How do I get over this excruciating pain? I’m dying inside. I’m waking up at night with palpitations, drenched in my own sweat. I know I have to be strong enough to leave him. I have to believe in what I need for myself, what is best for me, what my ideal is of what a real man should be.
I know I love him deeply, painfully so. This is a dangerous love and I feel a constant adrenalin rush when we’re together. Yes, I am not too ashamed to admit that I am addicted to this crazy, maddening rush. The high is totally exhilarating, but the withdrawal feels like death. Yes, death is exactly how I am feeling right now. He is my narcotic and it has been two weeks since I’ve used. It’s funny, don’t they say that the first step to recovery for any addict is honesty? Maybe there is hope for me yet. I will hold unto this hope.
These past few weeks have gone by in a haze and I feel like I’ve just existed. Everywhere I look I see something that reminds me of him. My mind is my worst enemy because it brings him back to me when all I am trying to do is let go. I have torn up all the pictures we ever took together, deleted all his emails and all his text messages in a desperate bid to exorcise him from my being. Some days the withdrawal feels less painful than others and there are moments when I am able to forget him if only for a minute.
Today is Sunday and he always called it Funday. I laugh at the thought. He says it’s because it’s the only day of the week he can spend all day with me. Corny, but it always made me laugh. My phone begins to ring, but I dont have to look at it to know who is calling. I have a personalised ring tone for him, so I know instantly that it’s him. I’ve been able to ignore his calls for two weeks now and I’ve held it together. I can hear my heart pounding in my chest and I feel my hands shaking. I feel my resolve weakening and I know I do not have the courage to ignore his calls any longer, nor to end it, not just yet, not today, maybe tomorrow. I convince myself that this will be the last time. I’ll allow myself the rush, the excitement, the thrill of one more night, just one last time. Did I not say these same words to myself two weeks ago? That was two weeks ago, I say to myself, this time will be different.
He comes over to my place as usual. I look at him and my heart skips a beat. How does he do that? How is he able to still have this effect on me? How can one man make my heart tremble with just one look? I smile at him and he looks into my eyes and says, ‘Baby I’ve missed you and I feel like you’re slipping away from me; am I losing you?’ I do not respond and he carries me over to my bed and kneels at it’s edge, ‘You are so beautiful baby and I love you, promise me you’ll never leave me’
I look at his beautiful face and think about all the times he made me feel small, less of a woman, less than nothing, like he was doing me a favour by being with me. He never raised his hands to hit me, no he was too much of a gentleman for that. With his words and manipulation, he could tear me down to nothing, destroying my very soul, yet at the same time, he could somehow overwhelm me with an incredible love, I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of confusion. I call it the Jekyll and Hyde syndrome. Yes, so maybe he loves me in his own peculiar way, but the truth is, he does not know how to love me, nor will he ever know and understand how to love any woman.
As he holds me in his arms tonight, my soul weeps. It weeps not just for myself, but for all women in abusive relationships who don’t even realise it and especially for those who are struggling to quit just like me. Who do I blame for this situation? Do I blame him for making me fall in love with him first, before revealing the ugly side of his love or do I blame myself for always going back to him and for continuing to love him in spite of it all.
I am trying to stop loving him you know. I am desperately trying to cure myself from the madness, but every time I try I am overcome by an unbearable pain. I am unable to eat, sleep or even go to work. I am simply unable to function. They say these withdrawal symptoms will eventually pass and if I can just hang in there a little longer I will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, my pain threshold is very low and the light is dim.
I say a silent prayer that I never keep that promise to never leave him. I know I love this man, will probably always love him, but I have to pluck the courage somehow to love myself more. I close my eyes as I fall asleep in his arms and as I dose off, I tell myself that this is my last night with him, the night I quit, the night I have my last fix. I make this solemn promise one last time to myself and for all women around the world who are trying to quit an abusive relationship just like me.