I know I’ve addressed this topic a lot lately, but I had another thought in its regard drop into my head yesterday. You know that nasty question, that people tend to ask about those stuck in DV relationships? Yes that one…”Why don’t they just leave?”
I thought about it in connection to adult children, breaking off ties with abusive parents, and realized that it took me years to leave, and break off all ties. Every moment of every day since I’ve made this choice carries with it pain.
There is connection to family that will always be there, despite what they’ve done. Yes I have a great Hubby, friends that care for and love me for who I am, but that doesn’t fill the gaping whole that having loving, caring parents would. Who doesn’t want that?
For years, I lived through the cycle of having the parents draw me back into their web of abuse. They did this by pretending to care, or offering to buy me things, treating me the way I had always longed to be treated. They made me feel like they wanted me in their lives. They led me to believe that they had changed. I wanted to believe it so desperately.
The lie was that they really didn’t want me in their lives because they loved me, they wanted me to make themselves look good. How could they pose as a happy healthy family in the eyes of their friends or church, when their daughter refused to have anything to do with them? They couldnt’ continue their deception, without their scapegoat.
Once they drew me back in with their “niceties,” it wasn’t long before they completely trampled me to the ground. They left me broken, confused, hurt and devastated. They had abused me again. Once they had me in that state, they would look down on me for not being well. If I wasn’t well, their deception was again threatened.
About 3 1/2 years ago, I decided enough was enough. I recognized their pattern earlier, but I guess I wasn’t yet ready to end it. I kept trying, in part for Hubby who at that time, didn’t quite understand how bad it was yet. He eventually realized that I needed to put a stop to it. Thankfully Hubby sees the abuse, where most haven’t. (Or where most have ignored it.)
When I cut all ties, there was relief, mixed with grief, unbearable pain and a ginormous amount of guilt. I had to eventually come to a place where I recognized that it wasn’t my fault. The family of course, wants me to believe otherwise. I no longer fall for their lies.
I can imagine that those involved in DV relationships, go through the same battle. They love the person, they thought the person loved them, they hope it will change. When they’re beaten, the abuser often sweet talks, saying the things they long to hear, promising that it will never happen again, possibly even buying them gifts.
Their victim is so broken, confused, isolated and brainwashed, they don’t know what to think or do. Escaping DV, is probably one of the hardest things a person should never have to do. Our very lives are often in danger.
I know I’ve said it before, but it’s worth hearing again. Please don’t judge those, who haven’t escaped. You are not in their shoes, they are ashamed enough. Please know, that if it were as simple as you think, they would have “just left.” It’s a very complicated and a dangerous situation. It takes all the strength and courage one can muster and there’s not a lot of that left after being beaten down both physically and mentally/emotionally.
Having said that, there are ways out but they need a lot of planning.
There is hope.