Physical and Verbal Violence: Just Leave Me Alone

August 25, 2011 Kellie Jo Holly

Verbal violence underlies all other forms of abuse in relationships. There is no 'worst' form of abuse, but am I lucky I suffered minimal physical violence?

"I never wanted him to be like me, or to have any power over him. I just wanted him to leave me alone. To be able to get out safely." ~ comment by castorgirl on Motive for Staying in Abusive Relationship

Castorgirl's comment bothered me all week. At first I thought it was because she seemed so blind and innocent, unwilling to see the truth. I wanted her to plainly see the hidden dynamics of an abusive relationship. But then in one clear instant, I remembered being castorgirl. I remember when the only thing I wanted was for him to leave me alone (The Invisible Line Between Verbal and Physical Abuse).

Talking It Out With Verbal Violence

There were so many times in my marriage when I said that to him. My ex badgered me until I wished I could hide, buried in a closet, until he finished his rants. He called them conversations, but when only one person is allowed to talk, then there really isn't a conversation.

One day we sat on our front porch for eight hours "conversing" about our financial situation. His energy increased as mine gave way. I'd come to the discussion with charts and figures, but by the end, my careful calculations made no sense to me.

I remember closing my eyes and resting my head in my hand, slowly shaking my head and wondering where I'd gone so wrong. He'd talked me out of understanding math, stripped me of my belief in plain, simple numbers.

He held the exact same viewpoint and said the exact same phrases the entire time. In the beginning, his logic made no sense. By the end, I wanted desperately to believe the nonsense so he would shut his mouth. "Just leave me alone, Will," I said. It was more a prayer than a request.

Fighting It Out With Physical Violence

The very last time I said that to Will was under dire circumstances. He lost control of me and sought to regain it through physical violence. In those moments, I imagine I truly felt as castorgirl commented. I only wanted him to leave me alone so I could get out safely.

I wonder, castorgirl, if your relationship was consistently more physically violent than mine.

Lucky in My Abusive Marriage

luckyWill used to tell me all the time to stop crying because "...other women have it so much worse than you do!" When I consider how often he could have been physically violent and chose not to be, I think I was lucky.

I've seen pictures of the women who had it "so much worse" than I did. They're battered and bloody...or dead. I am grateful that my physical injuries did not extend past bruises. I feel lucky that I can recall only four times he put his hands on me.

I feel sick when I think of how often some victims endure physical abuse. I am angry knowing that some people are physically abused every single day, week, month or year. Imagining living in such fear for my life drains me.

If I'd been treated that way then I may never have left because maybe I couldn't have mentally or emotionally recovered from one attack before the next one came. I wouldn't have time to talk myself down; no time to forget, no time to forgive...only a constant state of heightened stress and terror.

If I'd lived in that nightmare, I don't think I would have time to think at all. I could have been a bundle of fight or flight nerves every minute of every day. But that wasn't my life. My life was an incessant barrage of verbal and emotional attacks that caused me to fear myself more than I feared him, to hate myself more than I hated him.

I had time to forget, forgive, and to live and love him during the false security of our honeymoons. Some people don't have that luxury.

As it was, I am lucky.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2011, August 25). Physical and Verbal Violence: Just Leave Me Alone, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

August, 26 2011 at 9:57 am

Kellie and Castorgirl. These articles and comments are alwyas so timely in my own life. I agree, I am always thinking to myself, what did I do so bad this time? Please stop and leave me alone. I was still healing from the last time you made sure I understood how dumb or lame I am as a spouse , person, or father. Kellie, I feel the same sensations during our 'talks' in which I am reminded frequently how poor of a communicator and decision maker I am. By the time I finally crack and just do what she is demanding, my head is spinning, my heart is pounding, and my confidence is in the toilet.
I was talking to my therapist about this the other day. I said how frustrating it gets during these 'communication' times. Yet, I keep going back to them and not leaving her. I said to my therapist, well I guess it could be worse. I could be getting hit or beaten all the time and still not leave. I asked her how people can keep going back after they have been bloodied and wounded physically?
She said to me, your situation is probably worse. Your emotioanl insides are being ripped apart. She is battering you on the inside. Yet you keep going back.
I wish nobody was beaten on the inside or the outside. We all deserve to be happy and love ourselves.

Leave a reply