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Brook, IN, United States
Abuse doesn't stop at the court room. Melinda has shared her battles in her life and through the court room as she navigates through the legal system Bringing encouragement, insight and empowerment to those that are in a abusive relationship. She is in the process of creating a new life, speaking engagements to "Break the Silence" of abuse, while putting a face to abuse. She is currently working on writing a book about her experiences as a Survivor.View short Bio here- https://www.patheos.com/blogs/ahappymedium/2013/02/notbrokenbutbrave/

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Why did I stay?

Why did I stay???
That question haunts me along with others. Why stay? Why did I keep putting my children through everything? Why did I allow them to witness and see the pain I was going through? Why did I put up with it for so long?

You hang onto hope, you hang onto words of comfort when your partner says he will change. You cling to the words that things will get better. You pray that God will answer your prayers and everything will be ok.

You think you can change a person, you think getting married will solve it all, you think bringing children into the world will help. You believe that bringing children into the marriage will change that persons heart and attitude.
You believe the words I'll change, or I promise I'll never hurt you gain, I promise never to do this or that again. Or she didn't mean anything to me, it's you that I love. Or if I do this or that for him he'll love me better.

I stayed because I believed that I was better off with him. I stayed because I believed the words he said. I stayed because I believed no one else would want me. I stayed because I didn't have a job and who would want to take in a woman with 3 kids? I stayed because I didn't believe in myself. I stayed because I didn't believe I had it in me to believe in me. I stayed because I kept saying I'll think about leaving tomorrow and it's a bad time now. I stayed for so long because I believed in him.

I left because I love my children and I feared for their safety. I left because I wanted more for me and the kids. I left because I could see myself becoming more and more withdrawn. I left because I saw him without blinders after '07. I left because I wasn't going to take his crap anymore. I left because we were deserving of starting again! I left because we are worthy of loving ourselves and that we are not garbage just to be used when needed. I left because I needed to break free. I left because I could. I left because I didn't love him. I left because I refused to be treated the way he was treating me and the kids.

I'm not alone a majority of women (men too!) stay because they feel so down and unworthy. They believe they can't make it on their own. That no one will support them. If they do leave they go back, this I know I went back several times and though I tried to leave last year monthly I still stayed for fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being able to cut it on my own and the fears that were in my head. Most women stay because of no money, job, health insurance, home, pressure from friends, family, guilt, insecure, loyalty, shame, denial, he will may change how he is, or he says he'll change or even church pressure. Or fear of being caught leaving or found out and getting hurt worse for doing so! Many women will leave their abuser at least 4 times, some as high as 10+! I know personally in the shelter a few ladies went back 15 to 20 times! You think to yourself, "Gosh their nuts!", I'll never be like them... At least that's what I told myself. I tried to leave many times myself and I can honestly say I can check off many of the things I have listed.

I could beat myself up with why I stayed but I'm happy I left! I'm happy I can control and learn to control my destiny. I am the keeper of my faith and my life. I am not a puppet. I am learning, this process will take sometime for all of us to get through but I'm happy I have good family and friends to help us through this and I can learn from the past and put this experience under my belt as a lesson learned...

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