Why I Stayed In An Abusive Relationship

Thomas Hawk / Flickr.com.
Thomas Hawk / Flickr.com.

He was my drug. I remember reading once that being in love is like a drug. It can become an addiction that swallows you up from the inside out. When him and I fought I would get depressed, but then we would get back together and I would feel happy, like a drug addict fiending for a fix. My brain was addicted to his smell, to his face, to his twisted version of love. And when I lost him I felt like I was in withdrawal. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, and my concentration became lost in a fuzzy haze of brain fog. This one guy who once was my everything, was done with me. I didn’t know where to turn or what to do.

Why does love make us so crazy? Even after everything had turned for the worse, I still kept fighting. I wanted everything to be fine. I wanted to go back to the beginning when we were happy, and when he would kiss me every day and tell me that I looked beautiful even though I looked like a mess.

Now I realize that it was love I was searching for, and not any special guy in particular. I was just looking for someone to fill that void; the hole that I felt in my heart. With him, my depression and anxiety was gone. We barely had anything in common. Why did I love him? I was in love with the idea of him, the fact that I never felt alone, and that I always had someone with me to confide in.

There has always been this hole inside of me that I felt like I couldn’t fill. My brain has been flooded with prescription drugs from Prozac to Zoloft but none of them really seemed to help. I believe depression is genetic — most people don’t understand what I’m feeling. Occasionally I get the clichés like, “Smile! Life isn’t that bad!” I’ve always wondered why people felt the need to say these things. Maybe they were just trying to help, but what they don’t realize is that it doesn’t help at all; these callous remarks just make me sink deeper.

When I met him, that hole that I felt inside seemed like it had been filled. I no longer felt alone. Things were amazing in the beginning until we started fighting and not trusting each other. And our fights turned physical a few times. He thought I was cheating on him, which I wasn’t. He thought that somehow when he would hit me that he would change my brain to not do bad things, like I was some sort of dog. I sheepishly gave in and came back, but why? Why did I stay with him when he treated me so badly? This is what I constantly ask myself. “He wouldn’t do it again,” I’d say, and yet he did, so I called the cops, only to later drop the charges and come running back. Two years of this game — and for what? So I don’t have to be alone? Did I subconsciously like the drama? Did I feel I had nowhere else to go but up? That is what our relationship was like: a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. I know now that I should have respected myself enough to leave, but every time I tried I became too scared and would run back.

I guess I am writing this to finally put to rest what has been eating at me. After everything that I have been through, I deserve a break. I need to love myself first; I need to focus on my hobbies. And only then can I learn what real love is and how a man is really supposed to treat a woman. It won’t be easy, but with time I will heal.

My advice to all those women out there that are suffering from abusive relationships is to leave. Mine started with verbal threats. I thought to myself, “He’s only saying these things because he loves me.” But it wasn’t love; it was controlling. Any real man who loves you should not feel the need to put his hands on you.

If you feel like you can’t leave, I promise things will get better. You will forget about him. You will find someone who treats you right and loves you the way you are supposed to be loved. It won’t be easy at first. I still have some scars that I am trying to work out. However being without him is infinitely better than being with a liar — a manipulating, controlling boy who doesn’t know how to communicate with words, so resorts to his fists.

There is someone better out there for you, I promise. Always remember to love yourself first. And don’t be afraid to be selfish. TC mark

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