9. No one knew. Everyone saw someone so different than who we experienced. They saw who I saw when I first loved him. Not who he really was, or had become.
10. It didn’t exist. He acted as though nothing had happened when confronted, or denying any wrong doing, that I made him do whatever he’d done. There was never, ever, an ‘I’m sorry’ out of his mouth or a gesture to indicate regret for things he’d done, no acknowledgment of responsibility, so it almost seemed as though maybe they didn’t happen the way I thought they had.
No empathy, no sympathy. Not when my friend died, not when my parents died, not when my cats died, not when he called me names, not when he pushed or shoved or pinched or poked or hit or choked or cheated.
10. Fear. He threatened to kill me. I did not take it seriously enough, but it hovered over me like a black cloud. There were three incidents before he shot me. Outwardly I worried about who would run interference when the children were with him without me to protect them. I was willing to sacrifice my freedom for their safety. Inwardly I had no example, no mental file to house I was gambling with sacrificing my life and the possibility I would not be here at all to watch over them. I simply could not believe someone who professed to love me would do something like he threatened.
11. I deserved it. Somewhere, deep inside, untouchable, I had this quiet voice sometimes telling me maybe I deserved how he treated me. I didn’t hear it. But I see it now. Maybe it was because he was constant to tell me everything he’d given up to be with me. How could I leave after all the sacrifices he’d made? Maybe it was my own guilt at my choices prior to being with him, my choice to be with him. Maybe it was just a self-flagellation, self-hate perpetuated by him that I hoisted on my back and carried.
12. More than scars. He had taken something from me and replaced it with what he thought would insure no one else would want me. He had me convinced at least.
To this day there is still some degree of disbelief; that it all happened, that any of it happened. I suspect it is an instinctual self-preservation mechanism to protect our fragile psyches that we forget the pain on a conscious level. It is, however, branded on us on a cellular level. Our bodies don’t forget. I suppose it is a matter of outwitting our cells, replacing the pain with pleasure.
I’m sure everyone has their own reasons. These are mine.
Husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body.