Abuse is all too common when it comes to relationships. Whether if it is physical abuse, emotional abuse, or verbal abuse alone, or a mixture of these, it's all one in the same. The person receiving the abuse thinks that the abuser will change, that the abuser loves them, that they deserved to be beaten or yelled at, that they have no one to go to or nowhere to go, and, if there are children involved, the situation gets even trickier. The person receiving the abuse doesn't want to leave his/her child(ren) behind but they also can't just leave. In this case reporting the abuse to the police would be the best option and getting the abuser removed. But unfortunately, when someone has been abused they have been conditioned to think both that they deserve the abuse and to be fearful and anxious because they do not want to upset their abuser and therefore get punished.
But when someone lives with abuse for too long, they begin to loose themselves. They shut down. They become an empty shell. Years and years of being hit or told that you're not good enough would break down anyone and would shatter anyone's sense of self-esteem and self-worth. But they still try to stay strong, to hold on. But that just crushes and erodes them even more. It's not their fault because the person who is abusing them shouldn't be doing so in the first place, but there comes a point where they must help themselves, for the sake of them or their kids. Because more often then not the abuse isn't just happening to you, it's happening to them too.
My grandmother recently passed away. Her husband was verbally and emotionally abusive toward her. He was like that to everyone he cared about. He enjoyed destroying people and then manipulating them. I had to cut my relationship with him in order to avoid being destroyed. I don't really know much about my grandmother because by the time I was born she had already begun to shut down. For 21 years I never remember her being able to say a complete sentence or really speaking much in general. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, but a part of me can't help but think that the abuse she suffered through somehow made it worse. She was always doing crossword puzzles, so she still had the mental capacity for words but seemed to decide not to speak. Or more that she felt like she couldn't. My mom says that she was always a nervous woman, which makes sense because my grandfather was a very hard man to please.
I wish that this didn't happen to her. I wish she had gotten help instead of suffering through it. But it's so much harder to show verbal and emotional abuse. Every time we went upstairs to eat with my grandparents, I felt so sad for her. In the last ten years of her life, she was pretty much lifeless. She never spoke. She would just stare at you. It killed my mom to see her like that and I felt bad too. We had to send her to a nursing home because she had issues walking and later eating. I know that was the disease. But maybe if she had gotten away from my grandfather soon, she might have had a little bit more happiness.
It was nice to know that she died peacefully in her sleep, but it's hard for me to really feel grief when I never knew her. I feel like that makes me a bad person, but I wasn't the one who did this to her. What I do feel is sadness that she had to live through what she did.
If you or someone you know is living through abuse, please know you're not alone. You deserve better and your abuser won't change, I can assure you. My grandfather never changed, even in his last years of life. There are people out there who are willing to listen and help and you must do this for yourself. Or if you don't do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones. If I could have, I would have changed my grandmother's situation. But if I can't change the past, the least I can do is to honor her memory by making sure someone else doesn't have to go through what she did.