I’ve answered the question, “why did you stay” plenty of times. No one ever asks how this happened though. I cannot think of one time when someone asked me how I found myself in that position.
There isn’t a simple answer to that question. It kind of sneaks up on you. You don’t wake up one morning and suddenly decide, “gee, I think I’d like to be in an abusive relationship.” For me, it was a combination of things. I was so insecure, and I was so young, and I just wanted someone to love me more than anything. I wanted someone to love me beyond reason. When we first started dating, he was so very attentive. He couldn’t stand to be away from me for any length of time. It was flattering, it fed into that need I had. That need to be loved, to be wanted.
Really it all goes back to the insecurity though. I was so insecure, even though I didn’t act it, inside I was just a scared kid. Of course, being 18, I could never admit that. I thought that I knew everything, and that if I just worked hard enough, it would work out. I never wanted to be abused, I never wanted to be hurt. I just wanted to be loved. He just didn’t know how to do that.
I could get into why he did it. His reasons, he was abused as a child, his mother was abused by his father and step-father, etc. etc. It doesnt really matter why he did it, it’s all just an excuse. In reality, he wanted someone that he could love in the only way he knew how, to control them. I was an easy target.
I hope someday that I will be able to help other women and girls to not be easy targets. To have enough sense of self and worth that they never wake up one morning with the thought of, “what am I living?”