Being safe to feel my feelings is something that I am not used to. I was never allowed to be upset or angry. After a while I just stopped reacting to the abuse. I would just calmly wait until he finished swearing and threatening me. I would quietly serve him his dinner and slip passed him upstairs to rest in my bedroom.
He would then assume that he could try it on with me in the night. I would try to protest that I was tired but it would do no good. He clearly wanted to dominate me in every way possible. I was not safe to feel repulsed by him. I had to survive by playing nice.
Today if I want to cry I am safe to. If I want to laugh I am free to. Being free to feel is something people in non abusive relationships see as a normal.
Not being judged for not leaving is also something new for me. Whenever I told someone other than my wonderful family and a few close friends, they would be very judgmental and claim they would never let someone hit them. I never gave my perpetrator permission to hit, attack or push me. He chose to abuse and I was powerless to stop him.
Abusers chose to gain power and control over their victim,by any method they decide upon. Victims of abuse react in a way to enable them to survive.
When my perpetrator first hit me when I discovered that I was pregnant.I scratched him back as it was a reaction to the shock of being hit. He battered me giving me a black eye. I learned not to hit back or my unborn child and I would not be safe. I have survived and that is a achievement.