Monday, December 7, 2009

The topic of Domestic Abuse

I have some experience with abuse, both from a 3rd party perspective and up-close and personal. I want to vent a bit....but please do not assume that all I am discussing is about ME specifically. ALL opinions are mine, regardless of who the individual might be!

The mental hold:
I WILL tell you that I have experienced this side of domestic abuse. I've been in past relationships where I was mentally beaten down and manipulated! It just took MANY, MANY years for me to realize that it was going on....and of course, when you're only 17, it's extremely hard to recognize! This is one BIG reason why Camilla will NOT be allowed to date someone older until she is "old enough" herself.

I love my daddy for allowing me to make my own mistakes, and be there to catch me when I'd fall. This included my first real boyfriend. He was sweet enough, but he was also 6 years older than me. While, at the time, I always thought we were a perfect fit (from maturity to likes/dislikes/etc.), it wasn't until I turned 18 and wanted different things than he did that I realized "what" was going on.

At the age of "mid to late teens", most girls are "in awe" of materialistic things. I was showered with them too! JD would buy me jewelry, clothes, whatever I wanted. I thought it was because he wanted me to have them, but now, I often wonder if it was to blind me, to keep my head in the clouds and out of the "real world".

Needless to say (and I could write forever and bore you to death), we broke up. He went NUTS; tried to run me off the road a few times, followed me ALL over creation (to the point where I had to have a police escort to school and work), he even stooped so low as to call me one night......

I got the call around 11:30, he was crying and told me he was going to kill himself. Knowing him the way I did, I honestly thought he would. I knew our break-up caused a downward spiral for him, and he was even moving back to the coast with his mom and dad. I pleaded with him to not hurt himself, and I told him I'd come over and talk. By the time I made it to his apartment 25 minutes away, he was standing outside on the balcony, waiting for me. He was wrapped in a blanket, in jogging pants, and when he saw me, he dropped the blanket and started walking toward me, crying.

I felt so bad; I began running up the stairs. This apartment complex was 3-stories high, and he was the top-level apartment. We embraced, and I really felt guilty that I had caused him this pain. I knew we couldn't stay together though; I wanted more than "small town life" and he didn't want to fit into that picture with me. He began talking about us getting back together and having a family and buying a house.

I stepped back, and told him that I was there for him, but we were not getting back together. One night of putting his fist through a wall because he was too drunk AND MISSED HITTING ME, and all of the psycho things he'd been pulling...I just couldn't be "with" someone who went crazy because they didn't get their way. Before I realized what I had said, he'd grabbed me and hurled me over the edge of the landing. I was hanging over, him holding onto me only by a belt, 3-stories in the air (that's approximately 30-ft). I don't know if the fall would have hurt me drastically, but I didn't want to find out!

I began pleading with him, and as he told me he wasn't going to let me go "ever", I realized he was talking about not letting me leave him. I began crying and screaming for help. Luckily for me, there was a group of construction workers living in the apartment below JD. One of them came out onto his landing and saw me hanging there. I saw him, and he grabbed my legs while his roommate went upstairs to take care of JD. They got me safely onto solid ground again and called the cops. That was the last time I saw JD. I didn't press charges, but I did call his mom and told her to come get him, and they did!

I didn't realize at the time that this behavior was abusive. And while I'm not sure if it's even "text book" abuse, manipulation of someone or guilting them into submission is abusive! Don't think for a second that it isn't!!!

I have people in my life that have gone through far worse than me....I have dated guys that were only with me because I was pretty, or because they could brag that I was a model to their friends. I consider myself to be lucky! I have had a few physical scraps, but nothing that put me into the hospital. Most of my physical abuse left bruises for a few days. But I got out!!!!

The Worst Case scenario:
One particular person that I know and love is in an abusive relationship that is both physical and emotional. She refuses to leave, and not only is she endangering her own life, but she has 2 babies! When I say "baby", I DO mean YOUNG children!

The latest incident put him in jail (for the 7th time in less than a year), and her testifying against him. I was proud that she'd finally followed through, and was standing up to him and FOR herself. Many times, I've known him to put bruises on her, black an eye, bust her lip, drag her by her hair....the list is endless.

These beatings were followed with her pleading with the jail to let him out, either because the fight was her fault, or the physical abuse was her fault BECAUSE she did something to anger him? She'd tell me over the phone, "I know someday he may kill me.", but then she'd be making excuses for WHY she was going to "stay and make it work." WHO the hell wants to stay in THAT kind of relationship?!!?

Unfortunately, for my friend, I honestly believe that she loves misery. I feel, in my heart that she WANTS people to feel sorry for her, to give her attention, and the ONLY way she gets attention (at least in her mind) is to be "the victim". PLEASE, don't for ONE minute think that I am mocking abuse victims; that is the FURTHEST thing from my intention!

I am scared for her; I KNOW one day I'm going to get a call. Either she, or one of her children is going to have paid the price for her ignorance. That is the only thing I can call it....she admits that she knows the entire situation is wrong, that a man wouldn't lay a hand on someone that he loved. She understands; she isn't stupid. But yet, she endangers her kids and herself EVERY day!?!

I know that it's hard to leave, trust me. What I don't understand is that if you have help, and you have support, and you claim to want better for your kids, AND YOU KNOW that it's WRONG.....why do you stay?


Shannon said...

Ahh...this is an article very dear and close to my heart and as I am reading it brings up experiences of my own and the "ones" I know that deal with abuse on a daily basis. I cannot speak for the person you are referring to, as everyone has their own reasons but I do think that women stay because they they have no self-worth left. Their dignity, pride, confidence,'s all gone. They think so little of themselves that they stay. I think it is hard when children are involved as well. Some women are so scared to be on their own with young children. It's just all in all a sad situation and my heart goes out to the abused victims all over. One never knows until you walk just a step in their shoes....

I'm not weird, I'm unique!!! said...

True, Shannon, very true!

Anonymous said...

Also near to my heart, it hurts when i keep getting called a nice guy by all my female friends yet so many of them are with assholes like this.