A colleague called in tears, and she told me her stories, I was taken aback and my mind flew to a time where I was at her position, being abused verbally, emotionally and physically by a husband. There was a lot of tears over that phone call; hers and mine. The phone call ended abruptly because her husband came home.

I thought I was healed from that scars, but I guess I was wrong. Knowing that a friend of mine must endure a typical sad stories as I had, hit me with a realization that the scars might never completely healed. After the phone call, the anger is coming back, the disappointment still stings and felt so bitter. I forget what I said to this friend, perhaps because I was struggling to hold back my tears, but I do remember the moment that I really don’t know what to say to her ; Probably because I don’t know how to say in a proper way to her the truth.

The truth is, her husband is having a deep rooted issues with his low self esteem. His abusive behavior is a mirror how much he is hurt inside. I don’t know how to say to my friend that her husband is actually worried his wife will leave him. By his logic, keeping her away from other people – especially those she might be attracted to – he’s subconsciously trying to make his fear of being unlovable subside. He puts her down oftentimes only to make himself feel better. His husband narcissism might come from a fear that he isn’t worthy. He needs his wife to make him feel like he’s the center of the world. This attitude makes him hardly thinks of anyone else.

I don’t have a heart to tell her that from my own bitter experience, it’s not worth it to stay and become a martyr just to keep everything afloat. She already has two energetic sons, and they need their mother to be at her best so they can be loved and nurtured well. But then again, in this time and place, her issues are just common. No matter how abusive the household, the sub-ordinate partner (the wife or husband) will be told to stay and just hold on up to the point of numbing yourself down.

When I left the toxic relationship for good, I am fully understand that as the consequence I will be an outcast, a society member with a not-so-favorable-track-record, a highly egoistic woman who is so full of herself.

But I can’t say those bitter truth to her….

May all of us be blessed with immense strength to cope with challenging times, 

Karin Sabrina

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