I am not a victim. I am not a scared little girl. I am not the person you pushed me to be.
A long time ago, I was happy. It was easy to smile, to laugh, to make friends. Now, thanks to you, it's not. I loved easy. It was easy to love you. It was easy to pour my entire being into loving you. You made me smile. You told me I was beautiful. You supported me and lifted my spirits. Until you didn't. Until you broke them.
The first time you threw me across the room for disagreeing with you should have been my red flag to get out. But the next morning, when you crept into the bedroom I had hid in and fell asleep in the floor of, and you kissed me and apologized, the red flag disappeared. You didn't mean it. You wouldn't do it again. I believed you.
A couple nights later it happened again. You threw me across the room like I was a used toy you didn't wanna play with anymore. And again... you held me while I cried and told me that you didn't mean it. So it became the game of eggshells. Don't make him mad. Easy, right?
I thought so. Until you came in drunk. I was tired. I'd worked all day and you were unemployed. I was frustrated. I yelled. I made you mad. You choked me, picking me up off my feet. Another red flag that I ignored.
See, I thought it was my fault. I thought I brought this out of you. If I could just stop arguing. Stop fighting you. Because I loved you more than anything and didn't want to lose you so I was willing to water myself down just to keep you around.
So I watched my p's and q's. Did everything you needed. You kept your hands to yourself. We were happy.
Until we weren't. My grandmother died. You couldn't handle my grief. It pushed you too far. You slapped me in the mouth the day before her funeral. Now what do I do?
The first time I had to lie. The first time I couldn't hide that I was being abused. The first time my family didn't believe me when I told them you weren't that bad.
You disappeared for a little while, so I decided to take it as a chance to leave. But I couldn't. Something stopped me. Then I heard from you. You cried. You begged. You swore you'd never do it again. I believed you.
Until you did. Again. And again. And again. Several incidents that i truly believed i was going to die. All the way up until the very last time, you gashed my head open. and even then...I forgave you at the first sign of remorse.
People don't understand what it's like to be in an abusive relationship. Why it's so hard to get out. Because while you are in it, you are a victim. Not just a victim of abuse. Not just a victim of fear. But you're a victim of love, too. You hide the bruises. You walk on egg shells. But you look at the man that's causing you all this pain, as he flips through the channels or eats his dinner, and in that moment, you see the man you loved. Because in that moment his face isn't angry. His hands aren't around your throat. He's peaceful. And sometimes he helps you clean up dinner. You dance around the kitchen laughing like teenagers in love. He wraps his arms around you and kisses you. Tells you how beautiful you are and how much he loves you and how he's so grateful to have a woman that stands by him. And in those moments, you are happy. Until you're not. When you're not, you hold on until you are. Because a part of you wants to run but a part of you lies to yourself and says, "He doesn't mean it." You're still in love with the man that didn't hit you. And because he allows that man to come out every now and then you think he's there. So you hang on.
See you're a victim of abuse because he hits you, throws you, chokes you, yells at you, belittles you.
You're a victim of fear because you're afraid to breathe the wrong way. To not agree with something he says. To object to him leaving whenever he wants. To ask for love. To ask for kindness. To come off as needy. To leave, in fear that if you try he will kill you. Fear is overpowering.
You're a victim of love because despite all of this, you love him. You battle with yourself every day trying to figure out why you do, but you do. See, he means everything to you. You've given up your family, your friends, everything for him. So why would you just turn your back on the only person that hasn't left you? Right?
Wrong. He made your brain think that way. He told you he was the only one that loved you. That no one would be there for you like him. He liked you as a victim because you not only viewed him as your abuser, but he made you think he was your protector, too. He stood up for you when people he ran with disrespected you. Verbally. But he never put up a fight for you. He just spoke on it and then he let it go. And you were ok with that because since he said something you thought he cared. But that was wrong, too. He brainwashed you. Gave himself a God complex in your head. So that you would eat, sleep, and breathe him. But when it came down to it, he couldn't handle it. So he would hurt you. Because when he hurt you, you backed away from him. Out of fear. And that gave him room to roam freely, because you were too scared to object to it. But you don't have to be a victim.
I am not a victim. I am a fighter. I am a survivor. It IS possible to get away.
Though it is not easy. Getting away doesn't mean that the fear goes away. It just means that it's not immediate. Your body isn't always on high alert. But the anxiety is still there. You put up a wall around your heart. Never to let anyone in again.
But the fear isn't the only thing you have to get control of. The heartbreak of losing your love is still there. Just like it would be if the abuse wasn't an issue. Because this person is all you've known for so long. So the tears of missing him will come. Because you realize that the person that you thought you loved isn't there. That was him playing tricks on you. He isn't that person anymore. But he knew what it was you loved about him, so he never forgot how to be that person. He used that as his secret weapon to reel you back in when he felt like you were drifting off. It wasn't real.
The sooner you learn that the quicker the tears will stop. But just because the tears stop, doesn't mean the pain does. The pain is dull but it's there. Every morning when you wake up, somewhere besides beside him... it's there. And at first, it's breathtaking. But you sit up, you assess your surroundings. You are SAFE. and THAT is what is important.
You got away. You survived. Now you take everything one day at a time. One foot in front of the other. Slowly, things will make you smile again. Someone will make you laugh again. You may not love for a while, and that is okay. Because you forgot how to love you along the way of loving him. So you learn to love yourself. You find reasons to move forward. You are no longer a victim. You are a fighter. And THAT is something to be proud of. That is a reason to move forward.