I had no idea that Ocotober was Domestic Abuse Awareness month. I was reminded of the horrific way that my friend was treated in the last days/weeks/months just as in passing. Maybe it was her sending me a message about what needs to be changed. That her memory means more to me then her name etched on a monument beside other domestic cases in her community. Her storey blurred together with so many more that have gone missing on the Highway of Tears. Where the poor broken children/woman go to never return to their lives as they know.
We as woman are being hunted. Just like how it was done long ago but know we have become the trophy. Not even a trophy that they want to keep once they are done with the shell that remains the then in turn throw it away. I think back to my first relationship and how that started. Just like any teen girl I was eager to have a boyfriend. I didn’t care too much if I liked him. I just wanted him to like me. You feel super cool when you are in a relationship. That is how I defined myself. My worth was only in the eyes of my significant other. I was ridiculed at parties. Parties I had no business being at because I was 13 and some of these guys were 19. I remember that they spiked my kiwi cooler with a shot of vodka. Trying to keep up I downed glass after glass. Much sooner than later I was getting sick. As I sat their saying my peace to the porcelin gods I felt the steel toed boot crush my skull into the toilet. I could hear him saying to get me out of there. That he didn’t want an underage girl getting sick in his bathroom if the cops showed up. All I knew in that moment is I couldn’t move. I was in trouble. I briefly remember calling my mom at midnight to check in. I told her I was safe. Now in this moment I wasn’t even sure if I was ever going to make it home.
I wonder how many of our youths are subject to this level of violence. The violence that occurs at the hands of our boyfriends friends. Some circles act like you are a possession to be owned. I rmember thinking in that moment that I was only safe if I kept a boyfriend around. No matter how much of a loser he and his friends were. See that was my first problem. When I went boy crazy I literally went crazy. My first experience with boys was so controlling, so degrading, so anything not normal but that is all I knew. In that one defining moment I chose to believe the words of my abusers and believed I was nothing more than trash to the rest of the World. My hopes and dreams for the future were dashed as I tried to land one of these major assholes. These were the only guys who would want me. Or so they made me believe. They were grooming me for all ufuture assholes like them. I was damaged before even leaving high school. When I should have been studying and looking towards a brighter future I started to define myself by the loser on my arm.
The scariest thing about being in an abusive relationship is that it creeps up on you. Every Prince Charming wears a mask that hides their dark side and makes you fall in love. Except you aren’t really in love. That person never existed. Like a skilled hunter they found their prey and they start to lay the groundwork to have you completely under control. Being 40 they are easy to spot now. We make fun of these guys now but what we really should be doing is alerting others. There is no women in her right mind that wants to see a dick pic. Worse then the dick pic is the pic they take to make it look as big as possible with their mangey feet in the background. To me that is two strikes but also an indication that they only want one thing. I also love the pics that you can tell are out of season based what you see in the background. These guys have absolutely no substance. They couldn’t find the end of their driveway without a road map so best to just block and move on.
Violence hurts. Abuse hurts. The mental anguish we endure on a day to day basis is excrutiating. We don’t want to admit to anybody what is happening out of sheer embarassment. Weren’t we just singing their praises only weeks before. Bragging to our girlfriends that he is the one! He is so sweet and I have never known anybody like him before. Or when you introduce him to some of your friends and all the bells and whistles start going off and they register him a 10 on the ultimate creeper scale. At this point we defend him saying oh you don’t know him like you do. When you tell your oh so endearing partner that your friends think he isn’t so great it’s like a light switch. You just engaged Mr Hyde. He might not slap you at first but he sure is going to start insulting your friends. And if insulting your friends doesn’t work then he will say you are just like one of them and destined to live alone. Maybe the insults aren’t so obvious. Maybe he will ak you if you gained weight or tell you that you don’t look good in that outfit. That is how it starts. A slow erosion of your self esteem and your essence and you become easily controlled. Our baby selves are the most impressionable we will ever be in our lifetime. It is easy to speak of our dreams and desires as we find our place in the World. It just sucks for so many of us that we aren’t allowed that crucial time to blossom. At least I know for me I wasn’t.
I looked up to my family in order to give me much needed guidance externally. I was able to stay the course that my parents had wanted for me but inside I was the intelligence of a 3 year old. I still defined myself by who I dated and couldn’t see myself as being anything more then just a fragment of my being. Trying to obtain my degree I found myself with yet another partner that was destined to go nowhere. He would sit in hs boxers all day and night playing this online computer game called “Everquest”. This was barely the year 2,000. Games weren’t nearly what they are now but for 4 years I allowed him to just sit there and exist while I went to school full-time, took correspondence and had 2 part time job. This guy didn’t even clean. We weren’t even intimate. We were basically just gross disgusting roomates sitting in our own filth. My self esteem was never lower as my weight skyrocketed to 220 pounds. I had convinced myself I was going to marry this guy so it really didn’t matter right?
Being a mother you start to over anaylze ever scenario you have ever been in. You dissect it and try to understand things happened the way you did and try to find a way for it to conform to the way that makes most sense to you. I am worried for my son. There is so much violence now that it has mainstreamed into our schools. When we started to sell bulletproof bags, coats ets to armour our kids we need to take hundreds of steps back and ask us how this came to be. Domestic abuse starts at home. It is as simple as name calling, rolling your eyes and just being silent. Our children do become who we are and that is why I needed to change. I am no saint and just like my domestic abusers of the past they still have a hold on me. They did what they had set out to do. They set out and hunted and preyed on the weakest link. I was weak. I was hurting I took all those insults and moments of violence and reflected them onto somebody else. It was like a balancing of the embarassment and pain. Well if I am fat then you are fat too. If I am disgusting then you are disgusting too. I had become a breeding ground for negativity and hate. I participated in conversatins that were degrading to other human beings. I laughed at other peoples pain. In the same breath I was an advocator for domestic abuse by particpating. I can see now how my actions would contribute to a negative spiral for all mankind. I identify with that now. The harmful actions from the past can never be erased just minimized.
My new course of action is to become more of an advocator for women like me and others who identify with the abuse that results from within the household. Our laws just fuel their anger. You can genuinely kill somebody eliminating them from the face of the planet and you could very possibly be home just in time for Christmas. It is that bad if an insanity plea is reached. Take my friend. This was premeditated murder. 8 years. It is hard to not become an advocate for capital punishment but….I understand innocent people have suffered this punishment. But what about those that have admitted their crime, show no remorse and spit in the face of humanity. Do they deserve the same rights as you and me? The ones who follow the general rules of what it means to be human. If we can proove 100% shouldn’t that be their fate. The only fate I see worthy of evil like this is a small cell. A cell lined with the victims they have stolen from us. A constant reminder that they are filth and only by the sheer grace of human compassion do we allow them to exist. To spend every day reminded of the smile that they robbed the World. An acknowledgement that we know who they are and they have run out of chances. Humans should never desire to hurt one another just because. This race is doomed if we constantly pick apart those we claim to be our friends.
I know it is embarassing and I know it is hard to stand up and tell ourselves we are worthy of a better life. You are worthy of a better life. You don’t need to reach out to soembody you know. You can reach out to me. I know this feeling of being hunted of being worthless. There is light at the end. Can you see my hand? Reach out to it. I promise I will never let you fall.