How to Become a 'Non-Person'
(Leaving an Abuser)
~by Tigress Luv
The thing you must know about your life is that you have choices. You have options. You have rights. You are not a belonging, you are not ruled by emotions, you are ruled by common sense. However, after enduring abuse we tend to disregard our common sense and logical thoughts - and let our emotions rule our life. This is the trap that keeps you hooked.
Yet, there is hope. There is promise to a better life and a freedom above and beyond emotional and psychological imprisonment.
If you are the victim of abuse - any kind of abuse - you should face the facts that you can't see while caught in the 'trap' of abuse....you are not responsible. The abuser may take out his rage on you, but do not make the common mistake of taking 'ownership' over their rage. It is not yours, it is theirs. Give it back to them and stop playing God! And remember, what is upsetting to the abuser goes deeper and beyond what you see. No, it isn't about how you cooked dinner, or that you forget to pick up the dry cleaning, or that the man in the corner of the restaurant 'looked' at you. You are just the doorway he needs to vent. By placing blame at your feet he is doing one of two things. One: he is attempting to control you. Two: he is attempting to turn his own shame outward by directing it onto others (you). This abolishes him from the inner turmoil and self-doubts that rage through his veins.
Well, you ask, 'what about therapy?' What about it?! Therapy doesn't work in most cases. In fact, therapy is usually sought by the abuser simply as another means to 'control' you. They have absolutely no intention of seeking help, because they have absolutely no intention of doing anything - but keeping you. The sad truth is, abusers very rarely, if ever, stop their abusive ways. They swear they will, they promise anything. But usually all this means is the next time the abuse will be worse - because the next time they know that you may just leave them this time, after this 'last' and 'final' break of their promise.
Fact - get out.
Fiction - things can change if you just love them harder and try to get to the root of the problem.
Fact - you can not get them help. You can only get you help.
But how many times have you heard this? You are like the teenager who has grown up with the repeated advice that drugs are bad - yet continue to try them out anyway. Why? Could facts, experience, proof, and life's little instruction book only apply to other people? Are you special? Different? Is your abuser special and different from other abusers? Don't kid yourself! Drugs kill. Abusers kill. Those are the cold-hard facts and - yes - they do apply to you.
It is up to you to take the action required to remove yourself, and your children if applicable, from any abusive situation. That is the only way possible to help the abuser. As long as you are there the atmosphere is unhealthy, the abuse escalates, the abuser becomes more aware of having a 'problem', the abuser denies responsibility for 'the problem', the abuser redirects the problem onto you. The abuser has no need to change.
Do not believe the abuser when he claims the abuse is your fault. Never! And let's just say - for the sake of saying - that it is your fault. That you are a loser, a bad housewife, ignorant, stupid, forgetful, worthless, inconsiderate - whatever - does that justify abuse? NO! If my 11-year-old cousin was mentally handicapped would I be justified in abusing him? NO! My dog is not very intelligent and he chewed my slipper. Can I beat the dog? NO! Abuse is never justified. Never called for. Never excused. Never reasoned away. Abuse is abuse. Part of our rights as a human is to demand respect and to give respect in return. Physically, emotionally, verbally, or mentally abusive behavior demonstrates the highest level of disrespect. This is the man who loves you sooo much, but is just 'confused'? Quit kidding yourself. That's not love. That is an ill, sick person who clings to you with desperation one minute, and pulls you by the hair out onto the front lawn the next. Wake up!
Why on Earth would someone opt to stay in a disrespectful, fearful relationship? Yes, I'm sure you do love him - at least the 'good side' of him. But what else is there to your love? Does he not make you feel embarrassed by his control and power over you - by his direct disrespect for you? Even if it was 'love' you felt for him - and not the flattery of 'his needing you' - the funny thing that you don't realize is that you can love someone and not be with them. It is sooooo possible.
Of course leaving is a very difficult thing to do. The only time we really consider it is in the very throes of the abuse - the moment when we would leave barefoot and naked in the middle of a blizzard if need be. But then things calm down for a moment in time. The promises and remorse starts. The logic starts running through your head. Then the excuses - the fear, "Why leave? He'll just hunt me down and kill me." Doubtful. He may threaten, because threats have proven to be so successful in controlling you in the past. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Call the police. You can relocate, you can get protection, you can 'call him' on his suicide threat. Take my word for it, he won't start systematically 'knocking off members of your family' until you return to him. Gee! "I can't leave him. I'm the only one that understands him. I feel so sorry for him. He really doesn't want to be this way." You feel sorry for him? You mean like you feel sorry for those little, innocent children dying in the hospital? Like you feel for the parents who are watching them die? THAT'S something to feel sorry about. Not an adult man who opts to revisit his pain over and over again, heaping it all on you, instead of being brave enough to face it head-on and take direct responsibility for it. Not someone who can charmingly smile and say good-bye to houseguests, then turn around and punch you the minute they pull out of the driveway. Part of this man's hook is his 'childlike hurt'. "Life is so good when he isn't abusing, I couldn't ask for a better man." Couldn't you?
Yes, the hardest thing you may ever have to do is to find the courage to leave. You can leave, and you can make it on your own. Your situation isn't any different than many others - you may think it is special, but it's not. Just look at mine - no car, no driver's license, no money, no help from anyone, four kids, systemic lupus, emphysema, and MS. If someone in my situation can do it - then most assuredly, you can, too.
And stop thinking that if you somehow 'change' the abuse will stop. You mean that if you can go through the rest of your 'one-and-only' life without ever burning a meal again, that everything will be honky-dory? You don't really believe that, do you? You don't need to change - he does.
You can have the very best man and have the most wonderful marriage - without the high cost. Believe me!
Whether emotional, verbal, mental, physical, or a combination of all - abuse wears you down. You go from a happy, care-free woman (remember those days before him) to days of consuming feelings of resentment, anger, depression and growing insecurity. When you look into the mirror you see a shell of a person, with no life left in their eyes. Go right now and look in the mirror - you'll be surprised to see the 'life' is no longer there. You are empty. Hollow. This relationship is not making you a 'whole' person, it is making you a 'non-person'.
Over 1,300 women are killed each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or boyfriends
An estimated three to four million women each year silently endure abuse or travel to hospital emergency rooms following an assault by their husbands or partners
In Canada, 1 woman is killed every 3 days by a man known to her
Nationwide, every 15 seconds a women is beaten, every three minutes a woman is raped, every six hours a women is killed
Last year, in Arizona alone, there were 21,931 crisis-shelter calls of domestic violence. A staggering fourteen percent of all homicides were domestic violence related. (Source: Arizona Republic, December 6, 2000). A woman had a better chance to become a victim by her Knight in Shining Armor, than a single woman out alone at night
Domestic violence is the #1 cause of emergency-room visits by women nationwide
Eighty-eight percent of women in prison are victims of domestic violence
More than 3 million children witness acts of domestic violence nationwide every year
Children of abused mothers are six times as likely to attempt suicide and 50 percent more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol