Trapped in An Abusive Relationship?
People trapped in an abusive relationship hear, "You're so much better than this! Why are you staying?" I knew I was better than my experience. I knew I didn't deserve to be treated that way. Yet, when someone pointed that out to me, I wanted to dig in my heels and fight to stay.
I knew I was better than how he treated me, but I thought my abuser was also a better man than how he behaved. I saw us as equally hurting. I thought we both were trapped in an abusive relationship.
I Thought We Were Both Trapped In The Abusive Relationship
I thought he must be in extraordinary pain to be able to hurt me in those ways - to say those things to me, to pretend to mean what he said, to use his hands to back up his words. I thought he and I were both in pain.
I deserved better treatment, but he and I were the same. He deserved a chance to find happiness. He deserved love, kindness, respect, ... true love. He deserved my love (despite giving me disrespect and hate) because we were the same.
When someone told me I was better than him, I recoiled like a striking snake. The logic made no sense. How could I be better than my equal? They, the ones who encouraged me to leave my abuser, became my enemy.
As I began recounting the great things about my abuser to my new enemy, the better memories from our honeymoon periods took precedence. I reinforced to myself why I stayed as I tried to convince my enemy of the same thing. My logic was not the same as my enemy's. What I did made perfect sense to me. Giving up on him meant giving up on me.
I Was A Good Person Trapped In An Abusive Relationship
I was loyal, loving, willing to be strong through the tough spots. I could see past the bad to the goodness in my abuser. I would not only survive, but pull him up out of his internal sea of hate. I owed him that because I promised him that I would never leave him. I promised to love, honor, and cherish; not use, turn-tail, and ridicule.
My sense of loyalty and the belief that he and I were equals (both effects of brainwashing) kept me trapped in our abusive relationship. I stayed because I felt that to leave indicated a betrayal of who I was. My abuser already betrayed me in many ways. I didn't want to betray myself, so I remained loyal to him. Ensnared by who I am as much as what he did to me, I remained trapped in an abusive relationship for almost two decades.
I Didn't Hear Right When Trapped In My Abusive Relationship
It seems as if, in my married days, I spoke a different language from my family and friends. When they told me I deserved better and offered a way out, I didn't hear what they wanted me to hear. I heard "I don't recognize you anymore. You're a mess. You need help. You're doing it wrong. There's something wrong with YOU."
I guarantee that's not what they meant. Yet I picture myself saying those same well-meaning words to domestic abuse victims today. I want them to see what I see in them. But I'm not speaking their language. I am their enemy.
Holly, K. (2012, March 23). Trapped in An Abusive Relationship?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2012/03/trapped-in-an-abusive-relationship
Author: Kellie Jo Holly
I both amazed & suprised there are so many of us. I feel for all of you & your sircumstances. The only advise i have.... & am in a tight situation myself so discount much of what I say. But In a relationship with these troubles. Ask for change, more opinion, respect, appreciation & change with the person. If they refuse, never try, dont acknowledge they lack of effort & continue in their ways. get the F out. Logistics, finances & feasablity can all be figure out & needs met in north american society at least if you choose to. Dont put up, but dont deny your faults if you do have then. If so, over come them, master & own them. Then you have grown & taken your personal power back. Its not about a fight & winning. Its about being you & the responcible, capable, unique, diverse, adaptable, best mother F'ing parent you could possible be. Im not a big fan of cutting other parents out of childrens lives as they are needed, unless they are needed out. some do for sure. but thats case per case. God speed & hold true to your beliefs & morals. We all knew better, but refused to accept the reality of our situations. hang in there until change is futile & your growth is ripe & ready. Much love fellow earthlings!
I hope it helps.