For the past several years I have been dealing with the aftermath of verbal, physical, spiritual and psychological abuse at the hands of my mother. I was able to escape the situation only after I was married to my husband. Because of the abuse, my husband and I made choices before marriage that appeared sinful to the outside community even though we were manipulated into the decisions and even though we had saved ourselves for marriage. Moreover, because we had started going to confession more, my mother assumed we were sexually active, despite our insistence that we were not. When my husband and I finally made the choice to move far away from my family upon being married, literally, all hell broke loose, and the abuse reached levels I had never experienced. Essentially, the abuse made me have a nervous breakdown and left me with symptoms of PTSD.
However, when I reached out to friends, I got no support. I didn’t divulge all the details to them because I feared I would be gossiping and did not want to sin. Holding it all in caused me to implode and become agoraphobic, and withdrawn from the world. But, since then I have made some serious improvements, and have started to enjoy life again. I have also sought professional help as well. However, I still feel incredibly isolated since any mention of my past is enough to send others into speeches on how I ought to “honor my mother”. Or, I simply get silence. Also, after the abuse, every one of my relatives (save one) has cut me out upon going no contact with my parents. Every day, I deal with the anxiety of wondering if my parents are healthy and safe because it would be too toxic to ask them myself. And, my extended family and the community that I knew before being married has only heard my parent’s gossip about what happened which labels me “crazy”, “sinful”, and “hateful” and has also targeted my husbands as well.
This whole experience has been a true nightmare. Even though I was abused, I still love my parents, pray for them, and wish I could have a healthy relationship with them. But, if I were ever to initiate contact with them again, I know I would be subjected to the same manipulative techniques they used all along to incite unjust fear and shame in me. I just wish the Catholic community had a better support system for survivors who were abused by their parents. And, I wish I had even one friend in my life who cared enough to reach out during my breakdown. If there had been, I may have felt less isolated which would have prevented some of the self-loathing, etc. I experienced back then, and even a bit to this day. If you know of any sources of support for these types of situations, I would love to know about them. And, also please keep me and my husband, as well as my family in your prayers. God bless.