I had to do a post on this issue because it is really dear to my heart. I support non-profits who are dedicated to putting an end to “violence against women” and “physical/mental abuse against women & children.” Now, to be clear, violence against men and animals is unacceptable too, of course. However, I am just “me.” I can’t participate/support every organization out there. And my passion lies in the betterment of women and children.
I am going to be as real as it gets on this post. And it’s either you take it, or leave it. If you can’t bear to handle the truth, don’t care to read, then please, click and surf away. As always, if my post can help just one person (as I know it does from my inbox messages), then my work is worthwhile.
I am in no way, in an abusive relationship. I am blessed with a beautiful man and lovely kids, however, I am going to include myself in this post. I will talk generally as a woman addressing all women in this situation, as I am in no way better, bigger, smarter, stronger or brighter than anyone of you. And most importantly, I am fighting for a cause.
That being said, I am amazed at how often women stay in an abusive relationship, why we don’t walk away the first time, or why we make excuses…convincing ourselves that being in a violent relationship is OK and will get better with time.
How does an argument between two people, that claim to love or to be in love with one another, quickly wind up in violence? How do you look at your girlfriend, wife, mother of your child(ren) and punch her in the face, beat her mercilessly, call her names, and then want/try to be intimate with her again and again? How is that possible? What sort of satisfaction can you possibly get from physically, verbally, mentally or emotionally abusing your loved one, this person you supposedly cherish?
This is yet another way for men to establish control over their spouse. By trying to create power through fear and intimidation.
Think about how many violent relationships result in murder. Either the man beats his wife/partner until she takes her last breath or the victim snaps one day and kills the man. Either way, relationships of this sort never end well. Why can’t we walk away or seek help? Why do we keep going back (if we leave) to this kind of relationship?
Is there a deeper biological behavior at the root? Is it low self-esteem? Is it fear? Is it because the man tells us that no-one else wants us and we’ll never find love outside him? Is it fear of being a single mom? Is it what your culture promotes? Is it growing up in an abusive household, as women tend to date/marry their father’s kind!?
What? We can surely do better!
In my opinion, this is a serious case of co-dependent behavior.
This is very similar to being addicted to drugs in a way. You know it’s bad for you, yet it gives you this temporary high. This roller-coaster feeling. There are good times, and there are bad times. We know deep down inside that we should never succumb to a man hitting or hurting us. We break up, move out, he comes back begging (knowing fully well that he has you wrapped around his pinky) and we go back to him. Thinking, this time, he’ll change. The relationship will be better. But it gets worse because the ugly truth is domestic abuse escalates over time.
We won’t actually change until the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change. It is the fear of the unknown and the pain of change that are our greatest enemies and most formidable obstacles.
It is so hard for women to reach out. It is such a huge step. Some women view it as shameful. We end up with a black eye, bruises, cuts, and broken bones yet again. Scars all over our bodies. We make one excuse after another like “I fell off the stairs”, “I just want to make my marriage work”, “The kids need their father”, “I got bit by the dog”, etc.
We are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for, and in most cases, it’s about tapping into that inner strength of ours and finding the courage to move on. But until we do, the cycle will continue to repeat itself. It will never change.
This brings me to the case of Chris Brown and Rihanna. Reading one blog to another, some men made comments like “she was too envious and possessive,” etc. And? She deserved to be beaten because of that? Now, they are back together, and there are talks about them making music together, and possibly getting married. How disturbing is this? What kind of message is this sending to the younger generation of men and women that look up to these two stars? Why couldn’t she seek help, counseling and speak up on the incident, letting her fans know that violence is never to be reckoned with?
Oprah Winfrey put out a statement via video stating that she’d be dedicating an entire show next week to “domestic violence,” and focusing more on the younger generation. That is how serious this has become. She also said the following: “He will hit you again!! Give it some time, get yourself some counseling, If a man hits you once, he will hit you again.”
Donald Trump even had this to say “She better get the hell out. If she goes back, she’s a loser, and she doesn’t deserve to have any future success.”
Perhaps what’s needed more than anything else, is the supportive community of other women who’ve gone through this before. Find solace in knowing that there are tons of women who’ve faced the same demons and are now living happy, wholly useful lives free of violence and repetitious assault. Whether you are in a relationship, or have broken free of the cycle, there are people out there that need you. As recovering alcoholics need to keep passing their message of sobriety to one another to stay sober, we can help each other the same by sharing our stories and strength with each other.
My lovely ladies, I can’t scream this enough. Talk to someone, seek help. You owe this to yourself. You are beautiful, strong, and empowered. Free yourself from abuse, and remember this, “freedom breeds more freedom.”