Tag Archives: abuse

Why I stayed…

We met the summer before I was to become a freshman in college, he was tall, cute and in my own words ‘an older man’ (four years older).  But I was intrigued because he wasn’t like the boys in high school that were immature and silly, he had a real job and his own car.  He would be my first everything including encounter with cheating and abuse.  The first two years of our relationship were fine as we were long distance, but when he moved to live with me things took a violent turn.  I can remember the first time he hit me, it came as such a shock I didn’t really know what to do, I remember it till this day, he punched me three times in the head and tried to pull my eye out of the socket.  The police were called, my parents were called and I was taken to the hospital for treatment.  I still did not say good bye, but after that I began to fight back and when we fought it was dirty, punches were thrown, memories destroyed and vicious words tossed around like ammunition to see who could hurt the other the most.  We would find each other fighting like enemies and making up like lovers, it was a horrible debilitating cycle that many people find themselves involved in.  Although the physical scars have long since healed, dealing with such hatred and negativity left many internal scars some of which are still slightly open.  I’ve often wondered why I remained in that relationship for so long and have had people ask me the same.  I came up with three main reasons why I and many other people remain, I’ll admit for me in essence they are all excuses for not loving myself enough to leave the situation.

Our souls agreed:  My ex and I were both fractured human beings for different reasons, he grew up in a household where he saw his dad beat his mom and I had come from a home where my dad never hit me and had loving parents but dealt with other issues that wrecked my self-esteem. Because I didn’t truly love me Somewhere deep inside I agreed with treatment that told me I was unworthy of love and being handled lovingly.  Beyond the insecurities I’d built up being molested as a child, years of constant bullying and a tremendous amount of self-inflicted deprecation, his words confirmed what I already felt about myself.  There was always someone prettier right around the corner because I wasn’t that beautiful, my body was ugly and skinny, I could never get another man to care for me etc etc.  I ate the negativity up and it only fed my unhealthy negative self image. I stayed because I didn’t think I deserved better.

There was benefit: As I said my self esteem was not the greatest, I allowed people to walk over me, say whatever they wanted and get away with taking advantage of me. I internalized a lot of pain and the only time I seemed to be able to release it was when I was angry, I didn’t have (and am still working on) the tools for communicating effectively within the boundaries of a respectful and nonaggressive confrontation or argument.  In that situation I felt vindicated in venting through painful words and fighting back because he was just as aggressive as I was, it actually felt good to release the frustration and in some twisted way speak up for myself, it was a rush.  Unfortunately, it’s how I continued to handle confrontation in my relationships going forward and am now paying the consequences as I continued to fight dirty verbally when angry.  In addition I also received sympathy from my friends, when I would have bruises or went to the hospital.  It felt good to know people cared for me and had my back but in return I easily allowed myself to play the role of the victim which is something that’s haunted me for years.

There was comfort in the pain: In addition to being comfortable with him, I also believe the torment felt familiar from the years of bullying as a child by peers.  The name calling and the breaking down of me as a person that I had allowed in the past was akin to his speech when it came to me.   After being with someone for years at a time many of us can become reliant on them being in our lives and that attachment, albeit healthy or not, makes it more difficult to leave the relationship.  Change is scary, I didn’t want the burden of getting to know someone else’s flaws, faults and secret skeletons that lurked behind their closet doors.  I reigned myself to stay with him because I thought it was love and I knew what to expect.

The reasons people remain in abusive relationships vary vastly, there is no cookie cutter clue as to why some are willing to put up with physical harm.  If you or someone you know are in a destructive relationship I would take a look at this article I wrote on what to do to get out!  I sincerely pray for your healing, physical and spiritual restoration and release from such a situation.

God Bless,

Generational Curses…

For a long time I believed that my family was under a generational curse because sexual sin, physical and mental abuse, unfaithfulness, bad relationship choices, and divorce seemed to be rampant.  I can recall a conversation with my cousin a while back where we both decided that there must have been a curse placed on our family and that we would have to be the generation to break it.  That was many years ago and she has since gotten married and although it took years I have been able to shift the way I handled my own bouts with molestation, rape and being in an extremely abusive relationship.  I now know that I have a choice to remain a victim of the past or use what I’ve learned to impact others, just as we have a choice to accept and walk in the light and love of God or continue in our walk with the devil as he reminds us of our past and ‘curses’.

