A Personal Story of Domestic Violence and Why I Stayed – Part 1
He and I sat there and grimaced, watching the news report on a domestic violence incident. A woman was hospitalized in critical condition because she had been beaten so badly by her abusive husband. “What a horrible man,” he said, then a long silence, followed by “Why would anyone stay?” I replied, “I don’t know. So sad.”
In the back of my mind, I thought “Well, why do you stay? Your relationship is no different because your abuse is kept secret. Just because he doesn’t punch you or you have to go to the hospital doesn’t make it not abuse. You know that tonight will be another night of screaming and bruises.” I pushed the thoughts to the side, along with every other problem in my life, thinking one day everything would fall into place.
I was a single mom of a 3- and 5-year-old, that had lost her job, and had a vengeful and emotionally abusive ex-husband. As my relationship with my boyfriend progressed, there were discussions of our future.
He wanted to rescue my children from the verbal abuse their father subjected them to and provide them with a family and life they wouldn’t have otherwise. He wanted to rescue me from the worry and stress of being a jobless single mom and provide me with stability that I wouldn’t have otherwise. My low self esteem had really made me believe that he was the only man in the world that would ever love me for me.
I realize now I was emotionally and mentally fragile. Constant panic attacks, the need for attention, the “poor pity me” victim mentality. I wanted a hero to come in to rescue me and he played that character. When in reality he was the predator and I was the perfect prey.
Continue to Part 2
If you or someone you know is a Victim of Domestic Violence call 1-800-799-7233 or visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website where they have a chat function.