I have been reading posts from other domestic violence survivors in support groups. I see myself in so many of the stories I read. The intimidation, manipulation, the “love” the abusers claim they have for their victims. It kills me because as I remember all that I was told and all he claimed I was just so blind and made to believe what he was saying to me was out of love.

IT’S COMPLETE AND UTTER BULLSHIT

These abusers break us down to the point of almost a shell with no brain. They then build us up to what they want us to be. The ease of manipulation and control is what they want. They essentially want their cake and to eat it too.
It honestly sickens me to recall the things I let myself get duped into. The fear he instilled in me. The things I had to do regardless of whether I wanted to do them or not. I felt as if it was all done out of love.

As I have grown as a person and a parent I know in my heart that the moment anyone does this to my child will be the one and only time they do it. Being kept from my own family, not even to speak to them. Having to constantly lie to cover up the bruises, the marks, the pain. I see women now tell themselves that the abuser is truly sorry. I wonder if the amount of alcohol my abuser drank on a daily basis played a huge part in all of it. But then recall not all of the abuse was while he was drinking. He drank so much I feel like he woke up drunk. I don’t know.

There is a part of me that wonders am I partly to blame for getting my ass kicked repeatedly? Only because I know that I forewarned the woman he has been with since then and supposedly he hasn’t done this to her. I don’t know if he ever abused her or not. One thing I will admit that was probably on her side is that they lived right by her parents. He did seem to change his behavior when we weren’t around his family and friends. We lived hours away at one point and he didn’t act the same as he did when we lived with his family. He still had his ways don’t get me wrong. He still had control.

There are things that I honestly haven’t even come to terms with. Things I remember he put me through but can’t admit to. It’s like I feel embarrassment or ridicule will be the end result if I speak on it.
Even though it has been years since I escaped my abuser, I still remain damaged goods. I thought even after I left him that I was all good but didn’t really see the behaviors I was subjecting myself to.

While I lived in Las Vegas I was dating a guy I thought truly cared for me. I allowed him to use me. He even hit me with my own car. Granted it was in the parking lot and at a low rate of speed but he still hit me.
He seemed to care, at least I thought he did. I allowed myself to be duped over and over again. Feeling like I was nothing without the presence of a man. That’s part of their manipulation. Even after you have escaped you still remain under their trance. They changed your way of thinking and make us think that without man to control you, a woman is nothing. A vessel merely traveling with nowhere to go, no one to lead them. A body without a brain. It has taken me years to get where I am today. I know my husband didn’t sign up to deal with the damage left behind by others but he has taken those on like they are his own. He may not completely understand why I act the way I act at times but doesn’t hold it against me. That is one reason why he feels so strongly where it comes to Kayla and the fact that he refuses to see her end up in a relationship/situation like I was in.

My own PTSD has made me aware of the symptoms in my husband. Even though his PTSD isn’t the result of the same trauma as I went through they still have similar symptoms and behaviors. I only want what’s best for my family. There are so many memories I have kept bottled up and fear their escape. It will likely take the rest of my life to recover. I didn’t seek therapy. The times I had people try to intervene I wish I would have allowed but I feared for my life and the lives of my children. Abuse comes in so many forms regardless of the visible signs. You will honestly never know what someone may be going through because of the lies they tell themselves and anyone else. Sometimes it takes someone else who knows what it is like to see the pain inside. To see those invisible symptoms and signs abuse can leave on someone.

I pray for those that have gone through abuse, who have lost their lives to abuse and who are currently going through it. It took me many years to finally escape his reach but the presence of the abuse remains even today.

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