I have been following your blog for a while now and it’s so interesting! I absolutely love reading what you have to say and I actually look forward to it. I’m writing so that I can get your perspective on my situation and also to maybe borrow some of your strength and courage. I am a female, (as you can see from my email address) a Christian, and I am living in a domestic violent situation. I am 32 with 4 children and I have been with my abuser (their father) for 10 years. The physical abuse hasn’t always been a part of our relationship; it started about 4 years ago after his father passed away. At first he would only cuss at me and call me names (which I’m too much of a lady to even spell out to you) then that turned into a push or shove and finally slapping and punching. Any little thing that I do that is not to his liking I get his “attention” as he calls it. He has fractured my left arm and even spit on me. My children are afraid and I am too but I’m more afraid of being alone without him. I’ve never had a job and I know that I cannot financially support my children without any skills. I’ve never told anyone about this because I’m afraid that they may get my children taken away. I have never tried to leave either because there is nowhere for me to go. He knows where all of my family lives and I have no friends (because of him.) Any advice, ideas, or comments you can offer me would be greatly appreciated, especially with your humor. I know that some would like you to be more serious in your replies but I for one encourage the humor. Right about now I could use a good laugh.
Hello abused and alone. First let me say that I appreciate your attention to my blog and I thank you for reading. I feel honored that you have chosen me and my blog to finally let this secret out. Second let me say that there will be no humor in my response to you. I believe that domestic violence is serious and there is nothing at all funny about it. Let me also apologize now if I hurt your feelings or offend you in any way in my response.
Although tears dripped down my face as I read your email, those tears were not for you they were for your children. Those poor defenseless children who are growing up and learning the lesson early that they need to fear anything or ANYONE. They are scared of their parent. He is teaching his children how to be violent and abusive while you are teaching them that it is okay to be abused. This is not okay. A mother’s job is to protect her children and I hope that you understand that by allowing them to witness the things that they are witnessing means that you aren’t and haven’t been protecting them. Maybe that was a bit harsh? You need somebody to say to you what I’m saying because sometimes it takes another person telling us the things that we already know to put some fire up under our asses and motivate us to do what is necessary.
I do have pity for you, I do have sympathy for you but I also understand you and if you are anything like me, you don’t want pity or sympathy from anyone; you just want to find the strength to fix the situation. Honey I know it isn’t easy to break away but you know that is what needs to happen for the sake of yourself and the children. I know that it is a scary thought when you think about living without what you have lived with for so long. I have stated that I have been where you are and while going through, I had little to no self-esteem. I didn’t value myself and I began to believe what my abuser said about me: that I was lazy, good for nothing, ugly, stupid, that I was worth nothing, that I deserved everything he gave to me in the form of physical abuse because I talked too much, or I thought I was better than him. No amount of advice from anyone could motivate me to leave and put an end to the abuse; I had to decide for myself that I was sick and tired….same for you.
I hope that it doesn’t take you as long as it took me to put an end to the madness but when you are ready, start with calling the national domestic violence hotline number that I have provided for you. They will help find a battered woman’s shelter for you and your children. Most people shy away at the sound of that but in your situation you probably don’t have money saved to just pick up and go to start over with your own place. A shelter like this will prepare you and give you the tools necessary to start a life without your abuser. You are not alone and it will probably surprise you to see how many other women are going through what you’re going through. A place like a battered woman’s shelter will put you in the company of others and therefore; there will not be any judgment. There are also counselors in these places that can help you with building yourself back up as far as confidence and self-esteem and you will be surprised here to when you see how much you can actually accomplish when you start feeling good about yourself and your capabilities. They will also protect you from your abuser. These places are designed to tuck you safely away from the person who is hurting you and they are normally very discreet.
I mentioned earlier that you most likely want to find the strength to fix the situation, well here it is: (Look into the nearest mirror and scream after me) I WAS NOT PUT ON THIS EARTH TO BE ANYONE’S PUNCHING BAG! Good job! Now look at all of your scared children in their eyes…see the fear? The hurt? The confusion? The depression? The questions? The anger? Now feel what you see in those young eyes…..Now…..wait until he goes out for work and call that number I sent you. Then…get the hell out of there and start working on yourself and helping your children to heal from all that they have seen and experienced!
I can write to you and tell you that you need to get away. That there are people, places, and programs out there that can help you and your children. That you don’t deserve what he is doing to you. That there is a man out there that can offer you a healthier relationship when you are ready. That you don’t have to be afraid to stand on your own two feet and take care of your children…but none of that will mean a damn thing until you are ready.
Not only did I take the time to cry for your children, to respond to your email, and to pray for you but I also wrote you this poem…That’s right…just for you. Why? Because you are important and worthy:
The woman who cries, she cries for many things
For the love who hurt her, broke her down like she was no-thing
She calls out to God praying for it to stop
And she remains where she is, tied to the spot as if rooted down by a knot
For her children who watch with fearful eyes
Unable to protect that which she’s created, she can only sigh
In resignation because she is afraid
To step out on faith
Because of her still healing bones
The bruises to her face that she can’t cover up
The hate that she sees in his eyes
As he viciously attacks her and dares her to whine
For strength to pull herself up and leave
She realizes that indeed she can be free.