The screaming, the shouting, the name-calling, and constantly living in a fight or flight environment.
The mind games, oh my god the mind games, the accusations of cheating, being told I'm insecure, it's just smoke and mirrors and reflecting back onto you what they are doing, but you don't see that at the time.
Sometimes there's the physical abuse, the bruises that need to be covered up as they weren't quick enough to hit you where it can't be seen.
The emotional and mental abuse that follows, in my opinion, is far worse, but everyone has their own views on that, and rightly so. You are in one hell of a f*cked-up relationship, and so many judgmental people will say "Why didn't you just leave?"
It's not that easy, there are many reasons an abused person stays.
You might stay depending on who you are and your reasons for doing so.
You might stay because no matter what they do to you, you still love them, and you keep thinking you can change them for the better.
You might even believe you deserve what is happening to you, but you don't! No one does, but you can't help how you feel.
You might have children, and you have a strong desire to keep your family together. Whether it be right or wrong, that is how you feel.
You might be financially dependent on them, so you believe that to leave you are making yourself and your children homeless, with no money for basics such as food and rent.
You might feel ashamed of all that has gone on and is still going on. You don't want your family and friends to know, as you believe they will think you stupid and weak for putting up with it.
Covering up the truth of your life becomes a full-time job, you become an accomplished liar, and that just feeds into the shame even more.
You know if you leave the barrage of questions will be too much to take, they won't mean to hurt you, they want to know how to help you, but it will just be too much for you to talk about.
Worst of all you are afraid they won't believe you after all your abuser has drummed into your head, no one will believe you.
I know that feeling well, as I've been there.
This person, your abuser, is often seen as the definition of charm. They are always on their best behavior in front of family and friends, and they portray this wonderful life that you both have.
If I see that now I always think BULLSHIT, something is not right there. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn't it!
You stay because you believe your abuser will eventually grow tired of how they are and will go back to how they were when you were both first together. Sadly, this is not the case, what you see now is the real person, the past was all one big act to get you hooked into their life.
You stay because you think you can't do any better. Your abuser has said this so many times you believe it to be true.
It's not true!
You are worth so much more than this life.
You are worthy of love, real love, to have empathy, comfort, and understanding.
You're not going to find that staying with your abuser.
No amount of changing yourself to please them will stop the cycle of abuse.
You could lose weight, but then you'd be too thin. You could clean the house all day long, but they will find a part you missed. You could study hard on their favorite subject so that you could have discussions with them, but they would mock you because often they mock you as suddenly you are better informed than they are.
Trust me nothing you do will change them!
It isn't until one day when you find your beautiful spirit broken, tattered, and torn on the floor that your will to survive kicks in loud and clear.
You choose to break the cycle of the abuse at your own bidding, not when you are told to.
You find yourself hatching an escape plan, and you start to put what little bits of money you do have away from the abuser's reach.
You carefully, and I mean very carefully, confide in just one person, that person who you know would never betray you, and they help you take flight.
Never be ashamed of what happened to you, it was not your fault.
You may only be able to see as far as that day, and all the effort it entails to get through that day, but it will be worth it in the end, because you are worth so much more than a life of abuse.
It will take time to recover, but when you are ready, your rebirth will be a glorious sight to see, and those that love you will be cheering you on.