Don’t Cover it Up
Take a moment and watch the video embedded above. Go ahead. I’ll be right here when you’re done.
If you’ve lived through domestic abuse or you know someone who has, you recognize that look of panic on her face at the end. I posted the the story of my relationship with my ex-husband for the same reason that this video was created. I talked about my experiences for two reasons:
1. It was cathartic. Talking about the entire situation was emotional and difficult, and I shed a lot of tears as I wrote. I had to take breaks frequently because I allowed myself to re-experience the pain, the fear, and the confusion that I experienced over the relationship. I examined the ways that I was sucked into this weird and scary world, where I lived in terror of saying or doing the wrong thing. And after I posted, I felt better.
2. I wanted to be a voice for other women who are going through something similar. Understanding the buildup and techniques that abusers use to isolate their victims, condition them to accept the abuse, and even actively participate in hiding the abuse is important. Abusers never start off relationships by beating the crap out of their partners. That’s not how it works. In the case of mental and emotional abuse, the victim often doesn’t even realize that the “normal” dynamic in their relationship is abusive. I certainly didn’t, until someone pointed it out.
For every person who speaks about their abuse publicly, there are so many more who live in shame. Who don’t realize that there are resources out there to help. Who don’t know that their family and friends are practically waiting by the phone, ready to drop everything and rescue them.
I’ve already had several people reach out to me, privately, after that post, and tell me that my words helped them or someone they love out of an abusive relationship. This is why I will continue to share my story.
Posted on July 2, 2012, in Feminism, Personal Stories and tagged abusive behavior, abusive marriage, abusive relationship, bad situations, health, low self esteem, rape culture, Sex, women. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.