I’m working a fresh idea for my novel and it took an unexpected turn. I’m excited for its new twist and got all whisked up in it today. After reading through the progress of today’s writing I decided to share.
It may make a difference for someone hurting.
Let’s talk about domestic violence, or as its being shifted in reference, intimate partner violence.
I’ve learned a lot about this fun little circus lately.
Like, here’s a fun tidbit, did you know that when you almost get killed by someone that you deeply love, the love doesn’t just turn off.
Do you know what it does to a victims already writhing soul when you say, “what would you do if it were me, your sister, or your daughter?”
Because when it comes down to it, the victim knows what they would do. They know what everyone on earth would do except they might not or can’t or won’t. And it gets complicated.
The victim knows what they always said they would do. The victim knows what they would do next if it were her sister, friend or daughter.
She really does.
But it’s different now. Because now, well, now it’s her and it’s the love of her life and it’s the kids and the dreams and the way he smells after a sunny day when he’s smiling at her. It’s all of that and her promises. It’s all of that and his promises. And it’s even bigger than that with the weight of a million what-if’s and might-haves crushing her.
Now she’s a liar. A liar to her self for not doing what she always said she would. A liar to others for hiding it from the world. A liar to him when she says she will trust him again. And knowing all this weighs so heavy on her weary heart.
Maybe she still loves him. Maybe she believes him and believes in him. Hell, maybe she’s crazy about him, and because those feelings didn’t turn off the instant he hurt her she now thinks she’s somehow defective or to blame.
Maybe you are one of the only people she’s spoken to about her nightmare and now she feels as though you’ve turned against her, are judging her or are ashamed of her in someway. Maybe she won’t come to you if there’s a next time.
Maybe she’ll keep silent.
Maybe knowing that you think she’s crazy for taking him back is more terrifying to her than the idea that she may be hurt again.
Maybe she feels like an island. Alone and surrounded by deep water that holds her apart from everything. Maybe she knows you mean well but deep in her heart she’s building a wall of safety for her alone.
Without the opinions of a world that points out all the ways that she’s doing this wrong. Doing it all wrong.
Let’s talk about support and love.
Let’s talk about possibilities and compassion.
Let’s talk about making room for the partner that loses their shit and holding space for the one they lost it on.
Let’s talk about what we make it mean when someone chooses love and a second chance.
Let’s talk about what it means about us that we find it impossible to allow anything other than complete shame for the abuser and vindication for the victim.
What if that creates shame for the victim too? What if there really is no vindication?
Is it possible to reconcile all of this? Is it possible to heal an abuser? Is it possible to trust after abuse? How will we know if we always do what we’ve always done?
Is it ok to hurt others? Absolutely not. Never. But it’s also not ok to completely alienate and shun humans for their own humanity.
When she looked into his eyes and saw her dreams crumbling, saw the world they were building together fade and wither, saw the life she thought she had die, yeah, she got it. She got the depth of the pain. She got the sting of shame. She got that the game changed and she needs to choose the next move.
She will keep getting it. When she wakes in the morning and wonders if he’ll snap today. When she feels drawn to him and longs for his embrace but knows there is always a chance that embrace could be their last. She’ll keep getting it.
She will get it alone if you choose a side. She will get it at 2am when she knows you think she’s wrong for staying but he looks like the day she met him when he sleeps. She will get it when she stares at your number but doesn’t dial when she is feeling scared and he’s starting to show signs of another build up. She’ll get it.
So, let’s talk about what to do and say when your friend or mother or sister calls. Let’s talk about how to support her without alienating her. Let’s talk about what happens if she decides to take him back.