He Never Hit Me

He Never Hit Me

He Never Hit Me…

Warning: This post contains descriptions of intimate partner abuse and may be triggering to some.

How many times did I find myself on his bathroom floor cowering beneath him, feeling the hot spit land on me as he screamed? Stop crying like a baby. You’re crazy. No one else would put up with you.

How many times did I shudder on that floor counting my breaths, bringing myself back from the brink of suffocation during a panic attack that was triggered by one of these maniacal and regular assaults?

But he never hit me.

How many hours did I remain on that bathroom floor after he had gone to bed, my eyes red with burst blood vessels? How many times did I hear the sound of his snores and realize he had fallen asleep, no more than a meter away, to the sound of me hyperventilating while still in the throes of that panic attack?

How many times did I whisper aloud, “How did I get here? How did I become this woman?” How many times did I tell myself to get up, call a cab and walk out the front door? How many times did I get up and look in that mirror and fail to recognize myself? How much hate could I have for the broken woman staring back at me? But he never hit me.

There are many reasons why victims of intimate partner abuse don’t leave. Watch out what Leslie Morgan Steiner says about breaking the silence

How many times did I crawl into that bed, rather than into a cab, and wake up with his arms around me, telling me that I brought it out in him? He wasn’t like this. I made him like this.

I needed to change the way I approached him about these things. Be less accusatory. If I just softened my approach, it would allow him to react differently.

How many times did I adjust my approach before I realized the only way to avoid the abuse was not to bring it up at all?

Are you worried about emotional abuse? Here’s How To Know if You are Being Abused

But he never hit me.

How many emails and text messages did I find? How many parties did we attend knowing that one of the women was there? I learned quickly not to address it so that “I” wouldn’t ruin a perfectly nice evening.

When his family member asked me if a lipstick she had found under the couch was mine, I threw it away and said nothing more of it. Neither did she. Another humiliation has taken in silence.

Related article – How Abusive Relationships Trap us Into Not Leaving

But he never hit me.

How many times did he tell me he was going to sleep, out for dinner with a client, couldn’t hear his phone, but actually taking out another woman? How many times did he ignore my calls and call the next morning telling me nothing had happened? It was sadistic.

I could see how much he enjoyed being that powerful. How many defamatory lies did he concoct and propagate to my old colleagues and friends when I walked away from him?

Related article – 6 Painful Ways Emotional Abuse Changes You

How many times did he smear my reputation? How many times did I go back, believing every promise that he was a new man, believing every half-hearted apology? But he never hit me.

How many times did a friend pick me up because he had kicked me out of bed in the middle of the night for questioning him about one of the women? How many times did I go back before those friends had had enough?

How many times did I defend him and justify his behavior when I told a friend about what he had done? When did I stop telling anyone altogether to avoid the shame of the insanity of the circumstances I was somehow in — the shame of being a strong independent woman who couldn’t take care of herself enough to leave a situation that was so toxic? When did I stop expecting more?

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