What I was really thinking about some of the things people have said to me about my abusive relationship:

Why didn’t you fight back?

What I said: I was too scared of him.

What I was really thinking: I did fight back. Hard. For a long time, too. I never won though, and it just made him more angry. Eventually it just got exhausting. He was so predictable that I almost always knew the easiest thing to do would be to agree. Comply. At least that way I would be allowed to go to sleep that night.

Why did you let him do that to you?

What I said: I was scared of him.

What I was really thinking: I didn’t fu*king let him do anything to me. I didn’t want him to do any of it. I was terrified of him. I tried to stop him for so long. But... see above ^.

You should have left after the first time he hurt you.

What I said: mhmmmmm

What I was really thinking: Yeah, I definitely should have. You’re right! I should have walked right out, and went straight to the police station. Only... he was so convincing. The first time was just that. The first time. I didn’t know that he was a monster yet. I didn’t know that he was capable of doing all of those horrible things to me, physically and emotionally. He made me believe that I deserved what he did to me. He kept me isolated from my friends, until I had no one. Since I had no one left but him, it was really easy for him to convince me that I needed him. Where was I gonna go, at a time that I felt more alone than ever?

Why did you stay for so long?

What I said: I don’t know.

What I was really thinking: I felt like I deserved to be where I was. I thought that I what he was doing to me was because I deserved it. He made me think I deserved to be abused. He gaslit me until I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know my value, I didn’t know anything that I thought I knew. He was just so good at being a psychopath, and playing mind games.

I never liked him! (A lot of people said this).

What I said: I know.

What I was really thinking: Yeah, me neither. I also didn’t really like myself when I thought I liked him. It only took a few weeks before I hated myself completely. So in my mind at that time, how much better could I really do? Like I said, so good at being a p s y c h o p a t h .

How come you never told anyone until now?/Why didn’t you tell me right away?

What I said: I didn’t know how.

What I was really thinking: I was in denial. I could admit to myself that it was happening, sometimes. But never out loud, and never to another person. It’s SO embarrassing. PLUS, a bonus: I felt so alone and alienated from all of my people that I didn’t think I had anyone I could tell.

Keep on surviving, survivor. Xo, Alicia