But was that really the reason behind putting up with the horrible abuse, the lack of basic respect, and the lying, cheating dirtbag that he revealed himself to be? Was a part of me looking to punish myself, like some sort of masochistic superhero, sacrificing my mental health to try to haul that narcissist from the personal room he had been gifted in hell?
You rehash things as often as your mind will allow you to. I have spent countless hours trying to locate that exact moment when I should have found the emergency exit and split. I can find hundreds of exit-worthy events in the final times, but that very first episode nearly eludes me. How did it slip into such a torturous daily existence so quickly, and how did I miss the chance to pull the cord and jump?
I Know It Wasn’t Overnight…
I know that there must have been a gradual slide between him showing me what an abusive sack of shit he is, and me understanding that the man was going to end up taking my life if I didn’t get out now. I just don’t remember it.
I can remember him punching me in my face one day while my friends were in the living room, visiting from out of town. I can remember him shoving me out the front door into the door frame so hard it split my elbow open. I still have a nasty scar. I remember him breaking a concrete ashtray over my knee so hard I thought it was broken, and couldn’t walk on it for 2 days.
Then there was the time he choked me. To what he thought was my death. How my sweet dog had to come and lick my face, and I heard her making this terrible noise. But it wasn’t her. It was me. It was me trying to pull oxygen into my lungs. It was my own rattling, that close to death, the petechial hemorrhages in my eyes evidence to it later.
I know I have PTSD. I also know that it can affect the way that you remember the trauma. I have been told that it is simply my brain protecting me from memories that it knows I wouldn’t be able to handle. Yet, I wonder sometimes if that’s the best way for my brain to assist. I almost think sometimes that I want to be able to trace back the very instant that it went from borderline abusive to full-blown narcissistic rage and abusive incidents.
My mind, though, in an effort to protect me, it seems, has decided that I can’t handle that information. It put the nix on the memories and basically advised that we will not be investigating that avenue anytime in the near future. My mind has decided that avenue has been closed for road construction, and it must be federally funded because it’s looking like at least a 7-year project.
The Critical Thinker In Me Wants Answers…
Why would you treat someone this way?
Why me? What did I do to make you want to destroy me?
How do you excuse your behavior?
Although I know I’ll never have answers to these questions, they still plague me just the same. It’s a horrible mental cage, knowing that if you just had a few answers, you could file the memories away in the past, or run them through a shredder twice. It seems that the more you look for the reasons, the further from having them you actually are.
I want to know why he chose me to abuse. I want to know so that I can seal off that part of myself and be sure that it is never seen again. Whatever his green light was, I need to identify and destroy it, because it allowed him to worm his way into my life.
Looking Back With Clarity…
I know that my need to be the fixer of people led to my demise. I should have bailed at the first sign of trouble, but that’s always been a problematic situation for me. I like to believe that I can heal the broken parts of people. As it turns out, the grafts that I give to them come from pieces of my own well-being, and I nearly lost my life in the process.
One of the main reasons that he would absolutely go into tantrum mode was when I questioned him about the things I found on the Grindr app. He was having sex, I found out later unprotected, with random men on a hookup app. Many times. However, it was just like anything else that I deserved an answer to, and he would fly into a rage and put his hands on me instead of talking about anything.
If I could have left at any time, I would have. I was financially trapped, and he aimed to make sure that I stayed that way. There wasn’t a time that I could have a dollar that he knew about without him taking it from me. I hate myself for ever being in a situation that made me dependent on him. I hate everything about what my life was at that time.
I have become wiser. I have realized the value of letting go, of cutting your losses, of walking away from bad investments. That doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t still revisit this trauma and wonder “where was the moment I should have recognized the danger?” Often I think that if my brain would let me remember the moment, I would be able to let this go. That’s probably not true, though.
I Think My Hiatus From Dating Is Fear…
I no longer trust my ability to recognize a predator. I no longer believe that I can spot the warning signs in time to save myself. Out of fear of making another decision this epically bad, I abstain. I have a permanent barrier around my being, and it lends me comfort. I don’t want to have another encounter with someone like you. I don’t even want to know anyone else like you.
I would spend the remainder of my life alone before I would lend another moment of my life to an abusive piece of shit like you.
This post was previously published on Any Writers.
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