A little while ago I shared a spoken word piece entitled Cyclical. It is about recognizing when someone is abusing you, then being sucked back in by charm, or apologies, or guilt. It was personal, and hard to share, but I’m glad I did it. Unfortunately, it spoke to a lot of people, because so many of us know what it’s like to be used and abused by people we love.
So this week’s post will be longer than usual. It goes out to all of you who have that person that:
- makes you feel crazy
- gives you the highest highs and the lowest lows
- your friends hate the way they treat you
- you yourself have at one point wondered if their treatment of you was abusive or manipulative
- makes everything your fault
- never apologizes
- promises to change and never does
- promises to change, does, but only for a couple of weeks or months
- makes you feel bad for confronting them about something they did that hurt you
You are not crazy. They are abusive. And you can leave them.
Breaking the cycle isn’t easy. Actually, it’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and I still haven’t. Not really. I can’t manage to look at that person and say: we are not friends anymore. Sometimes, I still want to go to them for comfort, even when I know they won’t give it. That’s when I turn to my real friends.
You want to know one of the ways you can end all of it? Open up to a trusted friend, ask them to help. One thing I did on a friend’s advice was to create physical distance. Every time my abuser stood near me, I found a reason to step away. That helped a lot. Not only did it train them to give me space, but I got to be a little further from the confusion they made.
Now, if you are in a relationship with your abuser, it’s a little different. Breaking up isn’t easy, especially if you are in love with them. But y’all, let me tell you they are not going to change. You cannot love them better. Ten years will not fix them. Even if they get help, you will always be their abusee. It takes time to let it go, I’ll give you that, but you have got to start accepting that regardless of the love you share (because sometimes our abusers do love us), the act of your love is poison and will someday kill you- in spirit, even if not in body. Let them go. Let them go. And get help if you need it. Friends and police officers (depending on how good your loval PD is) can help you break up.
And most importantly: do not feel guilty. They are the one in the wrong, not you. And believe me, they’ll be fine. Worry about you.
You can do it.