Survivor Story: Her Abuser Made Her Feel Unvalued and Unloved
Submitted by: Anna, Survivor
Forgiveness is a personal choice that survivors of domestic violence make based on their circumstances. Some may feel that it is an integral part of their healing process, while others believe that it is unnecessary. Survivor Anna shares with us her story of abuse and the difficult process of forgiveness, not just concerning her abuser, but herself.
Anna’s abuser came into her life cleverly disguised as a man who promised to make her dreams come true. The truth of who he was would soon come out. He eventually sought out opportunities to deliberately inflict harm on her. His public mask covered up calculating eyes and a chilling smirk that revealed who he really was.
He knew how to cut Anna down with well-chosen, cruel words in a matter of seconds. Instead of providing security, he made her feel lonely when he held her in his arms, leaving her craving genuine affection. He denied Anna’s sincere feelings and numbed her heart by subtly belittling and disrespecting her. The only time he showed himself to be protective was when it suited his needs and desires; otherwise he projected his insecurities onto her.
The emotional abuse that Anna was subjected to made her feel unworthy and unloved.
Without Anna’s knowledge, he had been talking to women online and silently battled a pornography addiction. Her confidence was diminished because she felt that she had no chance of ever measuring up to them. She was automatically reduced to a label of an ‘unofficial girlfriend.’
He deliberately isolated her from her family and friends without any explanation and made her feel guilty anytime Anna would choose to spend time with them over him. She was force-fed sugar-coated lies and flattery, but, in reality, those empty promises kept her on her toes. He even gave Anna cheap gifts in place of the sincere respect and love she deserved and should have received as his partner.
Anna recalls that forgiving him was a process that was much harder than she would have expected. She said that she would have rather hidden away rather than face him again, look him in the eye, or be forced to endure the familiar insults that always made her feel worthless. After everything, she now knows that he will never see how his cruelty and physical aggression have left lasting, invisible scars on her heart and mind.
“I am the one who knows the truth behind the mask he boldly wears while he’s out in the world, and how others wait for any attention he may give them. I was faced with the difficult decision to forgive him for all the cruelties he forced me to endure at his hand two years ago. I also felt I had to forgive myself for what had happened to me. All those cruelties he deliberately inflicted upon me revealed more about his nature than it did about my beautiful heart.
“I eventually took the time to heal by blocking his social media accounts, phone number, email address, and everything else in between. Also, I deleted his number and ripped up and burned all the letters he sent me. I finally escaped him five years ago and never looked back. His voice no longer haunts me. He is no longer my monster.”
**If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org, chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777, or send a private message through our Facebook page.
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