Love's "Tender Trap" and Violence
The lure of "love," crazy-making, and physical violence.
Date: 3/27/2011 5:50:06 AM ( 26 mon ) ... viewed 411 times
When I began dating the former abuser, I was physically strong, ebullient of nature, a burgeoning artist, a passable equestrian competitor, on the college Dean's List, a fair musician, and one heck of a hard partier. After we began dating, my interests and positive attributes began to erode and disappear. The abuser was careful and extraordinarily calculating in this process of erosion - I recognized that long-termed relationships were terminating, but there was always a "good reason" for this. My female friends had propositioned the abuser or were attempting to "break us up" because they were "jealous of what we (had)." Male friends? Forget about it! They ALL just wanted "one thing" from me and how could I not see this if I were so smart?
So, okay - I was The Only One who could help this tragic, sad, misunderstood man to heal and reach his true potential and I made the choice to believe his doubts to be valid and did abandon people who did not mean harm to me. But, they just couldn't see the potential in this man, and I truly believed that he loved me in the same manner that I loved him, so the friends were sacrificed at his subtle bidding.
The emotional/mental abuse had already commenced - I was so smart, but I was so dumb to trust anyone other than the abuser. If I left to go to work or ride horses, I was "leaving" him alone and he only wanted to spend every minute that he could with me. "Do you HAVE to ride, today? Can't you do it tomorrow? I miss you when you're gone and I don't have anything to do unless it's with you," and, "You can call in sick - let's make love," and, "You've got a straight A average! You can skip class, or don't I turn you on, anymore?" Well, holy mackerel, I was The Only One and he just missed me so much and I HAD to prove to him that I loved him as much as I did, and that's how I gave over the maintenance of my Self - who I was that made me unique - to someone else.
Now, the physical violence began as wrestling and tickling, and so forth. He loved the fact that I was physically strong and did everything he could to demonstrate that he would always be physically stronger than I was, especially when it came down to causing injury. Whoops! He would injure me during "horseplay" and then respond with, "Well, if you'd called out Uncle, you wouldn't have gotten hurt!" Never a sincere apology, only a "rationalization" for why MY injury at his hand was MY fault.
I will own this fact: I let fly the first "actual" slap in our relationship. I can clearly remember that it had been a long day of cajoling and general whining from the abuser about his lack of employment and my going to college to "play artist" being a waste of time. I should have been thinking about HELPING HIM find a job so that we could live together - he was facing eviction from an apartment that a friend of my mother's had rented to him. The haranguing had been going on for hours, and he finally said, "I thought that you LOVED ME! You would rather play artist than be with me!" I did something that I had never done before and slapped someone else in the face. THAT was my failure - in my frustration, I resorted to the only action that I could think of that would a) shut him the f#ck up for 30 seconds, and b) possibly demonstrate the depth of my outrage. My reaction was connivingly orchestrated and he used that incident to his advantage, "Nobody else would EVER put up with that, but me!" Of course, I apologized profusely and tried desperately to explain why I had reacted that way by saying, "You insinuated that I didnast love you' and I've done so much to prove my love for you that I guess I just snapped." Well, from that moment on, I spent the next 15 years defending myself and trying to explain myself.
After the marriage contract was made, the horseplay became steadily more and more violent, and the abuser was very careful of where and how he left marks. The subterfuge went into overdrive and I would indicate that he'd hurt me and show him the bruises on my arms, torso, and thighs. "That's NOT abuse! We were playing around!" Was always his response. "I didn't hit YOU in the face or try to break YOUR jaw, so quit your complaining. If you hadn't _____, I wouldn't have had to pinch you that hard!"
Indeed,"love" was the dangling lure - SHOW me how much you love me by sacrificing friends, interests, and goals. Then, give in to the violence because it was my fault from the start - I once slapped someone that I loved and should pay for that sin for the rest of my life. Yah - it's crazy-making at its finest.
Add This Entry To Your CureZone Favorites!