One of the symptoms of a really great depression (because hey, if you’re going to do it, do it right) is rumination. You just turn things over and over in your head that have no answer. In my case, the reaction is particularly severe because I’ve been doing it for so incredibly long. The endless reevaluation of the situation with my abuser has been going on since we met… taking the emotional temperature all the time, constantly up in arms over whether her life was stable, safe, and loving away from me, when I couldn’t protect her if something bad happened. It never occurred to me that at 5’2 and barely a hundred pounds, I honestly wouldn’t have been that useful.

I just wanted to be a hero to her, because she was such a hero to me. I was trying to create this mutual admiration society where I didn’t have to feel lesser than because I was so young and small… and because I could never be bigger or louder, I retreated into my own head, because I was never sure that she was listening- but that didn’t mean I couldn’t have my own feelings about things- and I had to ruminate about that, too… and on and on and on and on and on and on.

I become more silent and introverted as I isolate, and I notice it’s happening more and more. I don’t want to be around anyone else, because I’m sort of anxious if I am, because she knows. She’s the only one who knows. She’s the only one who knows I’m coming out, knows that I have all this information about her life and am powerless to do anything about it, knows that I’ve expressed that as “I love you and I want to marry you.” Even then, she never put it together that the game was hers. I just had to live in it.


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