I know he will change!
Abuse is never a one-time event!
Abuse can be a very difficult subject to discuss due to fear, lack of trust, uncertainty, love and manipulation. What most people do not understand is why a female doesn’t leave her partner, or how she continues to go back to the relationship, when she’s clearly being abused. Ladies, some of the most powerful women and strong voices within our community have been “that female,” including myself. Abuse does not happen overnight and hides its evil face behind several types of masks.
Provided below is the definition and examples of abuse and why it is important not to compare your story to someone else’s.
Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.
Examples of Abuse include:
- Name-calling or putdowns
- Keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends
- Withholding money
- Stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
- Actual or threatened physical harm
- Sexual assault
The wheel images below provide a clear distinction between a relationship based on power and control, compared to a relationship based on equality. For more information go to domesticviolence.org.
If you find yourself in the power and control circle, please reach out to one of the support systems at the bottom of this article, or talk to someone you trust.
When you are “in it”, you are “in it,” and it is hard to imagine the dust clearing until you have made it through the cloud. It may feel like your head and emotions are spinning out of control and the only way to stop is by bracing yourself for the next storm. Abuse is a vicious cycle of emotional, physical and spiritual highs and lows, which may hinder your ability to distinguish between what is real and what is not. It becomes hard to fathom that where you once found happiness, you now find anger. This is extremely common and hard to grasp how an individual you love, has now taken on the roles of Jekyll and Hyde, never knowing which persona you will face. Once the emotional roller coaster has started (which may take months or even years), self doubt and anxiety starts to take place. It becomes difficult to see the beauty in life, in your family or in yourself. I say these things because I have been there. I have been physically and verbally abused, stalked, I lived in fear every night not knowing what would happen next; yet what I can say to you is this: I survived and so can you!
What I gained vs. what I lost from leaving my relationship:
- Restored self-esteem
- My ability to talk with friends
- The ability to see my own reflection
- Happiness with myself and children
- Being safe
- Personal growth
- Finding my voice
- Finally, my life
- Being under the control of someone
- Being sheltered
- My insecurities
- Constant arguments
- Being manipulated
Clearly the gains outweighed the losses from leaving an unhealthy relationship. Restoring one’s emotions and the actions required to leave are not easy and take time. Know that you are not alone; there is always support available and others who are willing to listen and share their stories with you. On average it takes an individual at least seven times to leave, so if you go back, you have not failed. Stop the cycle, start to live, and get ready for your future that lies ahead.
“Your worth lies within you, not in the mind or hands of another.” – Mariah Prussia
For additional information, contact the emergency shelters or police department below. Also, for upcoming information on October’s women’s self defense course at MPX Fitness call 701-293-0002 or visit mpxfitness.com.
YWCA Cass Clay
FM Police Department