So I have a grand aunt who regularly volunteers at womens’ shelters. Her focus is mainly helping people who were part of both/either physical and emotional abusive relationships.
Sometimes I do wonder what makes it so hard for women to leave such abusive relationships. I mean it’s hard not to know that you are being abused when you are being hit repeatedly or being told over and over again that you are inadequate and that you will never be good enough.
Sometimes what happens is that these women who have come to the shelter go back to the same person who abused them. This is what confuses me the most. Why would you want to return to the same abuse which you ran away from? I never understood it.
So my cousin who met her recently asked her what made these women return back to the abusive households which they ran away from. The most common answer was the memory of good times. What she means is that most of the women who are in abusive relationships stay in them because they remember the times when the person was more than decent to them. So as they are being abused they think back to the good times. For example the person may think of two years ago he gave me a big bouquet of flowers.
So they believe that their partner’s abusive personality is temporary and that he/she would revert back to being nice once the tough period is over. It doesn’t help if they are in a committed relationship with the persons who abuse them. Often it’s the people who are abused who continue to make excuses for the people who are abusing them.
Perhaps this phenomenon doesn’t just occur in committed relationships. Sometimes I believe that all of us want to believe that the people we love are incapable of doing such heinous things. I believe that this phenomenon may even occur while people are dating.
For example in my case, when I was dating the EX, I took the extra effort to make dumplings for him who happened to be sick at that time; when he opened the big dumpster to throw the food away immediately after I gave it to him, my mind went back to the time where he did reject this girl for me. Instead of seeing how rude and insensitive his actions were I chose, in some sense, to remain blind to the real reasons why he was being mean. Is it a coincidence that the best friend happened to be in the same vicinity and was laughing at him as I was giving him the food? See we accept the love we think we deserve for details about everything else I tolerated during the time we were dating.
I think not. Maybe that’s why I tolerated all the BS I was given, because he rejected that girl. Because I felt responsible for her heartbreak. Perhaps I was a pawn he used so that he could get her off his back. Now that I look at it not once was I ever at the receiving end of any of his kindness. We never even had an anniversary date. That should tell you how little he cared for me.
Neither did he reciprocate any of mine, not even the good luck messages for exams or planning any of the other dates in return. It was always me begging for him to take me out and him putting me down by saying I was boring etc. I mean the guy literally called me boring uninteresting, fat and unappealing among other things.
Then my aunt goes on to say that sometimes these women feel that its heaps better to be with an abusive person for the sake of their children, society etc than to be alone. In my post why I stayed, I explained further about this phenomenon.
However I would like to add something to the point above. Sometimes the perception of single hood is worse than actually being single. Although I was only with my BF for a year, I believe I forgot what it was like to have my freedom back. Perhaps some of my biggest fears included filling what I assumed to be a huge void in your life. Because repeated insults, force you into a state of mind where you assume that you are incapable to handle your own life.
I am not saying that I am abused here, only that the principles that I have learned from my grand aunt should be followed. A person should be judged by the merits of the present than the past. Let no one make you feel worthless.
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