Trigger Alert: Abuse
***Note: This is NOT about my husband. Abuse happens in all kinds of relationships. I have experienced abuse in different relationships in my past, and known too many others who have experienced abuse. I am very lucky to have a loving and supportive partner.
I wrote this poem quite a long time ago, about coming to understand why it’s not so easy to just leave an abusive relationship.
Why Does She Stay?
It’s not that bad.
It’s not always this way.
There are good days and bad days.
I made a commitment. I have to honor that.
It’s my responsibility.
I have to stay to protect the others.
If I weren’t here, they would suffer.
I am strong. I can take it.
It’s too difficult to find somewhere else to go.
No one would believe me.
They have convinced everyone that I’m the bad one, that I deserve it.
I’m making a bigger deal out of it than it is.
If I love enough, forgive enough, make peace enough…
Maybe they will change.
Maybe they will leave peacefully.
It’s not really abuse.
Until one day, she realizes that it IS abuse.
One day, she realizes:
I get anxious when I even think about my abuser.
I don’t want to see my abuser any more.
I’m afraid of what will happen if I leave.
I’m afraid of what will happen if I stay.
I’m cut off from my friends.
I have no energy left to fight.
Something has to change.
This treatment is killing me.
My first responsibility is to myself.
I have to get out.
I have to get out.
I HAVE TO GET OUT!
It’s the scariest thing she’s ever done.
The fear that her abuser will find out her plans.
The second guessing.
The fear that leaving means losing everything.
The fear that her abuser will seek her out.
The speaking out about what happened.
The fear that people will think she’s crazy, that she made it up.
The little wounds that open from seeing her abuser’s name, or hearing about her abuser.
The fear of encountering her abuser before she is ready to face him/her.
The re-learning to trust.
The fear that the next person will hurt her again.
Starting to live once again.
Building scar tissue over wounds that is stronger than before.
Finally realizing that she made the best choice, the only choice, she could make.
Not everyone gets there. Not everyone has the courage, or the resources, to leave.
If you are in an abusive relationship, please reach out. Find someone you can trust. There are tons of organizations out there that will support you.
You deserve better.