Abuse, In Its Many Forms

People are often fooled.  They believe that abuse won’t happen to their friends, their family, and most certainly not to them.  They are wrong.  Abuse, in its many forms, comes like a thief in the night, stealing a person’s innocence, her energies, and her self-confidence.  Abuse steals life.  And abuse isn’t only found in the home.  It’s found in the workplace as well.  The patterns are the same, and I’m here to tell you all about them.  Know the signs.  Know them, so you’ll know what to do when you see them – run away, far away, and never look back again.

I have been abused.  I know the signs and symptoms.  I have cried at the most inopportune times.  I have hidden the feelings away, hoping they would simply go away on their own.  I have hidden the signs from others, hoping they would not see my sadness and despair.  I have hidden them from those closest to me and those who really don’t know anything about me.  I have laughed during funerals.  I have expressed emotions one would never understand.  I gave no excuses at the time, because I didn’t realized that they were necessary, or I didn’t feel like I should.  Either way, no one knew the struggles I had or the way I felt.  I got extremely good at hiding those feelings.  When they were gone, I swore I would never allow anyone to make me feel that way again.  I failed.

Don’t take this the wrong way.  My former abusive situation was due to a relationship.  The current one happens during the day.  And I am TIRED of it.  I have reached my limit.  I will not be an abused person again, even if it means losing my livelihood. 

I am smart.  I am strong.  I am Tawanda.  I will not allow someone to make me feel otherwise, especially if the inadequacies are absolutely not my fault. 

The symptoms of abuse are this, as per my own experience:  (1) you are told you are unworthy/unnecessary/doing a bad job/not good at whatever; (2) the person apologizes; (3) you are again told you are doing a bad job, etc.; (4) the person apologizes and then says that he’s sorry but he knows he can treat you this way but can’t treat others this way, because you can “take it”; (4) you are again told you are doing a bad job, etc.  The cycle simply repeats itself.

While living with someone who is an abuser is vastly different than putting up with it in the daytime, and trust me I know – I have had both types, it affects a person in the same way.  There is a reason that you are unable to escape.  You are scared, you are afraid of how you will get along without the person or the money they provide, you are afraid what others will feel about you.  You may even wonder how you will get along without the person, which I know sounds stupid but as that relationship is something you’ve come to expect and rely upon, you aren’t quite sure how you will get along without the person or the money.  You really feel stuck.  There are things you’ll lose; there are things that you will no longer have.  There are things you’ll have to get used to living without.  These things go through your mind on a usual basis.  Be it at home or during the day, you have the same feelings of dread, anxiety, and fear.

I am about at the end of my rope with my day situation.  I have a distinct personality trait that allows me to go along with something until I have enough.  When I have had enough, I can cut the person out of my life and never look back.

That, ladies, is something that is not too far away.  I’ve done it before, and I’m certain that I have the moxie to do it again.  And trust me, I will not regret it.  Leaving an abusive situation is something I’ve done before.  It’s hard, it’s scary, and it’s very worrisome, but it’s absolutely something I about ready to do.  Today’s crying fit in the post office, in front of 5 other customers while the lady at the desk kept asking me what was wrong and that she’d do anything I needed her to do, was just about the last straw.  My straw camel holder has broken.


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