She sits alone, inside her head as she waits for the tears to stop. She knows she is better than this, but somehow, she continually finds herself ending up in the same recurring nightmare.
This time, things escalated even farther. He has a way of making her feel so small.
The belittling harassment and condescending nature of these encounters break her down and make her feel weak.
As she weeps into the palms of her hands, her body shivers with regret, remorse, and disdain for herself for allowing this behavior to continue.
“How does this keep happening to me?” she asks herself.
If you were to look back on her life, you would see it was full of emotional abuse from a very early age. When these scenarios become the norm, it’s hard for a young girl to see any other behavior as usual.
As she has grown, she has inevitably gravitated to people who displayed behaviors and patterns that she was, unfortunately, familiar with. A perpetual “fixer,” she feels she can help others, romantic lovers in particular. She naturally settles for men who are emotional abusers since that is all she has ever experienced.
She opens herself to them, thinking that if she can get to their core, she can help them – but sadly, that only spreads the misguided feelings of doubt and fear, which are the product of an emotionally abused person.
As her tears begin to dry on her cheeks, leaving behind their salty residue, she picks herself up from the bathroom floor. She turns around to look at her reflection in the mirror. What she sees is a puffy-eyed, emotionally drained girl that she has sadly come to recognize.
She tries to tell herself she will do better – she won’t allow herself to fall into the same trap that she saw her mother get sucked into. But she knows it’s a lie.
No matter what she does, she seems always to find herself in these types of relationships. She invests her heart and soul, and somehow in return, they belittle and abuse her.
She promises to remind herself of the empty feeling that consumes her after a blowout like what happened today. She promises herself that she will remember and she will not forgive him.
A loud knock on the door startles her and shakes her from her reverie.
With a quivering voice, she quickly replies with a meek “yes?”
A loud male voice vibrates through from the other side of the door. He’s come back to apologize.
The feelings of hope and the promises she has made to herself almost vanish instantly as she sinks back into the habit of forgiving and forgetting. Her shaky hand opens the door revealing the abuser on the other side.
“I’m sorry for what I said; you know how much I love you. That’s why I act that way.” She’s heard these words before. In fact, just one week ago she sat in this same spot on the cold bathroom floor. Her foggy mind tries to make sense of what is happening, but she can’t seem to formulate any words.
Instead, her being slouches into itself as her shoulders weakly fall to their sides. She just doesn’t have it in her to put up a fight.
He puts his arms around her as tears silently streaming down her face. He whispers that he’s sorry and she mutters back a simple “okay.”
She feels almost numb as she recounts the moments just before. She knew she was weak and wouldn’t be able to put up a fight. She knew that the promises she made to herself where just empty lies.
As she closes her eyes, she pretends she is somewhere else, where the pain of this moment can’t touch her.