cautionary note: Trigger warning; this blog article discusses lightly my feelings around my experience in abusive relationships and may cause some readers uncomfortable feelings.
When we find ourselves in unhealthy romantic relationships and are at the point of acceptance and are ready to take the next step; we often can feel fooled, embarrassed, ashamed. In fact, this feeling can keep us in it much longer than we desire; we quite frankly ignore the keys to the chains that bind us in such relationships because we feel like a fool. We will continue to suffer so as to not be found out as a 'fool' .
I struggled with this , I felt like such a fool. This is a very nuanced subject I realize; there is so much more than one or two aspects to why we stay; this is only one. Some stay because of pure physical safety, some due to emotional scare tactics, some for financial scarcity, some for our children, sometimes we stay because we think 'just a little more love" will solve it and for so many other reasons we stay. Each person must go through their own journey of understanding in an effort to remove unhealthy patterns; there really is no one way or no one right way.
While we are fooled into thinking they are who they show or say they are; we can only know what we know AND are willing to see. So the truth is yes, we are fooled, tricked, deceived, conned, manipulated and lied to; AND ALSO........ we knew sooner than we allowed ourselves to see, we lied to ourselves, we did and that is for a variety of reasons. We want it to work, we want what we thought is was going to be based on what they showed us, told us and also, what we desperately hoped it would be. Sometimes we want something so bad we will manipulate it to morph into what we want (even if just in our mind). They also change; they also say one thing , do another. They also create an environment with the plan to keep you fooled as long as possible. While we play a part in how long and to what extent we stay or allow the lie, abuse, unhealthy treatment; they are to blame, they are doing the mistreatment, they are doing the hurt! (read that again, the one who does the harm is to blame) AND ALSO, we do participate in our own continued suffering by staying (and this is not to say that leaving or staying is easy and is as I said nuanced and unique for each person) and thinking that we can love more, change more, try more, and there by ignore what we know.
Ignoring the AND ALSO could keep you stuck in suffering, it did me. The AND ALSO is part of what makes it so difficult to sort out for ourselves and also for those trying to understand and help loved ones in unhealthy and dangerous relationships. The AND ALSO is complicated, unique and evolving. Please don't navigate these things alone, get help and know that you are not alone if only you can step into stopping your own suffering; despite the embarrassment, shame and being fooled that you feel.
Additional note: The priority in abusive relationships is YOUR safety and the safety of children; get professional assistance; here are some national resources and locally you likely have resources that could help you. Take good care & caution if you are in an abusive relationship.
National Domestic Hotline (800)799-7233 Text START to 88788 or online at thehotline.org