I'm Feeling Lost And Alone
I am in a relationship. I remember when it started, he said he wanted to know everything about me. I am almost 40. As you can imagine, that is a lot of ground to cover. We have been together for a year.
I have told him about past relationships. He says nothing remarkable about them, and this scares me. I know that at some point, when he is angry with me, he calls me a whore, because he is not the first man that I have dated. I told him that he needs to understand that, although I wish he were my first, that he isn't.
Everything I have told him in confidence, and in an effort to get "closer" as he calls it, results in me being called names. He uses the information that I have given him, as ammunition for the future. He buys me exorbitant gifts. I used to be excited, but soon realized that those too, would be thrown in my face. I would tell him he is mean, and hurtful and cruel during a session of outrage. He points out jewelry, clothes, shoes...and reminds me that I am ungrateful and should treat him better. I want to trust him all the way. I have divulged nearly everything until recently.
We were having a "good" night. I felt close to him and we started talking. He asked me if there were any other secrets about me that he should know. I fessed up but first asked that he didn't judge me or throw it in my face. 2 things. Only 2 things I had been keeping from him. I have carried these burdens of shame for 2 decades. Humiliated and hurt if they ever surfaced. I shared this with him.
I found out I was pregnant by my high school sweetheart, and had a "procedure" done, just 8 days before I went in to the military. (20 years ago) This was an awful point in my life. This single thing, led to self loathing, and resentment. Which led to me and my high school sweetheart breaking up after boot camp.
Then, at my first duty station, with our paltry stipend, and credit card bills up to my nose, for 2 months (16 days of my life) I worked at an obscure topless club. I figured, I already hated myself, so I wanted to really feel the self-loathing. I have never told anyone about that...until the other night.
I told him the last 2 secrets I held. He didn't say much. Last night, He called me a filthy whore, and a myriad of other ugly names. Today...I feel ugly, worthless, dirty and that he should not look upon me. I told him that the way he feels says everything about him, and nothing about me. I was honest. It just took me some time.
My question is: In your opinion, is he trying to get information to use against me and keep me emotionally crippled? He says he needs a strong woman. That he is not insecure or controlling. His behavior says the opposite. I'm lost.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. In spite of what you've been through, and the shame you have felt, you seem to indeed be seeing clearly and perceiving your partner clearly.
You asked: "is he trying to get information to use against me and keep me emotionally crippled?" You must think that, or you wouldn't have asked it. I know it's hard to trust yourself, but that's exactly what you need to do. You also said that even though he says he is not insecure and controlling, his behavior says the opposite. Again, trust your perception.
You also said you wanted to trust him all the way. I suggest that you only trust others to be exactly who they are...never trust another person to be who you want them to be. And he has shown you who he is. His actions have told you that you cannot trust him, and that he will attack your heart and soul ruthlessly and cruelly. No one who loves you would ever say these things to you. Perhaps he loves you to some extent, but he is also sick in his own mind, or he would not treat another person like that.
I encourage you to only be in relationships where you are treated with respect. And I also encourage you to heal your own heart and mind, from the shame you feel...in order to be better able to trust yourself. Right now, your shame makes it very hard for you to trust yourself, and if you cannot trust yourself, your relationships will always be at least difficult, and at worst abusive.
I recommend that you use these imagery processes to revisit your past experience with the loss of your child, and also to revisit your time of self-loathing. Follow the steps, (you'll be skipping c. and going from b. to d.). You'll be approaching your younger self as the woman you are today, with understanding, forgiveness and love. This is essential to everything you want, and it is essential to having a healthy relationship.
You are in an abusive relationship. It will be impossible for you to heal yourself emotionally while you're still with someone who is emotionally wounding you on an ongoing basis.
You are worthy of respect. You are worthy of forgiveness. You are worthy of love.
I have helped many women through the emotional healing process following an abortion, and I know it is possible. You may want to seek counseling for help with that.
Believe in the goodness that is who you are inside. You can be whole and happy in yourself and your relationships.
My very best to you,
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