Someone said today "I think we stayed in abusive relationships because (1) we didn't love ourselves enough and (2) we didn't want to be alone". And, I think it encompass so much of how you explain that endless question of "why didn't you just leave?"
So, once you have depleted the self-love and are still trying to give someone else love, a parasite who can only live off of other people at that, you have nothing. Friends and opportunities don't come as easily anymore and it is a struggle to try even. You know there is so much that is wrong... but the parasite is still there sucking it out.
He is now starting a different phase of the abuse. He will do everything in his power to let you know how lucky you are to have him. That no one else would want you because you are so messed up, depressed, and unlovable. Plus the fact that you can't do anything right.
So how do you leave?
You have no love or respect for yourself. And you fear that his words are true, that you are worthless to the world...
I don't know. I honestly don't know how and when it happen - but it does. That a-ha moment when you realize he is a parasite and abuser and your depleted feelings are 100% valid. Things start to make sense.
But now what? Do you just pack and leave? What if you have kids? What if you have debt? What if you don't have a job? What if... There are so many what if's that keep us stuck after the realization. In order to step out into the real world you in one way or another have to shut off those "what if's" and move. Move forward, move sideways... JUST MOVE in any direction.
Find your self love again and realize that being alone isn't such a bad thing after all.