No, not a sexy blog in any way, shape or form. I’m talking about abuse at the hands of a “loved one”. It could be physical or verbal or emotional or sexual – abuse is abuse is abuse.
This morning I had a co-worker of mine stop by my desk when no one else was around. She knows about my situation (she’s one of my safety nets should things go horribly wrong at 1 a.m.) and she was inquiring as to how I was doing. Hmmm, lemme think about it. Awful. Horrible. Depressed. Sad. Anxious. Overwhelmed. Despairing. What did I share with her? “I’m alright – lots of stress right now” and her sympathetic nod as if she understood. That’s the problem. No one, unless they have stood in my shoes, can truly understand what it’s like to be afraid of the man you love. Afraid that you may no longer have a place to live when he finally follows through on his threat to “kick your ass out”. Afraid that your children’s father will find out and sue for sole custody based on the fact that you’re not providing a safe home for them. And truly afraid when a verbal altercation can leave you shaking and scared for an hour after it’s done and over with – then something has gone horribly, horribly wrong in your relationship.
I understand she doesn’t understand.. She can sympathize, she can offer me a shoulder to cry on – heck, she may even think about me after we’ve gone home for the night. But she can’t feel the knot in the pit of my stomach on my drive home every.single.night. And she can’t feel the tension building in my home as we wait for “Daddy”. Or my feeling that I’m “Sleeping with the Enemy” that leaves me an insomniac.
And her final, parting comment confirmed my belief that she truly doesn’t get the jist of what verbal and emotional abuse can do to a person. “Well, at least he’s not doing that physical stuff”.