(Read the first part of Carolyn McCurdie’s reflections on this topic here.)
There are many, many victim-blaming questions that are asked. Most of them arise from cultural assumptions and I’m as much a product of this culture as anyone. There’s no blaming that anyone could do that I haven’t done to myself. One that caused me years of soul-searching is: but didn’t you see the signs? Surely you should have known.
Yes and no. With hindsight and maturity I can see that he was extremely narcissistic. Everything was about him. I didn’t recognise that. He was a heavy drinker. Every young man I knew was a heavy drinker. I wasn’t alert for trouble. I didn’t know I should be. There was no violence at all. This didn’t begin until about a year into the relationship. By that time I was committed.
So why didn’t I leave? Such a common question, and one much easier to answer.