Years and years ago I was in a physically and verbally abusive relationship. It’s something that I still get very emotional about whenever I talk about it to people, especially people who are insensitive to the subject. A lot of times I read on social media or have conversations with people who say things like “if she keeps going back to him then it’s her fault she keeps getting beat up” or “well she’s stupid as hell for taking him back” or “some women get in a man’s face and talk a bunch of ish and they deserve to be hit”. It’s crazy the things I hear and read and I can’t help but to think, where is the compassion for the victim? Unless you’ve lived the nightmare before how can you be so opinionated about it?
Although I do think getting in someone’s face is provoking them, I still think at the end of the day we all have the choice in how we react to it. Everyone has the right to defend themselves when someone gets physical with them, but if they didn’t touch you, you shouldn’t touch them. Period. I understand sometimes it’s not that simple but that’s the way it should be. From my experience and also from what I’ve witnessed verbal abuse and manipulation usually comes way before the physical violence which a lot of people fail to realize.
Before I met my ex-boyfriend I was happy, confident, ambitious, and sure of who I was and what I wanted. I was that strong minded girl who said I would never let a man put his hands on me. By the end of the relationship I was 40 lbs. heavier, miserable, insecure, lacked motivation, and didn’t recognize the person I saw in the mirror. I was completely opposite of what I was before. Before, I was that girl who cared about her appearance before she walked out the door. Afterwards I could give a rat’s ass and just walked out the house looking any kind of way. I went days without even combing my hair. I was depressed and it took a while for it to become apparent to my mother but once it was she subtly made an intervention. Not everyone is so lucky. Prayer alone cannot help you out of that situation. Family and friends turn their backs and give up on people who keep going back because they don’t understand or know how to help. If you have no support and no one to help pull you through what do you do?
Here’s my story:
The first time I saw any signs of my ex being an abusive person, I ignored and justified it. I had witnessed him choke his ex-girlfriend during an altercation one time. I had witnessed her act crazy as well. She tried to run us off the rode on multiple occasions, once with her infant in the car. So my initial thought was well she ran up and hit him first and she was screaming that she was going to do something to me so he was just protecting me. Throughout the 3 years we were together a lot of our arguments would be because of the fact that he was still seeing this woman and lying to me, which was probably what was driving her crazy as well. His possessiveness and insecurity because of our big age difference also played a major role in our problems.
He had started his manipulation early on in the relationship. He had a problem with the way I dressed and being the woman that I am and wanting to please my man, I stopped wearing anything that showed off my figure too much because I knew it would lead to an argument. He would even snap on men in the grocery store for looking at me. If I put on some body spray before leaving the house it was “who you trying to smell good for” then that caused and argument and he subsequently poured all my body sprays down the drain. According to him all of my close friends were bad for me and he even tried to turn me against my mother so that I would have no one. Eventually it was hard being friends with people and either they cut me off or I cut them off. He would start arguments with me out of nowhere but then turn around and tell me how much he needed me and that he had no one but me. He would cry and tell me deep dark secrets and use them as excuses as to why he acted the way he did. So that made it hard to leave because I would feel sorry for him. I had been around his family and friends and yes he had burned those bridges so in a sense I felt like he did need me. All of these things I had put up with because I loved him but also I had eventually lost all self-love in the process.
The first time it got physical I blamed it on myself and my mouth. By now I had been doing the same thing he was doing to me which was cutting below the belt during arguments. I told myself well I should have walked away and that’s what I’ll do next time before it gets physical. Well next time came and he wouldn’t let me walk away. He would take my glasses and car keys so I wouldn’t drive off. He would pin me down so I wouldn’t leave. Even when he fell asleep I didn’t try to leave in the middle of the night because I feared what he might do to me if he caught me. He would always wake up begging and pleading for me not to leave him and apologize a million times. During all of this I also felt like I had nowhere to go. Even though my mother would have welcomed me with open arms to come back home, she had a husband that I didn’t get along with. I felt like I had no friends or family to turn to, nor did I want to be alone. By now because of the mean and hurtful things he would say and because of my appearance I felt like no one else would want me. There were even times I had gotten spit on, punch, choked, and kicked in front of his family and they did nothing to stop him. So I just felt like nobody cared and at some point I became financially dependent on him as well. I had gotten so used to this dysfunctional relationship that there were even a few times where I hauled off and hit him first because of something that he had done to me. In the beginning the sex was a big part of why I stayed too but toward the end I was so disgusted by him that I didn’t want him to touch me.
One time I almost passed out while he was choking me. It was then that I was determined to get on my feet financially and leave him when I got the chance. The final straw was the day I was scared for my daughter’s safety and that’s the day I left and never looked back. Some people are so drowned in what’s going on that they never get that rude awakening. My mother moved me on the other side of town which helped a lot because it was really hard to move on.
I say all this to say that there are so many layers to domestic violence. It’s not so cut and dry like most people think it is. Mentally after dealing with all the verbal and physical abuse you are messed up in the head, which is a big reason it’s so hard to leave. You’re confused, feel alone, financially unstable, insecure, and depressed. There’s barely any common sense or any light to hold on to. I hope that anyone reading this shares it and it opens your eyes to the complexity of it all. I hope that people can be more sensitive on the matter. I keep seeing people comment on the Ray Rice situation and they are being so cruel. People have even created these memes or pics poking fun at the situation when I feel it’s not a laughing matter. Women are losing their lives over stuff like this and yet so many people are quick to judge and blame the woman. It’s not so simple.
*Don’t forget to like and share. Email address is not needed to comment