Living with the threats was a nightmare. Every time I acted on anything, any desire, any interest, any need, I had to question if it would lead to her action or inaction on a threat, or if it would lead to more threats against her well-being.
No matter what the outcome, I could not live with feeling like I was responsible for the harm she might inflict on herself. In the worst of it, I felt I needed to do whatever I could to make her feel important so that she wouldn’t hurt herself because of me. I bought her things I wouldn’t have bought her otherwise, I baked for her, cooked for her, cleaned our house that she always called hers, gave her money for things that she didn’t need, I put everything into keeping her happy because I couldn’t bear the idea of being responsible for her pain.
To cope with the strain this put on me, I got a dog. The sweetest, most lovable creature to ever be in my presence. No matter how bad things got, my pup always knew to show me affection, and she kept me grounded, but in the end even the love from her couldn’t make me stay.
The fear was always there, the threat of her causing harm to herself. How she couldn’t go on if I left, how she would throw herself into the river and let herself drown. How she would hurt herself if I went out, ‘accidentally’ tripping down the stairs because I wasn’t including her. How she would leave me if I couldn’t give her more, how I needed to be a better provider for her and her needs. Worst of all, how she would leave work to come home because she had this feeling I was out running around and she was coming home so if I was, I would find her there when I got home. How it was I would find her, she never would say.
Under the umbrella of constant threat,
Fearing her action, even more, the regret.
Afraid to go, because of a possible result,
Trying not to speak, so as not to insult.
Stressing over my own sanity, to help keep hers,
No matter the detriment that it incurs.
Worried of what would come if I didn’t show support,
The concern of whether any lack would be her sport.
Living through it was my worst nightmare,
Unable to walk away because of my ability to care.
Taken for granted in every possible way.
Used to her advantage, every single day.
Living through it, a version of Hell on earth.
Torn down bit by bit, she tried to take my worth.