The Invisible Abuser
MS is a straight up abuser of the worst kind. An abuser you never even dated. Just showed up, knocked at the door, brought in tons of shit to your house and said “I will live with you every day for the rest of your life.”
Using fear to control
This abuser uses emotional, financial and physical means of control. The abuser uses intimidation, humiliation and isolation as weapons. This abuser goes in your bank account, sex life, work life, recreation life. It goes to the bathroom with you. It sleeps with you and shows up in your nightmares. It is the first thing you think about upon waking. It uses fear to control your future. It uses torture to remind you of your past.
Takes what it wants from you
The abuser will decide monthly, sometimes daily, what it wants to take from you. Walking? Showers? Wiping your own butt? How you want to present yourself in public? What parties and social events you attend? How you spend holidays? You will watch others sip wine, but you can’t have it. It will make the abuse worse so don’t even try.
It scares everyone
The abuser will terrify your friends, family and influence everything including, food, recreation, vacations, fashion, home choices, bed choices, shoe choices, hot tubs, bikes, glass or plastic, errands, underwear choices and of course, parenting, dating and marriages…on and on.
Making sickness worse
If you get sick with a cold, the flu, a UTI or stress the abuse will increase. You will need to ask for help often because the abuse will render you unable to take care of yourself. Cooking is out. You probably won’t be able to be alone or with a baby or grandchild. You cannot assure your safety or theirs.
Dictate your financial future
You will, at least at some point, probably lose your employment. You will wonder if you are going to wake up blind or paralyzed. You will spend thousands of dollars fighting the abuse. You will watch television commercials and wish you only had a need for one of the medications advertised. You will envy people who walk and run and hike and have the great fortune of only complaining about wrinkles.
And then the abuser stands close and whispers, “I am never going to leave and the abuse will just get worse.
Keep it to yourself
Act happy. Stay positive. Keep trying to “fight” me. Your friends will encourage these things. They mean well — so remember that. Be grateful. Stay strong. Tell people you are fine after a beating. They will believe you because you will look fine. People will ask how you are. You will wonder just how much to tell them. They might not be able to handle that I made you poop your pants in the grocery store. I want you to keep that to yourself. Remember, your suffering is not pretty and makes others uncomfortable.
Witnesses to the abuse
Your loved ones will want to rescue you but they can’t. They have to stand by and witness the abuse. Or some people will say, “It can’t be that bad, you look good.” They will say, “I know, I had a partner who called me a bitch once too.” You will know they don’t know. You will pray they never know the extent of the daily abuse. You will wonder how you keep living and why you haven’t ended the torture for yourself and the ones who love you. You will decide to carry on.
I know. I have worked with Domestic Violence victims for over 10 years and also some perpetrators …and I have lived with this abuser for close to 24 years. MS is evil.
The holiday season is among us and can be so stressful! Do you experience more flares during this season?