The Progression

I was having a very rough time early in our relationship. I was not happy, I did not know what to do with the violence, the crazy making, the insistence that I was nuts and I didn’t know what was real.
I went to a therapist at his insistence, the same his previous girlfriend went to, and she put me on medication.
SSRIs make you apathetic to abuse. It happens to you, but you don’t care for very long. It made it easier to stay with him, far easier, and so I did.
I had less will with SSRIs. I felt as if I were easier to manipulate. I could not stand up for myself under his relentless pressure while I was on them. I just gave in, over and over, until I was in too deep. The coping skills I had to deal with negative thoughts were annihilated by the SSRIs, because I didn’t need coping skills. I didn’t care enough to cope. By the time I was out of that therapist’s care and off the meds, I was completely isolated and totally dependent.
Religion did not help. SSRIs did not help. My own convictions were blown away by his harassment. It was like being asleep. Part of me was awake, and sewed pillowcases for the baby, which I hid when he sneered at them. Part of me was awake, insisting I be allowed to talk to the only friend I had left. Mostly it was an animal existence. Cook, clean, make sure the children are clean and fed. Try to anticipate outbursts, try to soothe the beast, so the children are not upset or harmed by him.
When I realized he was convinced of his own delusions, was when I entertained the thought that perhaps he was the crazy one. That was when I started calling the DV advocates in secret. Never dreaming that I would meet them months and weeks later. I am lucky that I made it out. It seems miraculous.
I have PTSD now, and I will not take any psychiatric medication for it. Just hypertension meds. My children are on permutations of those, too.
My son is so afraid, so anxious, I don’t know what to do. All I can think of is that damn service dog. I don’t want to put him on medication for anxiety. Today I got a tour of the acupuncturist’s office. She treats children.
I was afraid, all the time, for years. I never noticed. It was normal for me. I don’t want constant fear to be normal for my son.
I wish I had his pillowcase, the one that I made. He would have loved it. He loves corduroy, and expressions of affection. The different textures on it would have pleased him immensely. I used ribbon and silk cord for the embroidery and put a pocket in the middle. It was sloppy, anything I do is always sloppy, as I am not a precise person, but it was sweet.

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