I’m glad you have this available. I’m 40 and soon to be 41 and live in Texas.
I have a problem. I was abuse from when I was in 4th grade up to my senior year. The abuse was because I am hard of hearing. When I didn’t hear something that I should have I get abuse verbally, mentally, physically and emotionally.
Now, I’ve had 2 boyfriends through out my school days. Since the abuse I decided to change my life around and date women. I loved it and my last relationship pretty much ended up being abuse again except the physically part. I’ve had help to get out of that relationship as I was scared of her. I’ve moved on and had a child since then.
Well, my problem is that I’ve never married and I have not had a relationship since with a man or woman. I want to know why or what is wrong with me. Also, I’m not gay nor I’m straight. I am bi but I really want a man and get married someday.
Men in person don’t talk to me and the online men just want sex and that’s it. Well, I want something more as life is more than just sex. I think sex should wait till you really know one another.
So, what is wrong with me?
It appears that you experienced a rough and abusive childhood, which was inflated by your hearing disability. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for children with disabilities to be falsely labeled as being “difficult,” “slow,” and “behaviorally challenged.” I imagine being punished as a result of your hearing impairment was very difficult and confusing for you, as well as damaging to your self-esteem. Your earlier experiences were likely harmful to your self-worth, and appear to be influencing how you value yourself today. Based on your letter, I get the impression that you often blame yourself for bad circumstances in your life. Please know that being a victim of violence is never acceptable or your fault, and that there is nothing “wrong” with being an uncoupled person.
In regards to your dating concerns, I think it is important that you set personal boundaries – if you feel that getting to know someone is imperative before sex, than I think that should be respected. The right person for you will understand and honor that. As you continue looking for the perfect partner, however, be conscious of the fact that there is usually a pattern associated with domestic violence. Although I cannot be certain, I suspect that your history with abusive relationships, as well as your hearing impairment, which contributes to personal feelings of isolation and loneliness, may leave you more susceptible to abusive dynamics. For your safety, as well as your child’s, it is necessary that you break this cycle. The number one predictor of future behavior is past behavior; avoid relationships with men and women that you know have a history of violence. In addition, be cautious of patterns that may signal abusive behavior. Warning signs include jealousy, aggressive and controlling behaviors, isolation, blaming, and unrealistic expectations and demands. In addition, it is important to understand that, although you may feel that being in a relationship with another woman is safer, domestic abuse does not discriminate based on sexual orientation. In fact, domestic abuse occurs as frequently in gay and lesbian relationships as it does in straight relationships.
Increasing your self-esteem will help you maintain the boundaries you set, and will hopefully lead you to healthier more satisfying relationships. Counseling may help you achieve this by allowing you to explore your personal feelings and make sense of your past experiences. You are a mother now, so the choices you make, and the behaviors you model, will influence and shape the person your child ultimately becomes. Good Luck!
For more information on domestic violence, please visit: www.domesticviolence.org
Thank you for your brave letter. Being able to ask for help already puts you leaps and bounds ahead in your recovery.
As Liesel said, for your safety and the safety of your child, it is necessary for you to break the cycle of abuse. It sounds like you are already well on the road to breaking those patterns with the fact that you already got help in getting out of the relationship you had with the one woman and to the fact that you are writing us here.
I don’t know what your beliefs are, but I wanted to share this story. I have had the privilege of working with a healer for the last few months and just last week we talked about cycles of abuse. She told me that she has worked with women as well as their children, and more then once, the daughter will tell her an almost identical abuse story as the one her mother told months before, even though the two had never shared it with each other. She has also worked with women who have lived through abuse and urged them to speak with their parents about it, only to find out that one or both of the parents had gone through a similar, if not exact circumstance. Everything you clear or work through, any patterns that you break, I truly believe will clear that pattern for your child. Whenever my mom is going through something hard she says, “Erin, Im working this out for you so you don’t have to carry it with you and pass it onto your kids”. Im not saying this to add to your burden, but to help give you strength and leverage. It’s easier to do things for your children sometimes then to do them for yourself.
You wrote, “whats wrong with me?” Nothing my sweet. I admire you so much for the fact that you are not interested in sex without love. I admire you for not settling, for reaching out for advice, for not giving up or giving in. At 40 you are taking massive brave steps in changing a cycle you may have been caught up in and that is tremendously brave. I just thought of a quote by one of my favorite poets:
“I beg you… to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, the live everything live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Be patient with yourself. My mom also taught me something once that changed my life. There was a time I was going through something very difficult and she told me to chant over and over in my head “I choose love, I choose love” even when you are sad or angry. P. please choose love for yourself and for your child. Before you know it, all you will have is love for yourself, your child, and in your future relationships.