“I did this!”

Here is the transcript of a therapy session with a client who is suffering from an extended abusive relationship.  The next blog will attempt to answer some of the questions raised by her disturbing story.

Bing watercolor eye drawing

“I fear change.  I tried to prevent his explosions by going along with his abuses.  He trained me to keep quiet while at the same time his viciousness escalated.  I kept his secret, but I didn’t even know it.  I thought I had some control and was trying through patience and education to help him, to improve him and help him heal.  I was wrong.

I see clearly now that the entire relationship was not normal.  What I thought was more positive in the beginning was actually an elaborate manipulation.  Before I knew it I was hooked.  When I started to see what happened I was in so deep that I had to hide it from my family and friends, even my therapist.  It was all too humiliating and embarrassing.

I did this.  I should have seen through the elaborate mask.  This is my fault. Someone smarter or stronger would never have put up with what I did.  He called me demeaning names, called  me fat, ugly, no one else would ever want me so I was lucky that he put up with me.  He hit me, and I still let him back in. The Fuck You have entered into every cell in my body now.  I hold it. It is mine now.  He has worked on me for five years, and now I am contaminated completely.  No matter how much I wash, pray, clear, cleanse, I can’t get rid of the belief that he is right.  I am nothing.

But then I go back and forth.  I hate him.  I want him dead.  How dare you do this to me? Just die.  I feel better only when he leaves.  But then the minute I pull away, he senses it and he comes after me with constant text, emails or phone calls.  If I don’t answer he comes to my house and demands entrance, only to give me more abuse and threats.

His ability to manipulate and control was far better than I ever could have imagined.  He has attached himself to me and like a barnacle to a rock,  I can’t get rid of him. I am helpless and hopeless.

No matter how many times we have gone through the charade, when I try to escape he pleads his love for me, and he just doesn’t understand how I could blindsided him like this.  How could I be so cruel and stupid?  What is the matter with me?  How dare I manipulate and abuse him in this way?  Don’t I realize how lucky I am? Who else would put up with my drama?

I’ve already blocked him on my phone many times.  He comes back with a vengeance and he wears me down so I let him back in.  For a brief moment I believe him, or even if I don’t, I am tired of fending him off.  Exhausted.  Each time I let him back in, the weaker I become.

I am not safe.  I never have been.  I don’t even know what safe is.  I can’t have one day, one moment of peace.  Everything I try to do is undermined by his penetrating evil.  I will lose my mind if I don’t get him out of me.  I am so mad at myself.  I am disgusted by my powerlessness.  I am trapped.

You know what shocks me?  He knows nothing about me.  He just wants to control me, make me his – without regard to how I feel, what I need or want.  He has no love for me.  He actually wants to destroy me, kill me – or even better, set me up to finish off the job he has started.

I am deeply ashamed and humiliated.

Can you help me?  Am I beyond hope?”

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