The End That Wasn't The End
What followed what I thought would be my escape didn't pan out as I had imagined it would for the previous 2 weeks. This part of my story is the part that no one knows, I never told a soul. Maybe because I was ashamed that I was still under his control, and even though it seemed like I had escaped, I still wasn't completely free. This continued for a few months, and while I'm not particularly proud of it, I understand it was still very much a part of the cycle of abuse. I am lucky to have a strong network of family and friends, and eventually regained the power of my own strong mind.
As soon as I got home I went about sharing a very brief version of my story online, I wanted everyone to know that not only was he a cheater, but an abuser too. It wasn't long before he heard what I had done. I had several missed calls and messages before I finally answered. I said nothing, only 'Who is she', to which he replied with 'I'm sorry' and begged for forgiveness. Whether the abuse even registered with him at this point I don't even know. I refused to agree to meet him, he threatened suicide. I gave in. I agreed to meet him, as he pulled up in his car I stared through the window. I remember him saying 'I'm not going to do anything stupid, just get in.' How did I know that? I still couldn't walk away. I got into the car.
He drove, all I could think was what the hell am I doing? Why am I in this car with a person I do not trust, whilst being scared for my own safety? We drove out of town for about 10 minutes. No one knew where I was or who I was with. Once again I felt weak and stupid, but couldn't do anything about it. My mind was telling me not to do it but my body just went along with it. We stopped at the side of the road and he told me to get out. We went and sat by a canal, he seemed upset and kept saying how sorry he was. I remember sitting there staring into space, not sure what to do or say. I was determined not to let him win this time.
When he realised he had to confront the landlord for the new key he persuaded me to go with him to pack up his things. The drive would have been about 45 minutes, but I can't really remember if we spoke, it's all a blur.
We got to the apartment and I let us in. I felt like I was walking straight back into what I'd just walked out of. He looked at the bare apartment, went to lie on the living room floor, and asked me to lie with him for a moment.
As I am reliving these moments, this is probably the hardest part of the relationship to explain, as I genuinely do not know what possessed me to show any kind of sympathy. I knew I didn't love him, that had faded away months ago, but I was still trapped in this ongoing cycle of mind games and manipulation. It is not as easy as 'why don't you just leave' seems to imply.
I lay there, fully hating everything about him, why couldn't I leave? I was so frustrated with myself, but it was like I still had no control over my actions, like a puppet on a string.
After loading his car he drove me home. I later found out he went to a friend's place and had been drinking, before driving back to his family. On the plus side...this was a few hours away so I knew he wouldn't be making trips to see me all too often. I called him to make sure he got home ok, I guess it was to clear my conscience. At least I could have a clear conscience.
I suppose I was naive to think it could be the end as easy as flicking a switch. This was just the start of another part of his control over me. This part was probably the hardest to deal with in my own mind, as it made even less sense than before.
- If anyone reading this has any similar experience, direct or indirect, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Particularly how this kind of abuse looks from the outside, can you tell what is happening? How can you tell? Have you ever told anyone to leave? I plan to continue this blog in stages of the relationship and recovery and welcome opinions -