My Victory Over Emotional Abuse

by Annie Kaszina on May 19, 2015

 

happiness, celebration, recovery from emotional abuse

It’s been another week of celebrating how far I’ve come along my recovery journey from being an archetypal emotional abuse sufferer. I’d like to share it with you because, as ever, it’s not just about me. It’s about you, too.

Anything I can do, I know you can do. In your own way, certainly, but every bit as well as I can.

This week I learned that my book “Do You Choose Your Dog More Carefully Than Your Husband?” has won an Indie Book Award.

Picture this, a woman who has spent 20 + years being told she is worthless, stupid, with nothing to say that is worth listening to. Her husband has spent so long telling people that he is The Oracle, and the Font of All Knowledge that he appears to genuinely believe it. That woman is so consumed by guilt, shame, and self-loathing that the only way she dares to express herself is… wait for it, through her cooking. In short, she is a stereotypical victim – but she doesn’t even know it.

That woman makes a mean Devil’s Food Cake, killer brownies, and a fabulous Black Bread.

That’s the way she communicates with the world: by the food she puts down people’s necks!

Every month, she pores over her beloved food magazines: “Gourmet”, “Bon Appetit”, “The Cook’s Illustrated”. Every month, she tries to cook her way to a sense of self-worth.  Every month she fails.

That woman was me.  (I was so busy skivvying my butt off that I didn’t put on weight – although most other people in my orbit did. Although, in self-defence, let me say I never force-fed anyone.) 

I felt pretty low.  People loved my food. But they didn’t love me. There wasn’t much out there to love. Mostly, all they ever saw of me was my back as I hid myself over a hot stove.

As you know, I left, and rebuilt myself from the foundations up.

In the process, I found my voice, started writing and working with emotionally abused women, cut right back on the cooking, discovered how to do relationships and happiness, found my lovely partner and, most recently, wrote “Do You Choose Your Dog?”

When you feel as unlovable as I did – and you may well have, too – putting yourself out there feels like walking into a war zone without as much as table tennis bat for a shield.

Owning your mistakes, your family break-downs, all the hurt, humiliation, and rejection, and everything else that goes with the territory  feels like it could destroy you.

Being able to process all of that, express it in a way that makes other people smile and even offers something of value that they can incorporate into their own live sounds like a pipe-dream.

The wasband taught me I was utterly devoid of talent. That’s how emotional abuse operates.

“What do I know?” and “What could I possibly have to offer other people?” were two of my constant refrains. ((Alongside, “Who will ever want me? and “How on earth am I going to manage the rest of my life?”) 

It wasn’t pleasant.

(Good old British understatement has helped me over the years. I thoroughly recommend it.) 

New clients and readers often look at me in disbelief – not about me, but about what’s possible for them.. They imagine – as I once did – that other people can do it because they are magically stronger, braver, and better.

I’m here to tell you that’s not true.

The one thing in your way is your blindness to who you truly are.  Happily, that is operable – just like my cataracts.

Today, I’m celebrating. Because that Book Award is confirmation. Big time.  The people behind it know nothing of me except my book. That book is me: it’s my story, my voice, my way of being in the World – and it’s good enough.

This is my story. But I’m under no illusions. It’s just as much your story – if you want it to be.

When I work with clients, do you know what amazes me the most?

How incredibly gifted, and extraordinary they are.

 Victory Over Emotional Abuse

That’s not the story they tell me. The story they tell me is quite the reverse.  It’s all about being the most useless, worthless person on the planet.

It’s total garbage, of course.

It’s their strait-jacket. (A strait-jacket manufactured with pride by the market leaders, Nasty & Nasty – purveyors of Emotional Abuse to the aristocracy, the middle classes, workers, the poor, the underprivileged etc. etc..)

Fortunately, those wretched things can be undone – usually from behind, I think – and removed.

Woman wearing chains and straitjacket looking out over land

Internally, I am turning cartwheels for joy at the moment. (I have been for days, now.) Once upon a time, I would never have believed that possible.

If I can do it, you can, too.

So here’s the thing: you don’t have to believe in yourself right now.  You don’t have to know how you can be or what you are capable of. Just hold that belief that you can be way more than you think.  Welcome it into your life.

Allow yourself to open to your own AMAZINGNESS.

It’s never too late to be victorious over emotional abuse.

 

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