I know you’ve heard of how women get their asses beat by their husbands or boyfriends and how they end up leaving and going right back. Well as a child of domestic abuse myself, when I was younger, I could never understand why my mom never got her shit together, took us kids and just left. I told myself that I was NEVER going to be that type of stupid woman over a man. But now I understand why, or at least, I realize what has prevented me from leaving and staying stay gone forever. I don’t know the details of why other women have stayed, but I know that in each of our own separate reasons, it had to be something incredible that held us there. I’m going to just mention mine without trying to sound like I’m making excuses which at first I thought they were but after doing some reading from Abuse Awareness books, my reasons were pretty justified. I mean, I’m not happy about it at all, no but at least I know that I am not alone feeling this way.
- There is this book called A Last Look Back: Understanding Abuse in which breaks down the Obstacle Barriers, which enclose women in abusive relationships or circumstances. The outermost circle of the three barriers is the Environmental barrier. It includes such things as being unemployed, not having any credit, any money or even knowing how to handle money. It also includes not having a safe place to go within the community. I fall under this particular environmental barrier because I am not employed. I have literally been a stay at home forever. I know, I know, I set myself up for that one. But that does not mean that I am stupid or that I don’t know how to function out in the world. Duh! I do have credit, however, my husband screwed that up for me by making me sign off on things that required one of us to have the better credit. For instance, bankruptcy, and car loans and scheisse like that which eventually got repossessed! Sorry, I’m getting a little upset. Now, in preparation for this divorce, I have planned, I am trying my best to get straightened out on my credit report.
- Then the next circle describes the Family and Social Barriers and can include lack of family support and religious beliefs against divorce and separation. Well, a family can only stay so long at a women’s shelter and you have to constantly be looking for a job and worry about your kids playing with strangers and such. The stress alone of knowing that, would drive any woman back to her abusive marriage (which I did, within a week) if she had nowhere else for her children and herself to go. This is what happened to me back in 2006 when I tried to take my baby boy and leave the first time. I will tell you now that “religious beliefs” are no longer in the picture for me and the reason why will have to come in another blog entry. In addition, I had a lack of family and friends as well. I have family of course, BUT they live 1200 miles away and we don’t really associate nor do I want to put myself in a just an equal or worse severe situation than I’m in already. My family is dysfunctional and has a history of criminal acts such as drug dealing, prostitution, alcoholism, theft, drug addiction, con artists, and everything destructive under the sun. The worst things that you would never want to live amongst. One of my aunts and uncles have died due to having drowned in a lake because he was drunk (alcoholic) and-and my aunt was found dead in her apartment due to crack cocaine overdose. She had been there for days!!! Where I come from is chaotic and crazy. I’m literally the black sheep of the family. Why would I want to go back to that? Even dire desperation couldn’t drag me back to that. You’re probably thinking, “chaotic and crazy is nothing.” I would have not where to go and nowhere to live unless you enjoy live in an roach infested living quarters and having to sleep with one eye open because my own damn mum might steal my purse. Yeah, I said it and no, I don’t think so. Besides what kind of mother would I be to take my son and raise him in an environment like that!? But sometimes, the way he (he’s 16 now) watches his dad treat me like shit every day, it makes me wonder if I’d been better off having raised him alone anyway. At least he’d have respect for me. His “dad” made sure not to let that happen.
- The next innermost circle describes the Psychological Barriers, a woman faces, such as fear for her own safety or the safety of her children. By our second year of marriage, I was already mentally f*cked up anyway because of his treatment. I was scared of him. He would monitor my mileage on my car. He would get upset if I didn’t call or text him immediately back, he would get jealous if another guy even looked at me or I at them, he would interrogate me as to why I had taken so long to get from here to there, he would do really insecure stuff like that. I was paranoid and was walking on egg shells by that point. He had threatened to take my son if I tried to leave and that even if I did, he would be the one who was awarded custody because I didn’t have a job and I suffered from major depression. As he called it, “unstable.” He would say “if you don’t want to be here, then you can just go back to your mama!” But he knew very she lived in a tiny apartment on section 8 housing. I didn’t come from the typical family where if I had trouble in the marriage, I could go back home to an awaiting father and mother living in a large 5 bedroom house, where the meals were furnished and I had all the love and support I could ever dream of from friends and family. I had NOTHING to go back to, and he knew it. I always felt like he had the upper hand. And he knew that too.