All I ever wanted was your healing and happiness. I listened to you, protected you. I thought if I could give you the pure love and kindness you lacked growing up, if I could be good to you long enough, you would stop hurting me and realize that I wasn’t worthless, as you insisted time and time again.
Thank you so, so much for writing this and sharing it. It’s one of the most profound reflections on abuse that I’ve read, and as a survivor, I’ve read many.
I am deeply moved by your words — I too believed that if I behaved the exact right way, soothed every wound, never made his life any harder, never asked for anything, that I would be rewarded with a version of him that was loving and kind. I could always see that possible version of him, to the detriment of my recognizing the real person he was. Who he knew he was.
I got away from him in 2011. Since that time, I’ve spoken to women he has abused subsequently, and learned that he has escalated. My chest pulses with sadness and regret when I think of them. I truly feel, now, that he is a hopeless case. But long after my abuse, and long after I got away from him for my own safety, I still believed he was someone who could change, and yearned to connect with a healed, loving version of the person he actual was.
It does take a long time to process these things. And we never revert to the people we were before these experiences. But you are clearly a brilliant, loving, contemplative person, and you will continue to have all those lovely attributes, and your live will continue to be so, so valuable. Many years later, I wouldn’t take back what happened to me, because of the growth I experienced in the wake of it. I am so, deeply sorry you had to go through this. I’m so glad you are alive. And I am filled with gratitude that you shared your story.