Monday, April 5, 2010
Waiting for The Other Shoe, to Drop
Any woman who has ever been hit might wonder, for a brief instance, afterwards what on earth she had done to deserve such a thing.
The truth is that I cannot think of a single reason why a man would feel compelled to hit a woman.
There are terrible stories about women who hit each other and men who fist fight; that is not the kind of abuse I am addressing here.
I am not addressing abuse in general, but specifically, men who abuse women.
I am looking at that fiery sting to the cheek, or jawline, felt right after a man has taken upon himself to slap, hit or backhand his wife, partner or girlfriend.
What, I wonder, told him that that was his only course of action?
The first time it happened to me I was not even 20 years old. I remember thinking that I could not figure out why someone, I thought I loved and trusted. would do such a thing.
The short term damages faded quickly; though the long-term abuse lasted a total of four years.
But the effects would be felt for nearly twenty years; they now call this PTSD. The short term fix was looking at what I had said or done that contributed to such a thing.
The longer term look ended up being a self-image so shattered that I began to believe that I must have deserved such a thing.
If a person believes that they deserve such a thing, there is a good chance that they will only attract people who treat then poorly. This kind of destructive pattern is every bit as damaging as the cycles that any other addict experiences.
If you can relate to what I am sharing in even a small measure, please know that you do not have to live in fear.
The first thing you can do for yourself is admit that the situation is bigger than you, and that you need help.
The next thing to do is to make a safety plan; that you do not share with your abuser or their friends or family.
You will need to assess your income and resources. You will need to figure out if you can live on your own. You need to know if you can rely on friends or family for moral, spiritual or financial help.
If you do not have a tight knit support group it is wise to check community and social outreach programs to see what is available. Also know that in some areas there are support groups/therapy groups available for encouragement and sharing even if you have not yet your abuser. Not every abusive relationship has to end, but every abusive relationship does have to change.
(Remember, abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims. People who have been emotionally abused or battered are depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, and confused. They need help to get out, yet they’ve often been isolated from their family and friends. By picking up on the warning signs and offering support, you can help them escape an abusive situation and begin healing http://helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm#understanding).
Let me know how you are doing,