We often wonder how a woman finds herself in an abusive relationship….
Quick to judge,
Quick to quip,
Quick to say I would never…
When in reality, we are all one step, one moment and one word from loving an abuser.
Many of the women who have lost their lives at the hands of an abuser or who continue to stay in abusive relationships all begun where we all did.
They loved someone…perhaps to death…
This man I love presents everything that love should look like.
This man I love says all the rights things, things that love should say.
This man I love makes me feel the way love should…
Then one day while basking in this stupor of love, something in him changes. Or does it?
I recall the person I fell in love with, he made me feel like he saved me from a potentially “hazardous” situation. This in essence made him appear before my eyes like a man purely after my heart.
It took months, before the subliminal abuse tactics appeared. Therefore it took months for me to realize a potentially harmful situation. But what made this fundamentally difficult to pin point, was the image, reputation and perception the person had created of himself. This later, would be both my saviour but also my dilemma. I knew no one would believe me, therefore I knew I had to get out.
It started with the basic “you should start covering up and dress like a woman”.
It then escalated to managing the time I spent with my friends, and family. You see, the abuse doesn’t knock at your door, pull up a chair and introduce itself to you.
It is guised when it enters, clothed and even perfumed with tales “we NEED to spend more time together, you spend too much time with your friends and I miss you”, “we must move in together, so I can see you more often”. In public it shows you affection so lit, you linger and cling on to it long after the abuse….
ABUSE ISOLATES, IT RIPS YOU OFF YOUR AGENCY AND TURNS UP YOUR DEPENDENCY
Before I knew it, I was grabbed forcefully by the hand, that it left a bruise. Perplexed, I tried to figure out what happened, was it a mistake or was this a common reaction to being questioned…
My D-Day, the day he was expressly angry at something I had done, he started punching the wall repeatedly followed by “why do you make me so angry”. I knew from that moment, that I had seen all the red flags I needed to see and the next time these punches would land on my body.
The truth is, I didn’t see this coming for a long time and the BEST PART….
When we broke up, I knew that the questions that would arise and I was right…
:- What did you do to him?
:- How could you leave such a well-mannered guy/man?
:- You two were so perfect together…
The abuser has crafted the art of concealing their true nature only for a while. Society has mastered the art of making the victim second guess their decision.
The reality: Character is like pregnancy, you can only conceal it for so long.
We are all abuse victims in the waiting….