"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much."
The goal of an abuser is control. They want you to behave only in the ways in which they want you to behave. They achieve this control with abuse.
The cycle of abuse is a huge part of your answer to "How did this happen to me?" For years, you have very likely been feeling that you have been going around in circles... not getting anywhere. Your feelings are correct.
You have likely kept on trying and trying your best to resolve issues and doing everything in your power to try to stop your partner's abusive behavior... and nothing has worked.
Nothing has worked because he doesn't want to stop controlling you and abuse is his method of doing it.
Look what has happened to you! Your "failure" to stop the abuse and "failure" to resolve issues, has very likely set up feelings of helplessness within you because you can't seem to make anything better no matter how hard you try. As you keep trying, and failing, these feelings of helplessness grow. Your once healthy ego and sense of pride begin to slip away and your sense of self-worth is shattered. You lose confidence in yourself and your abilities.
The combination of abuse and your failed efforts to stop it: erode your self-confidence, devastate your self-esteem and destroy your sense of self-worth. You become fearful, insecure and dependent. Everything in your life eventually revolves around your abuser, their moods and their needs. You become a non-person, and as such, you are reduced to existing as your abuser's "possession" or "provider."
You can't change your partner no matter how hard you try. You can't love him enough to make her stop abusing you. Only he can change herself or make the decision to stop being abusive.
The Cycle of Abuse keeps you fearful and off balance both emotionally and psychologically. Look at the diagram of the cycle shown below... you will most certainly recognize this vicious and devastating wheel spinning within your abusive relationship.
The saddest thing of all: This insidious, repetitious wheel will break you so smoothly, there's an excellent chance you won't realize you've lost yourself. For some people it may take years... but it will break you.
Each time you take a spin on the Cycle of Abuse you lose a little piece of yourself. You never quite make it back up to your top again. Oh I know, you may think and believe you have... but you haven't. Every cycle of abuse takes you lower and lower and lower until one day, there is nothing left of you. You just don't recover. Look closely at yourself and your life... feel your feelings... listen to your own heart... reach into your spirit.
I now ask you...
Are you really the same person you were before you began riding The Cycle of Abuse?
The heavy weight of abuse crushes you a little bit more each time you travel around the cycle. Down, down, down you go... until you are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually annihilated.
You begin whole and complete
You finish depressed and broken
Isolation from others, withdrawal from family and friends, avoid the public
If so, you may find it extremely difficult to get off the roller coaster or avoid becoming involved with abusive partners. If you don't recognize that you are addicted to drama, and do some inner work with yourself, you will likely find yourself continually back in abusive relationships. So, how do you know if you are addicted to drama? One indicator: You may find those gentle and loving men will seem boring... "He's just too nice!"
Whether we know it, or not, most of us react to life as victims. Whenever we refuse to take responsibility for ourselves, we are unconsciously choosing to react as victim. This inevitably creates feelings of anger, fear, guilt or inadequacy and leaves us feeling betrayed, or taken advantage of by others.
[ Support for drama addiction, setting personal boundaries and self-esteem discussed under "The Self-Esteem Factor" ]