Living Boldly, Healing from Abuse

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I am close with friends who have been abused, physically, verbally and emotionally.

We all know what physical abuse is.

We all know what verbal abuse is.

However, do you know what emotional abuse is?

Emotional abuse is difficult to diagnose when it's directed at you. Humiliation. Sarcasm. Control. Chastising. Belittling. Pointing out flaws, mistakes, shortcomings. Refusing to apologize. Gaslighting. The silent treatment. Shifting blame. Lying. Cheating.

Oh sure, some of these things we all do from time to time. No one is perfect. Certainly no one loves the idea of accepting responsibility for wrong doing. Eating crow is not my favorite flavor.

Emotional abuse is more regular however. You may have a friend who uses sarcasm quite often. It's not necessarily an emotionally abusive relationship, unless of course you are constantly feeling hurt and put down. THEN you have to take a look at that "friendship".

Narcissistic abuse is another kind of emotional abuse that can involve all of the above. Narcissists however don't always come off as abusers right away. They will sweet talk you and become the perfect mate. It's a crazy disorder, and one that I am now very familiar with, unfortunately. I understand now why things were so difficult for me at one time.

The road to healing has been filled with big spurts of growth. I have learned a lot this past year. My focus has been on taking care of myself and my son. I have ups and downs with Oliver's dad, but generally speaking we get along. Not always, but nothing like what I hear with other divorced parents.

It's been over a year, and I have not dated. I am not looking for a mate. I'm happy with my little life: me and Little Guy. We are super close, too close some think, but I don't care anymore what others think. Oliver is doing well, and I know I have a part in that.

Dating... I have stayed off the dating sites. Not asking friends to set me up with their single brothers or divorced guy friends. I've been asked out several times and even met a guy last year who has a little girl about Oliver's age. It would be a perfect match in some ways, especially since I always wanted a little girl. I knew, however, he was not the guy for me, and I have since just stopped responding to his texts. Another guy too keeps calling and texting. I haven't returned his calls either. And then another approached me in a coffee shop while I was enjoying an after school delight with my son. We exchanged numbers for "business" reasons, and later when he called and asked me out for dinner I was able to let him know I am not ready for even a friendship with a man, let alone anything else at this time. He respectfully bowed out.

I'm holding out. Holding out until a man ignites a spark in me. I don't want to date out of loneliness or need for intimacy. I really however, have no interest right now. I am feeling pretty good about myself. I really do like my life just as it is NOW... I love it actually, and I don't know that I want anyone else in the mix at this moment.

I was told I have to say this, even tho it's not easy. So here goes:

I'm a extraordinary mother. I'm a phenomenal mother. I'm a superb mother, truly what I am doing is almost inhuman. I'm doing it all alone, and have been for 5, almost 6, years. I am enjoying it too and see the benefits of being a single mom. My son will have amazing memories of our times together, especially those in Door County. I can see him taking his own family up there someday, remembering how much fun he and I had together. Oliver is well-adjusted, thanks to both his dad and me. Even his step-mom is kind to him. What more can I ask for?


  1. Andrea,

    You are sounding stronger each time I visit. Nice to read this. My heart breaks for things that have happened to you, but I'm seeing how you've made lemonade from the lemons (sorry for the bad analogy!).

    Emotional abuse is hard to peg, true. I know too many who have that going on in their marriages. Hard to believe it.

    Thanks again. Keep posting!



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