I’ve Been Abused — And Now I’m Often Misunderstood

The correlation between childhood abuse and misunderstood adulthood.

Photo by MMPR on Unsplash

Every now and then I hint at my childhood abuse.

For the most part though, I stop at hinting because talking about these things isn’t easy.

Especially not when the abuser is someone who’s supposed to give love unconditionally.

And especially not when said abuser is still living and breathing.

But well, my mother has no clue what I’m usually up to, so there’s that…

There’s also another reason why I don’t talk about abuse, or seek therapy.

I’m afraid of what I’ll hear.

As I see it, there can be one of two things that I’ll hear from people if I ever decided to unload myself.

One, I’ll hear that I’m overreacting and that what my mother did to me was totally normal, and that mothers do that to their children sometimes. After all, mothers are humans too… we cannot expect them to be perfect.

Or, two, I’ll hear that I’m right and yes, my mother was a shitty parent who abused me physically and emotionally, that she’s caused all these mental illness I seem to be suffering from, and that I’m not to be blamed at all for feeling absolutely nothing for her… except maybe contempt, and pity from time to time.

And to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I can stand to hear either.

I have issues. BIG ones.

Often they cause me to wonder if they’re a byproduct of what happened back in those days.

I Don’t Trust People

No matter how wonderful someone is to me, in my head I’m always waiting for them to stab me in the back.

This has resulted in the simple fact that I don’t have any close relations.

I keep my “friends” at an arm’s length.

A partner is always ready to cheat on me, inside my head. This results in a strained relationship which, sooner or later, falls apart.

I imagine that my bosses and coworkers are likely talking behind my back at all times… like they have nothing better to do with their lives.

Rationally speaking, all of this is inside my head without any legitimate basis for doubts.

But that doesn’t stop me from feeling the way I do.

In fact, I prefer it this way, because truth be told, I’d rather be a loner than make myself vulnerable and get burned afterward.

I’ve wondered many times… why do I feel like everyone’s out to get me?

Only recently this thought came to me that perhaps, I feel the way I do because I’ve never learned to trust anyone in the first place.

You see, my childhood is comprised of three people. My mother, my father, and myself. I have no siblings, and although my parents are still married, they’re not exactly a couple that goes along very well.

My father was mostly missing from my childhood. He was away on “business trips” a lot. And when he was in town, he was always working, including on weekends. Now I wonder if he didn’t just leave home to get away from my mother.

So really, it was just me and my mother.

And she had all the time and space to do whatever the fuck she wanted to do with me, and nobody even knew.

As for me, I never spoke of the abuse to anyone because I was led to believe that it was all my fault; that I was some spawn of the devil and a curse to my mother. I truly believed, even well into my adulthood that I received what I deserved. All the pain and humiliation… it was all my fault.

But only in recent years I finally started to wonder what all this means.

I grew up hating my mother and felt an immense sense of guilt in feeling so, but perhaps, I'm not the one to blame after all?

My Scorn for Drama is often Misunderstood for Apathy

Back in college, after harboring my obsessive crush for this boy for almost two years, we finally got together only to have the boy of my dreams tell me a short few days later that we don’t “click”.

A couple of weeks worth of passionate love ended just like that. I have my theories as to why he realized all too soon that we didn’t click, but that’s a different story for a different day.

When he told me that we shouldn’t be together because we didn’t really click, my response to him was, “OK, I understand.”

The boy looked at me and said in a rather accusatory tone, “That’s it? That’s all you have to say?”

He was the one breaking my heart and yet I was the one that ended up looking like the bad guy. Just because I wouldn’t scream and yell and demand why we were breaking up.

This happens all too often.

I don’t cry my hearts out at the news that my cat had died of cancer.

I don’t scream and curse when a partner really does cheat on me.

And I definitely do not sympathize when my mother tells me what a terrible life she’s had, and what a victim of terrible luck she is.

All of the above except the last one break my heart, but I’m just not good at showing it. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeves. And so I get labeled as insensitive or heartless.

My Disinterest in Human Interaction is Misunderstood as Shyness

But here’s the thing… people don’t just stop at assuming I'm shy. It wouldn’t bother me if that were the case. But it’s not. On top of making groundless assumptions, people also offer me unsolicited advice which I have no time for nor patience.

Often these are people I can’t brush off.

Like my mother.

Or my relatives.


But it’s a whole lot easier to get rid of so-called “friends” who don’t care to actually get to know you for the person you are (granted, part of it is my own fault for allowing them to misunderstand me).

Family? Not so much.

But I do what I can.

We all have baggage. Mine is abuse. And unless I’ve gone completely bonkers, most of my issues perhaps stem from my abusive past.

But regardless, I’m who I am because of my past. And I’ve never known a “me” who’s not me. Abuse or not, trusting or not, misunderstood or not, this is life now. And I’m writing about all of this because that is all I know.

And if there are others out there, like me, perhaps we can all feel a little more understood in this space than we do out there in the real world.