If you would have told me the statistics for women being killed by their partners I wouldn’t have associated it with my situation. I mean, my husband had never hit me, he had never shown physical violence towards me so those statistics were referring to other people. That 58%* of all female homicide cases being perpetrated by a partner or close relative referred to people who were in physically abusive relationships, right?
Sometimes a person doesn’t need to hit you to be dangerous. There can be other tell-tale signs that give them away and other ways of being dangerous and abusive. Emotionally. Verbally. Sexually. And when a person is capable of using other forms of abuse, never ever underestimate their ability and potential to become physical.
I had been in denial. The closest people to me could recognise that some things were not right and I didn’t deny it to them. What I did do, was deny it to myself by denying myself of happiness, knowing that things weren’t the best but residing myself to a life that did not bring inner peace. The people closest to me couldn’t give me that talk or intervene early on because I had kept so much hidden from them, and by keeping things from them I had already excused and accepted his behaviour, and he knew it.
Without that voice advising me, I let things escalate to life-threatening consequences that have scarred both me and my children. Scars heal but it takes time. And so, without the voice that I needed to hear, I feel it has become my duty to be the voice that someone out there needs to hear. My blog is tiny but I am a big believer that if I put my experiences out there, then the person that is meant to read about them will.
And if I were speaking to that person now, well I would tell you first and foremost to trust your gut instinct. It is there for a reason. Don’t doubt it and never ever doubt yourself. These little signs here and there, don’t brush them away, these signs point to a direction of things to come. Don’t second guess yourself if things don’t feel right, because if that’s the way you feel, they probably aren’t. Don’t concern yourself with what other people think and what their perception of you may be, you are the one living inside the relationship and not them. Take your decision based on your wellbeing and not on the approval of others. Take note of them when they deal with others, if you see them react angrily to people and situations which is beyond reasonable limits, know that they will someday react that way with you. If they have hit you once, they will certainly do it again. Don’t be tricked into thinking that they have changed while you relax in the time gap between violent outbursts – it’s coming. If their moods swings make you feel uncomfortable, like you have to walk on eggshells and tiptoe around them, good. That discomfort is communicating with you and telling you something. Though you may be losing yourself, your bodily reactions are trying to bring you back. You are far to valuable of an individual and you have far too much to offer the world than to lose yourself underneath the oppressive thumb of an unworthy person. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they love you. Love is not capable of making you feel so bad. You may think they love you, and they may think they love you, but the reality is they are not capable of loving you because they simply do not know how. And with that, do you really want to spend the rest of your life waiting for them to learn?
The final thing I would say is to be careful. The most dangerous and life-threatening time is when you try to leave the relationship. When you both come to the realisation that the game is over then they will do anything and everything to hold on. Once the usual methods of chocolates, flowers and promises fail to win you over then they resort to other dangerous means. Don’t be afraid to get help, it could save your life. Let people know that you that you are trying to leave so that they can support you. His/her strength is in the secrecy that you shade and protect them with. Tell family, tell your friends, and if you have any inkling of a doubt, then tell the police.
You can read about my previous experience escaping an abusive situation here.
Thank you for supporting my efforts by taking the time out to read my story and by sharing it with others.
Stay safe and stay positive
*Source: UNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash.