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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Spousal Abuse: Knows No Boundaries

It Stretches...
Beyond Race ...
Beyond Gender...
Although I was slowly working my way toward it, I had no intentions of broaching this topic just yet. I was smack dab in the middle of Death and Love with the intent of making a nice little segue into abuse and list resources and everything.

Unfortunately, that game plan was prempted by a post made to one of my writing groups for which I have permission to share as follows:

The Cry For Help:

I have a "friend" who is in a terribly dsyfunctional situation. She has actually been separated from her husband for over a year. She has no intentions on going back but is financially strapped and unable to afford an attorney. She has long since fell out of love with her husband and has no desire to be with him ever again. But he still loves her and swears that since they have been separated, he has learned his lesson and is a changed man.

Mind you, she has moved in and out several times over the past 3 years but this time actually moved into her own home and is "serious this time". So of course, in my opinion he thinks this is just like any other time and she'll be back if he keeps telling her what she wants to hear. Some background on their situation - They've been together for over 11 years, married for 6. He is : controlling, abusive both physically and verbally, a "street negro", wants his cake, pie, ice cream and is eating it all too!

She is: creative, outgoing, friendly, intelligent, very nice looking. Because of what he is doing in the streets, he is so insecure that he controls every aspect of her life, even though they are not together! This baffles me! She is afraid to talk to anyone else or date for fear that he will find out.

When we are out she is constantly looking over her shoulder to make sure he isn't around so she can barely enjoy herself. I'm the friend that he can't stand and we've had a few run in's before (but he knows I don't play that sh*t and my family will bring the pain to his ass if he ever thought about putting his hands on me - sorry I had to get ghetto ya'll!) But this drives me crazy because she has made all the right strides to be free of him (sans, the divorce filings) but why does he still think he can run things?

She has expressed her feelings to him - that she doesn't want him anymore, that she wants to move on, that she hates him for the abuse. Yet he still feels that as long as she is technically married to him, that she shouldn't be dealing with anyone else and that when he needs her she should be there. And she continues to fall for the okey-doke everytime he calls.

Help me family! I don't know what else to say to her. I know this is so far off from our literary post but I figured someone out there maybe has been in a similar situation or knows someone that has and could offer some suggestions. I've had it up to here with the situation and cannot continue to risk my own safety trying to protect her. She is a very good friend and I don't want anything to happen to her. So help me out, if you can.
Group Responses:


Hi Erica,

Is she a reader? How about a book on the topic? Leaving the Wilderness by Tonya Blount is a good one.

And I know I've got others around my house, let me know if you need me to mail some out to you for her.

What she needs is a constant bombardment of positivity, to reinforce/break down the negative behavior she's learned. But you might have to trick her into it...lol.

Peace,
Dee

Guy said:
It could be dangerous for any amateur psychoanalysts to offer "advice" to your "friend" based on what you have shared here...although some will try. Undoubtedly, she knows what she must do, but will she? I would ask your friend to tell you what she thinks she should do. Don't let her hem & haw, but continue to pressure her to "spill her gut feel." What is important is for you to listen and not offer advice.

~One man's opinion

Dee Said:
I understand what you're saying guy, that she has to make the choice, but we can assist her (in love) to make an informed choice, that's the role we play and we'd fail in that role if we left her to it.

As much as she stays, do you really think she wants to be there? No. But she, like we all do, wants to be loved, but has learned a skewed definition of love.

Have I lived her reality? No. Can I get into her head? Yes. Why? Because as long as we're a part of this world, we have known and will continue to know women (and some men too) who are living dysfunctional lives. All in search of LOVE.

It is a scary thing to attempt the unknown. Her pain...now that...that is something with which she is familiar, she knows exactly what to expect from it, it never disappoints her, it's right on time...she knows its ebbs and flows.

Doesn't it sound a little like the description of God? The scripture says God is Love...and when we seek out love, it's really God we're seeking...she just got a few wrong directions at a few gas stations.

Maybe, it was the gas station called Grandma? Right across the street from the one called "Papa was a Rolling Stone? So maybe she thought she found Him, in her husband...

Lawd...lookee here...you done got me started...lol.

Sorry folks didn't mean to ramble on, but as you can read, I'm quite passionate about this topic...but *stepping down and kicking soapbox under desk* I'll stop now.

Peace,
Dee

5 comments:

Nikky Egland said...

Yes, that is true. I dated a black man throughout my senior year in high school and 4 years afterward, and at first he was such a sweet guy. But then... well you get the point. He was terribly abusive and jealous, psychotically so. He tried to kill me and that is when I realized my life was in danger, and I left.

E. Hill said...

I have a mystery/suspense novel debuting (Die, Sweetheart, Die) in late October which addresses spousal abuse and what often happens after the divorce when one partner won't let go.

I hope everyone will keep in mind that the Violence Against Women Act, NAWA 2000 is coming up for re-ratification in 2006. In this political climate, it will likely have a tough time getting passed. If it's not passed, the National Abuse Hotline, many shelters, etc., will be forced to end their services.

Eric said...

As a 911 calltaker and police dispatcher I have to talk to abused spouses and other domestic partners EVERY DAY.

Minorities have it the worst: not because there are more or less incidents of domestic violence between couples of "color" or between gays and lesbians, but because folks who already feel oppressed by society and are being abused at home too are less likely to think they will be taken seriously or that the police will help.

WE DO, WE WILL. There is help and a lot of the reason folks resist help is the shame. If we can just get past the shame a lot of this stuff would be less difficult to resolve.

Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Dee,
Please, please put your e-mail address somewhere on your site. (maybe i just didn't find it), but I have been personally involved with domestic violence and I have gone through a ten week program and my husband has had (by court order) to go through a 52 week program. I would like to send you copies of the handouts I received in class and recommend she get a good phycologist to help her stay on track and not get swayed by her husband into just going along with what he wants. I would also recommend a good book on boundaries by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend (they are Christians). http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=30880755&loc=106&sp=1 God made her to be just who she is suppose to be. She is without one doubt a very, very special woman and should be treated that way. My e-mail address is pilotkw@techemail.com Please let her know she is NOT alone - many, many women have had to deal with these issues, and to please not alienate herself. I will be praying for her safety and peace with every step she takes through this difficult time.
Karen

Anonymous said...

Hi
I am a man, and have been in a verbaly and sometimes physivcaly abusive marriage, I'm 6'1 247 pounds and could wipe the floor with her, but thats not in mymakeup, I would rather leave then stay and fight, we have tried several marriage councilors, pcyh's all the above and we have momments of relative peace, granted we are people and as such are subject to disagree, become angry, you know just basicly not get alaong, but my wife can be evil, mean, attempting to tear me down attack me , sometimes over notcalling on thephone, women are not the only ones who experience this, while the media would say so, yes I agree women do suffer and are killed by these whackos, but also it is not gender specific, we are seperated now, about 2 years, and I am in the process of healing and it is hard, that voice still rings in my head sometimes but i do it a day at a tome with friends, spiritual program and prayer
I wish U well in your escape and recovery.