When would you rather receive your flowers, while alive or dead?I know that is an unnerving statement but it needs to be said. Turn on the TV or internet and there will be some story related to Domestic Violence. It seems to be the one thing that is hard to escape, and yet we can change it. We CANNOT change the abuser but we CAN change ourselves. This piece will seem a little harsh, but, it is said with much love. It goes out to men and women alike, considering the way that a good many women are becoming just as violent as their male counterparts.STOP TRYING TO JUSTIFY ABUSE!!! I say this a thousand times. LOVE does not HURT! It does not hit. It does not stalk. It does not obsess. It does not burn clothes. None of those things are love, so why do we continuously say so when we try to defend our attacker?
Ask yourself why? Why do you stay? Don’t judge yourself and don’t think about how others may judge you. Just think of why you choose to stay. Is it really out of fear? Are you afraid of being alone? Are you afraid to not have love? Are you perhaps blinded by the fear of failure that you, think staying will somehow make the situation different? None of these things make you a bad person. It really doesn’t but here is the deal. We are told all the time to just pray about a situation and it will change. But just like with the flowers, when do you want to receive your prayer answers, alive or dead?Continue to pray for the person that has harmed you but get OUT if you can.
STOP saying he/she loves me! Who are you really trying to convince? yourself or everyone else?An abuser may care about you but that doesn’t equal to love. Love doesn’t give you a black eye. If he loves you why does he isolate you… berate you…. beat you? Is that love, because if it is, then why do so many prisoners of war not see it as such? Stockholm’s Syndrome (a victim’s emotional “bonding” with their abuser) can trick a lot of people into thinking that this horrendous treatment is love. This way of thinking is why so many of us go back.
STOP being afraid to be alone!If you are in an abusive relationship, isolated and afraid to trust then guess what? You are alone already. Now try being alone without having to walk on eggshells. Stop listening to lies. I listened to a friend talk about her abuser. She spoke about him with such love and affection that my heart went out to her. He talked to her about trust and that if he took her back he would need access to everything. He described how she would not be able to have friends and how she would basically be under his control. None of those things stood out to her as she was relaying his words. She chose to forget the black eyes. She only heard him talking about love. She desperately wants to be loved and he played on all of her feelings. Is that love? Sometimes Love really means loving the person in your mirror enough to be with them for a while.Get comfortable being alone. It doesn’t mean you will stay that way. Being alone is not a death sentence especially if you love the company you keep.
Love you enough to understand that you can not change anyone only you. Don’t be a victim of you. Staying or going back to an abusive relationship does not make you a martyr it makes you hurt.Love can be bittersweet but it is never physically or mentally painful. Stop confusing obsession and control with love. Stop allowing your own insecurities keep you in bondage. Just as victims with Stockholm’s can be treated and helped, so can you. You are never alone. Not really. There are those of us like myself that will always be there for you. Get help where you can. Make sure I can give your flowers to you while you can still smell them.
Don’t wait until tomorrow to live. You never know which day might be your last. You never know which moment might be the final opportunity to tell loved ones how you feel. Today might be the last time you see the sun rising or setting. It’s a scary thought because we can’t see death coming. We don’t know what day, time or manner that we may be called home. We don’t know who all will mourn us. We don’t know anything. The one constant and sure thing is that we all will eventually pass from the earth. How you choose to live is your choice and is within your control. I was reading a news report about a woman who posted on Facebook her final words to her children and it touched me in so many ways. It’s truly horrible to know that this lovely woman is no longer with her family. She died at the hands of her abuser. Such a horrible death that by all accounts should not have happened. She should be home raising her son and daughter. She should be growing old and waiting on grandchildren. But because of one disturbed individual she is gone.
What is so upsetting to me about this tragedy was the fact that although her death is a matter of media attention,in the U.S. an estimated 3 woman a day are murdered by their spouses or ex lovers.Normally not one to believe the extremes of statistics this was one I had no trouble believing. As a society we have become desensitized to violence against each other. We assume that things really are not as bad as the statistics and number tell us. We think that we are invincible or that we are all guaranteed another chance to get things right. We assume we have the chance to break out against the cycle of abuse without making any changes to do so.
