How can you be so stupid?
Why don’t you think before you speak?
Don’t be so dramatic.
Why don’t you ever let me be?
Get off my back.
You aren’t good enough to find someone else.
I have chosen to speak out against Bullying as a part of The 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion Campaign. This month #1000Speak brought to the table a very pertinent topic.
‘Building against Bullying’
As I started brainstorming, I found myself hard pressed to keep my post positive. As a victim of bullying, I know the pain that resonates deep inside, the anger you have towards your aggressor. I kept staring at a blank screen hoping for some good to come out. Nothing, so I did what any writer does when experiencing writer’s block; I procrastinated.
Deciding to go through my blog comments I came across a post that I had written a week or so earlier about violence against women. As I started reading, I saw it, the word bully. How could I have not thought of this before?
I reached out, asking women to contact me about bullying in their marriage. The responses were unbelievable, most leaving me in tears. One young lady stood out from the rest. Her email was so honest and direct, I knew I had to speak with her.
We decided to collaborate to help write her story of abuse and bullying in her marriage. She and I talked on the phone for hours, telling me many tales of bullying in her marriage. I too had been in a similar situation and until I heard her speak had never thought of it as bullying.
Giving me full artistic freedom to write her story we decided on one incident that she as comfortable having people read.
The truth is many women do not know they are being bullied. As women, we are taught to be polite, not raise our voice or make waves; it isn’t ladylike. Unfortunately, these ideals have caused many women to be pushed around, in their jobs, peer groups and marriages.
Bullying can happen anywhere, it can happen in the comfort of your home, here is her a story of bullying in her marriage and how she moved on.
A Night of Darkness
I stretched my arm out, reaching to feel my husband’s warm body in our bed, I felt cold empty sheets. Wiping the sleep from eyes, I sat up to check the time. 5am, my heart sank. Not again, my heart can’t take it anymore. I pushed all the anguish deep down inside, swallowed the pain and tried to fall back to sleep.
Sadly I had become accustom to this; it wasn’t the first time we had an argument, and he didn’t come home. He was punishing me. The problem was I didn’t know for what anymore. The punishments had become such a common occurrence that I started to believe everything he said. He had the right to stay out all night, and I was just dramatic, when I worried or got upset.
After I had laid awake for half an hour, I stifled my tears, picked up my phone and called him. Maybe this time, he was hurt, or worse. I couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t make sure.
I anticipated the conversation, knowing somehow he would turn this on me, that I would be the nag or bitch, for not trusting him. He would use his power to make feel stupid for calling, or somehow turn it around on me. I could feel my stomach turn, as I waited for him to pick up.
His first words injure, instantly making me feel ridiculous for making the call.
“What?”, he asks as if I am crazy to be calling. “Where are you?” I ask, my tone bitter and scathing, quickly making me feel deficient. He will likely use this against me.
“I told you I was going out with the guys! I will be home when I can. I couldn’t get a ride.” When I start to talk, he quickly interrupts “Don’t you trust me, I don’t think you need to bitch at me, I just needed a release.” I want to fight back, but I know all too well how this goes. Instead, I hang up the phone feeling guilty for calling in the first place.
Broken, and sad I just want him to love me, as much as I love him. I want to be treated like a human being like I am worth more than the venomous words he spews at me. Numbness overcomes me, I feel worthless, constantly biding for his attention. Fearing his outbursts, his bullying, and abuse, yet seemingly craving his acceptance of me.
He will come home in an hour and sleep all day, I will be angry, but fear saying so as to not hear his contemptuous words. I will wonder why I am here but will not leave. I will wonder why I don’t tell anyone how he treats me, but know it is because I am embarrassed by looking weak. What I will do, is lay here looking up at my ceiling into a night of darkness.
That was the last evening; I spent alone. I had spent so many years wasting away feeling lost and worthless.It started to affect my children; I could see the reflection of my pain in their eyes. I couldn’t ever let them believe his actions were ok, I would never let anyone treat them this way, why was it ok for me.
There is a sort of soul crushing pain that occurs each time someone tells you; you aren’t good enough. The art of rebuilding yourself can be a lengthy journey, but it is worth ever step. Not only for yourself but all of the people who were there when you were wasting away into the darkness.
I found a way to see past the lies that a bully can make you believe of yourself and found solace in my children. I could either stay and have my daughters think a man should treat them this way or leave. Proving to them that we can be strong enough to take steps out of the darkness and save ourselves from the hate we had once started to believe.
If you feel intimidated by your partner, you are being bullied.
Being ridiculed in front of family or friends, is bullying.
If you are not allowed to speak your opinion, you are being bullied
Being treated unfairly and told that you deserve it, is bullying.
The Bullied Housewife