You know when you enter a new relationship and you have the butterflies and the Honeymoon stage where you want to see each other often and get to know all about each other? Abusive relationships are the same to an extent because usually, they go much further.
Each time I have been in a domestic violent relationship they didn’t start that way- abusive or the bad first, they started with someone who wanted to know all about me, they started the same as everyone else’s. Except they were different, Super Psycho and Satan wanted to have all my time, they molded themselves to be something they were not at all. I remember thinking I was so lucky! Forever ever after, right?
Except they wanted to move fast faster than most relationships should go, within the first month professing love for me, future plans and that is how narcissistic people start they mirror you so you believe you have met the perfect person for you- because they match what you do, how you act and speak, your body language and you become almost hooked.
Then they start to control you because it’s easier once they have you convinced you are a match made in heaven, they slowly control all you do, where you go, how you speak, how you dress, who you can talk with.
This can happen to anyone literally anyone, so if you find yourself thinking “It only happened to me because I have low self-confidence” you would be wrong, some of the most confident women/men have been in your shoes and wondered how they too got there. I bring this up because more than once after I left both relationships? Family oh those that are supposed to have your backs made it clear it was because of my low self-confidence. Abuse doesn’t see age, race, emotional needs, weight or height. There is no easy target, and what I felt was these men didn’t want an easy target because the fun is in breaking someone who is very strong and who they didn’t deserve having any business having a relationship within the first place.
After some time passes and they know you aren’t going to run away they extend the verbal/emotional abuse to physical. Super Psycho I never talk about maybe I should or maybe I am not fully ready. He used to hold me down by my throat telling me how easy it would be to kill me, end my life and no one would care. The time he didn’t like the way I cleaned the floor and didn’t do the dishes in a timely manner and he broke a set of my ribs, nothing ever visible because people saw me, I went out when allowed and he never wanted people to know. I saw that sneer and I knew I was in trouble, I had fucked up his lunch, I had fucked up something again and I was going to pay. It’s not fair but it was my life for a while, living in constant fear but you can’t shake the feeling of how much you love the person!
I went through this with Satan as well, many cocked fists without follow through, next day flowers & gifts appeared promises to stay sober (remember being sober doesn’t fix an abuser). Tantrums from a grown man breaking my things or punching the wall beside my head. I walked on eggshells forever, never knowing when I was going to mess up and do the wrong thing. The end came in both when I gained enough strength, saw that I couldn’t live this way anymore, but it takes a lot to get there. It is NOT as easy as to “why don’t you just leave? Why did you accept this treatment? ”
(The left was hours after my face was almost broken by my abuser, the right another difficult day. A smile can only cover so much some people will assume you are doing great whereas others will look into your eyes and know you aren’t ok.)
Because it’s simply not that easy after the abuse cycle makes a full turn? You end up at square one again and think the next time won’t be as bad I mean he/she promised right? You generally have no friends because she/he’s banished them from your life and you don’t have anyone to talk to about your relationship maybe you think it’s not abuse, or not bad enough to not stick it out. Or this beer will be the last one and he’ll really wake up tomorrow and not hurt me, tomorrow never came for improvement on the relationship.
I wish that I had known that ending the relationship? Is the most dangerous time of the domestic violence relationship, I wish I would have known that I would have run & hidden several times to escape Super Psycho, I wish I would have known he would have tried several times to kill me, I wish I would have known how hard it would have been to let go.
I wish I had known that the abuse escalates when you decide to take that step, to end the abuse, to cut off the narcissists supply. I wish I would have known this, though I don’t know it would have made a difference. I barely had a safety plan for Super Pyscho I never got counseling after him, I didn’t know you are supposed to have a safety plan or 5. It is very important to have a safety plan if you are able to stay with friends, family, or able to go to your local shelter or have the money tucked for a motel room. You need to have a safety plan because of the aftermath of this breakup? Isn’t like everyone else’s it is intense, scary and hard but you can do it. I know you can because I did and I felt weak, I felt so weak but I did it and I believe you can too.
A lot of people don’t want to hear your story, it doesn’t matter if you need to speak it a lot to heal, share and share again because others who cannot speak yet? Need to know that it’s ok to speak out!
Trauma bonds, what does that mean? How do I know?
It comes back to the frog in the slow boiling water, trauma bonds hold you intact with your abuser. They make you blind to the abuse, the words and pain you feel whereas others are upset about it but you believe your abuser will change because they promised.
The place to create a trauma bond involves intensity, complexity, inconsistency, and that promise. We as victims stay because we are holding on to that “promise”. There is always manipulation involved. Victims are prey to the manipulation because they are willing to tolerate anything for the payoff meaning we do what we have to because he/she is going to change right? He/she is going to get better and turn into that “Prince charming” again, which is that elusive promise and ever-present hope for the fulfillment of some deeply personal need within the victim.
Ending the relationship and going no contact is the only way to see the relationship for what it really was, picking up your pieces, have your safety plan ready in case you need it, seek help from a local woman’s shelter for advice and sources for free counseling because you need that person on your side. I know if I wouldn’t have used the services this time that I left almost 22 months ago? I would have returned to my abuser, it takes time to leave and generally you go back- I did 3 times and then wasted 6 months of my life seeing if he was going to change away from me but he never did. Trauma bonds stick they can make you miss someone so much it physically hurts, I do promise it is worth it.
I don’t HAVE to do the dishes every night, I don’t HAVE to be perfect to prevent a fight, a lecture or a physical altercation. I have developed an anxiety with cleaning, it must be done or I start to be worried, but I feel in time that will pass.
I have PTSD but I will overcome it eventually, I will one day not look over my shoulder, I won’t have the sickening feeling when an unknown number rings across my screen, one day I will feel 100% safe at all times and I’m stronger every day for surviving.
You are a capable amazing person who can do anything they set their minds too
I believe you, which means more than one person will
You can do hard things, you can conquer what you face in front of you
If you try to leave and it doesn’t happen right away? Know that is normal, Know that you just need some more time, resources and help. Don’t give up.
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