During those late nights when he didn’t want me to go to bed because he didn’t want to be alone, were nights filled of memories, reflection and tears. From him.
As the music and stale stench of alcohol filled the living room, I often found myself sitting with a man who was broken and who was lost. Looking deep into his eyes, they were filled with tears, he was sitting with me in the room but his mind had wondered off to a place no matter how hard I tried, I could never reach him.
Looking at the pain on his face it looked as though his journey had been a difficult one, which according to him, I could never possibly understand. Now looking from the outside in, he was absolutely right, how could I understand something I had never been through myself?
He looked little, lost and like a man crumbling up inside and whenever I tried to reach out to him, he would just go further and further away from me.
Although I tried desperately to love him, for some reason, he didn’t want to be loved and that hurt. He knew I loved him, that oozed from me but whenever I got too close, he didn’t want to know, as though he was frightened to be loved.
Sometimes it looked as though his memories hurt him when thinking about them but he just couldn’t seem to let go for whatever eason.
Over the three years we were together, I heard quite often how it was always someone else’s fault and how he had been treated badly. How he had always tried so hard to do the right thing by others but he was never treated right.
I was completely engrossed in everything he had told me, why would I have any reason to doubt him, why would he feel the need to lie to me?
At the time, little did I know, him blaming everyone around him for his behaviour was his justification to abuse and control me.
I didn’t see it as abuse or control when I was in a relationship with him. I thought this happened in all relationships, I tolerated his behaviour because I didn’t know any different. He was charming and clever in all that he did.
He never shouted or raised his voice at me. His calm voice and his face in mine was intimidating enough.
On the rare occasion we were out together, so many people knew him, so many people spoke to him and he revelled the attention, especially from females. His eyes would sparkle and shine whenever he was flirting, as though he had something to prove as though it was some sort of competition between us and he had to make sure h always won, every single time. It felt as though he had to show he was always better than me whether it was proving he was better looking or more popular. But looking outside in, he wasn’t popular at all. People knew him, his reputation and what he was capable of, they feared him.
When you are in an abusive relationship, you are existing on autopilot trying to stay safe in an extremely dangerous environment. you can’t see the full picture or what is going on around you.
Through manipulation, control and fear you lose the ability to function properly, you are psychologically and mentally drained, the goalposts are constantly moved as you try so hard not to walk on the egg shells that lay beneath your feet.
The thing is, we are blinded by fear, it is absolutely petrifying living with a perpetrator and the things they tell us, we believe. We believe them because it’s easier for us to do so, it’s safe to agree than disagree.
You find little ways to stay safe or to try and stay safe and I never once dared to disagree. He always told me that I dragged him down to my level and of course at the time I believed him but reality was it was him who was a skeleton, he was the one with no friends, the lonely one, he dragged me down to his level so he could feel better about his life.
He was a troubled man with so much on his mind he wouldn’t let it out or let anyone in. I was with him for 3 years and despite what he had been through in his life, there was never an excuse for him to abuse me.