Allow me to preface this with I, personally, am all right and this doesn’t have to do with my own life; however, I was reminded that people need this reminder.
Whether it is physical, mental, sexual, emotional… abuse is abuse. If someone beats you, if someone breaks you down to the point where you feel you are nothing, if someone forces them on you, if someone makes you believe you are worthless through telling you so every day, that is abuse. It also doesn’t matter if this is coming from a romantic partner, a family member, a friend, or an acquaintance. You do not have to put up with that. The Domestic Violence National Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. If you need to use it, then use it.
I’ve seen and heard so many different scenarios and it’s all scary. A friend of mine was afraid to leave her (thankfully now) ex-husband because he threatened to kill her if she left. Another friend was convinced all she was good for was being a bank account and cuddle buddy to her (thankfully now) ex-boyfriend. He called her names, was an alcoholic, put his hands on her violently and she put up with that for years. A male friend was married to someone who threatened to kill herself if he left her, yet she did everything possible to destroy their marriage. And I mean everything. She was embarrassed to be seen with him in social gatherings because he wasn’t as attractive as her or her friends. Her words. And she told him that constantly.
People who haven’t experienced an abusive relationship or haven’t been directly affected by a loved one suffering from that won’t quite understand why this goes on for so long. Abuse consumes you. That’s the best way I can describe it. The negativity, the threats, the insults, that environment becomes your world without you knowing it. Being treated that way becomes your normal. It’s not a sudden change; it’s gradual and it slowly contaminates your life. You don’t realize it’s bad for you until either your life is in danger or some other events jolts your from your reality. On top of realizing you’re in an unhealthy/dangerous relationship, you also have to process getting out and leaving what you considered normal for X amount of time. That is scary and sometimes scarier than dealing with the abuse itself. Your entire world will have to change.
1) If you’re going through abuse, don’t feel that you’re alone in that fight. Others are experiencing the same things as you.
2) Help is available. Whether you have to call that hotline or call the police or run away to a friend’s house, someone will help you. Safe havens are available to those who need it.
3) It is a life altering moment when you realize you need to leave a situation. Acknowledge that you need to leave and stick with that decision. When it comes to abuse, things don’t get better, they get worse. Abusive people will say and do whatever they can to keep you in the same spot which is under their heel (sometimes, literally), but that fake niceness only lasts for so long. Do not fall for that.
4) You deserve better. And there is better out there. It may not seem like it in the beginning, but trust me, once you leave, you will feel liberated. You may not have an exact plan to get back on your feet, but the first step is getting away, allowing yourself to breathe, and coming to terms that you are indeed precious and you will find people who will treat you that way.
5) I went through a lot in my life. Not as bad as some, but I have experienced enough to know that things do get better. You have to be the one that makes the first step to leave. Don’t stay. Life is too short. Live for you.
6) You can do this. I know you can.