I had thought that six years and distance from the situation would make this article easier to write. I realize that domestic violence, and the recovery from abuse of any form will never be easy. In fact some days I think a kick in the face from a golf shoe might be preferable to the lasting damage done to me by a person I trusted more than anyone in this world.
I was led to believe many lies throughout the years. I believed them with such ferocity that when the truth was told I couldn't make heads or tails of it. These half truths are straight from the pits of despair, and the reason for the writing hereafter.
Your abuser doesn't want you to know the truth.
The truth is that he is a small man, with an even smaller mind. He does not have the intellect to love himself and therefore he cannot love anyone. Because he cannot love the way love should be given he has only one recourse. Control. If he doesn't control every facet of your relationship, and often times your very lot in life he looses his temper. We all know what it means for him to loose his temper.
Your abuser doesn't want you to know circumstance is not your fault.
You see he must have an excuse. Every woman who was ever abused will tell you there is always an excuse. "You pushed his buttons." "Dinner wasn't on time!" "The kids were too loud." Sometimes he will even catch you off guard with an excuse that is meant to play on your sympathy. "I saw abuse the whole time I was growing up." No matter the offense or the defense used to conceal the crime abuse is still abuse.
Your abuser doesn't want you to know a bribe when you see it.
You see if you take a bribe in whatever fashion it is being given an abuser assumes he is forgiven. The new necklace, earrings, dinner out at your favorite restaurant all of these things are considered a means to your forgiveness. These baubles and actions serve two purposes. A show of affection like this can make you reconsider the circumstance. You begin to think quietly that maybe he really was 'having a bad day.' Your family and friends, the people you are secretly hiding every true thing in your life from, see him as a hero. An abuser is seen as a knight in shining armor who takes you to dinner and dancing; don't forget he's doing the dishes . All the while your wearing long sleeves in summer and no one notices.
Your abuser doesn't want you to know he lies.
"You're stupid." "Your family doesn't want you." "No one will believe you." Insert foul excuse for the truth here. No matter the lie you hear it so much it seems like the truth. The bad part is that you begin to lie to yourself. You see that's the funny thing about brain washing. Make no mistake that is what he is doing. He knows this game, and if he can get you to play along so much the better. Over the years you must lie to yourself. Reality is a horror film playing before your very eyes; only its non-fiction and your in a staring role. If for one minute you stop to consider the truth the perfect world you are trying to hold together crumbles to dust
Your abuser doesn't want you to know this isn't his first time.
Many abusers have been in a domestic violence situation before. We as survivors have all heard we were the first. It simply isn't true that you are the one woman in the world that makes the Neanderthal in him come out with such lashing fury.
Your abuser doesn't want you to know your self worth.
A man that is worth your tears won't make you cry. That isn't just some cheesy line its the truth. You are worth gold and your abuser knows it. It is because of your worth that he fights so hard to control you. An abuser knows someone else can, will, or does love you. He knows that in an instant you could be gone and his world would be nothing. He controls the money, the car, your friends, all in an attempt to selfishly keep you to himself and under his thumb.
Your abuser doesn't want you to know there is life beyond him.
An abuser doesn't want you to know that you will be okay and that means without him and without his help! He doesn't want you to know that you can change your mind at any time. You do not need to be in a fight to make a decision to change your fate. There is only one direction you can go after you have been beat down and that is up!
I know that making a decision to leave an abusive situation is terrifying. Freedom can be alarming when you have lived so long with another making every move for you. You need to make a choice even if you think it is a selfish one. The kids, your church, whoever, will understand don't let that fear stop you. I was terrified of the truth. I didn't want to admit the hell I was living to anyone. I made my choice too late. I didn't reach a decision until I was lowering my son into the ground.
Abusers rarely change. I will not deny that there are cases where an abuser will transform. Sadly the numbers are low. I to held out that hope. If you are in an abusive relationship I urge you to explore the avenues available to you. Seek out a battered woman's shelter, call a friend for help, a hospital or your child's school will also have information available. You've already seen how bad it can be, and I have seen how bad it can get.