I ran across this video where Marilyn Hickey is interviewing Devon Franklin, he speaks briefly on generational curses so I wanted to share.  I’m not able to embed it so the link is here.

The second video is more information about generational curses and the power we have through the blood of Jesus to break them.

Be blessed

He hit you, so what NOW?

It is estimated that one in four women will fall victim to domestic violence and that about 2 million men per year beat their partners.*  As a woman these statics are scary but as someone that has experienced abuse at the hands of a significant other  it is painful to know that there are so many women and men going through such trauma.   In my case our arguments and fights escalated, from verbal ridicule to me lying at the bottom of the stairs being repeatedly kicked in the stomach wondering how in the world I got here.  I’m sure this is a question that many women (and men) ask themselves when they are stunned by the blow of physical and emotional violence.  It’s confusing when the person that you love and that claims to love you is the one that hurts you the most.

My experience came with my first real relationship which only lasted six years, but scarred me for many more.  I learned to fight dirty and adapted a take no holds barred attitude, which I carried with me to other relationships as I was determined to remain in control.  In my baggage I also toted a lot of unforgiveness, mistrust, hatred against men, anger and resentment.  Needless to say, I was bitter for a while and I do believe that it contributed to one of the reasons that I have been single or in perpetual girlfriend status for so long.  I simply would not allow myself to be loved.  In some instances I even noticed that I became the abuser verbally as I can be vicious with my words.  Hindsight truly is 20/20 and I wish that I knew the things I know now about letting go of the past, practicing forgiveness and loving yourself while going through that experience.  So, these are six things I would have told my younger self and anyone currently in an intimate violent situation.

Get out NOW: Run like the wind, I know it’s cliché but I mean this very seriously!  If nothing else to put some distance between you and the aggressor until they can seek the help needed.  Even then watch their actions closely before returning.  As someone who experienced it first hand, I can truly tell you that unless help is sought most likely things will only get worse.  Recognize the fact that you can make the decision to leave, there are women all over the world that don’t have that option or aren’t given the chance.

Better yourself, NOW:  Don’t wait for years to pass you by, if you have to get therapy do so, there is no shame in seeking help.  Don’t worry about what others will think and do what’s needed to become a more complete you.  I spent six years in a horrible relationship and the next nine to ten engulfed in bitterness and an attitude that was truly counter productive to the life I said I wanted to live.  That’s approximately sixteen years of my life wasted in useless practices.  Don’t make that mistake!

Seek out support, NOW:  If it’s good friends, a family member or a domestic violence support group definitely don’t go through it alone.  Do not remain isolated and think that you have to do everything on your own.  Seek out supportive people that you can lean on when you’re weak and that you know will be there for you through it all.

Take back your power, NOW:  Going through some of the things I have in the past with men, it was easy for me to blame them and use those experiences as excuses for my current actions and problems.  I became extremely comfortable playing the victim role.  Having a victim mentality only served to place me further into an unproductive state and allowed those instances to form an even stronger hold over my life and future.  Yes, being in a violent relationship can be extremely traumatizing but eventually you will have to move past it if you want to live an empowered and victorious life.

Get to know God, NOW: I’m sure had I been where I needed to be on my walk with God, I never would have placed myself in such a horrible situation.  Even if I had, I would have had a foundation needed to recuperate in a healthier manner.  Reading the bible has helped me become a better person and the standards of God’s words are priceless when put into action.

Practice forgiveness, NOW:  In my case it took me a looooonnnng while to totally forgive and honestly this would still be a hard one for me to do immediately.  So maybe this is more of a now or later piece of advice, but either way somewhere down the line forgiveness must be extended.  What helped me finally be able to release and forgive was to recognize some of the reasons he was prone to exhibiting anger in such a violent manner.  I also had to take responsibility for my role in the reason we interacted so explosively as a couple.  Some people say it helps to picture that person as a hurting child and tackle it from that perspective.  Maybe they had a horrible childhood and violence was all they knew or they have some deeply imbedded insecurities.  While not excusing their actions, recognizing their flaws and possible reasons for the reactions may assist with making forgiveness an easier process.

be light, be love, be blessed

Useful domestic violence links:

*National coalition against domestic violence and U.S Justice Department