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Crazy kind of love…

A recent conversation with a friend has me pondering the topic of “abusive relationships”….. What constitutes an abusive relationship? And how does a person, man or woman, get stuck in that abusive relationship cycle?? The kind of relationship where you recognize that something about it is far from the norm…. yet… you get stuck in this circle. The relationship becomes this skipping record… it becomes this process of doing the same thing, over and over and over…. Round and round and round….. Sticking to the script…. Never deviating…. Never changing….. Going round and round…. Hoping that things will get better…. Over and over and over…. Round and round in that familiar pattern. A person may want something different, but can never seem to veer off that track. It’s sad to think of the pain.

I can empathize with this kind of pain; I’ve been in that circle. There were days I wanted to scream to the sky…. There were times when I did scream. Sometimes in my car…. In the middle of nowhere. Just wanting it, life, to be ok, but feeling powerless in the ability to bring that about. I know what it is to cry until you can’t cry anymore… because you want things to change, but you KNOW that you can’t make it better. Of course a person on the outside might look in at your situation and say that you CAN make it better… by leaving. The thing is, sometimes, when in that situation, you forget that is an option.

I know what it’s like to be in the kind of relationship where a wrong look, a wrong word…. Can start a cycle in motion…. No, I was not in a physically abusive relationship. It was all verbal. It was all about giving and withholding affection, communication, and love. It was the kind that makes you think that it’s all in your head. Because there is no physical mark lingering to remind you that it happened.

There are relationships that don’t work. There are relationships that end. There are breakups. There are divorces….

But then, there are the relationships that are like alcohol to an alcoholic… bringing a woman to her knees…. Taking away reason.

Why is it that some relationships grab a hold of a person like that?? Where letting go, even when it’s the right thing to do… can feel like the world is ending.  It’s a complicated subject…. Not easily dissected in a mind spew, like this blog.  It’s just something that I was thinking about. I’ve been there…. I’ve left….  I’ve dabbled in other relationships that may have headed in a similar direction, but I jumped out of the loop before it took a firm grip.

When I see a person in that loop….. I want to grab their hands and pull them off course. Break the circle… but nobody can do that, except the person in that situation.

I have so much empathy for how hard it is to finally veer off course. To finally say “when”…. To have that doubt that maybe things would have gotten better…. But also, to have that inner voice that says, “probably not…”

A woman came into my work a few weeks ago. She got on the bus and got off in my town… on her way to the coast, where her family used to go when she was young. She had a story…. One that she shared with me… she started crying and said she was embarrassed and said she wished she was stronger. I told her that she had an enormous amount of strength… to take off, to not tell anyone where she was going… to get away…. To no longer say it was ok….. I gave her the number of a local agency where she could talk to women who knew what she was going through.

I wonder if it’s addiction ? A familiar pattern? Fear of change? Fear of the unknown? Fear that things will not be better elsewhere?

It makes me sad, to see friends stuck in this crazy kind of love…

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