With the recent dominance of the news by domestic violence, I thought it an appropriate time to repeat a post I wrote back on January 16th of this year. When I wrote the post, the friend it was written for was not ready to listen. She's ready now. At the same time, I have to confess that I was also in an abusive situation and I was in total denial. I'm not in denial anymore. Here is the post:
How to even begin this post. This subject cuts so deep and so personally that I'm almost at a loss for the words to express how I feel.
What do you do when a friend has made the conscious and willing decision to stay with her abuser? Do you remain silent? Doesn't that actually enable the abuser? I choose not to remain silent.
I will not listen to the justifications and the excuses. I will throw the bullshit flag every time I hear one. There is no justification for verbal, physical, or emotional abuse. There is no excuse.
"But he's changing...it's getting better". No...he's not and it's not. It's called a honeymoon phase and that is exactly what it is...a phase. Phases end and eventually he will get angry again. Everything will come crashing down and he will make it all your fault.
"He's helping me correct my behavior so I'm a better person." No...he's not. He is controlling you. He is not your priest or pastor. He is not your teacher or principal. He is not your supervisor or employer. He is not your daddy or your father. It is not his place to "correct" your behavior. You are a beautiful, smart, talented woman. If YOU see something in your life that YOU want to change, that is completely up to YOU.
Where do I get off saying all this? What gives me the right?
1. I'm your friend. We've been friends for a long time. Being your friend means all of it. Not just when we're out having a drink, going shopping, or chatting on the phone. It means all the time and all the messes.
2. I love you. Unconditionally. That doesn't mean you get an automatic pass. It means I will tell you how I feel because I love you. I know what an incredible woman you are.
3. Been there, done that. I have a two inch scar on my face that reminds me daily about the incredibly hard lesson I learned. I would do anything to save you from facing that same lesson in the mirror. The scar, that any time I hear a couple arguing, I find my hand unconsciously moving to trace.
This past year, I lost a friend to a domestic violence murder. I am not willing to lose another when there is something I can do; even if it is just saying how I feel.
I will not be silent. I will not lose you too.
With all my love,