@MelBel: First off my condolences, what a horrible to lose a friend you obviously loved and cared for.
Truly a tragedy both for her family and friends, but also I take it there is a child left behind. Sooo sad.
I agree whole-heartedly with @vorpalette:, I too was a victim of Domestic Violence in my first marriage… and it is a painful (in so many ways) emmotional rollercoaster, that is really a never-ending ride… the whole clue to survival is to indeed TELL SOMEONE. GET OUT. THINGS WILL NOT GET BETTER.
Unfortunately, there is a LOT of shame for a woman who is being abused… HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN TO ME… HOW COULD THE MAN I LOVE, DO THIS… AND WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK
One tends to get tied up in those emmotions and thoughts… and those thoughts go hand in hand with the way that is one is being manipulated by the Abuser. To the point where one aligns themselves with the Abuser, and feels sorry for them and asks HOW CAN I HELP HIM… GET HIM TO UNDERSTAND… GET HIM TO STOP
And when it comes to GET HIM TO STOP… there is only one answer… LEAVE !!
They say statistically that an Abused Women will make countless outreaches to other people before she finally does leave… be that bringing it up in conversation with a trusted friend, calling anonymously a radio show, writing to a newspaper, researching help, etc. I know myself I did all these things between 1986 and 2001 when I finally did leave.
I even reached out to family members… who told me “it is your bed, you made it” (another words, “he is your husband, you chose him”… there was no compassion and I lived in a world where Divorce was not a possibility / really really looked down upon in my family / social circle)
There just wasn’t enough education about Domestic Abuse back then, it was just beginning to be discussed in the open.
I remember, I wanted to shake Oprah everytime she had someone on her show and said “I just don’t understand HOW could you stay ?” Well enough to say (countless times in those 15 years with famous people on her couch), but clearly she didn’t have a clue as to WHY it was we stay. That is the prime issue that I felt wasn’t being addressed. We stayed because we couldn’t figure out HOW to leave… we were to hung up in loving someone who didn’t love us… ashamed of our situation… needing to put food on the table, or being a single parent etc. Domestic Abuse is a very complicated topic from the point of view of the one being abused.
My Ex and I even spent about 10 years off and on in Marriage Counselling… where ABUSE was forever the elephant in the room that wasn’t talked about. I was just soooo ashamed. Not once did anyone say to me “Do you feel safe in your own home” (a Question that is now asked to every patient who goes to a Hospital for any type of treatment here in Ontario… even just the flu). If I had been asked back in those 15 years I might have found a comforting shoulder to cry on.
Instead, I struggled thru, trying to make the best of my marriage… and hold my family together, hoping things would change / get better.
They never did.
*NOTE – When I finally did leave my husband after 20+ Years of marriage. I was really upset how everyone who had told me it would be better was wrong. Sure the abuse had stopped, but my life wasn’t any better, if anything it was worse. I was totally broke, and practically homeless. The 5 Years up to my Divorce becoming final were a LOT HARDER than the 20 years I lived with him. Because the pain now was constant, where the actual physical abuse was in spurts and only happened a couple of times a year.
Like most Abusers mine had many many issues (Depression, self-loathing, low self-esteem) including an addiction (alcohol). When he was drinking he was 10x worse than when he was sober. Most of the worst incidents happened when he was drunk or hung-over.
When I read the stories here on WBee about gals who are in relationships with guys who acting like jerks & @sses, I sooo want to help them SEE the writing on the wall… a GOOD GUY, a DECENT GUY, a LOVING MAN… just DOESN’T ACT LIKE THIS. As Woman we (and our children) DESERVE BETTER
The good news is… there are decent guys out there… but you have to be willing to not settle. One has to also be strong in one’s own self-convictions. It isn’t a case that one isn’t worthy, pretty enough, smart enough etc… it really is a case of one needing to be self assured and confident enough to realize that Mr Right is out there, and he is looking for you… you just have to not be so desperate to want a relationship that ANY ONE will do. If girls were more busy taking care of themselves (education, career, fitness, interests, friendships, family etc) then ultimately they will attract a higher quality of man who will respect their accomplishments and who they are.
As I said, NO NEED TO EVER SETTLE.
If there is ONE THING in life we should be doing as women, is telling our Daughters this !!
So here I am 10+ Years on, and getting ready to marry again. I’ve met Mr Right, and he is an awesome guy… totally different from “the bad boy” I was interested in when I was 20 and first met my Ex. BUT then again, I am a totally different woman too. I have a LOT more going for me now in regards to my self esteem than I did as a younger woman.
And life is a MILLION TIMES more sweeter… This time round !!