When I was in abusive situations (mental and physical), then later getting married for the first time, I wore a bright smile despite much of the pain I was going through inside. I laughed with people, made jokes, carried myself in positive ways, that unless you knew me very well, you wouldn't know I was in pain. I was often angry inside, because I couldn't make troubled partners behave. I detected that there was something wrong with them, me and what we called a "relationship," but I felt so helpless. So I masked the ugly stuff I was feeling inside with shopping, pretty makeup and eye-catching hairstyles. When chatting with others about my issues, there was never enough time to express what was on my heavy heart. Besides, the more you talk, the more people want you to "get over it" and "quit talking about it" especially if they have heard your problems a thousand times already and you still have yet to do anything about them.
I recall those work call-offs like it was yesterday. There wasn't too many, but those personal days I did take, I was up to my eye balls in personal stress. Those days did provide some eye-opening moments for me and I recognized that change was imminent. The job was the only thing at times that made me feel happy, important and appreciated. But at home, was quite a different story. I could manage work, but not the men who was always up to something. From lying about their whereabouts to what they did with their money while looking in my wallet, the disputing was tiresome and oftentimes unproductive. As stress increased, so would health woes. Who wants to have sex or much else when you are unhappy? That too gets old! So rather than problem solve, one cheats, another creeps seeking a replacement, and another shuts down sexually too.
Sooner or later you can't cover up your disappointments with partners much longer and the ever-popular statement of, "But I love him..." becomes annoying to family and friends who can clearly see you are not the happy woman (or man) you once were, so carefree, patient and kind. But you make excuses for every negative that someone notices about you. Meanwhile, the images pop in your mind of an angry mate, date, or lover that has hurt you once again, but you know better not to share certain information again about your bad relationship with some critical relatives and friends. You know what they will say, "Admit it, you made the wrong decision dating/marrying him, now what are you going to do about it?"
Hiding pain is what many victims learn to master at least for quite awhile until they have a series of health challenges, mental breakdowns and the like. Now everyone knows their business. You can run, but you can't hide. You can lie, make excuses, take personal days off, shop, eat much, or eat little, but the real issue is with that one you live with. Blame anyone you want outside the home, but perceptive people know the truth, because chances are they are either in a similar situation or have been there and done that and aren't the least bit interested going down that destructive path again with you.
Pain is a great teacher when nothing else seems to work for those who insist on laboring to love someone who doesn't love back, but hurts whoever or whatever is in his or her path. From cheating to drunkenness, an abusive man or woman is the end all to what little self esteem you have left, peace, patience, and love.
Woe to the next person who meets a victim who has yet to heal from his or her broken past.