Most of us arrive at support forums, blogs, counseling etc., with little to no understanding of what abuse is or isn’t. Often this is because we have no true frame of reference. We’re drained, confused, tired, afraid, discouraged and exhausted. Several years ago, I stumbled onto my first support community online, and was privileged to share my own story, and be a part of hearing the stories of others.
It’s a process, and sometimes it looks like this.
Is this abuse?
It is? Are you sure?
Yeah! That jerk! I’m really mad now!
I probably misrepresented this.
You know, I’m not perfect.
People don’t understand him.
People don’t understand that he loves me.
Wait… was that abuse?
What about that?
(Are you sure other relationships aren’t like this….?)
Is it true that some men never behave that way?
What are people talking about… codependent?
It’s his fault.
I’m so relieved! It’s his fault!
I’m not crazy!
Because he’s a jerk.
Why should I work on myself? He’s the one with the problem.
I’ll tell you what the Problem Is!!!! If HE would ____, then I would/wouldn’t _____. HE said ____, so I _____.
HE behaved this way_____, so I have to _____.
Don’t you see I have no choice here?
Can you help me to make him stop being abusive?
How can I change him?
I need him to change.
What do you mean… I can only change myself?
I don’t need that, I.NEED.HIM.TO.CHANGE.
I can’t live without him.
My pain is going to swallow me up without him.
I hate him!
I was overreacting. The truth is that he can be so sweet sometimes.
I can’t take this anymore.
He’s destroying me.
He needs me… I mean… he loves me!
I’m going to stop thinking about this because we had a few really good days together.
Why can’t he just stay nice, decent?
You don’t understand how much I love him. You don’t understand him.
I met this man… he treats me so differently. I wish I could be with him.
I can’t believe I was ever with that jerk! What was I thinking? What a waste of my life!
No, this new guy isn’t controlling, he just does ‘that’ because he cares so much about me.