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Green Room - Week 20 - Day 9

Because I thought I deserved it.

Because I was told no one would ever believe me, and even if they did, who did I think the police were going to make leave/arrest?

Because when you have someone on top of you, with their hands around your neck, choking you in the bed - and you kick them off - they are the ones who end up with bruises

See also "I'm too smart to leave bruises" and the only thing damaged by the butcher knife was the door that ended up with a huge hole in it and maybe my stuff that was thrown across the room and shattered *was* proper payback for being clumsy.

Because when I went to the family, I was told that it was "your responsibility now"

and when I sought help from an organization that is dedicated to stopping domestic violence, I was told "Just leave"

Because I said, and did, my share of yelling and things you can't un-say. Relationships are are complicated, even when they are working right - and there is always plenty of blame to go around for everyone involved.

Because your gender doesn't always dictate that you will make more or less than your partner, and you can't always just pick up and leave everything

Because I was young and in love enough to think that eventually things would get better - if I just tried harder.

Because I saw my Mother go through it and thought "that's just how relationships are".

No, these aren't random examples of why someone stays in a physically/emotionally relationship.

They are part of MY #WhyIStayed

All over the internet right now, because of the publicity of the Ray Rice case, people are speaking out against domestic violence and explaining why it's not always as easy as "if someone doesn't treat you right, just walk away".

People are speaking out for all of the women who haven't been able to get out of their circumstances - which is fantastic.

The downside of it is that whenever someone mentions that it happens to men as well, they are often silenced and told that their are trying to distract the issue, or that it's "minimal" and not really talking about. They are told "Men are stronger - they can stop it at any time", without really thinking about why men often *don't* use their strength to defend themselves in those circumstances - or why they just don't walk out and never come back.

I could just tell the story of my Mom and what went on there. But that isn't my story to tell. Heck, I'm sure there's a lot of it that I will never fully understand.

This story is mine though. I'm sure that there is still a lot of information that I *still* don't have and may never completely understand. My ex is a good person. I like her very much. From what I understand, the temper is still there and horrible things are still said, but the violence isn't. Which is good. I'm glad that she could make that progress and hope that it continues. For everyone's sake.

I've made progress of my own. I still overreact and I yell more than I should. My issues are still my issues. But I'm "better". I like to think that's it's because I've become a better person... but that may just be looking back and not having much respect for the person that I was, the person who stayed. It's one of those things you think about and wonder just what you would have done differently, and *when*.

***

With that uplifting, completely rambling,part out of the way - there's a vote going on: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/778354.html So get on out there and #helpthemstay!

(How's *that* for a horrible transition!!)

Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
agirlnamedluna
Sep. 10th, 2014 02:48 pm (UTC)
Took me a long time to walk away as well. It's better now - and the kid is 100% safe. At least.
roina_arwen
Sep. 10th, 2014 02:50 pm (UTC)
Wow. Beat me to first by a microsecond!

Glad you and the wee one are safe! Hugs to you both!
(no subject) - clauderainsrm - Sep. 10th, 2014 06:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
roina_arwen
Sep. 10th, 2014 02:48 pm (UTC)
It's a horrible situation for anyone, so the transition is appropriate. Sending out hugs to you and anyone else who is or has gone through this!
swirlsofblue
Sep. 10th, 2014 02:50 pm (UTC)
*Hugs*
millysdaughter
Sep. 10th, 2014 02:52 pm (UTC)
**hugs**
Walking away is not a simple process.
Not everyone has the ability to do it...
adoptedwriter
Sep. 10th, 2014 03:40 pm (UTC)
Hugs....it takes a lot of energy and good faith to find a way out of a toxic relationship for any reason. AW
ryl
Sep. 10th, 2014 03:50 pm (UTC)
It took me a while to wake up and smell the reality, but I finally managed to tear myself out of the situation. And it was mutually abusive--I was just as bad as he was. But now he's gone and I'm happy.
roina_arwen
Sep. 10th, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC)
I'm glad he's gone and you're happy! *Hugs*
(no subject) - ryl - Sep. 10th, 2014 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
alycewilson
Sep. 10th, 2014 04:02 pm (UTC)
Sadly, many domestic violence shelters have no funding to help men, even though they can also be victims. Thank you for sharing.

