So, it doesn’t matter what he said or did in the past, it doesn’t matter what he did or didn’t feel, or what he does or doesn’t feel now. Or even what he is or isn’t doing now, unless it is harming me or my children.
So why do I do it? Why do I continue to engage with my abuser? Why do I continue to obsess about what he may or may not be doing? Why do I dwell on the past? Why do I continue to ask myself – why me? Why did he do it if he loved me? Did he love me? If he didn’t love me, he must have hated me to treat me like that! What sort of an awful person I must be to be hated like that? Why is he nice to her when he couldn’t be nice to me? Did I imagine it all? Why can’t I be in a happy family in a supportive neighbourhood with a future to look forward to? Why do I have to live with this pain?
I guess the trap I fall into, and always did with him, is that the abuse often took form of withholding emotion, complete inaction and lack of reaction to things I said or did. As it is now.
I haven’t done much research into family violence, nor psychological abuse and I am not an expert, but I suspect that we, as victims, get addicted to the abuse, as the only form of attention we get from our abusers. As a child misbehaves to get his parents’ attention, so we also attempt to engage with our abusers and prompt a reaction, any reaction…..
It sounds pretty pathetic, especially once we’re out of that relationship, but the complete control the abuser had over us and our life, probably means that now we’re isolated and alone. If he was the only emotional connection we had with anyone, as poor as it was, it was better than nothing and we want it back… I want to know that I mean/meant something to him…. And regardless of whether he does or doesn’t respond, the abuse continues….
I have to break that cycle. I thought I had. But somehow I keep falling back into that trap, driven by loneliness, isolation and despair.
I know how I should think:
- Only what I think matters
- Only what I feel matters
- Only what I do matters
- Only the present matters
- The future is worth living for
- I am worth living and caring for
- He has no control over me
I just don’t know how to make that real…
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