There have been many times in my life where I've not made the best choices, according to other people. I'm not saying they were necessarily the right choices for me to make, overall; but, they WERE my choices, and I made the best choice at the time.
Sometimes, when your brain-filter isn't allowing you to receive all the data you might need to properly assess the situation; you are, at that time, living in "crisis mode".
This is what life is like, a LOT of the time, for Victims of Domestic Violence.
There is either constant chaos; or things are going eerily well, and you're just waiting on pins and needles for the next wave of chaos to begin.
Think about it...even just a simple trip to the grocery store can be thwarted by an outburst of anger,
throwing your entire life into a spin. The cause can even be something as minor as someone cutting your partner off in the parking lot. They blow up, and it's over. Most of the time, IF you even make it into the store, it's a speedy trip, and you only get
what you ABSOLUTELY need at that moment. Then, later, when you need to go back to the store, they get upset and ask, "Why didn't you get everything you needed when we were there the last time??!" You think inside your head, or sometimes, it comes out loud,
"If you wouldn't have been such a jerk, and let me take the time to get what I needed last time, I wouldn't HAVE to go back!!!" At that point, either you stuff it, and let it eat you up inside; or, if you said it out loud, a fight ensues.
You made the
best choice at the time. Was it wrong? Not necessarily. Was it the best choice you could have made? Not necessarily. Most of the time, it feels like a lose-lose situation. After awhile, your ability to make choices and decisions feels a little bit muddled.
It's just easier to "keep the peace", thereby relinquishing power to the perpetrator, which is what they wanted, all along.
This is just one example why, "Why didn't you just leave?", has such a complicated answer. You have to make the best choice at
the time. If they perceive any break in that control, they go into attack mode, and safety is of the utmost importance.
When situations come up in your relationship, how to you make YOUR choices? Are you able to make informed decisions, or are you living
in "crisis mode"? Are you controlled by trying to "keep the peace", and not anger your partner? How does this make you feel?