There is something incredibly intense about loving an abusive man. Those who have never experienced it have a hard time comprehending this addiction. They ask why she doesn’t just leave. Why she puts up with it. Well it must not be so bad if she stays…..
The abusive relationship is about extremes. The terrible days are SO bad, it makes the ‘good’ days seem incredibly good. The lower you sink, the worse you’re treated, the more you cling to any tiny crumb of humane treatment. You can have 2 black eyes from the night before, but when you wake up and see he’s cleaned the kitchen, you know he really loves you, he’s trying so hard. Then he REALLY gets your hopes up when there’s a few ‘good’ weeks (when he’s not called you names or hit you or anything!!) You think that last incident really was the last incident and all of that is in your past, you are so happy, so in love…… Then BAM!!! The cycle starts all over.
Looking back, my girls dad was mean to me right for the start, before we moved in together, before I got pregnant. He was mean just a month or so in. We’d get in awful fights and he’d threaten to get my kids taken away, I remember him breaking a cabinet…. So why on earth would I beg this man to stay with me, why did I then decide to have a child with him and let him move into my house, without a job?
There is this incredible sick twisted feeling of accomplishment and happiness when this person who is so cruel and violent is nice to you. It’s like you are the most special person, the chosen one, who gets to see the beauty inside this horrid creature. I think that is the allure of the ‘bad boy’ that he is so mean to everyone, but lets his guard down and is nice to you. You are the one person he can trust and show his soft side to….. So you stay, enduring unspeakable pain, just for those moments when he is sweet to you. You cling to those moments, replay them over and over. If only things were always like that.
In the story of Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde the doctor switches back and forth between good and evil. He starts out good, and gradually you see less and of the doctor as Hyde takes over his personality. This is exactly what happens in an abusive relationship. You cling to the memories of the doctor, and those brief fleeting moments when he is around. You think that is his REAL personality, that Hyde is the ‘fake’ personality, not the real him. Then, one day you realize that the doctor was not real, HE was the fake part, Hyde is who that man really is. He just pretended to be a doctor to keep you around.
This is an excerpt for a journal from September 1999 or so, a letter to my abuser. I had just turned 21, and about 3 years into the relationship. Still trying desperately to ‘fix’ things, to get through to him:
“ I have felt so good these past few weeks. I’ve felt so close to you… so in love with you. I’m thinking of marriage and babies… so looking forward to our life together.
We had a long talk… and we both vowed to stop all of the abuse going on in our home. (** notice here I am taking equal blame for the abuse, he convinced me it was me making him hurt me) I told you I would stop… and I have stopped. You told me you would stop too. And I could see you were working on this.
I had such hope. All of those wonderful feelings came back and fell in love with you again. We were having fun again.
(Then) it all changes… you get so mean… start calling me names, breaking things and hurting me again. You held your hands around my neck and locked me in the bedroom I realized you weren’t being nice, you had not changed… you were not trying any harder. The only reason you were being nice is because you were high.”
It’s so interesting looking back at my own words, while I was in the middle of that hell. You can’t fix him, you can’t inspire change or love him enough to make him stop…. I promise!! I’d love to share your story alongside mine AutumnIvyMommy@yahoo.com HUGS!!! A&I