This is extremely difficult to write, but I think my experience may help others. This post is dedicated to my former self and to those that can relate to what I am writing. I hope this brings you strength and understanding.
I am an interpersonal violence/domestic violence survivor. Let me explain what goes on in the mind of a someone who is the victim of someone using physical force to stop another from doing/saying something.
The first thing you feel is shock. Shock that someone you love can do this to you. Once the initial shock settles in, then you start uncontrollably shaking because you are in disbelief. Then your mind starts to process what just happened. That’s where feeling returns. Was I so numb during the relationship that I missed the red flags? How did we get to this? What did I do to yield this level of behavior? This is not happening. This is not happening. How could this be? What did I do? Where did I go wrong? This is where you’re stuck for awhile. This is where you live for awhile. Then, an even crazier level kicks in: forgiving. I wanted to seek solace in the idea that I wasn’t in a relationship with a version of someone that I created. Because all you hear is that you attract what you put out. Right? Was I putting out a subversion of reality, a diseased version of love? I could’t accept that, so I did the opposite: I told myself that everyone deserves forgiveness & everyone has the ability to be remorseful and be a better from that experience. Now, I’ve went a level further and entered into a world of disillusionment. Not about forgiveness, but that people can change. That’s when I realized that physical violence is end stage. It was all that led up to it that where the signs and symptoms of dysfunction. The insecurity/fears, the lies, the fights that you only become aware of after violence occurs. That’s the beginning of where the abuse started. I wasn’t listening to what was being said I was too busy forgiving, discounting things, believing it was something that it wasn’t. The truth is I was discounting myself. All I wanted was a happy, healthy relationship. I got the opposite.
Now, I look back at who I was and know that people are what they are and not what you want to believe they are. Love is not just a feeling, it’s an ability. Love is complex and exciting. It begins with you. If it’s not present, a person can’t create it for you. They can make you experience love, but you have to recognize it from within. Now, I look back at my former self and what I lacked and am grateful that I am able to recognize love. It radiates from me, it envelops me, it is me.