When to leave an abusive relationship


Ali de Bold
on May 31, 2010 @ 01:50 pm

I wrote this in response to pastrychefchick's discussion thread and so many others who have discussed similar experiences...



Abusive relationships are more common than you might think. According
to The White Ribbon Campaign, 51% of Canadian women over the age of 16
have experienced at least one form of gender-based violence. Are you
surprised that it's more than half of us?

There's evidence of that in a number of forum threads on ChickAdvisor where members have repeatedly asked each other if they should stay with their abusive boyfriend or spouse.

If you've never been with an abuser you're probably horrified that someone would put up with it in the first place, but unfortunately abuse is traumatizing and when it's happening, we often are so in shock we react differently than we imagine we would in that situation.

I know first hand because it happened to me. I don't like to talk about it often, because it still embarrasses me though I know it shouldn't. Before it happened, I imagined that women in those situations were weak and didn't have the common sense to leave when someone treated them badly. This is not the case. You'd be surprised how an abuser can mess with your head and your self-esteem.

This issue was raised again today when a member shared her story about the awful things her boyfriend did to her this weekend. That's the reason I'm writing this post. The title of her forum thread is very telling about her state of mind;

"I love him so much but what he did to me was so wrong"


Isn't it interesting how we can convince ourselves to keep loving someone who treats us like garbage? This poor girl (and many others) are giving their love to abusers whose tempers can literally kill. The Canadian Women's Foundation reports that one to two women are murdered by a current or former partner each week in Canada.

I urge you to stand strong on the topic of abuse. If you or someone you know is in a situation like this one, please get out/help them get out. Call the police. Do whatever you can to distance yourself from that person. Love shouldn't hurt.

There is nothing you can do to 'fix' the person who is abusing you. If in time they get the help they need and become a better person, God bless them. But don't let yourself be the punching bag and the one that ultimately pays the price.
 


9 Replies


pastrychefchick
You're an angel Ali- the bold on May 31, 2010 @ 06:32 pm

It means the world to me that you wrote this, and I would bet my life every woman who reads this will agree and feel the same way. It is so easy to judge and to say well it's that person's fault for staying, but its exactly what you said, no one will ever understand until they are in that situation. I speak from experience, I am a college graduate, I am on my way to owning my own company, I have a good head on my shoulders and yet I still was able to be made to feel worthless and to ultimately be abused. All of my self worth and self esteem completely disappeared and I was left not knowing who I was anymore, and actually feeling sorry for him, and thinking maybe there was something I did wrong? Abuse completely strips you of your courage, your strength and your identity. He mentally abused me until I allowed myself to believe it might be my fault and that he was a good person and I needed to help him. When you are in an abusive relationship, you are not the person you were before the abuse started, you are what he or she has stripped you down to, I became a shell of a woman. I have completely left the abusive situation I was in, and will never return. I mean this happened on friday night and saturday morning and because I left and have given myself a couple of days to heal I can already feel myself returning to who I was. It happened that fast for me. I am now thinking the way I thought before I met him, clearly and rationally, and I feel my self esteem and self worth coming back. He robbed me of so much, and I thank god and my friends and everyone on this forum for giving the strength to use what little courage I had left to leave. It is really amazing what I see and understand now that I am out of the abusive situation. Ali the bold is completely correct when she said the abuse messes with your head, I found myself allowing him to abuse me when that was a subject I thought I stood firmly against before this happened to me, I mean can you believe I was actually going to give him another chance? That's not me, never was until it happened to me. He mind fu*? me for so long, it completely tore me down and changed me. I cannot believe this happened to me, but it did and I was lucky enough to get out of it in time, not every woman is so lucky. Please don't be embarrassed, I was and that's probably one of the reasons it took me so long to leave, get help tell someone, anyone, you may not know it now or feel it now, but you DO NOT deserve to be abused, no one does. Thank you so much Ali the bold for your kind words and for taking the time to shed light on this topic. When I read this I cried, and am so grateful you wrote this. Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart Ali
Reply

Ali de Bold
Thank you on May 31, 2010 @ 10:57 pm

You are very sweet pastrychefchick. I wish you all of the strength and courage to get through this. You can do this! I guarantee in years to come you will look back on this and be so thankful that you stood up for yourself!

