Friday, June 3, 2011

Domestic Abuse

I was writing and talking with people about domestic abuse this morning both on Facebook and in person. A friend said that if a spouse starts to hit you, it is a matter of time when he starts to hit the children. She said: "Walk out before that happens."

On Facebook, another person said pretty much the same thing that anyone starts to beat up on you, you need to walk out. It is hard for some to do it. My mother used to endure years and years of physical abuse before she finally left my father after 40 years of marriage. His heavy smoking was the cause of her death in the end although he was already dead himself of cancer. Her passive smoking weakened her heart so that when she underwent surgery for her knee, she had a massive heart attack and died soon afterwards. Growing up, I have hit my father with a chair when he was choking my mother and knocked him out otherwise he would have killed her. Still, she stayed with him and I left home at 16 years for good.

Everyone remembers the murder of Nicole Simpson and the waiter who came to her house to return her glasses. Even when you walk out and even divorce the abusive husband, he can come back and kill her and in this case he walked. He is in prison but not for her murder but for a botched robbery.

I never allowed any man to hit me and walked out of any relationship when a man would slam me for something. I remember a man who many people thought I would marry would bring his hand down on my thigh when I disagreed with him. It did not leave a mark but I knew it would be a lot harder if I was married to him. Many people thought I would marry him because he was so rich. Well, I never thought I would marry for money anyhow. I didn't like him all that much. He may have had tons of money, but he didn't have a lick of common sense. He took me to see "The Planet of the Apes" and at the end of the film told me he knew the character that Charleston Heston played was on earth all along because of the scenes in the movie was from a national park he had visited once. I was speechless. Where else where they going to film the movie, on Mars? Of course, I didn't say a thing.

I did marry a soft spoken man who never never laid a finger on me. What he did do was extreme emotional abuse. I tried to counteract it and never could. I thought it was OK because it wasn't physical. I was really wrong. It had taken me years to recover from it. I never did anything right. He never told me he loved me after we were married. He never remembered me for my birthdays and even for Christmas. He never talked to me. He would take my clothes and wash them in hot scalding water and ruin them. He threw away sentimental things I kept from friends and relatives and never say a word when I searched for them. He never forgave a grudge, never. He was the one who performed the "purge" when I was in Korea years after we were divorced although I never took anything from him during that divorce and even returned all of the presents his family gave us. I wanted to be so fair. I never used the kids to get back at him and even did not make him pay child support. I should have walked years before I did because he taught our kids to do the same.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what made my ex-husband tick. That was a big mistake. It takes two people to create a domestic situation. Without the victim, there is no domestic abuse. If I did not take it for years, my ex-husband would not have abused me as badly as he did. Now, he lives tormented by some unknown mental illness. I did not do myself or him any good by permitting that abuse. At least, I went and got some help after I finally said no more. I also moved out of the area and am getting better.

My father did beat up on his kids. My brother committed suicide after living a life of drugs and alcohol. My sister is a pychopath. After so many years of not getting along, I finally did make peace with my mother and the last years were good years. I really don't think my life is so odd and unreal. Many people have worse lives. Many people have better lives.

I remember watching "Father knows Best" as unreal and as something from Fantasyland. I couldn't even enjoy it. I used to think when the cameras were off, the father was beating the crap out of everyone and sneaking up to the bedrooms of his daughters at night. The only program I used to believe for some reason was Skyking. I watched that every chance I got. I believed it and trusted the ethics that it taught. Maybe because it did not have a mother trying to mouth the values of a society that said we girls need to keep our mouths shut and do what they did when we grew up. Uncle Sky even got mad at his neice in the program but he never laid a hand on her.

I am sure there has always been domestic abuse in human society. My father knew there was no place for my mother to go as she was from another country and had no way of making enough money to support us kids and herself. It is power that keeps domestic abuse going. If a man knows his partner will knock the crap out of him if he tries to hurt him or her, domestic abuse doesn't happen. Chances are that person will not be in a relationship where he or she can't abuse that person. Women abuse too. It doesn't happen as often or it isn't as well known. I have known a few but not many.

The subject of this blog is health. It is not healthy to be abused. I was abused for years and because it was not physical I thought I had to stay in the marriage and work it out. To summarize it, no I should not have. Anyone in a relationship that has any form of abuse needs to say stop it and if it does not stop after one warning then they need to WALK OUT. I wish I had done so. And if someone ever tries to "purge" my home again, I will press charges even if it is a relative. I promise the world and MYSELF. I am not angry anymore, but I have learned my lesson.

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