The worst part of the abuse cycle

When I realized I was being abused (thanks to some divine help — that’s how amnesic I was), I took careful note of every tactic that was used against me. At the time it felt like 99% of the tactics that could be used were used and it was a crippling experience. I thought someone was abused, they somehow left it, then they were fine — problem solved! Yeah, I was wrong about that. Once your perpetrators have their eyes on you for wanting to escape, they’re not done with you until you are dead — literally or metaphorically. Either way, you will be in dire straights socially, financially, with family relationships, with the court, and with any other higher powers that be. If you leave, you have to get their final payback: all of your karma thrown at you at once until you stop this “I desire freedom and I don’t deserve pain” nonsense.

But what if you never stop?

Would you resolve all of your karma?

You will encounter person after person after person who you must dodge, confront, or also escape in order to be free. They will feel so familiar to you because yes, you have known them before, and something went wrong between the two of you in past lives which you then must figure out and resolve to gain more and more freedom from that which enslaves you.

But do you think these people will magically cooperate with you? (In all fairness, I did.) Do you think they will all do the right thing in the face of a past poor choice? Hell no. But what took me by surprise the most and what perplexed me is their denial of the karmic/abusive event ever taking place.

Let me put it this way: for years I had a frenemy that I never felt comfortable around, though I never tried to explain why. We had a lot in common, shared a lot of the same ideals, and I tried my best to calm down in her presence and have a nice conversation. I had never experienced anxiety so high around one particular person. One day I realized I was terrified of her judgment. Every time I tried to insert my opinion on a topic, she corrected me and told me why I was wrong. I assumed I was wrong and believed what she told me. She was a few years older and more experienced, after all and she seemed to have created a life of freedom for herself. It looked nice, minus any red flags. Later, after I left abuse and many of these frenemies sided with my abuser, I found out this woman had helped head a smear campaign against me. Because she always seemed so logical and trustworthy, people trusted her judgment about what was happening in my life so it spread like wildfire. She was not only my “judge” in this lifetime but she had been a judge in a previous lifetime where she actually sat on the court and punished me to death for a crime that I did not commit. She did it in a previous lifetime and she did it in this lifetime. Different circumstances, same roles. Do you see how this stuff works?

She would give me dirty looks, gossip to her friends about me, reveal all the secrets she had collected about me over the years, remind people why I was terrible, and assume the worst about my character. My abuser would post photos of me online and mock me. She would like and comment on the photos, really getting a kick out of it. It was only after she realized I had been abused that she stopped being cruel to me. She had been making fun of me while I fled my home with little more in my car than my clothes and important vital documents and family memorabilia that I wouldn’t be able to replace. Even still, she didn’t trust me or my perceptions. She offered herself as a friendly ear but I could never reveal everything to her. It didn’t feel safe.

One day this woman texted me and offered me a kind gesture. I had never confronted her for spreading rumors about me — or why she didn’t reach out to talk to me instead of believing my abuser. I was still terrified of her, though I tried to be kind and gracious to her while pretending she hadn’t done what she had done. It was too awkward plus I still didn’t fully trust my perception. First, how could someone do that and secondly, it if happened why won’t anyone admit it? I was at a new point in my life, though, and I was sick of people pretending with me because it was one big energetic lie… like a bubble you couldn’t pop. It makes it hard to breathe. So I decided I would tell her how I really felt about the last few years and what she had participated in. I told her I couldn’t pretend anymore. She told me she didn’t know what I was talking about. She never asked what I was talking about or why I would feel that way because she already knew.

Pretending is a tool that all abusers use. Whether that person harms you physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, does not matter specifically. What matters is that someone believes you to be under their control enough so that they will tell you to your face that nothing happened when it did in fact happen. You will question your own beliefs and your own sanity. And that is the intention. If I hadn’t had other people secretly coming to me to tell me that the same people who they saw abuse me also abused them, I would have never been able to admit to the truth because of how many times I was told something that happened never happened. People whose perception I trusted because they had high degrees of empathy came to me telling me the same story that I knew was being hidden. I had to trust it.

Pretending induces the worst form of amnesia because a victim literally believes they are mentally insane for having witnessed something that “didn’t happen” which forces them to be ashamed of their perception so deeply and never admit to the abuse. The next time the perpetrator does something even more despicable or egregious, you won’t even realize how much worse it is. You don’t trust what you are seeing with your own eyes.