My self esteem has taken a massive hit

I’ve basically been homebound for the past 4 years (since COVID started) because I live with a controlling and verbally/emotionally abusive person. I’ve lived with him since I was a kid, and now it’s been 20+ years. But before, when I used to go out for school or work, I had an outlet. I used to have time away from the toxicity among friends, and I had a relatively healthy self-image. But for the past 4 years, I’ve been exposed to him 24/7 - my only respite is when he’s asleep or in the bathroom. He essentially used COVID as an excuse to prevent me from going outside at all.

About a year ago, my mom got really sick suddenly. She’s doing better now, but ever since that happened, he started using me as an outlet to offload his stress or something. He regularly gets so mad at me over perceived slights and misbehavior. He yells and yells venomous things about how evil I am and how malicious and selfish and full of myself and this and that. He lies to my mom blatantly about things I supposedly said and did - gaslighting me. He tells her how she should be wary of me because I will cause her harm. Him calling me selfish is the one that hurts the most because I’ve never done anything for myself in my life. I’ve never traveled or dated or had any major life experience or done things I wanted because I’ve had to devote my life to my family.

This kind of thing used to happen before too, but now it’s almost weekly. In my head I know it’s not true and he’s just being a bully. But hearing it over and over again, I feel so small and so hated. When he does it, I feel like I want to hide somewhere so I don’t have to show myself because the sight of me is hated. I don’t want to speak because I feel like my voice is hated. I think constantly about suicide but I’d never do it because I can’t put my mom through that after everything she’s been through. And that makes it feel like I’m even more trapped, chained to a life that has nothing in it for me. The most recent time, that trapped feeling made me desperately grasp for something, and I thought about self-harm like cutting. That thought makes me sad, though I can’t imagine that I’d actually do it.

I used to imagine a life after him or away from him; I used to imagine things like finding love. Now even if I try, I can’t imagine anyone loving me. I just feel gross. It’s frustrating because the rational part of me knows it’s not true, but I can’t help feeling it.


Hello windchill

I’m sorry that you are still going through this circumstance you are in. You are not gross. I’m sorry that the frequency that you have been having to deal with this toxic person seems to be on an uptick again. I know it must be very hard dealing with that, when you don’t have a way to get out on your own. Is there maybe the potential for your to look for a job again, So that you can have a way to remove yourself from the toxic environment?

Hey Windchill. Thanks so much for posting something so painful and personal here on the wall. I had a few questions, but I also wanted to extend a hand of empathy and a listening-ear - heartsupport — Mozilla Firefox - My self esteem has taken a massive hit - HeartSupport / Support - heartsupport — Mozilla Firefox - 2 April 2024 | Loom