What you describe you are going through, Tamra, I went through too, and it is something other ladies have also say they have gone through.

As we spend time away from them, the reality of what we went through seems so surreal. When we were in the situation, we didn’t have the energy to analyse our relationship – we were just about surviving. Once away from our abusers, we have the space to reflect- and it almost seems unimaginable that we went through what we did.

At times, the horror of it all hits us- we remember the horrific incidents, and our bodies respond with feelings of panic and trauma.

At other times, it all seems misty: we wonder whether we imagined it, whether we made it out to be worse than it was, etc.

I am sure that this yo – yo effect is an integral part of the healing process. The time apart from our abuser is the time reality hits us. We can’t take too much pain and too much reality at once, so the moments of clarity and buried memories alternate with periods of us almost minimising the experience.

I am sure this is our brain’s way of rationing the flood of reality – in small doses. Coming to terms with the reality of things is a gradual process, like the gradual peeling away of an onion, layer by layer. Our brain very much acts as a shock absorber, not allowing too much realisation to hit us all at once.

Plus, I think this is to do with is not being abusers: that is, we are morally healthy human beings, and are able to deeply question ourselves, we have a properly working conscience and are ready ( maybe too ready ) to take responsibility, unlike our abusers.

Our abusers words may also be in our subconscious: that we are at fault, that we are exaggerating the abuse, that they aren’t at fault, or should be excused.

How I got past this self-doubt was to listen to my body, which was showing symptoms of PTSD. I told myself, the body doesn’t lie. The physical trauma was caused by something deeply horrible- true abuse. That abuse may not always have been obvious ( he could operate covertly too ), and he may have dressed it up as concern, etc. and feigned that he cared. But the nature of the relationship and the tactics he used were, yes, truly and deeply abusive, leading to my PTSD. And even if I hadn’t have had PTSD, my gut would have told me the truth. x

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