Here is MY #WhyIStayed:

Because I thought if he didn't hit me it wasn't abuse

Because he threatened to kill himself if I left.

Because I no longer knew who I was anymore.

Because he had cut me off from most of my friends and family.

Because I thought that my having an affair meant I owed him something, rather than demonstrating how unhappy I'd been.

Because we had already sent out wedding invitations.

(The last one is from a different guy; all the rest are from the human vampire I call Leechboy.)
bleodswean
Sep. 10th, 2014 04:04 pm (UTC)
Glad you were able to leave. And now have so much perspective.

If one watches the entire Rice video, she clearly hits him in the face in the lobby and then spits in his face in the elevator. Mutual abuse, it looks like.

gratefuladdict
Sep. 10th, 2014 04:49 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad that people are speaking out on this. I think everyone likes to believe that they would be strong enough to leave - as if strength is the only factor to consider.

I'm glad that you got out. ♥
clauderainsrm
Sep. 10th, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
Honestly - it wasn't my choice. If she hadn't eventually cheated, I would probably still be there, trying to "work on it".

That was the line too far for me - and she knew it. That led to both of us moving out of the apartment and filing for divorce.
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Sep. 10th, 2014 05:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - roina_arwen - Sep. 10th, 2014 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clauderainsrm - Sep. 10th, 2014 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Sep. 10th, 2014 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Sep. 10th, 2014 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Sep. 10th, 2014 06:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Sep. 10th, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
reckless_blues
Sep. 10th, 2014 08:53 pm (UTC)
I stayed with my abusive former partner for a long time because he was the kindest, most gentle person I had ever met. Until he was tortured and raped and infected with HIV. Then he lost his mind. What was I going to do? Tell him that being raped made him evil? I could never do that. So I just stayed and let him do whatever he wanted. I thought if I was strong enough to take it, he'd heal eventually, even if it took years, and be back to his old self again. I thought that helping him was my job to do in this life. I don't know if he ever got better - he got tired of me since I completely shut down emotionally and sexually and left.

I wish more of the discussion here focuses on how most (not all, but most) abusers aren't normal, happy people who just have a casual hobby of beating their wives. They're people who were abused as children, who were destabilized by events like rape, and some people stay because they see it as a personal problem they can help them work through, and not entirely their fault. And a lot of the discussion pushes the idea that abusers are evil and irredeemable demihumans ... can you really look someone you love in the eye and say, "Yes. You're right. The crimes they committed against you really did make you less than human. You are forever broken and no one you didn't force into it would ever choose to stay."
kickthehobbit
Sep. 10th, 2014 09:52 pm (UTC)
I wish more of the discussion here focuses on how most (not all, but most) abusers aren't normal, happy people who just have a casual hobby of beating their wives.

A lot of the discussion I see tends to be very survivor-focused—especially in spaces like this, where we're all swapping survivor stories. There's not really a space for someone who was the abusive partner to step forward and say, "Yeah, I did this, but I was super fucked-up and going through a lot and [x/y/z reasons as to why they were the way they were]." I don't know that I necessarily wish that there were—but I've never been the abusive partner, myself.

I know that the two abusive partners I have had were both abused as children—they came from families where their fathers were abusive, to them and to their mothers. I know that, and I know that what happened to me was part of the cycle of abuse, and I wish them the best of luck in finding help—but I don't feel that it excuses what they did.

I don't see them as less than human. I have a lot of sympathy for them, honestly—because I also have PTSD, not from being with them, because I was also sexually abused as a child, because I can at least sympathize with what they have been through though I can't relate, not entirely—but I weigh what happened to them against the choices that they have made and what they put me through, and I have largely forgiven them—but it's nothing I can forget, and I can't imagine being friends with either of them.

I don't see the abuse as having made them irredeemably evil. I see them as broken people that don't know how to be in a healthy relationship with someone, and I wish them both the best in fixing that.

I don't think that they're unfixable. I know why I stayed—and I know why I've left, and why I don't want to be part of the fixing.
rayaso
Sep. 10th, 2014 10:26 pm (UTC)
There are so many wonderful entries worthy of real thought, is there any way the Almighty One would consider extending the voting deadline? If a human sacrifice is necessary, I could be persuaded to part with a teenager, since we have one and a spare.
bleodswean
Sep. 10th, 2014 10:48 pm (UTC)
It's been amazing how much more this week's reading is requiring!! A fascinating study. The work is so elevated and much of it so dense and the intersecting just seems to have made it all more more more. I'm with you, I'm reading slowly and savouring.

