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Ether Blue

The Best Revenge: A Life Well Lived? Trying to prove myself after emotional abuse

3 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

I was passive-aggressively bullied and emotionally abused by a peer at a university. It's a long, long story, but I'm doing better now, and am out of the situation. I wanted to ask you friends at Our Place something:

During your recovery, have you ever felt this restless feeling, like you need to prove yourself in some way? To--frankly--do something BA in order to show yourself and the abuser (even though they have no way of knowing you did something BA) that you are a tender-hearted but also capable, puts-up-with-no-more-garbage, intelligent, adult, individual person? If I were an animal, my friends tell me fondly I would be a lamb. I like this--I think the world needs more gentleness in it, and I want to "be the change I want to see in the world." But it frightens me, too, knowing there are wolves in sheep clothing out there like the person who abused me.
What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear what you have to say!
Peace to you,
Ether <3

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I'm not sure that I needed to do something bad butt to prove to myself (or to my abuser) that I was capable. But I will admit that despite my xh's predictions about my career success, my ability to handle money, etc., I take a certain amount of pleasure in knowing that I've been far more successful professionally than I ever dreamed, and am in far better financial shape than if I'd remained married to him.

I will admit that a number of years ago, when I was interviewed on CNN about my research findings, I sent him a copy of that interview mailed from a little town in a state that he didn't associate with me, with a typed note that read something to the effect of "isn't this your x-wife?" It wasn't nice, especially since since he was quite jealous of my success and thought he should be equally or more successful (without doing the necessary work).

Yes, there are wolves in sheep's clothing out there, but after going to counseling and working on my self-esteem and confidence, I no longer attract abusers. And if I notice the slightest red flag, I'm gone-life's too short to put up with garbage.

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Sorry I'm so long in replying, Percolate!

That's pretty funny, mailing your ex your interview! Made me laugh :)

I like your philosophy--"life's too short to put up with garbage." It's so true. Thanks so much for your thoughts!

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