Thursday, April 15, 2010

Damaged Goods

I think I put my novel's order website up on every blog, because I hope the novel sales will pay for the blog.

So, this is weird posting. I find it weird that we post our lives online. It is also weird because its true.

Sometimes, a woman who has experienced abuse can feel like damaged goods. At least that is how I came to feel.

She can beat herself up emotionally, if she cannot stop or control the abuse. She questions whether or not she deserves to be treated badly. It seems she is faulted, no matter how she decides to deal with it.The gamut of opinions about what she do, and when, is as varied as the stars in the sky.

She can vacillate back and forth between hope and resolve, then between depletion and vulnerability. Usually her emotions are at the liberty of someone else.

Sadly, it can be twice as disheartening if the woman happens to be a woman of faith. Most all the great faith belief systems in one way or another attempt to address male and female roles in marriage. I was Christian and in church; and at least subconsciously I felt like I would be seen as a failure to leave my unhealthy relationship. 

In my case, I would muster the fortitude to leave; but then my next relationship would be even worse. So it became a self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts. The more damaged I became the more and more damaged the men were that I was able to attract.

This isn't the kind of things people like to talk about in a polite society. So a lot of times women, like me, are allowed to fall by the wayside. Also, my family was so unsupportive that they felt that I was bringing all of this upon myself on purpose. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

The family of origin unit had been decimated when my parents divorced in the early 1980's. And I am sure I spent most of my adult life trying to piece together a family for myself. I knew what a family looked like and how they were supposed to treat one another; but I was very ill-equipped to procure those traits for myself.

I became the butt of a lot of jokes and ridicule in my family. All of my mistakes were heavily scrutinized. I was gossiped about, lied about and, worse yet, lied to. The worse lie? Was that I was loved in the first place. Loved doesn't kick someone when they are down. Love doesn't believe the worst of family. Love doesn't extract only enough information in order to feed an ever growing frenzy of gossip.

Things got so bad in my family that by the time I made my last mistake, my family was so embarrassed that they turned us out completely. Their attempt at saving face was more important than me turning things around or getting help.

I joke, these days, that my family treated me like a crack whore, or worse. I did not drink to excess, nor do drugs. I did not steal from them. All that I was guilty of, was being abused and asking for help. Though without getting help, I would spiral downward, and choose yet another abusive relationship.

I take full responsibility for all of my mistakes. I paid for, and sometimes am still paying for, all of my mistakes. However, I cannot speak as to why I could lean on next to no one in order to turn things around in my life. And I did want to turn things around. The evidence of this was in what happened when I finally found a few good people upon which I could lean and trust.

The last time my extended family turned me out was over fifteen years ago. I could have remained quiet about it; as if something horrible not happened. In the midst of trying to leave an abusive husband and of being told that me and my kids could not even sleep on anyone's couch. In the middle of all of that, a maniac, of monumental proportions, offered us a place to stay. War weary and overwhelmed I took that person up on their offer. Less than 12 weeks later that person would be arrested for almost killing my 7 month old son.

To this very day extended family members feel no shame, nor remorse, in not having helped us in any tangible way. Both of my kids were abused; but my infant son almost died. And somewhere in the midst of all of that some of my family thinks I should somehow be concerned with what they think of me.

It would be comical, if it were not so nauseating. If your family is like this, against such families, flee.

Blog me. Email me. Do what you have to to get out of your abusive situation, safely. And if your family ever makes you feel like your deserve to be abused then flee from them also.

More to follow as to what happened to the last abuser, my kids, and my some of my family.

Smile... you are not remotely alone in this.


If you need immediate assistance, dial 911. 
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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