What You Don't See Behind My Smile
With a knife pointed down at me, I am pinned to the floor with his foot to my chest and I can’t move. This is it; this is how I’m going to die! I felt this way every time he hit me, but this time felt different. I didn’t know why he would black out. He just gets so angry! What did I do to deserve this? What about my baby? What’s going to happen to her? This was me not so long ago.
Domestic violence is real and so is denial. According to ncadv.org (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence), only 34% of people involved in D.V receive medical care for their injuries and the presence of a gun increases the risk of homicide by 500%. Honestly, you don’t need to know the statistics; you know about domestic violence whether it has happened to you or someone you may know, but not many people want to talk about it. It’s embarrassing and people have their pride and are afraid to ask for help. This is not stalking from an intimate partner although those cases are serious as well, but I am talking about serious abuse whether that is emotional, mental or physical. Abuse is abuse.
The tough part is you may know someone who is in an abusive relationship and you may feel helpless because you don’t know how to help or they may not want to leave. No matter how much you try to help, until they are ready to leave, you can’t do but so much. Hard to understand for you I bet. You’ve may have even called the police and they either went right back to their partner or their partner got away with the abuse and beat them again because the cops were called. Sound familiar? Is any of this hitting home for you? Some women feel as though no one will want them or maybe they are not sure how to start over. Some women stay because they heavily depend on their partner financially.
To the victim, I get it. And I know, I know, you love him. You have history or he’s the father to your children, but what about you? Believe me, I’ve been there, I stayed for a lot of the same reasons. I was scared to admit I was afraid of him. Nobody knew, I hid my issues well, behind my smile.
Truth is, you CANNOT save him no matter how much you love him. You will NOT be the one to change him. Accept this. Abusers are huge manipulators. No matter what your abuser went through as a child or maybe they’re dealing with P.T.S.D, there is no excuse. You deserve better than this. You do not have to go through hell and hot water just to feel like you were made for each other because you’ve been through so much. You may not have any family to turn to because your abuser is controlling and may have had you shut them out and pretty much any kind of life you had before him.
You’re still alive, it’s not too late. Websites like womenslaw.org offer helpful tips for when you’re ready to leave and if you have children with you and what to do after you have left.
Here are some tips for when you’re ready to leave:
*Keep police, hospital records & pictures of abuse detailing dates of abuse and what happened if you have them
*Keep extra copies of important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, license, school records and immunizations in a safe place
*Leave when the abuser lease expects you too
*Don’t go somewhere your abuser will go to look for you
*Have medications and doctors number in a safe place
*Save cash, credit cards can be traced
***If you are in danger the list above is good to have, but your life is more important. Leave and get to a safe place.
Educate yourself. Here are some early warning signs of a potentially abusive relationship:
*He will want to commit early (moves fast)
*Have a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde complex
*He will play the victim when he’s done wrong
*Domination and Controlling
*Isolate you from friends & family (want you to himself)
*Threaten to commit suicide if you leave (appear needy)
We all try and tough it out as we say when we're struggling or going through a hard time, but let us not hide behind our smile from the very real abuse they we have labeled as taboo. Don't be a statistic. You were born to be loved and revered as the king and/or queen that you are! Leave that situation behind, go through your healing process and begin to live again!
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please seek help!
There are trained advocates available to talk 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Also live chats are also available at www.thehotline.org between 7am-2am CST