Recognizing The Signs And Knowing When To Leave
Ideally, abusive people would come with “ABUSER” branded into their foreheads. That way, whenever one came a knockin’, you could run, arms flailing, in the opposite direction. However, that’s never the case. Most abusers play their game well. They’re sweet and kind, in the beginning, writing you little love notes, pulling you close to them as you walk through the mall, calling you by your pet name, and surprising you with gifts that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. BEWARE! They’re reeling you in; and, if you don’t want to sleep with the fishies, you had better get out while the gettin’s good.
The best time to get out is when you get that little nagging feeling deep down in the pit of your stomach. The one that makes you feel a little queasy. You know the one. It sends messages to your brain saying, “Something’s not right.” No matter how hard you try to drown it out with your pleas that this is the one for you, it keeps creeping back. In most cases, this happens right around the three month mark, just after the honeymoon phase, and not long before the abuse starts to show it’s ugly face.
The newness of your relationship wears down; and suddenly, you miss your old life — the one you had before you started dating this putz. As a result, you try to mesh the old with the new — pop the bubble; so to speak, and, bring in some sunshine. But, the transition lacks commitment. Every time you’re away from your mate you feel some separation anxiety. In the meantime, the abuser tests the waters and stakes a claim. Alarm bells ring out in your head when he or she either pleads with you, “Oh baby, don’t do that; come do this with me instead,” or argues, “I don’t want you going by your sister’s. She don’t like me.” After three months of spending just about every waking moment with someone either talking, texting, hanging out with, or making love to, it’s difficult to let loose. However, you’re a reasonable person. You know that you can’t go on like this forever. More importantly, you don’t want to. Therefore, you stand your ground — seconds before you land on it — or, bow down to it. WHACK — right across the eye or between the knees.
If that wasn’t enough to send you running for the hills, seek professional council. You need it. You, absolutely, positively, without a doubt, need it. When it’s safe to do so, get in the car, call a friend, search the internet; do whatever it takes to get yourself some help. Forget about the time you have invested in this relationship. Forget about the good times that you’ll miss. Forget about what his or her reaction will be. None of that matters anymore. It’s over. You have reached the point of no return.
Remember that you deserve to be treated with respect all the time, not just every now and then. Remember that you can and will meet somebody someday who would never EVER even dream of laying a hand or foot on you. Remember that people are here for you; all you have to do is let them know you need their help. Think about how desperate you would feel if what happened to you happened to your best friend, or your sister, or brother. Feel that desperation for yourself. And, LEAVE. This is not the time for you to stop loving you. Challenge yourself to prove it. Make it a double dare if you have to. Prove to yourself that you love you by not allowing somebody who could do something so horrific to be a part of your world.
When You’re Already Way Past The Point Of No Return
You wish you could go back and erase it all. The bad times, by far, outweigh the good. The beatings. The mean words. The isolation. You’re tired. Really, really tired. You can’t remember who you were; or how you got here. Your reflection frightens you. “That’s not me.” You say to yourself. “Those aren’t my eyes.” But, there’s no denying it. You’re in there, somewhere. Somewhere, the person you used to be screams, “Come back; come back.” The faint echo whispers in your ears, “Come back; come back.” Can you hear it? Shake your head. Pull your hair back. Listen. Listen real hard. Can you hear it, now? You’re strong. You’re powerful. A dim spark returns to your eyes. It’s dim; but, it’s a spark. At this moment, you are no longer a victim. You are a survivor. So survive. Pick yourself up; dust yourself off; and, get the hell outta there. You’re worth it.
The Face In The Mirror by Honey Halley
I went to the mirror
This morning to see,
Just who was this person
I referred to as me.
The face in the mirror
Didn’t match the person inside.
Where did I go to? Why did I hide?
I know in the beginning
I wanted to stay.
But, you pushed me and pulled me
And turned me away.
The spark in my eyes
At some point dimmed out.
And, in place of my smile
Was an overdrawn pout.
I went to the mirror
This afternoon to recite
Just how I would tell you
This would be our last fight.
Something magical happened
As I stood face to face …
The spark and the smile
Were back in their place.
I went to the mirror
This evening to find
The person I’ll never
Again leave behind.
How To Avoid Making The Same Mistake Twice
You’ve healed from your wounds, regained your self-respect, reaffirmed your love for yourself, know what qualities you expect in a mate; and now, you’re ready to start dating again. But, how do you know that you won’t end up with another abuser? Wait for it! Wait for it! Waaaait! Hey; that’s it. You wait for it. Wait before you spend a few days a week together. Wait before you let your guard down. Wait before you bring sex into the equation. And, while you’re waiting, pay close attention to your potential mates character and build a friendship. Does he or she do kind deeds for strangers, as well as, for friends and family? Do they appear to genuinely enjoy helping others or do they seem to do things for the sake of appearance? Once a week, go on a date. Avoid alcohol; or at least, limit it to an amount that you know will not screw with your inhibitions. One week, go out with his or her friends; and, take a mental note of how he or she treats their own friends; as well as, how they are treated by their friends. On the next date, do the same with your friends. Does he or she speak to them respectfully, all joking aside? Although they may be nervous, do they seem genuine? How’s your stomach feeling? Are any alarm bells going off? If not, continue dating no more than twice a week until you feel comfortable meeting each other’s families. Again, be aware of signs that spell trouble; and, be aware of your own senses; and, be honest with yourself when deciding if he or she has what it takes and what you deserve. If after six months, you haven’t recognized any signs of obsession or possession; (i.e. you still do all the things you used to do with all the people you used to do it with before you started dating with no complaints from your mate); and if, you feel loved, respected, and cherished for who you are as an individual by your friend and mate, feel free to take it to the next level. Happy sailing!
Vigilantly protecting yourself by getting to know a potential mate as if they wanted to date someone other than yourself that you love does not guarantee that that person won’t become abusive in the future but the chances of that happening are dramatically reduced.