Confused

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Confused
3
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 3:17pm
I am in a verbally abusive marriage. I have been married for 7 years and have 3 kids. He yells and screams at me in front of them even thought I asked him not to repeatedly. I am seeing a counselor one on one(her suggestion) b/c believe me he has tons on advice he'd like to give her. He believes all of our problems stem around my depression. He says I've had it the whole time he's known me, I haven't recognized it until about a year ago after I lost my father. Our arguing and fighting has only fueled it. My counselor suggests me getting my depression under control before I make any decisions on leaving. I'm on medication and have been for a year. I could tell a difference at first but I don't believe it's worked for me in a long time. She suggested adding something to it to help w/the anxiety as well. I just worry that things are not going to get any better in this environment. She thinks I'm not strong enough to make any decisions at this point. I'm confused on why I'm not strong enough? I know me and my kids are in an unhealthy relationship, so what's the hard part? I asked her what kind of help was available for him and she said maybe none b/c this is a pattern that has been going on a long time(for generations). So basically things will never change???
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: msgul
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 3:47pm
It's not your fault, it's is not the fault of your depression. You know there's something wrong. You've voiced there's something wrong. It's not you and you know it. Abusers love telling us it's all our fault, shifting the blame to us even when there was no possible way for us to affect the outcome.

If your counselor is not a DV specialist, please seek one out by calling your local shelter. The meds you're on don't seem like they're working because the stress on you is most likely getting worse. I take meds daily to keep myself running and mine were not working at the end of my marriage. I was stressed out because they weren't, which made it worse, and so on. Then there was the OTHER stress.

You're right, things won't "get better". Nor will he. The awful truth of it all is that less than 1% of abusers who go to counseling ever change. Your counselor's right in that respect. As far as YOUR strength goes...I think you're just fine, but overwhelmed. You know you and your kids are in a bad situation. Even though it was his idea for you to go to counseling, you're going. You're reaching out for help and you're trying to find the right door. You want help. That's a sure sign of strength.

Please keep posting and asking questions. Please go to the homepage and read up on all of the info we have there.

We'll save you a spot!

Gabby

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: msgul
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 6:06pm
Hi there. I honestly don't think your counselor understands what it's like to live with the continual persecution of abuse. It's basically being tortured everyday, and an abuser's goal is to keep you weak so he can always be one up on you. So for her to think that your depression is going to go away WHILE your living in that environment is just wrong. Abuse contributes to depression. I very seriously doubt that you've been depressed all this time and not known it. Abusers don't say things because they're true, they say them to hurt you, to make you wrong, to make you the bad guy and pain themselves as the good guy. Abusers lie very easily, it's part of their character. I don't think adding something for anxiety is a bad idea if you think you need it. But all this medication isn't going to solve your problem. Removing yourself from the person who's deliberately out to destroy your sense of self is the only thing that will solve it. No one can live in an environment like that and be happy. Most of us were depressed when we lived in abuse. I know I was. I could never have achieved the happiness I have now had I stayed with my ex. I think you're thinking quite clearly. It's not the counselor's decision as to what you should do with your life. Your counselor is entitled to her opinion, but I can guarantee you that another one, who understands abuse would tell you that as long as you stay in an abusive relationship, you will LOSE strength. Abuse is damaging. Maybe she's worried that you wouldn't be able to stay away from him, or wouldn't be able to make it on your own. But you can if you want to, you know that. She is right that he's not going to change. This is how their personality developed, they have a whole different mindset than healthy people, this is how he will always operate in relationships. Chance of change are slim, and would take him years to change it all.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

- Maya Angelou

Avatar for cl_mizlizzy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
In reply to: msgul
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 10:25am
Welcome to the board msqul. Sweetdreams and Blueshockeygirl say it so well.

You're right--your depression will not improve as long as you are in that environment. Abuse has many effects, and situational depression is certainly one of them. Your children are tremendously impacted by the abuse also, even if they aren't "direct targets".

While I understand your therapist's concerns about you being "strong enough" to deal with breaking free, to a point, again, your depression is exacerbated by the abuse, and your husband is using it as an "excuse" to abuse you, shifting the focus from the true issues, which is classic with an abuser.

You can gain strength to break free by continuing therapy, preferably with someone who specializes in abuse, along with learning all you can about the complex dynamics of abuse. Seeking help, support, information and resources will help you gain the insight and the "strength" to take further steps. It takes so much strength just to live with an abuser, and once you're out, you will see just how much harder it is living with that daily pain and turmoil, that is neverending. Once you break free, sure, it's painful, but there is an ending point to that pain, that truly gets better with time--and again, help support and resources, once you are out too.

Please, read all you can, here, in the archives, and on our board homepage. Please also post as much as you want/need to, knowing we all care and understand.

Hugs!