I own the T-shirt. Or the participation ribbon or whatever you want to call it. I didn’t buy it, and I didn’t want it. But I have it. I was in an abusive relationship.
I made all the mistakes. He didn’t really mean it, he wouldn’t hurt me, I must have done something that made him do it, he must be ill and needs my help. Sound familiar?
After a while you just go along to get along. You are numb, doing things by rote, unbelieving of what has become of your life.
Finally one incident scared me badly enough, convinced me that yes he would hurt me, and I filed the charges. He got probation. Then I let him come back.
I finally got out. I still deal with the problems and have the mental scars. Still have the nightmares, sometimes I still am afraid. I own the T-shirt, but life goes on. I have learned a lot since then. Since being this blog, I sometimes shudder as I recognize how dangerous my situation was.
One thing I didn’t used to know was the effect on the children. Because they grow up in uncertainty, in an unstable, stressful home it does have an affect on children.
Boys many times model themselves on the males in their life. Boys from a home where there is domestic violence may feel powerless and unable to protect their mother. They may develop low self esteem. They may react to that by also becoming agressive and controlling with the women in their lives.
Girls often grow up and search out men like the male models in their lives. They too may feel powerless. They too may develop low self esteem. They may not feel safe at times. They may look for strength in a male relationship (think controlling.) They may be more susceptible to an abusive relationship.
I got her call this morning. My daughter now owns the T-shirt. She wasn’t harmed, but there was an ‘incident’. She is safe for right now. She is doing well right now. The thought keeps running through my mind, she learned it in my home.
The next few weeks will be shaky. I need your prayers or good thoughts or whatever you have, that we get her through this safely. This post probably won’t stay up long and for her safety I won’t be updating. Unless gets worse. Then I may have a big mouth.
If you are in an abusive relationship right now…. learn from my mistakes.