If you were to hold a half of the earth in your hand you would see that it is made up of many layers. You’ve got your crust. That’s the part we live on and for all the world to see. Then you’ve got your mantle which is hot and creates a convection which in turn causes movement or floating. On top of the crust, you can have a fault line. That is a crack in the crust caused by all that goes on underneath the earth’s surface and it’s ready to explode or shift at any moment from all that is simmering below. And that is what makes living with an abuser like living on a fault line.
You can feel it. The simmering of resentment or anger or anxiety. Sadness or emptiness that you can’t change. You can read the signs. You know that your abuser is about to explode and so you try to be happy. That only makes the abuser resentful. You try to keep your distance. That makes the abuser angry. You try to just be normal and that only makes your abuser livid that you could act normally when he or she is in so much pain and simmering below the surface.
Waiting for that fault line to shift leaves you anxious and unsure. Eventually, you are ready to crumble yourself from the pressure your abuser is building within the walls of your relationship.
And then it happens! Usually, it is over something silly. They are just looking to pick a fight. And when I say silly, I mean silly. Like which way the utensils should go into the dishwasher up or down. And when you calmly say, “I’ve always known different manufacturer to recommend one way or the other so I think it’s a preference.” All hell breaks loose. You are a stupid bitch. You think you are so smart, don’t you? You don’t know what you are doing and you are useless. How could you be so stupid? The shift has happened. Your abuser has gone from simmering to literally moving things. Throwing forks and spoons and slamming the dishwasher. Punching a wall or maybe even body checking you so hard you fall. Sometimes the attack is so bad you have to lock yourself in the bathroom as he tries to pound down the door and the tell-tale signs are still on that door from where it cracked at the door knob for all the world to see.
We are no more responsible for the earth’s fault lines than we are for the explosion of our abuser. Keep that in mind as you unlock the door and settle in knowing that your abuser has now erupted and will be entering a cooling phase that will include apologies as you sit and wait for the next shift. By now you know your abuser will act confused and hurt when you are not too keen on just going back to normal and pretending they didn’t have a melt down. Remember a relationship is give and take and an abuser is incapable of a normal relationship. If you turn the other cheek, they will slap the one that isn’t red and hurt because you offered it to them. Move on for yourself and take care of yourself. Love yourself. If you are in an abusive relationship, you are all you have.