The minutes tick by one at a time, knowing that I do not have the energy for a today or a tomorrow- If I am laying in bed, staring at the ceiling unsure of the next action to take. But in my haze, atleast, I can remember that one thing: the people that are most abusive are often the most silent, the most unobservant of thier behavior, the most focused on ‘self-improvement’ that appear to be often moving from one group, clique, fad, or even religion to the next like water.
Men suffer too, and yet rarely feel it’s ok to speak up- they are the best at hiding it, and often the last to say their truth.
This is something I’ve been sad about lately- I really hate that feeling that any man I care about even as a friend- is being manipulated or abused at all. But every once in a great often, I hear these syllables seem to repeat themselves.
‘I feel that some of her choices in parenting are somewhat abusive.’
This is a scary thought, in general to hear from a friend of 20+ years- reaching out, hoping to find some hope mutually- but it’s happened over and over again in my life.
If a female is abusive- a man’s feeling of manilness is already challenged. A man’s confidence in doing his job, and fulfilling his role already feels unworthy. Before he’s even, left for his morning- it’s already started. And is it loving?
Is it kind?
And does he know that it’s not healthy?
Yes. of course he does. He’s just not prepared to make the final move. She’s spent all this time programming him to believe that he is never going to find anybody that truly loves him. She’s invested years of suffocating attachment into his daily life, making sure that he comes home to her- even if she herself has cheated. In her mind, she’s simply securing her marraige, and preparing for an aging partnership. In her mind, these things she does are her ‘job’ and she must fulfill them as wife- the only possible way to keep a man is to manipuate him.
For a man, he’s repeatedly told that this is normal behavior it’s a female being a female. But he hears it so many times that he believes that is all that it is. He goes to everyone in his life, they are already convinced she’s perfect- she’s just in a bad mood that day. every month, or every 7 days, maybe, until the behaviors start to add up.
Then one day- eventually, she looses control of herself- and actually really hurts someone. Her children, her spouse, her aging parents- there are a lot of potential targets after 15 years. Nobody suspects a thing, until it becomes clear, obvious, and undoubtedly HER.
It seems odd to say but it’s just not fair that abuse goes both directions, becomes sometimes simply mutually abusive, and eventually becomes psychologically draining.
An abusive person really does try just about everything in the book- to get to thier object of desire. Then having achieved it? They get bored, and tend to forget you exist kind of like a portable computerized pet they have to feed periodically.
But many of us? Actually stayed in relationships like this- for a long time before it became apparent, Most of us, actually fought for relationships like that because then they didnt’ have to. A lot of people stay in relationships like this, and simply chalk it all up to ‘it’s just our history’.
The sad thing that bothers me though, is that if it’s a female experiencing it, it’s often quiet but obvious. If it’s a male experiencing it, it may go completely unnoticed.
But most of the time if it finally does end? The response seems to be unanimous, that there is simply a ‘disagreement’ and the 2 parties have chosen to ‘agree to disagree’. The disagreement is really that one feels that the other should STOP being abusive, and the other does not feel that they are.
And no abuser usually feels that they are truly abusive, it often takes months of counseling for this to be directly identified, discussed and diagnosed.
But flying monkeys are flying monkeys, there is no up, there is no left to right in an abusive relationship, everything in a giant spiraling out of processing emotional ick.
Filtering out toxicity like your life depends on it.
Living day to like like you may not have a next day.
But mostly, preparing for the day that you leave, and learning to hide it like you are a troll.
Do men ever escape this? Someday I hope I find out.