad you are not there anymore.

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