“The grave yard is full of women who were told, ” just hold on he might change” “give him another chance”
The story below has been shared with the consent of those involved.
A few days ago, while in town running some few errands for my mum I ran into an old friend, a childhood friend.She is one hell of a talker so she went right into it,the village gossip and as she was talking,I noticed some bruises on her lower chin and neck. It was like she had been scratched by something,most probably nails,human nails just in case you are wondering. They were very conspicuous and her being a light skin didn’t help the situation. It really bothered me and for a minute there,I wanted to let it slide and just mind my own business, but no, I had to ask her and I did.
I asked her what had happened,and she answered me in Swahili, ” si ni chali yangu ndio alinipiga.” meaning,”its my boyfriend who did this to me.” I was surprised,and you know,she said it so casually,like it was a normal/usual thing and this shocked me even more. I asked her why she can’t walk out of the relationship and she told me something that has kept me thinking for quite some time.
“DONT TELL ME HOW EASY IT IS TO WALK OUT OF AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP IF YOUVE NEVER BEEN IN ONE..…” These were her exact words.
Now, can someone in an abusive relationship just wake up one day and decide to leave? I don’t think it’s easy at all. When you are outside looking in, it seems so easy and that’s why every time we see a friend,a neighbour or even a colleague in an abusive relationship, the first thing we ask is ,”CANT SHE JUST LEAVE? CANT SHE JUST WALK AWAY AND LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND” Well, its not as easy as that,not even close. Ever thought that maybe they want to leave but they just cant?
Before we go any further let me clarify something. When i say abusive relationship, I’m not only referring to the physical abuse but also to verbal and emotional abuse because they are just as damaging. I mean,just because a person doesn’t put hands on you, that doesn’t mean they aren’t abusive. Abuse is control, blatant disrespect and also hurtful words. Don’t settle for emotional abuse thinking it’s ok because it’s not physical.
I think my friends words about leaving abusive relationships have made me look at this issue in a very different perspective and I think I kind of have an idea as to why people stay longer than they should in such relationships, and why it’s so hard to just wake up and leave. First,it’s really heartbreaking when someone you love and who claims to love you in equal measure disrespects you to the extent of laying a hand on you, insulting you and,or blackmailing you emotionally. This is the worst kind of betrayal. It hurts to watch something you love transform into something you should hate. Most victims just sit there in denial and wait for it to return to its original state as they ignore the fact that maybe their abuser will never change.
By the time the victim realizes that their abuser will never change, its always too late and at this point,the damage is already done. Ones self esteem,self confidence and self love is totally shuttered such that leaving becomes almost impossible and one finds himself/herself trapped in a web of abuse. The victim feels worthless, and afraid that if they leave the “relationship”, no one else would want or love them. It then becomes easier for the abuser to control and manipulate them because he/she knows they wont leave.We have all seen or heard what abusive relationships can do to someone. To be honest, I used to think that people in abusive relationships stayed because they wanted to but now I know it’s not their fault that they are trapped.
I just want to reach out to anyone out there who is stuck in an abusive relationship and trying to figure out how to break free. I know it is soo hard,,,I cant even begin to imagine or pretend to know how hard it is, BUT it is not impossible. Sometimes we refuse to see how bad something is until it completely destroys us. Please stop telling yourself that you can fix him. You can never save someone by letting them destroy you. Save yourself instead and get out while there is still time. It’s better to break your own heart by leaving an abusive relationship rather than having that person break your heart everyday.
Darling,you are allowed to terminate toxic/abusive relationships. You are allowed to walk away and take care of yourself. Welcome to the rest of your life and hopefully your next one will treat you a million times better. Sending so much love your way right now.
Ever been in an abusive relationship? Lets share in the comments.