no one knew

photo of woman behind door
Photo by Adrienn on


no one knew. of course, how could they? it never happened in public. he was very careful. the abuse was saved for alone time. reserved for at home or in the car. my anxiety was through the roof, and I was constantly on “high alert”. “You’re NOT wearing that. we are not going ANYWHERE until you change! You look huge in that! It’s too big!” He would say all this and more, if he was “in the mood” to verbally abuse. my ED became all I could think about. he hated me, and my body.

there was one incident. after one of his birthday parties. we were on our way home. I was driving, and it was at night. It was raining hard. I’m DEFINITELY not a good night driver, and was struggling to stay in my lane…and watch the others on the road. I swerved a couple of times, from what I can remember, and that made him so angry.

“What the fuck, Michelle?! can you drive?? what is WRONG with. you? do you want me to drive? ANSWER ME!!!

I was so FULL of anxiety and fear, still trying to drive safely while he yelled at me. I couldn’t think of what to say.

“PULL OVER!! Are you STUPID?? God, you’re a dumbass!” he was yelling SO loud! I had heard this name SO many times, it didn’t even make me flinch anymore. just felt like a dog, being kicked repeatedly. I pulled over. He immediately got out and came around to the drivers side. I got out, sniffling and crying.

“Get out! You are so worthless. I am SO sick of you.” He was so pissed off. I heard the words and felt the kicks in my gut. I tried to explain. “I couldn’t see the white lines. I’m sorry! please don’t be mad! I’m so sorry!” begging…AGAIN.

“Shut up, Michelle. I don’t want to hear any more from you. You are a DUMBASS! I cannot BELIEVE you! Jesus fucking Christ! I am so SICK of YOU!!!”

I was crying so hard now, but as QUIETLY as I could. It just made him madder. we changed seats, and he pulled out. it was a silent ride home, and I PRAYED I didn’t have to ask him to find a place to use the bathroom.

we made it home, without any stops.

“I’m so sorry. Really I am!” I offered this willingly. I always apologize, thinking it will help. I feel responsible for everything. he didn’t say anything. he got out, and headed toward our apartment.

This was how the verbal abuse always ended. his silence, and my constant apologies (what did I do?).

what did I DO??


  1. Wow- it makes me mad to read this. Mad that you had to endure this kind of abuse from someone you loved. Heartbreaking

  2. So upsetting to read this. Also it hit me between the eyes in a good way. I am very sorry you had to go through this. I was married to a verbally abusive jerk for 19 years. I love your blogs and you’re so brave to share your dark shadows with the world. Thank you for your space. I really love your writing.

  3. Wow! This material is really raw. I just want to put my arms around you and hold you, and, if I could, erase all of that and re-write the script.

    You are a masterful wordsmith and I believe your blog will help other people who are going through the struggle.

    Hugs and praise,

    Holly Stave
    Professor of Literature
    Louisiana Scholars’ College

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