As long as there is LIFE, there is HOPE
Date: 4/25/2011 9:19:39 AM ( 11 y ) ... viewed 15726 times
Is a situation of domestic violence and abuse entirely hopeless? No, it doesn't have to be, but many are. Some victims screw up the courage to leave, get involved in strong healing counseling, and evolve into Survivors of incredible strength. Other victims get out of their situations only to choose another abuser. Those who remain in their situation remain victims for the rest of their lives and dissolve into organisms that feel that they are worthless and "deserving" of the abuse that they endure. Still others try to get out, only to have their courage extinguished by murder.
The feeling of hopelessness is deliberately cultivated by an abuser so that he/she exerts and maintains complete control over their victim(s). It is a very difficult concept for most human beings to grasp, but abusers do not view their victims, and victim targets, as human beings, in most cases. There are those rare, and inspiring, cases where an abuser will stand accountable for the literal torture that they deliberately inflicted, but those cases are very few. In general, the victim(s) are literally viewed as property with no more value than livestock, and this translates to children, as well. "But, he's SUCH a good FATHER," or, "She LOVES me," are defensive remarks that victims often use to describe their abusers and the concept of humans being viewed as mere objects just doesn't factor. Domestic partners are THINGS that are unworthy of autonomy, and children in an abusive environment are just younger THINGS with a value only equivalent to how they can be used by the abuser to inflict damage and terror on the primary victim.
In my case, I believed that my situation was hopeless because I had no financial resources of my own to support my children and myself. The former abuser had also issued numerous veiled threats that anyone could be made to disappear. I wasn't worried whether another man would ever want me so much as I was that I would choose another abuser. Then, there were the marriage vows - they were a promise and contract that I was mandated to "make it work" no matter what lengths I had to go to. I had no real marketable skills since I had been a "domestic engineer" throughout our entire marriage. Finally, there would be the endless questions, defences, and finger-pointing that would (and, DID) surely follow if I left. Some people reacted with utter shock because I had done everything that I could to present the ILLUSION of a normal, healthy partnership - acknowledging the lie of the true situation was almost as daunting as the rest of the issues, combined. In order to exit, I might have to explain and defend my choice.
But, once I realized that the former abuser would never change, I was faced with a choice: remain and allow myself to be reduced to human rubble, or; leave and risk everything and possibly reclaim my Self. I had to recognize, and ACCEPT, a number of Truths:
* the abuser was not going to change
* the abuser had claimed to "hate liars," and still demanded that I not only lie on his behalf, but engage in illegal activities
* I had allowed the abuse to "roll downhill" onto my children, and was also a perpetrator
* the abuser had ruined us, as a family, financially, and I was a party to it whether I had been conned and coerced, or not
* most important of all was what my children were learning and the apparent absence of remorse in my eldest son
Yes, my exit most certainly could have been better arranged, and I have experienced residual effects of the abuser, but I left with 4 boxes of personal belongings and my clothing, one of the vehicles, and a part-time job. I got out and I find it very difficult to describe the sense of personal freedom and safety once I got out. To be able to fall asleep withotu the fear that the abuser would take his "husbandly rights" in the middle of the night was a true blessing. To be able to control my own financial obligations was another blessing - I no longer had to lie to collectors, or depend upon credit accounts - if I couldn' afford to pay cash, I didn't need it. The freedom from the endless lectures, humiliations, beatings, and drama/trauma brought a sense of worth and hope that I could Survive under my own steam.
No, it's not an easy decision and it has been an ugly and tragic part of my life - ugly because of the nature of divorce, and tragic because of the human toll that my sons paid, and continue to pay at this writing. But, I did Survive and I continue to walk my healing path as a grateful and humble member of the human race. In my darkest imaginings, the creature that I would have become had I chosen to stay is not only pitiful, but horrifying. The risks, mistakes, and missteps have all been worth my freedom from the deep terror of the abyss of abuse.
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