If I Can Help Just One

4:13 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I've been impressed that so many talk shows are addressing the Chris/Rihanna situation and domestic violence. I don't think this is an optimistic post but if, by posting on this, I help just one person get away from abuse it will have been worth it.

I posted a few days ago about a few of my experiences in an abusive relationship. I escaped. I found the power I needed to make that step. It was not easy, never that. Even after I left I went through a period of such depression that it was over. I realize now that I felt powerless, I felt like I wouldn't be loved or have a man in my life. I didn't feel that I was worth being loved and treated with respect. I was able to go because I had good friends and my family to help me. If you are someone who is friends or family of an abused person know this: YOU CANNOT CONVINCE THEM TO LEAVE THE RELATIONSHIP! THEY HAVE TO MAKE THE DECISION TO LEAVE ON THEIR OWN! You can be there, support them whatever their decision. That if they decide they want out you will help however you can. BE THEIR FRIEND, DO NOT WRITE THEM OFF!

It's not just having someone lay hands on you. It's mental anguish too. They are master manipulators. Nothing is their fault, it's all you. Then when you leave they convince you that they can't live without you. You want to believe the best in people, want to believe they will change. They try to isolate you by saying things like "if you loved me", "if you cared about me". They try to keep you from spending time with other people. You feel that if you just loved the person enough they would change, the abuse would stop. It won't work. The justice system, sadly, frequently doesn't protect abused people. Restraining orders are just a piece of paper........hopefully it discourages but if an abuser is determined to get to the victim they will find a way despite the piece of paper. It's difficult to prosecute. I'm not saying victims shouldn't use the justice system, just don't expect it to be the whole solution, find other ways to protect yourself in addition to this system.

I know also that my current husband was/is abusive too. It wasn't physical but emotional. He would cut me down frequently escalating to what he did last winter. I'm separated from him and we are both working on making our relationship more healthy. I still don't know how this is going to go. I'm taking things day by day, I have two girls to protect, to help them find the power I didn't have.

You need to, as a victim, hit rock bottom, it seems, before you get help or to leave. Like someone with a drug or alcohol addiction. I went to alanon meetings for awhile because I was with an alcoholic. I still look to those twelve steps now to try to keep my life balanced. I still lose my way frequently.

A coworker has a blog for women on the mend from these relationships.http://momsonthemend.blogspot.com/ She has a lot of info and stats on abusive relationships. She escaped her own nightmare and I have tremendous respect for her for finding the power to leave.

To those who are reading this, who are in this sort of relationship, if you want to leave there are a great deal of resources to help you. The first step is admiting that you are in trouble. The next step is to get counseling for yourself.

I'm writing this off the cuff so don't have a lot of resources for people. I'm watching Oprah's show on domestic violence and I'm sure she will have excellent resources for people.

I pray daily for those who are victims of abuse.