I met a woman at Next Millennium yesterday, probably 10 years or so older than me, who had been married to a Dr. and was divorced. This woman said that she had always attracted ‘professional men’, and she didn’t have anything very flattering to say about her experience. She said, basically, that they think they are god’s gift to the earth, they make the big money and they know they make the big money, so they expect you to eat out of their hands.
This woman pretty much did what she was told– when to go back to work, where to work, how long to work, what she could spend, what she couldn’t spend, when she could spend it…ad infinitum. I have never seen a more broken individual in my life. She spoke in a subdued whisper, basically acted as though she had to ask permission to breathe, and is still dominated by her ex-husband– and her son, also a Dr.– through her financial dependence.
She said she had loved sculpture and was just beginning to get the hang of it and to learn, when her husband made her quit sculpting and open a health food store– the store was his idea and she amounted to not much more than unpaid hired help. She worked for nine years in this store she didn’t like, in this place she didn’t want to be, doing something she didn’t want to do– because this man told her she had to.
Thank the goddess for this woman’s sake, her husband eventually found himself another acquiescent baby doll and dumped his aging wife for the new model.
But I’m afraid that this woman’s mental health, her emotional state, her own ego and sense of self-worth have been irreparably damaged by this man and her experiences.
I guess I can relate especially to this woman because I’ve also experienced this type of man and this kind of strangling control. I consider myself lucky to have come through the 15 year experience as intact as I did.
Ladies…there is more to abuse than smacks, snide remarks, or bruises. Exerting extreme and unusual control over another human being is also abuse, and it’s the most insideous kind of abuse because it leaves no tell tale marks for friends or family to see.
If you know of a woman who is in an abusive situation, lend her your shoulder, and give her this link…
The National Domestic Abuse Hotline:http://www.ndvh.org/
(This is reposted from my Myspace profile, August 2009)