Abuse hurts. Whether it’s emotional or physical, a friend, a boss, a coworker, or a lover, the blow of words or a hand pierces your soul like nothing else ever can.
It’s the person you love, that person who’s your everything, that person you’re slowly starting to feel bitter hatred towards every time they come up in your thoughts taking your trust and love, and ripping them to shreds.
We see celebrities like Ray Rice or Chris Brown popping up on the tabloids for hitting their girlfriends, and it makes a splash for a week or so, but after a few fines are imposed, and some sponsors are dropped, the topic dies down into being a hushed taboo, not mentioned in polite company.
Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults. However, when the issue gets swept under the rug and not discussed, people aren’t aware of what constitutes abuse, and how to deal with it when it happens.
In simple terms, anything that repetitively makes you feel uncomfortable or hurt, physically or emotionally, is abuse. Whether it’s the snide comment every so often that makes you feel like dirt, or someone pushing or grabbing you, if it hurts you repetitively, it’s not healthy.
3 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men in the USA have been through physical abuse or stalking by a partner to the point where their day to day lives have been impacted negatively.
Victims of abuse tend to get labeled as ‘broken’ or ‘attention hungry’, especially if the abuse they experience isn’t physical.
Emotional abuse is real, and it can be just as difficult to cope with as being hit. Nearly half of all men and women have experienced some form of emotional abuse in a romantic relationship.
You ask, “Why don’t you just walk away?”, as if leaving someone was the easiest thing in the world. Just because your significant other has turned from Prince Charming into a dementor, sucking all the happiness from you, doesn’t mean you stop loving them.
Actually what could happen is you keep pushing yourself harder, desperately trying to be better, determined to ‘fix this’, as if it’s your fault, when in reality, it’s the other person who needs to be fixed.
And it hurts, every time you smile, every time you fool yourself and ignore that niggling conscience in the back of your mind that tells you: This isn’t good for you.
You look happy to the others, so happy your heart could burst. They don’t know, they can’t see that your heart will burst and shatter- just not from joy, but rather from the ache inside you that won’t go away.
Your jaw hurts with the effort to keep up a good face, until one day, you crumble. Either you finally listen to your own heart, or someone else does it for you.
It’s painful at first, like pins and needles when your leg is waking up, but soon, you get this overwhelming relief, as if the shackles and the weight weighing you down have finally been removed from your body, letting you breathe freely after so long.
· It’s not your fault- you are not to blame for being mistreated
· It’s not your responsibility to fix your abuser
· You deserve a relationship with someone who respects you
· You are not alone- you have friends, family members, support groups and healthcare professionals who are there to help you through this
Who to call:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Domestic Abuse Helpline Services for Men and Women: 1-888-743-5754