sisters in domestic violence

photo compliments of the herald post

so this week’s post was writtenin response to @originalnajeema‘s post on her experience with domestic violence.

i know your trouble all too intimately. “stalker ex” as i call him never hit me, but talk about being possessive and emotionally damaging.  he would praise me in one breath and creatively tear me down in the next (in the name of “constructive criticism”).  he was a power-hungry man and knew how to manipulate any and everyone to get it.  at 6’3, 300 lbs, it didn’t take much to intimidate most folks, including me.

he always made it seem like i was free to leave, but whenever i talked about why we weren’t working out, he found a way to guilt me into staying.  i knew in my gut he was in another relationship (if not multiple others), but if i asked about it, he played the hurt feelings card & accused me of not loving him.  in the end, breaking up got downright scary.  i never knew a person could threaten someone without actually saying threatening words.   2.5 years later & i’m still looking over my shoulder.  i got my locks changed, but i still sleep with pepper spray & a machete by my bed.  literally.  (but it is, in fact, an awesome machete. and the bonus is that i’m also ready for the zombie apocalypse.  just sayin’…)

i also didn’t file any complaints with the police, but i certainly looked into it.  i even had a cop come to my home & look up my ex’s name in the MD & DC systems.  (he’d told me that i couldn’t reach him the weekend after christmas b/c he was in jail after tossing a dude over a balcony to protect a “friend”.  bullshit.)  in the state of maryland, a person has to go to the police in person, file the complaint (including all evidence), wait for a hearing date, wait for the offender to be served with a summons, go to court WITH the offender, try the case before a judge, and hope the restraining order is granted.  after seeing him work his way out of the stickiest situations fornearly two years, there was no way i was going to risk pissing him off that much.  especially with all the stories in the news about how so many women are murdered by their abusive lovers, even with a restraining order in place.

i, too, thought i was too smart to fall prey to domestic violence.  and for the longest time, i refused to acknowledge it as such, even though i’d been trained to help other women recognize DV & protect themselves.  TRAINED.  (shoutout to WAVE in philly!)  it just goes to show that being sucked into DV has nothing to do with how smart a person is and everything to do with whether or not that person is whole.  i was not whole.  stalker ex was able to see that right away.  i often wonder what kind of work could be done if he’d just use his ability to read people for good.

there are a lot of women like me & najeema who are still stuck in abusive relationships.  and i know in my gut that there are plenty of men out there, too.    najeema posted some great info on statistics & ways to get help (see below).  please, if you’re in an abusive relationship, find someone to help you make a plan to get out & see that plan through.  you deserve better.




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