While I’m busy in my kitchen doing the dishes my mind is going into overdrive mode as I’m thinking of all the woman out there who is sitting with long-suffering abuse from people in their lives whom they love. Right before our eyes women are being mentally, physically and verbally abused and everyone else is watching. I grab my laptop and here I go again. My fingers start tap-tapping uncontrollably about a subject dear and near to my heart.
How did we let this happen? How did we as women get to this point where we accept this behavior as normal? All I know it’s damn well not right!! The more I think of it the more I feel this passion rise up inside of me to stand up for my sisters out there. I want to intercede…I want to raise my voice, I want to intervene where these things are occurring, whatever it takes to stop the abuse from happening. I’m sorry, but lady if you are being abused and I’m in the vicinity, I’ll be interfering because you don’t deserve that…not on my watch.
Do you know that a lot of times it’s not only the visible abuse that we ladies allow? If we talk about abuse most of us think physical abuse, but in actual fact those times that your man is demeaning you, talk down on you, humiliating you in front of his friends and I can name hundreds more…that my dear sister is ABUSE as well. We have to pay for our partners’ short comings. We are paying because he don’t know how to deal with his own issues. Instead of acknowledging and working on the problem they tend to ignore and retaliate against the woman in their lives. Men have a total different way of dealing with their issues. Unlike women they don’t talk or write about things that bother them, which makes them vulnerable to a lot of psychological complications. If that’s not bad enough, we don’t identify his outbursts as psychological. We don’t see how they are in fact suffering, we don’t know how to deal with it. So now we kinda accept that it’s a phase or normal to react the way they do. We get use to him being erratically and assume that it will blow over. We tell ourselves and our family that that’s the way he is…we make excuses for his manners. Sometimes he will escape interaction with family and friends keeping you from them so that he can act out on you in private. He overpowers you into thinking that you are nothing, you are stupid, and you are incompetent. Most of the time you believe him and let him have his way to prevent further arguments. He never gives you a compliment or ever say you beautiful. You can forget about receiving gifts or any romantic gestures from him. You might as well be a carpet or a pot in the kitchen…that’s how low you feel. Your family notice these intolerable behaviors, but they either turn a blind eye to keep the peace or they shut those struggling with it out. No one does a thing. As the months turns into years you have turned into a vulnerable, low self-esteemed, powerless shell of the woman you once were. You are always questioning your decisions, you never speak out for yourself; you always keep to yourself in other people’s company. You believe that you can’t do anything right. Your confidence is non-existing. He corrects everything you say and do; he even comments and rectify you on things concerning your womanhood. He has consumed each and every part of your being. He won’t allow you to participate in anything out of the house. He won’t let you go out with friends for the fear of your eyes being opened to his torture. He has become your monarch. You are his prisoner. You feel trapped.
I’m kinda sic of not doing anything is an understatement of how I really feel. Just to give you a little insight of an incident that happened 3 years ago. (Oscar Pistorius story – 14 February 2013). This is a true story. This guy had a disability. Even so, he was a gold medal para-Olympian. He was doing excellent in his sports career. Behind closed doors he was a different person though. He struggled with a Inferiority complex. He abused his girlfriend psychologically and later on physically. She was a law student and had a thriving modelling career. He shot and killed her one morning while they were arguing. I believe he didn’t even wanted to do what he did that day. But because he didn’t know any other way to handle what was going on inside of his head, he just snapped. Now, I also believe his family knew he was struggling with an Inferiority complex. They knew that one day he was going to get into trouble because of his temper. This poor girl who had no idea what she let herself into when she started dating him, paid with her life. Or, maybe she saw the red flags going up but brushed it away as it being a phase or love or just a moment of senselessness or jealousy. It will blow over she told herself. I shouldn’t have acted the way I did, or I shouldn’t have worn that dress. It’s my fault that he got angry the way he did. C’mon girl!!! Open your eyes. You are worth so much more than being bullied. You are worth so much more!! …God died on the cross for you my darling. He shed his blood for YOU. You are worthy, you are His princess. You are beautiful and deserve to be treated with respect. You deserve to be listened to and your opinion matters. You are intelligent and precious. Angelina Jolie said it best, “Don’t ever be afraid to show who you really are, because as long as you are happy with yourself no one else’s opinion matters. None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like a hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.”
By now I’m trying to hide the tears that is rolling freely down my cheeks from my 4 year old daughter who is playing around me in the kitchen. My heart is aching for all the women out there struggling with this concept. Not knowing your worth is the biggest injustice you can do to yourself. It’s time to realize that you are nobody’s punching bag. It’s time to take back your power baby girl. What is the legacy that we are leaving behind for our daughters? What do we want them to know about themselves? They are looking to us for guidance. The manner in which we as parents treat each other and behave in front of them is how they perceive things to be. They learn from us. If dad treats mom with disrespect and belittling her in front of his daughter, she assume that it’s how it’s supposed to be. On the other side his son assumes that it’s how you treat the women in your life. We need to stand up for our kids if not for our own accord. It’s time to pick up your crown for the Queen that you are and stand up for love.
Ways to take back your power
I’m no expert on this subject, but I’m going to do my best to put you on the road back to empowerment.
- Acknowledge that your partner has a problem.
- Recognize that what he is doing is not acceptable.
- Learn your worth.
- Seek professional help.
- Know when to seek legal help.
- Don’t quit on your marriage. There is no problem too big for God.
- Always treat your partner with love and respect.
- State your non-negotiable terms, love me or leave me alone.
- Don’t stand for intolerable behaviors. STOP accepting his insults.
- Stand firm in your decision of changing your situation around.
- Start looking out for your own happiness.
I’m going to put down some contact numbers and websites where you can read up on help.
- FAMSA (Family and Marriage Society of SA) – No9 Bowden Rd, Observatory http://www.famsawc.org.za
- http://www.coupleshlep.co.za Louis Venter, +27(0)795119501, firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://www.jennyrose.co.za – Clinical Psychologist; No 3 Postma str, Oakdale, Bellville, Cell: 0725608537
- Robin Scott, Clinical Psychologist – No 10 Caledonian Rd, Mowbray
Two hours later with half finish dishes in the sink, I feel slightly better than before. I’m not going to be quiet again. Not ever am I going to sit by and watch while someone is suffering…not while I can do something about it. Take this challenge with me today my good people. You don’t always have to intrude or impose on people’s lives, but you don’t have to be silent about it either. There are lots of ways to gently show your fellow sister or brother that what they are doing is wrong and their relationship doesn’t have to be suffering like it is. God can help you to gently and softly lend a helping hand or ear to those in need.
Let’s say goodbye to drama, toxic relationships and self-criticism and say hello to more happiness, love in our lives and time with good friends and family. A last word from Caroline Myss. “When we harbour negative emotions toward others or towards ourselves, or when we intentionally create pain for others, we poison our own physical and spiritual systems. By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a person’s emotional resources. The challenge is to refine our capacity to love others as well as ourselves and to develop the power of forgiveness.”
Love you, love me Chanty.