Screaming at an Abuser: Hyperbole or horror?

Repressed rage is dangerous.  A scream is an excellent way of defining exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis – and this post is one long shriek. It is written in the present tense as another way of emphasising, this time through immediacy. 

Thus, those who read this post and others like it, there will be some who see it as exaggerated over-reaction and hyperbolic excess. Just remember, however: One person’s hyperbole is another’s hurt and horror…

How dare you take me out for a date and then flirt with someone else? Who the hell do you think you are anyway? Adonis? You’re not that special, let me tell you right now.

That is just abuse. There is no excuse for it. It doesn’t matter whether you are married or single: Respect for women’s feelings is a vital part of any relationship – and you show none: Certainly none this night and, in truth, precious little on previous ‘dates’.

Of course I mind when you tell me you have had sex with her. What a fucking stupid question to ask! How crass! How totally insensitive! How do you expect me to react? With excitement? Why do I feel I have to lie and pretend to be fine about it? That is so sick. Perhaps you hope it’ll develop into a threesome, during which the two of us will adore your body in turn? Knowing you, I am surprised you don’t mention this possibility. Perhaps it doesn’t occur to you at the moment…

Your actions drive me as close to suicide as I have ever been – and I am not, by nature, someone who wants to opt out of life. Does it ever occur to you – and can you give a toss – that I drink an entire bottle of cheap whisky after one of your cruel little asides? Fortunately for me – because I am precious as a human being and worth far more than your cheap tricks and endless malice – I have no head for alcohol and am violently, viciously sick for hours. Otherwise, I could die of alcohol poisoning.

Do you know – or give a shit – that I have taken a knife to my wrist and carved a little runnel, which bleeds a fair amount and leaves a thin white scar? Fortunately, my intent is to cause harm rather than death. I want the release of blood – and I get it.

Do you know – or  can you put two and two together – why so many glass areas in my abode are broken beyond repair? Windows smashed; glass door reduced to dangerous shards; wine glasses hurled with incoherent rage against rented walls. Each time you drop another unwelcome piece of information, or spend serious hours trying to get off with yet another girl in front of me, I – powerless and raging – take it out not on you (who so richly deserve it), but on my home (which does not) or myself (ditto). I throw an alarm clock through the window the day you ignore me for an entire hour while you chat up Jane. The glass door to the awful bedroom is ravaged after I get into serious trouble at work because I cannot cope with the way you behave.

All that rage, suppressed, burning, poisonous and deadly. All those tears, swallowed back, choked down, denied, denied, denied. All those times when I feel I have no voice, no rights, no rule book to consult – and no idea that I am in an abusive contract.

I am furious now because it is such a waste of who I am and could have been. I do not want these emotional scars – and I do not think I deserve them either. Oh, I have taken on the blame: I am very adept – with a bit of help – at taking the lion’s share of the fault in every situation. Yes, I have a choice – and I choose you. But you have a choice too – and you choose to to indulge in misogynistic and disrespectful behaviour: You choose to abuse, because you CAN, because you want to.

I am screaming these words out now as if now were all those broken, stifled, silenced nows down the years; as if, in some way, I have the power to call up that young woman and allow her to express the buried anguish, the very present grief and banked outrage.

How dare you think that she/I are imagining things? How dare you punish pain’s emotional reactions, when your behaviour is what opened the nerves and made them cringe and wince in the first place? How dare you accuse me of over-reacting when my responses are, and always were, the body’s desperate attempt to cope with emotional and mental battering?

And, finally, how dare you use my broken and vulnerable self for your own satisfaction? How dare you call any of that ‘making love’: What a complete travesty of love it is.

These words have lain coiled in my belly – heavy as a slumbering but dangerous snake – for far too long. Oh, I have tried to express them – but you have a clever answer to everything, haven’t you? You can trot out trite psycho-therapeutic theories and sayings until the cows come home, without showing one iota of genuine emotion or breaking a sweat.

Is your true crime treating me as one who is interchangeable? Jerking me on the string of implied threat concerning other women? Gaslighting me to the brink of extinction? Lying to me in order to further your own ends?

No, though all of these are serious. The worst? The fact that you enjoy torturing me, though you will never have the guts to admit it.

The saddest thing of all?  I now realise that, girding my loins and giving tongue to all the yelling, the justified fury and fighting back is a waste of breath, a waste of emotion – because you simply do not care.

And your ability to summons up the hyperbole of emotionless rhetoric is second to none…


4 thoughts on “Screaming at an Abuser: Hyperbole or horror?

  1. They enjoy hurting us because they feel powerful and real. Someone said to me the other day, why do you keep saying he abused you? He’s still abusing you!
    And I realized how true this is. When I cut myself, I hid it, but when I told him, he never once showed concern. My parents either. I don’t know what the right response would have been, but certainly not blaming me more for everything. Your rage is a release and sorrow for me. Anger protects us, making sure this never happens again. How could I have ever thought anger was weakness?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We get indoctrinated very early, don’t we? And, for females, anger is presented as undesirable, wrong, even weak. People are terribly easily taken in by an abuser’s charming facade and tend to say/think that, because they have not seen the dark side, it does not exist and we are lying, or neurotic, or mad. Your bits about, ‘He’s still abusing you!’ is also something people cannot get, it seems: They fail to understand that all abusers get something they need out of abuse – and that is unlikely to include any kind of true incentive to stop. xxx


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