Women and Abuse

When I was growing up I often witnessed my mother engage with men who didn’t respect her. I also witnessed her marry these men, bare children for these men, and neglect her integrity for these men. I often vowed never to be this way and I felt confused as to why my mom a person that I had tons of respect for wouldn’t respect herself. Still it’s not my job to tell her story. I’m only bringing this up because pieces of her story are interwoven into my own. Now it’s many years later and I have held fast to that declaration for quite sometime and it hasn’t been perfect. A few months ago I met a dude. I say dude because I believe the description of man should be reserved for species of the male variety who bare that resemblance. This dude was unassuming, attentive, friendly, and interested in knowing me. It feels important to insert here that during the weeks prior I had felt lonely, and his arrival on the scene felt like a cool sip of water on a hot summer’s day. I didn’t even know I was dehydrated.

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For awhile he and I got along very well. It was light and we made one another feel good about who we were as people. We inspired each other. Then slowly and gradually I began to notice little things… “this is why I hate females,” he said once, and that’s just a piece of the puzzle. In the beginning I dismissed his banter because his actions were still different, then one day we went to an event together. When we got in his car to leave he pulled out a joint. He was the driver and I asked: “Are you kidding? I don’t think you’re okay to drive and smoke!” Then I just stared at him. That’s when it happened, he yelled at me. “Are you just going to sit here and stare at me or are you going to look up the directions for us to get home!” He was extremely aggressive. How many times had I told myself if something like this happened I would yell? Also how many scenarios had played out of me getting out of the car if something like that ever happened to me? Instead I sat there. I rolled my eyes, and I shut down. I was afraid.

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Luckily the joint wouldn’t spark and I did make it home safely that night. It feels important to share this because abuse of any sort is not okay. Lonely or not, it is never okay to be disrespected by someone because love doesn’t hurt! When I got home that night I called some girlfriends and told them about my experience. One my girlfriends helped me see just how far I had come. A few years ago I would have been smoking that joint with the guy, I would have had no regard for myself or my life and I would have never spoken up on my behalf. Things are different. When I got home that night I erased his contact information from my phone and since have stopped being available to him. I have seen him a few times and may see him a few more but I won’t put myself in a position to be disrespected by him ever again.

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The thing is at least for me, love doesn’t hurt. I want to share my experience because it may help someone. Everyone wants to love and be loved, but losing yourself in the process should not be an option. I hope that if you’re a woman and you’re reading this you know that you are valuable. Don’t let anyone steal that away. Also in regards to my mother I want you to know that I understand now. I have compassion for where you’ve been with men and I hope you know that you deserve the best! In the mean time, thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon.

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