"I don't know why I have to be such a bitch sometimes."
"I'm impossible to live with, you'll see."
"Maybe I'm just a bad person."•
Maya Angelou said, "When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time". One thing thing that seems commonplace in abusive relationships are explicit "warnings" like these. They aren't really warnings, though, because the abused person has already been conditioned to be the one who takes responsibility for them. •
It took me years to learn this lesson. The person who drove it home told me he thought he played with people because he was a bad person. He treated me like a toy, something he was entitled to use and discard without explanation. He took everything he could, and left my heart and mind broken, unable to process, reeling without closure. When it caught up to him, he lied, and threw me in front of an abusive train that almost ruined my life. My whole life, career, talents, heart, ability to heal, all of me, all thrown away, all so he could use me without being held accountable. He made me suffer the consequences for my part in it, and for his. And finally, after doing all of that, he just turned around one day, without any discernible guilt, and told me, "hi". I realized that nothing he put me through would have ever stopped him from taking more. •
All I could think was I had been terrible too, he was hurt, he was scared, I'd seen potential in him to be good. What I've since learned is, that doesn't matter. When someone states, "I'm a bad person", they may want their interlocutor to absolve them of responsibility for that, but what they're really saying is that they have already made the choice to be a bad person. It is their choice. They have the presence of mind to recognize that they're doing something wrong. They don't care. I hope, if someone said something like that to you, that you got away. But if you didn't, know that when someone tells you they hurt people, it is not a display of integrity -- They would stop. They would take responsibility. You weren't "warned". You should not have seen it coming. Whatever it was, it was not your fault, you didn't deserve it, and I am so, so sorry.