Monday, August 8, 2011

Women Like Me

As I continue to chart a new course and build a new life for myself, I am still in the process of "coming out" so to speak. The number one question that everyone asks is "Why did you stay?".  I can't tell you how many well meaning people have asked me that question. It's an inappropriate question to ask, but here I will try to answer it.

Every woman has her own unique reasons for staying in an abusive relationship.  No one should judge her based on these reasons.  No one other than another survivor who has walked in our shoes could possibly understand. What has been interesting for me to learn, is that some women are just simply plain judgmental so they could never possibly understand. They will never get it.  It has also become clear to me that the general public believes that domestic violence doesn't happen to women like me.

I stayed because I loved this man, with all of my heart and soul.   He swept me off my feet. He made me laugh.  And their was a time that he made me feel beautiful.  You hope things will get better.  You make excuses for the abuse.  You blame yourself for why it happens.  For a while, you don't even believe it's abuse or that it could even be happening to you. When he tells you you are crazy that no one will believe you--you believe him. 

And you ask, "Why did you stay?"

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