I believe that there is a big misunderstanding of why women stay with men that abuse them. Actually many misunderstandings. But the one I am thinking about today is the idea that we stay because we don’t love ourselves. That is patently wrong and I want to tell you why.
We, as abused women, have a huge capacity for love. Period. In order to love another, especially a disordered fuck? That takes enormous amount of resilience and courage and love. The fact remains that abusive relationships do not start out abusive. They just don’t. It’s the slow boil that starts out kindly with the promise of so much goodness and love to come. The fact that the trajectory starts out at a ten and ends up at a zero is invisible to those of us who have never stood face to face with such masked deception.
I will not be told that if only I had loved myself, this would never have happened. I’m quite sure that if I didn’t love myself, I would never have even tried to forge ahead, post divorce (which in itself was an act of self love), looking for someone to add to my life. I definitely wasn’t looking for someone to abuse me in the targeted and deliberate ways James did. I just wanted someone I could love and who would love me in return.
The person who doesn’t love themselves in this equation? It’s James.
When I was a little girl, I used to escape the drinking inside my house by taking my baton and twirling it for hours and hours on my front lawn. My neighbors must have thought that I was bonkers because I wasn’t any good. But I marched and twirled and danced until the sun would set.
I like to think the little me did that because despite the chaos going on inside my house (for which I was not to blame and could not control) I knew a way to escape it. That little girl? She loved herself. Just as I do now.
If you think to yourself,
“What should I do now?”
then take the baton, girl,
you better run with it.
There is no point in standing in the past
‘cause it’s over and done with.