In hindsight, I caught myself realising that there were times when he would show me what I wanted to see. He would show me that he was a decent person. He would show me that he cared and he was capable of being loving and attentive. All those little doubts I had of why does he do this? and does he actually love me, or am I just convenient? Why was he so willing to tear me down and dismantle me piece by piece? All for the sake of gaining whatever it was he wanted. Were always met with a well, you know where the door is. That is, until I was ready to use it. Once I was actually ready to leave because I knew I wasn’t being treated how I deserved to be treated; that’s when he would show the side of him that I craved to see.
The first few times he did this, I saw it as him being terrified of me leaving. I equated this to what I was worth. He must love me, care about me and need me if he was willing to show me what I needed to see and tell me what I needed to hear at a point when I needed it most. This is exactly how I kept on being reeled back in. I fell for it, every time. I wanted to believe that he was being sincere. I made so many excuses. I wasn’t giving enough or I shouldn’t have caused the fight or he needs more love and he’ll be ok or he doesn’t know how to deal with this.
Eventually it became something that he was doing for his convenience. It was a tool in his toolkit that he used to keep me under his control. It just didn’t seem fair that I was always expected to change and do better yet he wouldn’t budge an inch for the sake of meeting me in the middle. If he started to get the idea that I was ready to leave then he would use the very things he was purposely withholding to make sure I didn’t go anywhere. It became clear he was using it for manipulation.
I believed it was a case of he was good, genuine person that had anger and trust issues. I’d constantly justify his behaviour to myself and make excuses for him. I’d accept responsibility for the things he put on me, even when it actually wasn’t my fault. I failed to see that the bad constantly outweighed the good and in the fleeting moments when that became clear; I couldn’t leave because he would then know exactly the right things to say and do to make me think twice about leaving.
We came to a point when he wouldn’t even tell me what I needed to hear anymore. He knew I felt stuck. He knew I felt like I was in too deep and leaving would be impossible. So he played on that. Instead of the please don’t go’s and the I promise I’ll try harder’s I then got the you won’t cope without me’s and the you’re nothing without me’s. That small solace he took away because he new he didn’t even have to try any more. I was well and truly stuck in this cycle of abuse he had manipulated me into. What little effort he did make in the beginning he didn’t even need to do it anymore. I had made it so easy for him to abuse me.
The sweet talk he would use always worked. He was all too aware that I craved to hear the things that I needed to hear. I would try harder each time and do better in the hope I would get to the point of him being a glimpse of the good person I thought he was. But he never was. He just projected this good person to make sure he had me. And for a long time, he did.