Battered women are becoming more and more abundant in today’s society. Maybe it the economy, the restlessness, but I am sure we are in enormous numbers and we have not been heard.
Recently I came across a situation where the feelings of abuse, rejection, and helpless were abundant. I am only too happy to be here to write about it today. I guess you can say I am a survivor. My story is one of certain familiarity with women who are battered, those women like me who too often do not know where to turn, what to do, and feel helplessness like no other.
Just remember, girlfriends—you do not have to put up with this situation. I know from experience this is so easily said to us, especially to outsiders who have not been abused or even by those who have and found an escape route. And this definitely is not an easy task to do. Where do you go for help? Who will listen (if anyone will)?
It seems to me that the abuser knows this, like they know they have control over you and can scare the living daylights out of you. They manage to trap you somehow, someway, and I do honestly believe we women in this situation do not know what to do to remove ourselves out of harm’s way. From my past experiences with abuse, most of the time you who are receiving the abuse are made to out to be the guilty one. They tell you and anyone who will listen “it is her fault.” I know that feeling of hopelessness and the feeling that at a certain time within the situation, you may not be able to do a thing.
I listen to a lot of people tell me it is easy to remove yourself from a situation. No, it is not. Take it for what’s it worth; it is not and whoever tells you it is has lost their minds. Abuse is common and happens all the time and see if you agree with me—has there every been a time you did not know what to do? I know I was so confused and scared that personally I was like a beaten puppy with not one place to hide. Oh yes, I have been in hiding. Yet, ladies, I was found. And yes, I have been chased down, my car keys removed and thrown away, and then the abuser caught me for another round and this was in broad daylight, so imagine what can happen at night. I did try all the advice given to me, so I thought. (Keep this in mind; we will come back to it later.) I even involved the authorities without any good response. I, like you, was made to feel small in a sense.
It’s hard to turn some place for help, and yes, others make it sound so easy, but it is not. I know that not too many people out there want to hear “drama.” They run the opposite direction. Look at it this way—you are driving, you see an accident, and most want to view and try to figure out what happened. Tell me, where are the ones who actually got out and helped with the situation? Not many in today’s society are willing to lend an open hand; now we are referred to shelters, hotlines, and the authorities. Yet, you still feel ashamed and afraid.
The problem with most battered women is we are not standing up for ourselves. I did not, so I am no better than the next woman who will be belittled and abused by the abuser unless I step up and take the opportunity to say, hey, you can’t do these things to me; they are wrong. I must take a stand for my sisters out there, as most of the abused are women who are afraid. I was afraid; he told me he would kill me. I did believe him. He told me he was only jiving me, so I tried to reason with him. Unfortunately, I found myself not in control of the situation. Now this is an entirely different story—“control” itself. Let’s say I felt like most women, confused about the entire situation and asking myself how did this happen to me? Thank the Lord I found answers.
I look back at the abuse now and see I did not respond properly. Remember how I asked you to recall that I did try all the advice given me? No, I did not. Because of the confusion and feeling sorry for myself, for all the bruises unseen and covered up, for all the pain and the sleepless nights I still did not stand up for my rights. And more importantly, those of other women. I did not cry out; I cried inside and continued to put myself back into the situations when I was clear of them. I did not know where to turn any longer and felt as I know we all have when we have just ran out of options—when is someone going to help me?
Until the really bad day after my last abusive encounter where I met this wonderful women who told me I had choices. I had them all along; I just did not know that I did.
So now I am trying to rebuild my life, one step at a time, one day at a time. I have shut everyone who could hurt me out of my life. I stopped feeling like I had to be aggressive and became assertive. The pain is still on me today from the fighting, but that will go away. They are the memories inside my mind. But with a little help from some nice women’s group formed by a woman who was abused her entire life, I just might it.
Do not let your abuser tell you not to call for help. Get help; seek help. And if no one believes in you and if your entire family is against you, do not concern yourself with those matters. Your concern is to remove yourself from all people who are destroying your life. And you know like I know they may just be family members. And it hurts. But for all women out there, do the right thing—do keep trying, please. I do not want another woman to become a victim. Or even worse, have the abuser contact the authorities first after threatening you not to go and the abuser now becomes the victim and the tables are turned on you. Remember, do not let this happen to you or continue. Remove yourself from everyone who does not treat you with kindness and the respect you so deserve.
Just say “No.”