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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
January 2010
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tell me what you know about them night terrors every night

I wanna talk about abuse and why we stay in relationships today. The fact that my mom, dad and a stupid girl that I don’t even know cause me to want to talk about abusive relationships probably says scary things about my sanity, but since I didn’t start this blog off wanting to talk about my mental health and wellbeing I think the less said about the genesis of this topic the better.

I’ve known at least three women who stayed in abusive relationships. Two of them I even know pretty well, almost as well as you can know another human being. I can’t say why certain women stay in abusive relationships and others seem to find it easy to leave when a relationship isn’t healthy. I can’t say why a woman will find strength when she does end up leaving or where that strength comes from.

There are some things that I do know. I know that it’s not weak women who stay in abusive relationships. Some of the strongest women I know fall into abusive relationships. Maybe because they think they are too strong to ever be taken advantage of, until it happens. I know that women don’t stay in abusive relationships because they are stupid. Some of the smartest women I know have been in abusive relationships. I also know that abuse doesn’t necessarily come from spouses or significant others. Hell, I’ve negotiated a relationship with a man that I knew was abusive before I ever got into it. As my brother tells me, I shouldn’t have been surprised.

I do know that sometimes there’s nothing you can do. From my own experience I think I know now that if a man is abusive there’s nothing you can do but stay away. I also know that I tend to never accept that there’s not a solution. So that’s my own stupid failing and it tripped me up. I thought there was a way to protect myself and still be in the relationship. I also know that abuse isn’t limited to women. Men fall into this exact trap of thinking they can protect themselves and so enter into relationships with people who have redeeming qualities. I, and in my opinion others as well, think that in the end it will all worth it.

I don’t believe it’s because women are fooling themselves either. It’s not them getting tricked by some hormones or excitement or other emotions. The fact that someone would say that women are being led astray by thinking they can change a person or by the excitement from being around that person makes me 1) want to vomit and 2) want to beat someone. By the time a woman realizes that the partner she has picked is abusive, it’s not that you are still so fluttery at the thought of being around that person that’s keeping you there. It’s probably partially the fact that you picked that person. It’s partially that you love this person and have been putting them before or equal to your own wellbeing for at least some amount of time before now. It’s that there’s shame associated with being in an intimate relationship with someone who would hurt you, sometimes not even deliberately, but often.

I find women who manage to walk away from damaging relationships strong. I hope there’s someone there to give them hugs and prop them up when their sanity is at risk. I also wish that someone had been there before they fell in love with that person to say something. Often this doesn’t work, but maybe, just maybe, sometimes it does.