But Lisette’s words resonate constantly in my head: He has been abusing you.
I feel like I have just woken up. I’m not in an abusive relationship, surely not! I’m not a victim. Domestic abuse doesn’t happen to me.
But I can’t stop these words going over and over in my head. And as they do, they resonate with me more and more. I need to understand.
I walk to the reception area, sit down and type domestic abuse into the computer.
I’m speechless. It can’t be!
As I sit on the open veranda drinking lukewarm beer, my eyes grow wide at what I read. The mosquitoes are feasting on me, but I can’t move. I scroll down as if I’m possessed. In the words of others, here is my story. I’m transfixed.
In the distance, the humming of the air-conditioning unit creates a steady backdrop to this pivotal moment. I’m soaking up all this information, and I want to try to tell myself that what we have is different, it is not like that, but I can’t deny it any more. I want to scream, but I’m glued to the screen. I scroll down, listening to videos, reading, comparing.
Being able to give a name to what I have been living through is both fascinating and terrifying, liberating and bounding. It’s devastatingly sad to accept I can’t have the dream I thought was real, that I can’t save us, that I’m not special, I’m not unique. But it’s a relief to see I’m not going mad.
The mind games, tantrums and rages can be enough to make you feel like you are going crazy! A narcissist would never admit what they have done, it has to be someone else’s fault. His apologies and remorse are short-lived, and he’s back at his old games again.
They could have based this on Kiri.
Despite the depth of my despair, I still want to hold on to the hope that there is a future for us. I’m not sure I’m ready to give up yet.