- 3 years ago
- Wedding: November 2010
trigger warning… abuse
Regular poster gone anon for this one. Don’t need to discuss my past IRL with everyone who knows my username. This is my experience and in no way am I trying to speak for everyone, just help others understand. My tips for helping are at the end if you don’t want to read the whole thing.
Lately I have been seeing a lot of posts on the bee about violence and/or emotional abuse in a relationships. And inevitably, bees tell the girl to leave. I DO NOT DISAGREE! But I wanted to write a post explaining why the OP may not go, and how we can help in this situation (on the bee and in real life). Also on those what are your dealbreaker posts, when someone writes “I would be out the door the first time he touched me” my stomach always turns. I guess I just want people to understand why it’s not always that simple, so that if someone you know doesn’t leave you can still help.
Why doesn’t she leave?
The first time he hits her?
Because by this time she may already be in deep. Maybe he has already feel awful, like it is her fault. Maybe she was drinking and said something, she feels like she was asking for it. Or she thinks, it can’t be domestic violence if you’re not married right?
Because she can’t believe that it happened, is she going crazy?… Or maybe it was a push, or a grab. That’s not a big deal right? Maybe he threw something at her, but he didn’t mean to hit her? Maybe he held her down, or wouldn’t stop something in bed when she asked. Afterwards he is sorry, he would never do it again?
Then it happens again. Maybe it is a year later, maybe the next day. She is embarrassed.
Well then why didn’t she leave earlier when he yelled at her or threw things across the room?
She may feel alone or like if she could just be better at x, y, z (cooking, cleaning, whatever..) or if she could just not be rude or arguementative.
Why not leave when he isolated her from her friends and family?
Because sometimes by the time you realize what is happening it is already over. She may feel like he loves her so much he just wants to be with her all the time. Or he is just looking out for her, she goes out drinking with the girls too much anyway, wastes money… Maybe he tells her to cut the cord from her family and be independent.
Why not leave after 150 bees tell her to get out?
Because sometimes the person who treats you the worst is also the person who treats you the best. Because she is scared. Because she loves him. Because he is always really nice afterwards. She may feel stupid for getting herself into this mess.
Because in real life she feels like she has no one to talk to.
What you can do for fellow bees: I am not saying don’t tell bees to get out of unsafe situation. PLEASE KEEP IT UP! It may give her the courage she needs. But realize it is not always so simple and if she doesn’t go she may need a place to come back to for advice. Please let her know if she does not want to leave right away, she can still make a safety plan or talk to someone. Let her know it is not her fault. Leaving an abusive relationship is dangerous and not always possible right away.
In real life: If someone you know opens up to you, please keep listening. Don’t be surprised if she does not leave right away. Her partner already tells her what to do, so try to be non judgemental. The best thing I ever heard anyone say was: “You do not deserve this. I think you should leave but I will continue to support you no matter what. And when I am around your partner I will continue to act normal.” Encourage her to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and offer to let her use your phone and give her some privacy. She can call even if she just wants to talk. You may get frustrated, it is hard to watch someone suffer. You can call the hotline if you are want advice for being supportive. Google Leslie Morgan Steiners TED talk on domestic violence. Let her keep a bag at your house (even if she doesn’t want to leave). Someday she may need to get out quick and not even have clothes on. If you are comfortble and able to, let her know she can call you anytime. Only offer what you can really do.
If you are worried about your own relationship, even if your partner has never touched you I encourage you to call the hotline. They can help if you just want to talk and don’t want to leave or if you need help getting out right away. They also have a great website. If you are worried that your phone is being monitored sign up for google voice from a computer at the library or at work. They will give you a local phone number. When you call that and it goes to voicemail you can press 2 to place an outgoing calll. The local number, not the hotline, should show up on your phone bill. Read Why does he do that? by Lundy Bancroft. It will help you understand what is going on and if your partner is really changing for the better or worse.
Congrats if you made it through this long post. My point her was just that it is not simple or easy to leave. Does this make sense to people?