We talked about looking to the past and trying to resolve the issues of our childhood. By doing this maybe we can find the cycle of abuseand destroy it before it starts to affect us. We know from experience and extreme study that cycles create more cycles. In other words an abused child is more inclined to be an abusive adult. Maybe that was the case with the man who did the horrible deed to the woman in the story above. If so what could have been done to change it? I don’t know and I am not a doctor so I can not step into his mind and find out why he did what he did with a clinical eye but I can’t help but be curious. I am curious because he is just one man but he is one of many.
Almost daily I am getting messages from different women in various abusive relationships and the numbers sometimes scare me. I have friends and relatives that go through the pain in silence because they feel ashamed to speak out. They are afraid of being judged. They may want to escape or they may even seek help from the police but they just can’t seem to get very far. Years ago I was in their shoes. I was that woman and I hated my life. I had my children to think of and it terrified me being on my own. I remember very clearly sitting in the courtroom and the lawyer telling me that I had no choice but to seek a restraining order. “If you back out now Mrs. Thomas I am not sure if the court will be so quick to help you in the future.” I was terrified of being alone but I was more terrified of what walking away meant. Some of you may have felt the same. Some of you may not know how to escape. I was able to break free and although it was NOT an easy road I was the VICTOR. Below are a few tips for those of you still going through. You are stronger than you know. Don’t wait until tomorrow to make a decision to save your life.You are really worth more than being a statistic. You are a true champion for yourself. Live like one. Sometimes fighting back can be as simple as standing up for yourself and removing yourself from a bad situation before it it gets as bad as you think.
NEVER FEEL ASHAMED…. You are a survivor. A woman who has been abused has nothing to be ashamed of. If you stay in a relationship longer than most would like to assume we would leave in a heartbeat, then guess what maybe it wasn’t the time for you to do so. Your life is personal and YOU have to be the one to decide that ENOUGH is ENOUGH. Not me and no one else. Until you make the decision to leave then nothing I can say or do will make you stay away. Just don’t wait too long. You are not guaranteed tomorrow.
IT’S NOT THAT BAD….this phrase is a deadly lie. to continuously minimize the effects of abuse on yourself, your family and kids is only blinding you. My ex told me “If I beat you as bad as you say I did, you would be in the hospital.” That was his way of saying the things he did were not as bad as all that. And to some it wasn’t but to ME it was bad enough. I didn’t want to wait until it was even bad by their standards. I didn’t want to wait until it was as bad as all that.
ABUSERS RARELY CHANGE…. Sure he/she may apologize and promise to change and never hurt you again. Some of them may really mean well but without counseling and help the chances are very slim. Some may have been abused as children and are repeating a cycle. Some may have simply witnessed abuse. (Think about that if you have children) Some may simply have other issues that cause them to be the way they are. Either way they have to want to find the source of their problem in order to heal themselves.
DON’T WAIT!…. If you are being abused, get away as soon as you can. Start by packing a bag with copies of all important documents on you and your children. Include photos of yourselves including your abuser. Squirrel away as much money as you can if possible. If you don’t have access then ‘No worries’ you can still get away. Keep this number among your things or in your phone 1-877-988-5559 it is national hotline for domestic violence. One of Thousands. Change the name and put it in code name like ‘Dominic Violin’ only you know who it really is. Let friends as family know as much as possible but in extreme cases keep your plans a secret even from them. Sneak away to the store or on an errand with the kids or while they are away from the house and contact a local shelter for pick up. Take you and the kids to a safe place and be free.
Tomorrow is not promised to you. Don’t be a statistic. Its OK and normal to be afraid of the future but be more afraid of what might happen if you remain where you are. You are not alone. There are millions of VICTORS just like you and me out there and we can do this together. Don’t post on Facebook or any social media your last words. Your life is to precious for a like. You hold the power to change your situation. I will not lie and say it will be an easy road. It will be hard but it will be worth it.