From a young age we get taught that pain can equal love. Take my cat for instance, when he paws at me with his claws, that means that he loves me. Or if a boy pulls at your pig tails that means he likes you. It’s odd that from such a young age pain is taught to equal love.
This is something that was subconsciously etched into my brain from being so little. Ten years ago I tried to break up with my ex boyfriend, he got so upset I ended up being yanked out from underneath the bed – like a child who was late for their bath time. Before I knew it I was in a choke hold, and the finger mark bruises I traced on my throat in the mirror equated to the most peaceful feeling of slipping away.
For some reason I went back to him (until I realised he probably would kill me in the end).
Any relationship that I have formed since then I have been very careful with.
Why didn’t I just leave? Well, domestic violence always happens in; intimate and interdependent relationships. Its incredibly dangerous to leave an abusive relationship. Over 70% of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship (because what do they have left to loose?)
How didn’t I see it coming? At the beginning part of a relationship it’s the charm, the flowers etc. Then it’s the isolation.
What do people think? My personal experience was that people thought I was lying. Some people get branded as “Damaged goods”
So what can we do to change this? Well Esta Soler has already helped by outlawing domestic violence in 1984, which one politician called “Take the fun out of Marriage Act”.
To this person I have this for you:
Abuse thrives in silence. So now like Leslie Steiner I am breaking the silence. I used to tell just close friends, now I’m telling total strangers.