"Go away, go away, don't you come back any more! Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door!"
When a couple splits up as a result of domestic abuse—whether a temporary separation or the final straw—the victim will inevitably miss her perpetrator. For those who have never been subjected to intimate abuse, this idea seems unreasonable at best, and deluded at worst. Why would someone miss their abuser?
The answer is: Trauma Bond. But that’s a topic for another article.
In this post, I wish to discuss the agony of the “man who wasn’t there,” yet who still is. Once you’ve finally made your way out of an abusive relationship and are on your path toward healing, he still haunts you. Your thoughts, your daily activities, your motivations and your self-perception may still be guided by his gaslighting and manipulation. It takes great effort and healing to get him out of your head.
Yet it can be done!
Before I get into that, I want to quote a disturbing and applicable poem about what it’s like to finally be released from the confines of an abusive relationship … yet, at the same time, not truly released at all.
I'm Jenny duBay, a domestic abuse survivor and now advocate. My degree is in Christian theology with a concentration on spiritual direction, and my vocational emphasis is on helping those who have suffered from domestic abuse to heal and reclaim their true selves.