I don’t understand how I got to this place. I have feelings of extreme sadness that are accompanied by a broken heart. That doesn’t make any sense to me. How can my heart be broken by him? But to me, that answer is easy. I am crushed because I am accepting and realizing the fact that the man I fell in love with; the man I was sure would save me, is the same man who wanted to destroy me.
The sweet guy was just that – sweet. He was caring and loving toward me. His touch was gentle and his smile was kind. I felt safe in his arms … even loved. The first time the asshole disappeared and the sweet man came forward, I felt relieved. He saved me from that asshole and the pain that he brought. As we sat on the couch, his kiss was light, even intriguing. It lured me in and I was hooked. I was intoxicated there in his embrace, feeling his mouth all over my body, getting drunk on the pleasure he was bringing me. We made love on the couch and it was incredible. His kisses were powerful yet gentle, deep yet passionate. There’s no way this man is the same man who hurt me. No way the sweet man is anything like the asshole.
The sweet man comforted me in a way that only someone with a soul could. He cleaned me up time after time when the asshole was finished with me for the moment. He whispered calming words of encouragement into my ear as he held me and I cried. He kissed me and held me and I felt loved. That is, until the asshole made his appearance.The asshole was different from the sweet man in every way. The asshole had evil in his eyes. His facial features changed. His lips were persed together tightly, his shoulders and arms ridged and angry. He watched me with judgement and condemnation, just waiting for the moment to punish me. There was absolutely nothing loving or nurturing about the asshole. He was all business all the time … He had no soul to tell him otherwise.
The pain that the asshole brought was real and physical during that time, but the emotional pain that was left from the sweet man is what is hardest. The broken heart and feeling of emptiness and questions of a relationship ended are what haunt me now. The images of the beatings and rape are no longer terrifying. Yes of course they are not fun to “watch”, but I am no longer paralyzed by fear. I am instead left with questions as to why the sweet man left me. Where is he?
My newest task is trying to make the truth a reality in my mind. I have to retrain my brain to see the asshole and the sweet man as the same person instead of two separate people. That is much easier said than done. How do you replace someone so important in your mind? Part of me is afraid to do this – afraid that the sweet man will in fact be gone forever. How do you say goodbye to someone you love? It sucks. The other part of me is frustrated as hell. I know that the sweet man is an act. He is a character in a play that was used to merely control me and make me obedient. He wasn’t real. None of it was real. That too, feels like a blow to the stomach. Like dating someone and falling in love and then learning they are married themselves with a family of their own – you look and feel foolish, devastated, and angry at yourself for falling for such a cheap trick. Is my intuition really that broken?
Trying to retrain my brain is difficult, in that making it see that the two people were in face one and the same, I have to replay scene after scene. Not only do I have to replay it in my head, but I have to watch it, pause it, consciously make an effort to evaluate it, replace the sweet guy with the asshole, and then feel everything in that scene all over again. The shame, guilt and pain all return, twofold. Perhaps it would have been better to have dealt with all of this way back when, but I wasn’t ready. I’m not always sure I am ready now … but ready or not, I’m determined to win. RIP sweet man.
The hardest part of this recovery is trying to piece together all the pieces. Trying to replace the image of two separate men that night into the truth, that there was only ONE man is difficult. Let’s be real – it’s impossible. The logical side of me understands what it means to have someone pretend to be something else. It was all an act. The sweet man never existed … it was merely a way for him to regain my control over and over again. He knew I would be obedient to the sweet man. I hate that he was able to deceive me that way. I hate that I fell for his trap. I hate all there is about him … the asshole … yet I love what I thought was there … the sweet man who was going to save me.
How do you get to a point in the middle of hell that your brain shuts off and you just act instinctively? Where is the line drawn when you can say that you aren’t responsible for your actions? That it was your body reacting to the pain or pleasure and you had no control? That line is invisible to me. I don’t understand how I am not completely to blame for the events that unfolded that evening. Why didn’t you fight? Run? Scream? Anything???? When the asshole left and the sweet man appeared for the first time, why didn’t I try to get away? Those questions haunt me every time I stop to process the events of that night, followed by the guilt, shame and repulsion I feel toward myself.Realizing the sweet man was a con – nothing more than a character in the asshole’s play is crushing. The one thing I clung to that helped me through that night is/was nothing more than just another lie. Every time I started to get independent or brave, the sweet man appeared and sucked me back in. How do you not feel foolish for falling for the game? I was sucked in time and time again … to the point where I made love to the sweet man – freely and whole heartedly. What an idiot. I think a piece of comfort is found in the fact that this has a name – Stockholm Syndrome. The fact that it has a name means many people have made the same choice that I did… to survive by any means possible. What I didn’t expect are all of the residual feelings that dangle from my heart strings, making my heart ache.