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What does it say about you if you still love someone who was abusive?(24 Posts)
Just that really...
in my case, not physical abuse - but emotional abuse in all forms and someone who treated me very badly - like a disposable sex toy.
I put on a good front of being very "male" - ie. it's just sex for me too and acting cool - but inside pieces of my soul were shrivveling up, dying and falling off as I was completely in love with him.
The whole thing erroded my self confidence - and still does to this day - as I keep thinking "why didn't he value me at all? I must be really unattractive/unworthy/useless otherwise he would have cared".
I'm not seeing him any more but still come across him through work. The end of the relationship featured some quite nasty verbal abuse that hurt and upset me greatly. At the time, I was so turned off by it, it was easy to walk away.
But it's like over time the pain has dulled or something and I'm back to feeling this overwhelming love obsession for him again.
What does this say about me? I'm seriously fucked up right?
I've had some psychotherapy which hasn't really helped btw.
I'm just wondering what it is about this man that means I can still have re-awakening feelings of love after all this crap. I don't come from an abusive home background if that matters.
Will I ever get over him?
Yes, you will with time and support.
No, you are not seriously fucked up. You are an absolutely normal human being who has been fucked over by an abuser.
It's not love, it is love-like feelings - attachment. It's like Stockholm syndrome. Love is reciprocal, otherwise it is infatuation.
Please don't beat yourself up, this is all so normal when someone fucks with your feelings about yourself so badly.
And he didn't value you because he is the one who is fucked. Not you.
You are better than him. You can have a better life than him because you are not an emotionally abusive twat who fucks other ppl up.
Yes I think it was infatuation -probably still is - and that is a better word than love but it feels like love.
It was a weird thing though for some reason I don't understand I always felt like he was the other part of my jigsaw. It's madness as he was cruel and nasty (but sometimes lovely) but I still feel (and it is recently regrown like a horrid emotional tumour) that he is the right person for me. My one true love.
I can't get my head round it. The verbal abuse was so traumatic for me that as I said at the time I found it easy to want nothing to do with him. Why now would this resurface? (It's about 5 months ago now)
I go through much the same thing thinking back to my rape and my ex.
Why did I not see it for what was, why did I not report it, why even now do I still try to rethink it and try to minimize what happened?
This week I gathered the strength and watch the second Lois Theroux documentary on Saville. It was enlightening to see victims and some who know him also in denial or trying to rationalize their feelings towards his memory and their relationship with him.
My counselor said that whatever I was feeling was not abnormal. Seeing that programme I can see that for myself.
I did a lot in the name of self preservation in various guises. I didn't want to be a victim or face up to fact that I can't trust my judgement. It was easier to minimize so I didn't have to.
That's the very short version but now, you're not seriously fucked up. You're reactions fall within the bounds of normal but unhealthy. Try to think logically through them but don't fall into the trap of self loathing. You're allowed the feel how you feel it it's a case now of using your head to counter those feelings with logic.
It says you need to work on your self esteem. You are worth more than this. Find someone who respects you.
If you back search me you will see my diabolical relationship history! Believe me when I say I speak from
very recent experience!
You have done so amazingly well to leave him- so amazingly well!
IMO it is resurfacing now, like other trauma, because your subconscious has deemed it a safe time to deal with things.
"You're reactions fall within the bounds of normal but unhealthy. Try to think logically through them but don't fall into the trap of self loathing. You're allowed the feel how you feel it it's a case now of using your head to counter those feelings with logic."
Oh god Joysmum - I'm so sorry to hear that and I feel so stupid posting about triviality of verbal abuse when others have been raped or physically abused.
I am emotionally unhealthy and do have a hefty chunk of self loathing.
I think a part of me dumbly feels if he loved me it would all cure everything past and future.
I can't believe that these feelings are coming back now.
Totally agreeing with Offred. You're a loving soul, Rosebud. You're not anyone's sledge at all, you are your own person, you belong to you alone. It took me a lifetime of dependency and horrific attachment to abusers to get this.
Hopefully, with some inner work on yourself you can take control of your mind back where it belongs - with you. Your innate nature is probably to give - sadly this attracts takers and abusers. Doesn't mean you have to reject everyone but it might mean a "getting to know yourself" period of time plus some exploration of ways to regain your self and become intact again. Sounds a bit waffly and woo-woo but it's true.
You aren't fucked up at all. You've sent a beacon out to those who will test you, though, and that's where you need to focus. Shut that beacon down. Discernment will come in time, as will healing from this nasty shit who abused your goodness. There's a line in an alleged song - the only worthwhile line in the entire piece - "all of my kindness was taken for weakness". You deserve better. Remember that.
Rosebud - I have been raped numerous times, physically abused and it is the emotional/verbal abuse that has really caused me the most actual pain in a practical sense. Please don't minimise your experiences. Verbal/emotional abuse IMO is on a par with sexual abuse in that it robs you of who you are.
OK this happened to me, so many fucking times. What I learned is that my dad never gave me the love I wanted, so every time I felt spurned/rejected/not good enough, I went straight back to that desperate feeling of needing love SO BADLY, that suddenly I was not a grown woman, but a 4 year old girl who was desperate for dad to love her. It's called co dependence, and the best thing I have done was to read Facing LoveAddiction.
