The dangers of living in an abusive situation mess with my mind. On the one hand, I know that abusers can and will escalate abuse when they feel as if they’re losing control. All the literature warns of it. More personally, I can now clearly see my husband escalating the abuse when he feels that he’s losing control.
On the other hand, it is painful and hard for me to remember that he would, could and has hurt me physically – but it’s happened three times now. Nothing that will create a bruise where it will show. Something that he can deny to himself, to me, to anyone. Something that he ultimately blames on me.
Therein lies the danger. If it is so “painful and hard” to remember the abuse, then aren’t I mind fucking myself when I allow or force myself to forget?
He has hurt me. He has threatened to run me through a wood-chipper and dump pieces of me all over Texas – starting with the pond because the fish need feeding. (He’s shared that “joke” with my mother and sister, too.)
He’s threatened my life if I left him. He’s threatened my life if I take the boys away with me. He “doesn’t know what [he] would do” if he suspected me of cheating on him. He bought a gun that’s only “good for killin’ folk.”
I believe that if I left him, I would turn up dead but no one will be able to pin it on him. But his face will have been the last face I saw.
The victim of verbal, emotional, mental and physical abuse constantly lives with the threat of escalating abuse. I constantly live with the threat of escalating abuse. It doesn’t matter if the last incident was yesterday or three years ago – he’s done it before and is capable of doing it again. The question is “When?”
Really think about that for a moment. “When will I be abused again? What will “I” have done to “cause” the abuse? How bad will it be? How much will it hurt?…”
It’s worse after I start thinking, “He’s different now. That was a long time ago; it won’t happen to me again. He’s a good father; he’d never treat the boys that way…” Then guess what? The abuse happens again.
I’m surprised, shocked, knocked off my rocker. I feel the betrayal all over again. I want the pain to stop, so when he says, “I’m sorry” or “You’re a drama-queen!” I want to believe him. I just want the pain to go away.
Maybe he is changing. Maybe the past month HAS been “different”. Maybe he has seen that he has a problem and wants to really truly fix it.
Maybe he really does love me.