Editor’s Note: The tragedy of abuse and the trauma it inflicts on its victims and families strike a sickening chord in me. Several bloggers I follow are survivors of child or spouse abuse. I have become a friend and staunch supporter of their cause and recovery. Sharing their stories here may increase awareness of abuse or, in some way, motivate victims to seek help or escape.
The following is a post written by Secret Angel on her blog. She is a recovering victim of abuse. She has reaches a point on her journey that enables her to reach out to help other victims of abuse. Enjoy.
This is a cycle that I know all too well.
“He didn’t understand.” “He is just protective of us.”
- Honeymoon-Things seem great.
“He’s not as bad as I thought.” “He really loves the kids very much.”
- Routine-He returns to the routine.
“See, he didn’t mean it. He was just upset. Everything is as it should be. No problem.”
- Tension-Tension is building.
I can usually tell by the kids’ moods when the dad’s tension is building. They start wetting the bed and regressing socially and emotionally.
- Trigger-Something sets off the abuser.
I no longer know all the triggers that occur in the life of my abuser. For all I know, the trigger is a girlfriend breaking up with him, or putting him in his place. Often, it is probably something he has imagined that will trigger abuse.
….I face more abuse….
….My self esteem drops….
-and the cycle continues- around and around until the victim is able to escape the cycle and get support.
Many victims have no idea that they are living in abuse until it escalates. It feels like being on a rollercoaster, waiting for every rise, fall, and turn that the abuser takes. The kindhearted spouse will continue to be kind and seek ways to please and accommodate the abuser, in an effort to avoid riding through the cycle yet again.
That was me. I did everything he asked, even if it wasn’t what I wanted. I always knew that the mood swings, and the inappropriate reactions to everyday events were difficult to live with. I learned to tolerate them and move on. After 13 years in the cycle, I had become an empty shell.
Escaping the home was the first step. Finding support to heal was a journey. It wasn’t fast, nor easy. In fact, I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was!