From the U.S.: I was abused mentally by a woman throughout my childhood into my adult years. This woman adopted me and groomed me as she had seen fit – that is into a housewife/sex kitten for my husband; which she picked out. It wasn’t that I complied because I wanted to please her, I was just too exhausted to defend myself any further because every time I made an attempt toward independence, she layered on the guilt or threatened. I won’t get into too much detail. But she was very manipulative, controlling, and cruel. I felt like she had repressed homosexual urges that she projected onto me. For example, during a family event she was ready to leave and refused to do so unless I kissed her on the mouth. In front of everyone. Even though I felt uncomfortable. (And made others uncomfortable.) She used to physically groom me for dates or meeting her male friends by doing my hair, makeup, and how I dressed.
I felt like a pet. Like she owned me. Life was hell.
Then one day, she died suddenly and I was free.
But I have no idea what to do with said freedom… How do you live your life freely when you spent your life being completely dominated by someone else? What should my next steps be?