During my abuse recovery, I have questioned if I was possibly addicted to the emotional and physiological abuse that I endured daily for so many years. There are times when I question if I will ever truly be over the abuse. There are always things that triggers my memory of my past life. They do not trigger an emotional response from me so much anymore. During the first few years of my divorce even a memory could trigger a panic attack or anxiety. I am very grateful this type of response happens less today.
Also, I lived under continuous stress for so long it almost seems as if I was unable to live without it. Almost as if my mind would create the stressful memories so I could feel the stressful feelings that once use to be a normal daily feeling. When I first moved into my house after my divorce, it was so quiet it was like my brain couldn’t handle it.
Today, I must watch out for warning signs in other relationships. I have found it was easy to attract certain types of people into my life because they exhibited some of abusive behaviors I had grown accustomed to. Certainly I was not consciously trying to meet abusive people but feel the same types of emotions I had felt throughout my whole life. For example, start working at a job that is continuously emotionally stressful with a manipulative & abusive boss.
Looking back now, it sometimes makes me wonder if I did not allow healthy people in my life because of some sort of addiction I had to those emotions. Abusive people are certainly unhealthy and not good to have in our lives because of the stress they induce. However, there was always drama and chaos and perhaps they kept emotions running high. So in a very sick way an abusive relationship might be somewhat exciting even if that ‘exciting’ is really sick and unhealthy.
We have all been given those survival skills, fight or flight, and it is normal to be able to react when we are exposed to those types of situations. I know those fight or flight trigger an adrenaline rush that gives me the energy to deal with what I have to. However, it is not normal to feel those feelings continuously. It makes me think I was somewhat addicted to that adrenaline rush?
However, I am not a doctor and I really cannot diagnose these feelings. However, if you are in a situation where your life is crazy and your are living in hell every day for years, it might be hard to feel okay without it. That crazy hell I lived in became my ‘normal’. I has taken me a long time to make non-stressful life ‘normal’ and any sort of crazy hell ‘abnormal’.
After leaving my abusive ex-husband I have found I do not allow unhealthy people to stay in my life for very long. It took me 10 years to leave my ex-husband and only 1 year to leave the next unhealthy relationship. So I had to be extra careful, after being with my ex-husband, my bar was set really low and anyone looked good in comparison.
I am not sure if you can identify with these feelings but they are just some thoughts that have come to my mind. Today I really do not want to live with daily fighting, drama and chaos. I do not like to feel stressed but it is something I have to work on because occasionally I find myself engaging in a stressful conversation with a company who did something wrong or unethical. These are things I have to work on trying to avoid.