There’s no make-up to hide the bruises he left on your self-esteem. You’re not even sure if they are real bruises or if maybe you’re just over sensitive? I mean, everybody fights, right? Sometimes even the kindest people say the most hurtful things to the ones they love, don’t they? Right…that’s all it was. It was a silly fight and things got out of hand. Maybe you said some nasty things as well. Deep breath. Phew! Yes. This is normal, you tell yourself. Next time, you will try to be more controlled in your responses.
But then he did it again. He hit below the belt. He called you a name he knew would trigger you. Even if you were in the wrong, you know you certainly didn’t deserve that. You are no whatever he called you. Why can’t he address the issues without attacking you personally?
Maybe it’s because of his tough childhood. You know how he has all those daddy issues? Oh, and then there’s all the pressure he’s under at work too, don’t forget that! Poor guy. You’re just going to try to be more understanding and patient. Surely he will see how much you love him and realize that he doesn’t have to be so damn hard all the time. You will love him into the man you know he can become!
But after weeks, months, years, sometimes even decades of devastating insults, injuries to your self-image, and countless cycles of silent treatment, he has essentially erased you and created something in his own broken image in your place. He has made himself your god. You didn’t see or feel it happening. You were too busy trying to love him better. You were too busy trying to fix the parts of you he tirelessly criticized and belittled.
I see you, Sis. I see your invisible bruises. I know you don’t know how to explain your pain because you’re afraid you will sound like a child whining that a bigger kid called you a mean name. You’re not childish or over sensitive. Nobody has the right to call you the things he did. Nobody has the right to make you feel small or insignificant or unworthy of love and respect. It’s not OK that he ignores you for days or weeks, making you feel invisible and unwanted.
You are fully entitled to your opinions and feelings even when they oppose his, or anyone else’s. And you know what else? You’re allowed to be wrong. You’re allowed to mess up sometimes and you don’t have to be afraid of doing that because everyone does. It’s part of your human journey and there are no short cuts.
You know what else? You will be OK. You’re stronger than you think, and more beautiful than you know. I’m rooting for you, because I see you and I know your value. You may not see this, but I know that you were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of perfection. You will win, my beautiful friend. Because darkness always gives way to light. Don’t let anyone dim your light.