My Last “Why Did You Stay With Him?” Answer… – Part 1

October 13, 2017

One of the reeeeeeally hardest parts about all this for me is the fact that I kept going back…

It confused my friends. It confused me (to some extent). And, even though I’ve tried a number of times on here, it sometimes feels nearly impossible to explain.

Because even though it’s so common for women to go back (on average, it takes 7 attempts to leave an abusive man!), for some reason, it still feels like doing that has lessoned the credibility of my assault(s), or his abusive behavior, or the personal hell I’ve been through over the past year.

It’s part of what makes it feel like people think, “*shrug*, well, another relationship problem. Too complicated to understand. Guess they were both at fault!” …But that’s like telling someone they’re at fault if they kept a cancerous tumor that looked like it would paralyze them if they removed it (because of where it was located or something). The tumor was cancerous! And the patient is just doing everything they know how to survive.

…I guess in this analogy, I’m my own doctor and read the scans wrong. The point is, you blame cancer. It’s cancer’s fault.

Completely switching analogies here, so let your brain go away from that one…

It feels like I’ve left myself without a leg to stand on.

And I don’t know that I have a great analogy for that… It’s like I never even once considered my legs… It’s like I was drowning and some kind of leg-eating creature was gnawing at my legs, but I can’t pay attention to that, because I can’t breathe! One problem at a time, here!

And I just hate that not only does it feel like my story is undercut with the world, or with myself… It feels like it was undercut with sexual assault guy. Trolls are always out there tearing apart women’s stories. But to have the biggest troll be the man himself who did it to you was an extra layer of pain for me.

He acted as though if I was trying to make things work, it wasn’t because I was in desperate need of resolution – it was instead because I *super dramatic “damsel in distress” voice and body position* sooooooo wanted him (oh so so much). After all, “I was just some lovesick puppy. He was a man who did nothing wrong. And this was simply a relationship that didn’t work out” – even though that’s not even close to what was going on…

I don’t remember super specifically most of the lines in my giant apology to him (aye aye aye) (after he was icing me out after my assault), but the one I do remember was that I “hoped to earn the honor of sleeping in his bed again” (or at least something very similar to that).

And the reason I remember that one line specifically is because I gagged when I said it. I physically felt a little “ugh, gross” thing happening as I typed it… And I remember it because I feel so bad about that, since I typed up and sent him a lie… And if that one sentence is a lie, what else is a lie? I know I’m not lying about everything that happened with him and what he did to me. And I wish there wasn’t that little lie sentence floating around in an email (and not just because of how it relates to everything that affects me, but because I hate to lie to people – especially about emotions and how I feel about them. I hate when people do that to me, so to do it to someone else fees suuuper gross)…
I wish everything could fit in the beautiful box of perfectness, where I never told a white lie in an email, and I never tried to make things work. But that’s unfortunately not how it happened…)

I didn’t want the “honor” of sleeping in his bed…I had never actually even gotten used to sleeping in his bed. For the most part, I couldn’t sleep when he was in it with me, and only slept pretty soundly if he was working in the other room, and I was sleeping without him…

I don’t think it’s an “honor” to sleep there, and I never really wanted to. (That was a pretty giant point of contention between us(!), even when things were at their most “fine (ish)” – whether I would spend the night, as I felt that was going maybe kinda fast, and he strongly disagreed,)

What I really wanted was to go back in that spot on that very bed, and not be assaulted that time, and feel safe – and hope that new safe memories would undo the terrible ones… That’s what I wanted, even though that’s not exactly what I said… (I mean, how could I even have said those exact words to this scary, dangerous man?)

(And of course I’m disappointed in myself, because I pride myself on being this person who says exactly what she means and doesn’t make people guess… But in that moment, that part slipped. (And I’m sure there were other desperate moments with him too.) I said something I didn’t mean… And then it went on to be used as evidence as to why “nothing was all that bad after all.” He wasn’t apologetic. The police officer wouldn’t even file my report. Once you say something nice to your rapist, you’re toast. I get it. I get it. And I shouldn’t lie… Even if we wanna say, “oh, it’s a white lie,” or “you were trying to protect yourself,” or “you were in a bad and desperate mindset in the circle of abuse” – no matter how you wanna justify it, lying still sucks and it feels suck-y to have been a part of it, and to have it then cause other consequences (though I guess that’s what happens if we do something wrong… We suffer consequences (unless we’re sexual assault guy, of course)).)

Anyway, this is where I’ll pick up tomorrow…

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