The Cycle of Abuse.

The cycle of abuse is one of the hardest things to go through and sometimes even break. It feels as though things will change only for us to be right back where we started. And sometimes it can be worse. In this article, I will describe the four stages of The Cycle of Abuse. I will also describe what it was like for me in each stage.

1. Tension

I’m sure many of you have felt tension. It’s one of the most distinct energies you can feel and can be extremely uncomfortable. Just imagine having to walk on eggshells and if you were to break—let alone crack—any one of them, you’d set off a bomb that would cause some serious injury. Not only do you need to be weary about what you do, you have to worry about external factors you can’t even control that may affect the level of your abuse.

I learned about tension really quickly in the relationship with my abuser. I remember I woke him up for something and he was so angry at me that it had a ripple affect that lasted throughout the day. He kept reiterating that he did not like to be disturbed while sleeping. He hated being woken up. It was his biggest pet peeve. He repeated it so much that every morning when I woke up, I had to tiptoe throughout our small one-bedroom apartment…and we had carpet. When he woke up and had a mad face, was quiet, didn’t say good morning or kiss me, I knew that it was only a matter of time.

2. Incident

This is the actual abuse that occurs in the cycle. It can range anywhere from physical, verbal, emotional, mental, financial, sexual and even spiritual. It doesn’t really matter what form it’s occurring in—it just is. And even when the incident is happening, the abuser always seems to put blame on the victim. It’s the most damaging blame game someone can do.

There were so many incidents that occurred with my abuser that it’s hard to count and even keep track. But the one that left me the most confused and questioning my self-worth was my first verbal incident. We were arguing about something I said that made him angry. I had never been called stupid, bitch, asshole, dumbass and other names so much by one person that I loved before. I knew it was not right and unhealthy. Essentially, it caused me to have an internal battle for my self-esteem. I had to listen to it so much and at the same time fight for myself internally. “He’s an asshole. Don’t listen to him. You’re not what he thinks you are. You’re so much better than what he’s saying.” Eventually, standing up for myself within myself wasn’t enough. He had damaged me.

3. Reconciliation

The apology. The oh so great, feel-good apology. The abuser is suddenly sorry and the most loving person you know of. He or she may even start to cry, get on their knees, etc. Everything to show that they are not a bad person and it was just a moment that would never happen again. Sometimes, they may even offer to fix themselves through therapy or some other form if you take them back and forgive them.

My abuser was never great at apologies especially after we had gone through this cycle for a few years. The one I will never forget was when I was pregnant. I was getting ready to go to work and he was so angry at me. He sat me on a chair in the room and would not allow me to leave. He took my glasses away from me so that I couldn’t see. He’d choke me so hard that I was afraid of losing my twins due to lack of oxygen and the fact that he would do it quite often. Later that night, he came to me, crying. He apologized and hugged me sweetly and told me that he was stressed about not making money and not being able to provide as a man. It was damaging to his image and that he was completely sorry. He begged for forgiveness.

4. Calm

Things are fine now. At least for a little while. Everything seems to be just as it was when you first met or when things were normal. It’s also known as the honeymoon stage. But things will slowly rise again and the tension stage begins all over. Eerie, isn’t it?

There were many calm moments with my abuser. I loved them because I was experiencing the amazing person he was when we first met. I felt that this was the real him and if he wasn’t so stressed all the time, it could be like this. I was foolish to think that, but I forgive myself. I forgive myself because I only knew what I knew at the time. I definitely know better now.

To My Readers

Knowing about the cycle of abuse could help so much. I didn’t know anything about it, only wished I did. I can’t change the past, but I can definitely control my future. I hope this finds it’s way to those who are confused. And I hope you believe you’re strong enough to fight for yourself to leave because you deserve pure love, not hurt. I love you.

Sources

  1. Very Well Health: https://www.verywellhealth.com/cycle-of-abuse-5210940#toc-the-four-stages
  2. Domestic Violence Hotline: https://www.thehotline.org/identify-abuse/power-and-control/
  3. Manitoba: https://www.gov.mb.ca/msw/fvpp/cycle.html
  4. Domestic Violence (Blogger) : https://domesticviolence.org/cycle-of-violence/

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