Yesterday I was watching Oprah, because I am an American housewife and this is my obligation. The show was, once again, on a topic "that could save your life," in this case abusive relationships, and she had some expert on there with his questionaire/survey that could tell you how much danger you are in. Not to make light of a serious subject, but it got me thinking, Can your relationship be considered abusive if the abuser is 2? If so, then, yes, Oprah and your expert, I need help.
Let us go through some of the classic warning signs of an abusive relationship that appear in all of these surveys and you'll see what I mean:
Does the person control your activities? Has he/she ever stalked you?
Yes. I cannot even go to the bathroom without her following me. If I attempt to close the door, hell is unleashed. In fact, she insists I stay within 5 feet of her at all times. If that isn't stalking, I don't know what is.
Is she jealous of your friends and family? Have you lost friends because of her?
Check. She will not even let me speak to another person in her presence. And I have definitely lost friends because of her. I hear from/see about 2 of the friends I had before she was born. Fortunately, my parents and in-laws find her strangely charming, so I've managed to maintain relationships with them.
Does she blame you for her problems?
While she has never said so explicitly, I am definitely the target of her rage and frustration in any situation. If she tries and fails to fit herself into her Little People School Bus, I am the one who pays, not the laws of physics.
Does she get angry so easily you feel you are walking on eggshells?
Just today she screamed for 10 minutes just because I would not open a bag of chocolate chips we had bought at the store. She also becomes enraged if I sing the wrong song at the wrong time or pick the wrong outfit for her to wear.
Does she drink or use drugs?
Not to my knowledge, but sometimes I wonder.
Does she insist you drink or use drugs with her?
That might help, actually.
Does she go through your purse or personal things?
OMG. It's like her favorite thing.
Does she keep you in debt?
She's certainly trying.
Has she caused you to lose a job?
Again, she's working on it. I went to work about 2 days in June due to her illnesses.
Does she threaten to kill herself if you leave?
Not explicitly, but she gives the impression of dying, even if I just walk into the next room.
Does she act one way in front of other and another way with you? Is her behavior erratic?
She definitely puts on a good show for others, who tell me what a sweet child she is. With me, she is the love child of Hitler and Mussolini. And her behavior is completely erratic and unpredictable. How was I to know that just because she ate a plate full of cucumbers yesterday does not mean she won't find them morally offensive today? We have many conversations that go like this: "I want water!" "OK, here is some water" "No, I don't want water!!!!" "OK, don't drink it." "I want water!!!!"
Given the facts, I think this relationship is abusive by anyone's standards. Basically the only thing I have going for me is that she weighs 30 lbs and I weigh...more than that. And I can drive. Like a real car, not the Little Tykes one in our living room. And she doesn't own any firearms. So I think my chances of survival are pretty good. Survival with dignity? That I can't say.