Saturday, August 13, 2011

Burnin' Love

When I encounter victims of repeated domestic violence -- physical, emotional, verbal abuse -- be they men or women, I always ask why they keep going back to the people who bring them harm.
The answer is either "because I love him/her" or, "because if I leave, he/she will kill me."

The first answer drives me batty, really. I've stopped arguing that point and usually just shake my head.
Really, I'm better off beating my head against the wall... than arguing the point that love is not meant to hurt.

My reaction to the second answer is more verbal and complex.
Because some people are really trapped in relationships so abusive, the decision and action of leaving actually generates greater violence. And death. Not just to spouses, but to children.
Domestic violence calls are among the most dangerous police officers face. Escaping those relationships in one piece, or alive, require some real tactical moves.

Yet some people are so afraid of being alone, they would rather get verbally or physically beaten up... than be alone and endure the pain of what they perceive as rejection/failure/whatever.
And some people simply think they can't make it on their own.

Solitude to me, is a blessing.
As is the company of a good person -- I'm all for a friend, partner, associate who treats me well.
However, cross a certain line in the sand and then you are dust in my wind.

The things is, there are people I care about now who are in relationships that are not good.
Or healthy.
The most dangerous ones are fueled by alcohol, drugs, or someone who has a few emotional screws loose.
Get a  drunk couple talking about money issues... and issues with the kids... add alcohol or drugs...
and you've got combustion.

Certainly there are degrees of abuse, just like there are degrees of burns.
Some people resort to name calling, others prefer to control you.
Some find sarcasm at your expense amusing when it is really mean.
Some call you names behind your back.
Some choose to isolate you from family, friends, your prior hobbies/communities and others.
Some tell you what to do and how to act, dress, where to be and when.
Some plan to drain your bank account dry; or marry you, divorce you and take your house.
Some raise their voice, some shut down, others control you or  play-act charm you...
until they have everything you own and then... kick you to the curb.
Remember the economy is tanking.
Predators a are everywhere.

All abusers, in my opinion, are control freaks. Bitter, angry people.
Many victims don't see the abusers coming... because abusers can be  attractive, seductive charmers in the beginning.
That's how they pull you in.
The faster they trap you in their web -- entangle you financially and emotionally -- the faster they can suck your resources dry and cast your dumbfounded remains to the winds.

A fire is a fire.Abuse is abuse.
Whether someone puts you down... embarrasses you... degrades you... or  slams your head against the wall, it IS  abuse.
It is NOT okay.
And it must STOP.
Do not keep the abuse to yourself.
You have the choice of fight or flight.
I do not believe you can win a fight with an abuser.
Once police intervention fails, I like flight for my clients --  it does feel good to help people walk, escape, disappear, from their abusers.
Sometimes, runaway brides are wise.

It is far better to live alone happily...
than live with someone miserably.

So before you tie the knot with anyone, make sure that knot is not a noose.
Do not rush into a permanent commitment -- marriage -- without studying your partner.
Many abusers hide civil and criminal records and you don't find them until after you're locked in with a marriage certificate.
When a client asks me to run a background, I go through prior divorce documents looking for incidents of asset theft, fraud and domestic violence.
Often I find alarming indicators.
Yet when I share those with my client, they proceed anyway.
Despite every argument I can think of.
Despite all the evidence I can produce of past, multiple, miserable marriages.
Despite alienation of family and friends in the name of  "love".
That's why I am posting the following song.
Chances are, you've heard it many times.
Now study the words.
Rihanna was a victim of domestic violence, the song she sings stems of her own experience with it.
Profits, from the song go to domestic violence victims.

2 comments:

  1. The faster they trap you in their web -- entangle you financially and emotionally -- the faster they can suck your resources dry and cast your dumbfounded remains to the winds.
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  2. scott, accurately and well said. hopefully not because you've been there and gone through it.

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