It’s day 12 of Domestic Violence Awareness Month for Men and Boys. Today’s In His Own Words is a real time cry for help.
“Miguel” has been involved with an abusive borderline personality disordered woman on and off for 15 years. He is depressed and has thoughts of suicide. Miguel, she is NOT worth it. Get out and get help. (*Please note: English is not Miguel’s first language.)
A Real Time Cry for Help
It was 1998. My mother began minding a cousin’s baby while she was at work. She was in the process of being divorced. We knew each other when we were little children, and she returned to my life as a beautiful woman. She used to spend her days off with my family, because we lived very close to each other at the time.
It began two years later. One day, I returned home after work and she soon arrived with her three-year old kid. I greeted her with a hug and asked, “How are you?” She replied, “A little sad.”
That hug triggered it all. We began dating. It was the most romantic time of my life. I used to call her “My Heaven.”
Like many of the men who have shared their abuse stories, I ignored some really big red flags. For example, one day she’d tell me, “I love you so much.” The next day it would be, “We have to split up, this is no good.” And the next day it was, “I’m so in love with you.” It was really confusing.
Before we made our relationship “official,” we had lots of kissing, hugs and sexual foreplay. It lasted for about five months. We were so in love.
We started a secret relationship. It was a beautiful time in my life with lots of love, mutual support, great sex life, and the adrenaline of this forbidden relationship (we are first cousins). It was like that for two years. I also took care of her little boy. I love him like a child of my own, and we would spend time together every afternoon.
Our families disapproved of our relationship. My mother staged some big dramas because we decided to live together. We were stressed because of the family issues. I told my mom, “Please stop creating drama. She deserves respect. If you want to say something about this, talk with me. Leave her alone.”
Sometime later, things began to change for the worse. Her borderline personality disordered behaviors slowly began to emerge once we began living together.
She became violent for whatever reason. I gave her money every week. It was supposed to be used for buying some food. But at the end, there was nothing in the refrigerator and she became mad when I told her about it. It triggered a rage episode from her. I couldn’t believe that such a beautiful soul was transformed into a violent woman.
One day, I felt very tired. I turned on the radio and laid down to rest after helping her son with his homework, like always. She returned from work, opened the door and became really angry. I said, “Calm down.”
She took some scissors and threw them at my face. I was barely able to avoid the hit. She cried and begged me not to leave. She became terribly sad and I stayed with her.
In the next stage, she was blaming me for everything and began to bully me. I was dirty. I wasn’t good enough. I was mean. I was a momma’s boy, etc.
On Christmas Eve 2001, she decided to spend the night with a couple who were long-time friends of hers. I decided to visit my family to ease things between us, and stop the hate towards her.
She was very angry at my decision and refused to listen to my reasons. She told me, “Get out of my house!” She punished me and made me feel incredibly guilty.
It was a really painful experience. I was desolated. Some months later, I began psychiatric treatment and discovered some of her secrets. Her father used to beat her mother until she was unconscious and bleeding. My ex had made suicidal gestures while she was married and was seduced by an uncle when she was 15-years old.
I thought, “That’s why she became like this! It’s not her fault!” I was so addicted to her (and had some death wish at the time because of my feelings of guilt). I was on a mission to save her and our relationship.
She was in therapy and all of her demons from the past emerged. She went from victim to aggressor. I resisted her borderline episodes. I found a better job and proved that my intentions towards her were serious. We were together again and my stability made our lives easy for some time.
We had broke up and reunited on a regular basis. I used to forgive and forget all the time. I never felt she was stable enough to live together again though. When she kicked me out of her home it was traumatic. I told her and myself that I would move back in only if she was totally recovered.
We went on this way for more than ten years. In 2008, I had to move to another city (1 and a half hours from her). I did my best to spend more time with her. She hit me in the face. By 2011, things began to get even worse. Sometimes she looked at me with real hate and her violence escalated.
There were insults, humiliations and unpleasant sexual intercourse. Sex was more like a hate thing with rude language from her. At first it was exciting. Later it became ruder with even more insults and nastiness. She encouraged me to insult her while having sex, which made me feel very uncomfortable.
In October 2011, she called me and said, “I miss you so much.” I drove 1 and a half hours to see her that night. We hung out and then returned to her apartment to have sex. Afterwards she told me, “I have other options. Don’t think you are everything in the world.”
How could she be this cruel?! The next day I felt sad. She went to work and we had sex and slept together again that night. In the morning, she told me, “I don’t want anything to do with you anymore. It is over. Get out and take this like a man.”
I began to cry and begged for mercy. She was so insensitive and cruel. I left her home in immense pain. She called me and contacted me in the following months, but I refused to return to her.
She called again in March 2012. She said she was devastated by guilt and sadness, and I forgave her. 2012 was kind of stable, but things soon began to deteriorate at high speed at the beginning of 2013.
The violent episodes returned. I began to lose interest in seeing her because I knew it would likely be a bad time. She complained about my lack of interest, but I was exhausted because the violence had returned to our bedroom.
One night she told me if I didn’t spend more time with her, she would find someone else to “fuck” her. She asked, “Is that what you want?”
She did this only once. I stopped our foreplay, shocked and sad. She asked, “What happened?” I explained how terrible I felt because of her words. She apologized and it never happened again. But the damage was done. It was devastating!
The next time we had sex, she was in ecstasy telling me that she was mine and only mine. “I don’t want to make love with anyone else, only with you! I love you so much!”