Do not human sacrifice the teens...you will miss out on being elderly and insisting that you be allowed to take up residence in their guest room.
(no subject) - rayaso - Sep. 10th, 2014 11:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bleodswean - Sep. 10th, 2014 11:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dmousey - Sep. 12th, 2014 01:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clauderainsrm - Sep. 11th, 2014 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rayaso - Sep. 11th, 2014 01:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tonithegreat - Sep. 11th, 2014 03:14 am (UTC) - Expand
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sinnamongirl
Sep. 11th, 2014 12:58 am (UTC)
I get real upset with the double standard for men, in both physical and sexual assault (and emotional abuse as well); I personally know a man who was afraid to report his abuse because he had a police record and was afraid nobody would believe him, plus all sorts of masculine-related fear to what others would think of him, etc. When people found out what was going on, it was pretty sad - he didn't even take pictures of bruises to eventually file a police report with.

But, yeah, it's really, really hard to explain why "just leave" is so complicated. My one overtly abusive relationship (and thank goodness it's just the one, but made me so scared I haven't been in a relationship since) was with a guy who was charming, funny, and dead inside, but it was really hard to tell at first - and getting other people to believe his anger and controlling issues when all they saw was the facade seemed an insurmountable task. Plus blah blah blah, I could list out like 20 things that had me staying, but it seems like even that turns a really complex thing into just a list. It's never okay to judge someone for staying, but a cause for celebration when they leave, in my opinion, and while these internet trends can get sort of odd and surreal, I'm hopeful that this weird nebulous support for just talking about it will help a lot of people out.
labelleizzy
Sep. 12th, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
Hugs...
(no subject) - sinnamongirl - Sep. 18th, 2014 09:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
halfshellvenus
Sep. 11th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
This must have been so hard to share, and so much harder still to live.

One of the threads that keeps coming up in many people's stories is that they were committed to trying to make things better. It's very hard to give up on a relationship when you love the person, or feel that it's your duty to try harder to save it (especially true if it's a marriage).

It's so easy for an outsider to recognize what's happening, and to give blanket answers to the problem. But when you're emotionally involved in it, you do not have an objective perspective-- nobody in that situation does, including the abuser (who usually believes that the other person deserves it, and may convince the other person of that as well). :(
uncawes
Sep. 12th, 2014 06:42 am (UTC)
I didn't walk away. I stayed "for the kids" but that was a bad choice.
The ex finally decided to leave. There was never any physical abuse, either way. But there was more than enough verbal and emotional abuse - in both directions - that I'm better off, she's better off, and most importantly the kids are better off now that we've separated.
My ex is not a bad person. she gave me three wonderful kids, albeit two of them are adults now.
It was just never meant to be for us. And it took a long time to figure that out.
labelleizzy
Sep. 12th, 2014 05:16 pm (UTC)
My Expouse used to joke about things his dad had done to him and his brother... Like pull over to the side of the freeway so he could BACKHAND bothboth small children across their faces in the backseat for squabbling... I am so ANGRY at my ex FIL now that I have some distance. He's a charming, charismatic, narcissistic manipulator. And my ex? became like that himself, except he's a self-effacing manipulator instead... And I want to cry about how long I spent in a relationship with someone who was incapable of snuggling, period. Because somehow when he proposed, I had come to believe that I*didn't have any right to disappoint him*. So though I wanted to say no, I said yes. I thought marriage would magically chyange him,change the relationship. It didn't. He still put me down,discouraged me,belittled me. It wasn't till I started studying with a Wiccan coven that I got strong enough to stand up and say, this is what I need. Can you provide that? No? Then I'm leaving.
A new friend at work let me stay with her for six months while I sorted my head out and rediscovered joy, and I can never pay her back so I keep paying it forward. Constantly.

I am so glad for, and so proud of all of us who have figured out how to stand up for ourselves and say, I'm worth being treated with respect, I'm worthy of love and a safe place and getting my needs met.
So much love for you all.
( 41 comments — Leave a comment )

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