Right now I’m watching Anderson Cooper’s show “Anderson” – he is doing a show on survivors of Domestic Violence, and I am watching a woman who had her face shot off by her husband, let me say that again, HER FACE SHOT OFF BY HER HUSBAND… and she is still defending him, and struggles with facing the fact that that is ABUSE.

If I were an outsider looking in, this would on the one hand, boggle my mind, and on the other hand, make me think that perhaps the abuse, other then that one “little” incident, the abuse was perhaps not such a “big deal”.

But I am not an outsider.

I know how hard it is, not just to let go (I went back to my abuser after he nearly killed me), but to admit to yourself that yes, it was all real.

With all the brainwashing and manipulating, it is easy for an abuser to turn things around on his victim and make it seem like she is the problem. Perhaps, in his mind, this is fact, but that doesn’t mean it is reality.

Let me share with you a sample of a conversation months after a break up with a recent ex:

“You know, I wish you never told me about your condition (I think he is talking about the abuse/PTSD), that changed everything. I wish really. I disliked you for that. You hurt me really that day and I have been hurting ever since. You have no idea what you took from me that day….”
****
“I am not surprised we broke up. We are two very different people….
I don’t know if I ever want to know the whole truth about someone I am with. Some things are not meant to be known. You think I am some kind of murderer or what (he made death threats). I don’t like the way you handled this. Your part of the reason I broke down (he’s severely depressed right now, supposedly). I cannot deal with you as a person.
You have given me that lesson….
I can only deal and accept so much. Your special and its just not in my nature to be with someone I feel sorry for. Its unfair to myself and unfaiir to them. That is why I never could really say i loved you (he did) or feel complete with you….”
*****
“I wasn’t completely happy with you. You just didn’t bring it out in me. I was making my own happiness even when I was with you. I was upset at you because I wanted you to be the one and it just didn’t feel that way. I am still upset at you. I want you to be upset so you can take charge and get yourself through these problems that bother you. I want you to be strong….”
***
“I miss your presence. I miss that a lot. The faces you make, the words of encouragement, the words of advice. I sometimes still wish you could be here with me still.”

Bare in mind that not once during the two+ hours he was texting me did I answer him. I simply set my phone aside and let it ding while I did other things. I then scrolled through the messages later. That way, I would not be tempted to answer him.

A couple comments on this verbal diatribe: it is not my responsibility to make my man happy. It is an individual’s responsibility to find their own happiness in life, and if he found misery with me, he should not have stayed. Also, switching from insulting me, or commenting about how he misses me is a common tactic among abusers, and it is what makes then really affective.

This was not such a “bad” diatribe as far as the abuse I have experienced goes, but, the worse ones I am not ready to wade through or share. But saying it is “not that bad” gives my abuser an excuse, and one thing I promised myself is that I would no longer excuse others for their lousy actions.

Abusers no not let you go. They continually come back after you have left, and if you give in just an inch, they will take that indecision as a vulnerability and exploit it.

I am currently being harassed by that same ex. I have told him multiple times not to contact me. I even contacted the police about him. It goes in cycles, where he harasses me for a while, and then will leave me alone. He is using my property as his “in” – I left some of my belongings at his place when he kicked me out, and I fear going back to get it. Apparently, he trashed them, although at other times, he says he will drop them off for me. So as a birthday present to myself, I replaced the things that were valuable to me that are still there.

Stay safe – be friends with a man before entering a relationship with him. Question his morals and values. Take what he says seriously, even if he jokes about things that are violent/abusive. Look at how he treats his mother and/or sisters, his female friends. This is a good indicator of how he will treat you.

 

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