Why you didn’t leave~simple version
I wrote a complex version here which is more about using positive new age mantras and positive psychology to basically bypass the hell you are going through. You may think its going to support you. But I believe it can be harmful for so many people, to think their way to happiness. Because for people in harmful situations it can keep them in them longer. To treat every situation like they are the ones who just need to change. When this is already the narrative being told to them. Something like ir if you just change your mindset those around will change. It’s not that simple when dealing with narcissists and psychopaths and they are more common they we all like to admit.
But what if you don’t think or know the situation is harmful ? That’s the dangerous part and point. Go to number 3 for an attempt at an answer to this.
Mostly though we act in an unconscious way, we act out and seek out situations we are familiar with or attempt to if aware avoid situations we have had trauma in. It’s so funny now. Because even though my mother who studied human behaviour told me, you may choose men or situations like you were brought up in, be careful. I had this awareness but I still did it. I’m laughing at myself but I am ok about it in a way, well I’m not really. But I’m hoping now my eyes are wide open. Here is the thing, my mum put us through multiple abusive situation, let me count,
There are many more mini situations, but these are the prominent people/ situations, where we were emotionally and physically abused. I believe my mum and I are open about this now, it took some time. Some time of the unspoken to be spoken. Some time before people would except “Tania’s assertions” That were true in my mind. And in denial in others. Its not debatable now. There were at least 3 prominent people in our lives who we as a family, cannot deny were dangerous to our mental and physical health. The scars are lifelong. I don’t want to go into that right now, what I want to show you is.
The simple version of why I didn’t leave, why I replicated this same situation I grew up in, and put my kids through it too. Even with my keen knowledge to not put my kids through what I went through and even with my extremes of my life, my kids didn’t go through as I believe near 1/3 of my life but near enough for me to count two people that were harmful for us mentally and physically. And near enough for me to seek early intervention and help my children recover if need be by the choices I imprinted on them by not keeping a safe and secure life for them for their early childhood. With two loving parents to keep them safe.
And why it took my 4+ years to leave my situation. And the attempts to leave were numerous, I would say under 10 attempts to leave or remove myself from the relationship or control. To feel I had some sense of autonomy, safety and self assurance of myself being alone.
So here it is the simple.
- Lack of support- the support sucks, from social services to family, I was judged I eventually sought help from a service and I am forever grateful to one person who believed in me.It took me a long haul to assert I was not to blame for being in this situation that I was abused,, instead of them saying why did you put your through this. How is that a support service judging someone who seeks help. It happens. Yet I found someone within a service based support. She and my psychologist that I finally stumbled across who had worked with countless women in DV. They saw the good in me, that was destroyed by the relationship and family. Family in the past had a very hard time supporting me, the judgements, and I told you so each time I would try to leave. Cutting me off for all, more abuse with family and when I was in fact in a dangerous situation they just could not support me. Or be empathetic to my needs or see my strengths.
- Lack of a strength based model available- stigma is heavily attached to abuse for women and men. Some men have such shame in telling people about abuse if its done to the, they don’t even tell anyone till after the fact. They can, like women become so stuck in the narrative told to them by the abusive parter. And societal shame on a man who is being abused is huge. They like women, can become counter abusive and believe they are the ones who need to change. This counter abuse facilitates an inward spiral of continuously attempting to work things out and the lack of confidence drives a deeper sense of shame and unworthiness. Without a strength based model to see you though its very hard to feel empowered to leave or stop the cycle.
- Fawn (2) , freeze or Stockholm syndrome (3) in short you fall in love with your abuser even if you normally wouldn’t love someone with the traits your abuser has, true abusive people, thrive off putting others down to a point that they act like they are the only people that will put up with the victim. They feed this information after or during the abuse so that the person being abused doesn’t leave. Its like they all go to the same school believe me. I bet you heard, no one will love you or put up with you like me. You are my soulmate or twin flame. Fawn or freeze is basically when you give up and become the salve to them or do this to appease them. You can create a protective personality. You know when you read emails or messages and go how did I say that. And you wonder what you were thinking when you were begging for them to forgive you or take you back? that one, the one that will do anything to make peace and stop the fighting, its the one that keeps you safe. Be kind to this one.
- You are addicted (4) maybe you had this as a child or it replicated a hormone release you actually like. Strangely the hormones released be that ones that drive cortisol stress responses we can get addicted to and we can get addicted to creating this in our life. Some people are feeling familiarity as they are replicating childhood, and others may have had an amazing childhood but enjoy the adrenaline challenge its addictive. The later type scratch their heads and wonder where it came from ,as they look at their parents as a model and may wonder why they ended up in an abusive relationship.
So all in all if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship only you can leave when you feel safe.
There is a great resource a help line here don’t be too ashamed to use. The trauma councillor were a life saver for me
So next time we are quick to judge why didn’t she or he leave, these are just 4 of the possible reasons and They are just my opinion of some of the main reasons form my experiences.
Please take care.