Abuse in a relationship or domestic abuse can come in many forms, such as physical, mental or emotional, and even verbal, none of which are acceptable and each are equally just as damaging. When I was a child my father was a very abusive man, his abuse came in all forms and it began early on in the relationship. My mother, as many abused women do, tolerated it throughout their nineteen years together, the worst of which happening during the last six. My brother and sister and I suffered for years witnessing this and for the most part, my mother never told anyone, until very close to the end when it was really becoming life threatening and we needed places to escape to often during his fits of alcoholic binging, cheating and rage, and so the silence was finally broken as it should have been very long before.
The things that were witnessed by my siblings and I are things no child should ever have to witness and are things no human being should ever have to endure, and it caused us great harm. My sister became bulimic, was promiscuous, and has a very bad case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, my brother became an alcoholic with anger issues who cheated on his first wife and myself, well I have a slew of my own problems, I became a people pleaser with no self-esteem or self-worth allowing myself to victimized and mistreated throughout my life because of this as well. Domestic abuse and/or domestic violence play such a huge part in what a child will become when they grow up. They will spend their childhood living in fear and anxiety and may turn to drugs, alcohol, and sexual promiscuity to name just a few, to cope. Problems in school can arise, behavioral issues and they can even become suicidal looking for ways out of the unstable environment they seem to be trapped in. I think that women in abusive relationships become so fogged in their judgment from the abuse that they themselves are enduring or due to their own damage, don’t realize that what they are going through actually is abuse and so they can’t see beyond it enough to realize how detrimental the situation is to the well-being of their children and how it will affect them now and later in life.
Breaking the silence is key to the health and well-being of any children involved and if there are no children it is key to saving your own life which is just as important. Even if there are no children in an abusive relationship, the longer you remain silent, the longer you stay, the more damage is being done to you, damage that will affect every aspect of your life and will change you mentally. Ultimately you are risking your mental health, your right as a human to be treated with respect, care and dignity and you are also risking your very own life. My mother nearly died during her last beating and she’s very lucky that she didn’t. No one deserves to live like this and it is imperative that you do whatever you have to do to stop it and leave. I know coming forward can be scary and even embarrassing but you must look at it like this, what’s more scary, getting help and moving onto a peaceful life or spending everyday wondering if this will be your last at the hands of your abuser?
The first step is realization, coming to terms with the fact that it’s not anything you did or deserve, he isn’t having a bad day, and it isn’t how stressful his life is, he’s not sorry and it will ALWAYS happen again! My recent realization came when I posted my story of my abusive relationship in a forum and every single reply asked me what in the world I was doing staying with this man. I re-read my post taking my story in through someone else’s eyes and I thought if this were my daughter or even a stranger telling me this story what would I tell them? How would I feel about what they were going through? Because of my clouded judgment from growing up in an abusive home and my constant need to be a peacemaker I was actually taking this treatment! I began to feel so sorry for the woman writing the words in the post that almost forgot it was my own life I was reading about.
If you don’t come to the realization of the fact that what you are going through is indeed abuse and inhumane, the bottom and very scary line, is you could lose your life! Starting by posting your story anonymously in a relationship forum on-line can be your very first step. No one will know who you are, you are safe, post honestly, tell the world what has been happening to you and watch the responses. Then re-read your post from the outside looking in, sometimes it can be very hard to see the forest through the trees, but stepping outside you can see it very clearly. Think to yourself as you read your own words, “what if this were my daughter, sister, friend that this was happening to, how would I feel, what would I say to her”? And realize you have just as much right to a peaceful, safe life as the people you care enough about to wish peace on. You are just as valuable, just as important and so are your children if you have any.
Now that you’ve spoken in a safe guarded anonymous way, and see that you are being abused you can now seek counseling from a professional who will guide you in breaking the silence in more ways and help clear the fog of damage that the abuse has placed over your rational thinking. You can go to very close and trusted friends or a special co-worker or boss and talk. Just talk, get it out, set up places secretly you can go to for safety and escape if needed. If you don’t have the money for counseling call your local health department or even a church, even if you don’t attend many times clergy are trained for this and can and will help you. If you live in the US or Canada you can even call an abuse hotline at 1-800-799-7233 where they help you see that what is happening to you is truly abuse so your eyes will open and you can begin putting a stop to it. Many companies even offer EAP or employee assistance programs to help you get counseling for free, call your health insurance company and ask if these services exist. There are battered women shelters where you can go and seek advice or even shelter. Whatever you do, remember keeping it in will not make it stop, keeping it in will not help, and keeping it in can and might be the end of your life. Silence is deadly! Please….break the silence of abuse today before it’s too late!
Your life matters !
Robert Moment is a life coach, speaker and author of several life-transforming books, Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence Help for Abused Women and Domestic Violence Survivors, Verbal Abuse: How Women Can Successfully Recognize, Respond to and Overcome Verbally Abusive Relationships and Abusive People, and How Do You Find Happiness . Robert specializes in maximizing human potential for happiness , purpose and success. Visit http://www.DomesticAbuseandDomesticViolence.com and sign-up for the FREE Life-Transforming e-courses on Overcoming Domestic Abuse and Verbal Abuse