When you look at the above picture, your first impression is that I'm a victim of domestic violence. While visually this is true, what's also a fact is that I've fought and instigated fights in many of my dysfunctional relationships. In other words, I WAS the dysfunction.
The abuse started young.
I stabbed my first boyfriend in the ninth grade. I was thirteen years old. He and I still talk about that to this day. I vividly remember asking him to leave my house after finding out he was at a party over the weekend with a girl while he told me he was at home. I came out of the bathroom to find my front door still locked from the inside. I knew he was still in my house, and it enraged me. When I found him, in a box, I stabbed him several times. He ended up going to get stitches, and just like he lied to me, he lied to his mom about what happened to him. Young, dysfunctional love.
I didn't learn the lesson, and the pain continued.
In college, I dated a guy who ended up having two kids while we were living together. When I found out about the kids and confronted him, he threw me through the shower door, shattering the door and leaving me in the rubble. I stayed with him longer than I should have because I had already introduced him to my family and friends and didn't want to have to explain the reason it didn't work out. Young adult dysfunctional love.
In the picture above, I actually initiated the fight, and hit the person first, His natural reaction to being punched in the face was to hit me back, He spent 30 days in jail; I walked away looking like the victim. Truth was, so was he. How many women are abusive to men, and then run and scream, "domestic violence" when the man attacks them back? I know this is not true in all cases, however, it was true in many instances of my life. No one deserves to be abused spiritually, verbally, financially, mentally, emotionally, or physically. This is something we all know for sure. We rarely, however, hear the stories of men who endure physical abuse and don't hit back, men who endure emotional abuse and say nothing for months or years... We only hear what happens when women are victimized by men.
As an adult, I have abruptly ended relationships when I see one red flag. I don't normally give second chances. This has reduced my violent tendencies, and it has also reduced the time I now spend on relationships that don't serve me. This month, I want women to stop and acknowledge the battered men out there who stay in abusive relationships, suffering in silence to save a relationship. They are no different because they are males. They too, suffer from abuse, and need to be acknowledged and supported.