Abusive Relationship: Why Didn’t You Leave?

Its not until you’ve had time to sit back and really reflect upon something, that you really start to understand the little bits and pieces and happenings that you didn’t see before.

For me, this reflection comes in many forms. Sometimes its just a passing thought. Sometimes its a feeling of wanting to go back to what I previously had. And sometimes it comes in the form of an overwhelming amount of tears and heartache. But every time it happens, I see things a little more for what they are, instead of what I thought they were.

After getting out of my most recent relationship, I’ve been recovering from an immense amount of abuse. And when I say abuse, I don’t mean that this person physically hurt me, I mean they emotionally beat me down until I was nothing but a shell of a person. Physical, or emotional.. the abuse is all the same. You can recover physically, but in both situations, psychological aftereffects are prevalent.

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I had a passing thought. I’ve been in two serious relationships, and there were huge differences in the way that I functioned during them. I realized what a difference in security I felt. During my 1st, I had friends, I went out and was completely okay with being by myself. My second, not so much.

During my second, most recent serious relationship, I had completely closed myself off to everybody else around me. I would stay home and wait for my partner to get home. Everything in my life revolved around them, and doing what I could to make sure they wouldn’t leave. I wasn’t secure enough to leave the house with confidence that they would be there when I got back. So I stayed.

When they would leave, I had intense anxiety and distrust that they were in some way betraying me. I felt that way for good reasons, because that bond of trust had been broken many times before. But that being said, even though I knew what was going on, I stayed. I just couldn’t leave.  They kept me dangling, and whenever they would see me starting to stray, they would hook me and pull me back in.

     I always knew that flattery & mystery were a dangerous combination. If you can flatter someone, make them feel good, then hide behind a game of catch & release… You’ve hooked them. They hooked me in every way a person could possibly been taken in. Started with compliments. These were no more than a combination of pretty words put together to make me feel like nobody has had me feel before. They were empty, the meant nothing. Then came the mystery. Portraying a life like no other.. something only they could provide me.. and convinced me its something I needed. So in-return, the want, that ever-nagging craving for them began to grow more intense by the day.

Once I was no more than mere putty in their hand, they began to mold me. They would build me up, and then do something so terrible to tear me down, and just watch me burn for a few days. Once there wasn’t much left, they would then build me up for a moment, just to tear me down the next. And this was a vicious cycle that went on for months. But again, I stayed.

I stayed through verbal lashings over things that were beyond my control. I stayed through repeated betrayal of trust and cheating. I stayed through being nothing more than a wallet and a warm place to stay to them. Why did I stay, you ask? The answer to that question is something I still don’t know. Looking back, I had all the reason in the world to leave them, but I was too fearful of what my life would end up like if I did.

When all was said and done, there was nothing left to me. No personality, no desire to stick up for myself, and absolutely zero self-worth. This person took everything from me. And by that, I mean emotionally, they took everything I had. I wanted to die. I felt like there was nothing left to live for. If I didn’t have myself, what did I have? Nothing.

     When you lose yourself, that is when you have truly lost everything. And that, my friends, is the lowest a person could possibly be. – Lennox





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