I cried. I cried ALL the time.
It was like an incessant roller coaster of ups and downs. There was never a rhyme or reason to the outbursts that would reduce me to tears, they just happened. It was somehow, always, my fault. I had used a condescending tone, I didn’t give a harsh enough punishment to my misbehaving child, I forgot to wash an important article of clothing, I shouldn’t have been looking through his text messages, I spent too much of my time being involved with my church, and the list goes on….
There were days that I felt he was driving me to leave, he was pushing my buttons so that I would pack up and go and he would finally be rid of me. But when I would work up the courage to leave, he would immediately change his tune. He couldn’t live without me, he would do whatever it took to straighten up his life. And then the roller coaster would start all over again.
Strapped in, nowhere to go, hanging by a thread…
The nightmare repeats. He would manage a few weeks of normalcy, digging his hooks back in, reeling me back to the beginning.
Ascending. Click, click, click, reaching the starting point. Then, take off. Descending rapidly. Twisting and turning. Flipping and jerking. Highs and lows. Utter confusion. It’s the roller coaster ride that you just want to get off of, but it keeps going and going.
Why? Why, you ask, would anyone continue to stay in a relationship that makes you miserable? Victims of domestic abuse are blind to what is happening. We are blindfolded with manipulation, charm, and empty promises. Promises that we cling to with every hope we have left. Hope that our abuser will stop. Hope that our abuser will allow us to heal them. Hope that our abuser will one day revert back to that amazing person they were when we first met. You see, we know that they have the potential to be great. That’s how they won our hearts in the first place.
The nightmare will never end unless we remove the blindfold. Remove it, and see clearly where the torture is coming from.
I cried all the time for 12 years. Then one day, with the support of my family, I ripped that blindfold off. Now when I cry, it’s because I’m happy.