Know that we all have your back. XOXO
Reply

pastrychefchick
Just thought I'd share the email he sent me yesterday, I can see now how he always turned it on me on Jun 01, 2010 @ 05:15 pm

baby please just give me one last chance? I know i've made some bad
choices and i acted like a jackass. I know things have to change for us
to work and i also know they will change. I'm so very sorry for all
the stupid things i have done and i know i have said it before but baby
i'm so serious when i say this nothing bad will ever happen i swear to
god. I don't wanna lose you baby we just got back together and things
were going great. I was honestly getting past all the stuff that was
causing me alot of pain. I realized this last week that i needed to
move past what happened you apoligized for it and you did make efforts
to make it better. You proposed to me and i said yes baby and we both
promised each other we would never leave one another. I know i was wrong
about how i acted the other night and morning. I love you baby please
just let me show you. I just need this one and final chance to prove to
you everything will be good and nothing bad will ever happen again. I swear to god baby I don't want us to be like we were anymore i know we can fix this. please baby just come back and let me show you what i mean.

**** Clearly I can see NOW that i gave him way too many final chances***

I can also see NOW that his actions and words were signs of abuse, ill
never do it again, i promise ill make it better, i want it to change
Reply

Meguinn
Wow on Jun 02, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

Awe Ali that was so sweet of you to write this, I'm sure this whole situation has helped lots of woman that have read about it.

Pastrychef, I'm so glad you realize what to do in that horrible relationship now, and I hope everyone's comments, suggestions, and Ali's article has helped you get through this, as well as your story has helped others.

We all know you'll continue to make the right decisions and get through this, getting back to the "real you", and just remember that there's lots of people in your life that you can turn to (including us Chicks) whenever you need support! :)

Best Wishes,

~Meg

Reply

pastrychefchick
Thanks a bunch Meguinn on Jun 02, 2010 @ 02:30 pm

To be completely honest, the only thing that helped me get through this, and also stay away from him was Ali and all the other awesome ladies who took time out of their day to help encourage me. I didn't tell anyone I knew right away because I was embarrassed, and ashamed so I had to fight this alone and when I found this site I didn't expect all of the support and kind words, but when they came it really helped me through it all. I seriously mean it when I say all of you are angels, I had no one to turn to and was actually so low that I was thinking about going back to him. It was ultimately Ali's post that gave me the strength to do the right thing. Everyday is still hard, but when I read your post today Meguinn it helped cheer me up so much, thank you for taking the time to help cheer up a stranger:) You're so awesome :)
Reply

Meguinn
Awe on Jun 03, 2010 @ 11:01 am

Yeah, Ali's great :) And this is a really great website, I didn't know what to expect at the beginning but almost everything I've seen here has a positive vibe, and it's really nice, because there are not a lot of websites with forums where people are not arguing constantly!
I only didn't answer your other forum post because I didn't really feel like it was my business and didn't want to get involved, but now I see that sometimes support from the outside world can really help someone.
I'm glad I helped cheer you up, thanks so much! You're awesome too :)

~Meg xo.
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Ali de Bold
Awwww! on Jun 04, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

I'm blushing ;) It's really you guys though. The women that use this site are amazing and I'm thankful every day that we have such a great community.
Reply

Anonymous
a much needed thread ... thanks Ali! on Jun 05, 2010 @ 01:25 am

Before I got into the abusive relationship I was the same way; I thought that women who were in abusive situations were simply allowing themselves to be abused. They weren't strong enough to stand up for themselves. As if when someone abuses you its your fault because you're allowing them and training them to treat you that way. And lots of other ignorant cliches.

But nothing is further from the truth. First of all, it's hard to realize you're in an abusive relationship. All the while he will have you convinced it's your fault. Everything he does is because he loves you, or you brought it on yourself, or you need to be taught a lesson, or you did something wrong and you deserve it. If he beats you it's because he loves you too much and is too passionate about you so he couldn't help it. He use weapons on you (knives, sissors, the remote, etc) it's because YOU made him SO ANGRY that HE COULDN'T HELP IT. He couldn't control his behaviour because YOU made him so ANGRY... It's YOUR fault that he beat you. He will make you BELIEVE that no one else but him would be with you, because you're not worth being with. It's only because its HIM, and he's so TOLERANT and he LOVES you so much that he's with YOU. No one else would be with you because of the way you are / the way you look / etc. But only because he's him and he loves you is he with you. You don't think or realize that "he's yelling/beating me for such a small thing", rather you think "I can't even do a small thing right and i'm making him yell / beat me". It sounds surreal now but that's exactly how it works when you're in it. You are completely conviced that he loves you even though you don't deserve it and no one can love you as much as he loves you. And you are convinced that everything he does is because you make him do it.

