Aug. 9, 2013 _ For 10 years, I was physically assaulted by my then husband and I didn’t believe I was in a domestic violent relationship.
I didn’t believe I need the help of an emergency shelter. I didn’t need the police. I didn’t need anything but answers from someone who figured out our marital problems, so that we would stop having violent incidents.
I believed that I was just as much responsible for the abuse as my husband because I was arguing with him about whatever and I was not able to find peace with my husband. I believed that I was involved in a difficult relationship, equally and maybe mostly, to blame for the downward spiral of our dynamic.
I labeled our relationship “a bad or difficult relationship” that lacked all the good qualities I craved: communications, empathy, understanding, love.
It took a very long time for me to accept that I was in a “domestic violent” marriage and I was the victim of this very common problem.
It took me a very long time to realize that being a victim means that I am not responsible for the abuse I took and I did not cause the assault. I may have played a role in difficult marriage, but I was not the slightest bit responsible for the abuse.
The only person responsible for the abuse was my husband and the reason we had such a difficult marriage is because my husband abused me when he decided abuse was his best offense to get what he wanted when he wanted it.
I was a victim of domestic abuse and that looks a lot like someone who is partly responsible for a difficult relationship.
I was very resentful about being the target, the scapegoat, the punching bag for someone who abuses others. I was hypersensitive to a lot what my husband did because sometimes, what he did really hurt. I was anxious a lot, because I had something to be anxious about. I was paranoid, because someone I lived with would do unthinkable things to me.
I looked a lot like an angry controlling wife to the outside world. I wasn’t though. I was an abused victim in denial and shock about my situation.
I desperately want to reach others, other victims and let them know something they may not want to hear. They are domestic abuse victims, not women (or men) in a difficult marriage.
I keep thinking that the correct term in victims of a traumatic relationship, instead of domestic abuse victims. If we change the name, maybe we will reach more women who know something is really wrong, but don’t know or want to know its domestic abuse.
It seems easier to say you are a victim of a traumatic relationship then to say you are the victim of a domestic abuse.
The key word is victim. Being a vicim of anything means that you were not responsible for what happened to you. I was a victim of violence at the hands of someone who wasn’t suppose to assault me, ever for any reason.
I was a victim exactly the same as if I was the victim of disease. I didn’t bring it on by my behavior. I was blindsided by it.
My responsibility for my own victimization came when I stayed long enough to be hit again. And that is also where it ended. My angry self didn’t cause abuse. I wasn’t in some dance that caused abuse.
I happened to marry an abuser, something I did not know when I got married and got pregnant by an abuser. I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t earn it. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time by no known action on my part.
For all of those victims who think they have to change some behavior, you do, but it is not the behavior he or others are telling you. You need to accept that you are not the reason why you are hit and therefore, you can’t be the reason why he will stop hitting you.
You can make it much more difficult for him to hit you, you can leave and put a very big locked door between you. You can go to the police. You can speak out and let everyone in your life know that you are getting hit.
That is your best hope to make it stop. But, you go ahead and call him an ass, he is. You go ahead and call him a criminal, he is. You go ahead and be mad that you were hurt by him. Who wouldn’t be.
And when you come to accept that you are not just in a bad relationship, you were hooked up with an abuser and you can be OK again. Hang in there.