I'm really sorry you have had to go through this, but you can get better. I'm now in a really lovely marriag, where I can actually believe that I'm lovable.
I'm not sure I've explained codependent very well, it's late and I'm tired, but read the book, it will help .
But FYI EVERYONE feels the abuse they have suffered is not as bad as the abuse another person has suffered. I think it is part of the beginning of coming to terms with it. As you come out of the (protective) delusion that nothing bad happened and you begin coming to terms with the fact that bad things did happen it is entirely normal for your thinking to sabotage itself along the lines of 'it is the love of my life' and 'maybe there was nothing bad and I am making it up' or 'god other ppl have been through horrendous things, what I went through is not that bad and I shouldn't complain (or see it as a problem)'. It is just normal processing, don't let it draw you back to the abuser whatever you do.
Good post Ohyesiam - cool name too! I'd only add that you have to believe in yourself as a loving and loveable soul, that you are "enough" to yourself. That's a journey in and of itself. It was him at fault, not you Rosebud. Time for you to blossom now.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. Offred- also am so sorry to hear about physical abuse like that. I do feel verbal abuse is a silly thing to complain about in comparison. I should be tougher and just ignore it/walk awya.
I had a lot of sexual chemistry with this man and I think the sexual side may be part of the problem. That after time has passed and I'm forgetting the immediate emotional/verbal pain - I think about wanting him and he wanting me.
I would like to meet someone nice, normal and kind who cared about me - but it seems impossible with these re-starting feelings.
Actually if I'm honest I want him to love me and care about me the way I feel about him. Even now. After all this cruelty. Why would I want that? I'm screwed right up.
Humans are always drawn to the easiest solution and avoiding pain is always attractive. IMO you need to avoid like the plague the short term thinking of 'if I just get back with him'. It is like a drug addiction - you NEED the drug but it will fuck you up. Going cold turkey even though every fibre of your being is screaming out for the drug (abuser) is the best investment you could make.
You don't really love him.
We live in this wierd society where we are peddled this myth of romantic love by TV and films and pop music and women's magazines and celeb gossip on the Internet.
So we think that love has to be like this thing where we meet "the one" and we're so desperate to meet "the one" that we convince ourselves we're in love with the first bloke who we have feelings for. Good sex and a few deep conversations are all it takes when you are young and inexperienced.
It's all bollocks. There are lots of potential partners out there for all of us and one day you will meet one of them who treats you well and makes you happy and then he can be "the one" long term.
It's what joysmum said about logic triumphing - do you see? With him there will only ever be pain - slow dripping soul destroying pain that lasts a lifetime. If you stay away there will be pain too and it will be immediate and crushing but it will also be much more productive, it will moe you forward and not back, and it will be over soon - it will not last a lifetime. Think logic!
I mean this kindly, I think working on your self esteem will help you get to the point of realising you don't deserve to be treated the way you have been. If you can't help thinking about him, try to be mindful about the hurt and abuse he threw your way, and get angry. How dare he?
I think if you can build your self confidence and self worth up, any romanticised thoughts of him will be wiped out. I've said this on other threads but it applies to you too - you deserve to be loved and cherished.
Oh god Joysmum - I'm so sorry to hear that and I feel so stupid posting about triviality of verbal abuse when others have been raped or physically abused
Hey no, look this isn't a pissing competition about who had it worse. Again this can relate to where you're coming from as once I did finally face up to my past, I had to minimize in another way and that meant comparing what I'd gone through to others. My rape wasn't violent, he didn't take no for an answer but he didn't hurt me. Those who get physically hurt had it so much worse...
And so it went on.
It's all part of what I now understand to be that natural coping mechanism where I though I was weird, mad even.
I got a little no way forwards thanks to some truly amazing women like Offred, women whom I'd seen post and stood out as rational and warm but whom I gradually began to realize had been through similar issues because they could be candid and didn't feel the encumbrance of being known. I read about feelings I was ashamed of in myself. It wasn't that long ago that I nearly had a complete breakdown and thought about suicide.
For me it helped to try to distance myself from me. To look at what was happening and had happened with family stationary interest to try to pick it apart and understand. After doing that for a while I was gradually able to allow myself to feel again with a little understanding of why, and a little more kindness and forgiveness towards myself. You see I took on the burden of guilt for so long and thought it was something in me that asked for me to be so broken.
"I mean this kindly, I think working on your self esteem will help you get to the point of realising you don't deserve to be treated the way you have been. . .. I've said this on other threads but it applies to you too - you deserve to be loved and cherished."
This may sound stupid but I don't feel like I deserve that. I am a bit overweight - not hugely obese but a bit fat (size 16)- I'm very concious that men only seem to value very physically attractive women with great bodies. That's not me. I'm pretty I think facially and have a lot to offer - but I feel like he wouldn't never really want me as a long term love partner because I'm not attractive enough and not wealthy enough (His ex-wife was of high social status and extremely wealthy). I don't feel like I was good enough for him and that noone would want me.
There's some good advice on this thread which is a similar type of issue and I posted a couple of linked articles that may help you.
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