The days will turn into months and the months into years. The longer you subject yourself to an abusive relationship, the longer it seems it takes to recover. Now, I’m sure this may receive some push-back, but I’m going to say it anyway. I use the word “subject” because you can always leave. I didn’t leave for sixteen years, so I know this is not easy to do. However, there are those who catch on quicker. Some see that their partner is treating them bad and get out in a few weeks. Some stay longer. Some stay forever.
No matter how long you stay, though, the fact of the matter is that you have the option to leave. I believe that the longer you stay, the harder it is to walk away. The longer you stay the more control your partner has over you, and the more you have to lose.
Some people have children, some do not have a job that will support them, and some do not feel they are strong enough to go out into the world. In my experience, I was terrified of the future, of being alone, of leaving something that could be fixed, something I had dedicated my life to. I took my vows seriously. I kept telling myself that if I stayed, and tried harder, I could fix the problem. Divorce was wrong. My family and my church would be disappointed in me. And, what if I told them what was going on and then he got better. They would never love him again, and it would be my fault.
Looking back on these fears, I know they were irrational. My parents are the most supportive people in the world. My church would never condone what I went through. A husband is supposed to protect his wife, love her, and cherish her. Not put her down and hit her.
Herein lies one of the “symptoms” of abuse. You are not rational anymore. You are looking at life through some messed up kaleidoscope. Everything is distorted and fuzzy. Nothing makes sense and the abnormal becomes the normal. Normal is not even comprehendible. I would look at other people and it was like watching a movie. I really wished I could have their happiness, but felt that was not in the cards for me. Somehow I was meant to live the life I had.
But, no one is meant to live that life. And, as I stated before, the point in writing this is to show others that you can get out. You can be strong and live that life you want. I will not say it is easy or that it won’t take work. But, you deserve to have it. There are not many things that we deserve in life. We have to work for what we have or they are granted to us through the kindness of others. However, being treated right and being allowed to be happy with yourself; that is something no one should ever take away from you.
The first step is realizing that you are in a bad situation. The second step is to get yourself out of it.