By the time you do realize what's happening, you can't leave because your too afraid of what might happen should you leave. You've already seen his anger enough times to know to fear it. So you're afraid of what might happen to you and your loved ones. The person petrifies you to the point where you believe anything is possible through him. He can do anything. You think along those lines and just get too terrified to leave.

If you finally muster the courage to leave he will magically turn back to the guy you fell in love with. He will all of a sudden understand you, he will be extremely repentant, cry in front of you, beg you to come back, give it another chance, you guys is bigger than a small fight, he's a changed man, etc. He'll make it sound like he wants you to be with him just so you see what a different person he is, he wants to give the best of himself to you, he wants you to see him at his best since you saw him at his worst. If the changed man begging pleading drama doesn't work, then he'll threaten to kill himself and be sure to tell you that it is all your fault if he dies. If threatening to kill himself doesn't work then he will completely turn around and threaten to hurt you. If you don't go back to him he will hurt you either physically or socially. He of course knows you enough to know where you are most vulnereable, he will threaten to attack you there.

It's been a few years since I got out but I have to admit I'm still afraid of him. It took me a LONG TIME to get over it, and even now I know i'm not completely over it because if I was I wouldn't still be paranoid and wouldn't still be afraid of him to an extent. I'm scared of him enough to have my post about him deleted on CA just in case he somehow comes across this site and somehow reads the post and recognizes that it's me and that makes him angry enough to hurt me psychologically, physically or socially.

I see some of my friends suffer through abusive relationships, and it surprises me how same these abusive men are!!! not very creative at all! when my friends come crying to me, i'm actually very good at predicting their boyfriend's next behaviour. Abusive men are very typical, and yet we women still fall prey.

This really is a serious thing, which is why we need to talk about it and analyze it and figure out how we can save ourselves and others from it.
Reply

Cynthia_Lee
Abuse is a abuse is a abuse. on Jun 10, 2010 @ 01:33 pm

I am happy that you wrote this. I am not ashamed anymore to say that I was in an abusive 5 year relationship with the guy. My mindframe is different now, but back then I was in love and my love ruled my decision making and my actions. At times listening to your heart can you lead to trecherous roads, the heart can fool and decieve you. Abuse is on the rise now but it is spoken about in the open. Back in the days at least for me coming from a latina background, a woman had no voice in a relationship or marriage. And it was a womans duty and obligation to stick by her man no matter what. And if a woman did speak up about the abuse, usually the response was "What did you do to make him so angry? You need to go fix it mija that is your husband, that is your job." Sad. I come from a family who has a generation curse of women dealing with abuse. From my great grandmother, to my grandmother, to both of my fathers sisters and all of this coming from my fathers side. But luckily my father never inherited abusive traits from the men in the family. If anything my father has been the total opposite. But that monster "abuse" now had its eye on me targeting me at a young age. And for a while in my mind I assumed that was the definition of love. I kept telling myself either it was my fault I made him so upset or that he is doing that only because he cared. But around the 5th year into our relationship something in my snapped.It took me about 2 or 3 times to face almost near death to tell myself, NO! This has to stop, and as hard and scary as it was for me. I ran literally from his house, oh yes he went after me but I ran so fast dodging corners , it was like a scene from a movie. Hiding behind the cars waiting for him to pass, just so I can make it to the train station. As soon as the train arrived , making a mad dash inside and hearing the door close. I knew I was safe. I never looked back after that day. It took me a good 2 years to heal somewhat and find myself again, to love myself and eventually found God. Now 4 years alter after the abusive relationship, I am as happy as can be.

When is it you leave an abusive relationship? As soon as it begins. And do not think it is just physical, oh its emotional and mental abuse. As soon as it begins in any of those forms, you leave. Because the first time he or even she does it, thats the only sign you need to determine your decision. Do not stay and develop the saviors mentatlity. You want to save him, you want to change him, you feel you love him enough to change that monster inside of him, to tame the beast. No. You leave and you do not look bad. Women are all queens, women are all valued and important. You love yourself first above anything else in this world.

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