She would minimize the most aggressive things she did, claiming her behaviors “were not that serious;” while my mistakes were terrible sins. She also justified her abuse of me. According to her, I deserved her aggressions and insults. She told me that I was only good for sex. She became verbally abusive, and it hurt so much.
The physical violence also returned. She threw some punches at me. I took her arms and said, “Calm down.” I didn’t feel secure while sleeping next to her. I didn’t know what to expect with each visit.
I don’t know if her therapy helped her. Things seemed to get worse despite her therapy group. Honestly, she seemed better before the therapy. Sometimes when she returned from a session, she was terribly depressed or really angry.
She found also new excuses for her abusive behavior thanks to therapy. She said her therapist told her I’m a passive-aggressive individual. And my loving, supportive, and caring actions were controlling and violent? They were empty excuses to justify her aggression. Her main complaint was my lack of commitment, but how could I possibly be expected to commit and legally bind myself to her with that kind of behavior?
In April 2013, I had a depressive episode and we split up again. Some time later, she called and told me that she was at the bus station. She came to my city because she wanted to be with me. I welcomed her and we had a romantic afternoon like the old times!
I returned with her back to her city and spent a few days with her. I didn’t want to leave, but had to return for work. I agreed to visit the next weekend, but I was unable because I was unwell.
On Monday, she called and was really angry and insulting. She wouldn’t listen. On Friday, I travelled to her city and arrived at 10:30 PM without calling her prior to my departure. It was like an emergency to me. I called her several times and had no answer. Her family lives in another province and I thought that she might be with them.
I made more phone calls and sent messages with no response. This was another kind of violence. She was ignoring me. This triggered a terrible depression episode instantly for me. The consequence was a huge gastritis. My stomach swelled and oppressed my lungs. I was monitored for a possible heart attack because my chest was killing me. The depression was overwhelming. I told myself no more of this hell.
Since my 20s, I have experienced depressive episodes. Some of them have come with no reason. Suddenly the depression appears, I am stunned and it’s really hard to cope with everyday life.
A month and a half later, she called to my home just like if nothing had happened! She tried to fool me by saying that her cellphone didn’t register my calls and messages. BIG LIE!
She admitted that she was ignoring me in the calls that followed and blamed me for everything. We talked twice and I told her it was over. I was really pissed off and ignored two of her calls. I was sad and angry.
One month later, my depression was really bad and I called her. She ignored me again. I felt horribly guilty because I had ignored her last calls. She answered and told me there was nothing to talk about anymore. I called her at work. I was broken and crying and begging for help. She was merciless.
I never treated her that way when she was that bad. Depression is terrible. I feel really weak. I’m shaking and feel sick, too. I have a terrible void and feel that it’s over. I have self-destructive thoughts.
Her ex-husband has been hospitalized several times. Perhaps not so surprisingly, he’s a depressed person as well. Their son has told me his father hasn’t had a girlfriend or another woman in his life since the divorce. This scares me. I don’t want to end up that way. Some of our friends and family told me she treated him really bad while they were married.
She went from aggression to real hate against me in the last year. And now I feel guilty. I wonder, what if I stayed with her? What if I answered her phone calls? What if I had taken better care of my depression and not bothered her with it?
I feel like I was never was good enough for her. Guilt and sadness are annihilating me.
Miguel, if you are reading this, you need to stop. Stop right now and get help for yourself and fuck Chica Loca and her issues. If you were sitting across from me right now, I would have to resist the urge to give you a good shake and tell you to snap out of it. This woman is poison. Continuing any kind of relationship with her is equivalent to feeding yourself great big spoonfuls of arsenic.
I strongly encourage you to:
1. Get some psychiatric help. You need to treat your depression and codependency issues. If you are seriously considering suicide, go to a hospital. Don’t end your life over some selfish, fucked up woman.
2. Stop communicating with this woman. Period. No contact, no contact, no contact, no contact, no freaking contact! Think of Chica Loca as if she is an addiction. She is an addiction. You know she is dangerous and harmful to your health, yet you still crave her.
I don’t know if your country has Codependents Anonymous meetings. If there are CODA groups, you may want to consider attending. The sooner you go “cold turkey” (i.e., no contact), the sooner you will begin to heal. Continuing to engage with this woman will only delay your recovery and bring you more pain.
3. Quit romanticizing this woman and your life with her — even the good times. Abusive borderline women are not special snowflakes. They are a dime a dozen. She is not the love of your life. With any luck, she can become one of the great lessons of your life.
If a relationship with a borderline serves any positive purpose, it is to wake you up and help you recognize what is broken and needs healing within yourself. Quit worrying about her and start taking care of you.
4. Connect the dots. Figure out what attracted you to this woman. Are there similarities between Chica Loca and your mother, your father or some other important childhood figure? Are you pissed at your mother and/or family because they were abusive to you when you were a child? Was having a romance with your cousin a way to get back at your parents? Do you believe you cannot be happy unless you are making someone else happy?
Try to figure out why you tolerated Chica Loca’s crazy nonsense and why you yearned for her even when she was shitting all over you. Individuals with a healthy sense of self-respect and self-esteem don’t put up with that kind of behavior for long, if at all. You need to love yourself enough and respect yourself enough to show the Chicas Locas of this world the door as soon as they pull any crap. Do not tolerate anyone in your life who does not treat you with the same kindness and respect that you afford them.
In His Own Words is an effort to help raise awareness about the invisible victims of domestic violence, men. If you would like to submit your story, please follow the guidelines at the end of this article.
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
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