I remember the moment I gave my ex “permission” to abuse me. I did not do this by outright telling him he could hit me or hurt me some other way. I told him by protecting him. It was back in 1998-99. We were dating and living in our first home together. It was a Saturday morning and he was making us omelet’s for breakfast. He asked me if I wanted onions in mine. I was confused by this question because he knew I did not like onions, but I still answered him and said, “No thanks.” Suddenly he started yelling at me and threw the frying pan in my direction. I was beyond shocked, what had just happened? He then stormed through the dining room into the living room. I followed him asking him what was wrong, what had I done? He turned around and told me to “Shut up or I will slap your mouth shut for you!!” I was speechless. He had never threatened me like this. What was wrong?? He started to walk away into the spare room, I followed wanting to calm him down. As he entered the bedroom he slammed the door in my face, but I put my right hand up at the last second to stop the door. As a result it got caught in the door jam. He was pushing on the door so I started to scream, “My hand, my hand is in the door!” and then I felt him push even harder on the door. I screamed some more and suddenly he released the pressure on the door and stormed past me. I looked down at my hand and my middle finger was split open down to the bone. I started to cry and I grabbed some Kleenex, trying to stop the blood flow.
My head was spinning. I could not comprehend what had just happened. How could he hurt me like this? Why didn’t he care? Where was he? It was then that I realized he had left the house. I looked at my finger and I knew I needed stitches, but what would I tell the doctor? I couldn’t tell him or her what had really happened? They would arrest him and I loved him. I couldn’t let that happen. So I wrapped up my finger as best I could.
Later he came home. Not a word was said between us. I did not question his actions and he did not explain himself. We acted like it had not happened.
The next day, and for the next few days, I stayed home from work. I worked in the Corporate World and typed all day long. I was so ashamed of what had happened. How could I explain this to my co workers? What would I say had happened? I could not tell them the truth. So, instead, I said I was sick and stayed home. Later that day my exes mom came over for a visit. She was shocked to see the swelling on my right had and the bruising that had developed. “What happened?” she gasped. I opened my mouth, not knowing what I should say. Could I tell her the truth? It was then that I saw my ex appear behind her, staring at me with a cold dead look. A shiver went down my spine. I knew then that I had to lie. What would he do if I told the truth? So I looked at his mom and just said, “Oh I caught it in the door”, nothing more was said. I saw my ex relax and turn away.
In that moment I gave him permission. I told him that I would lie for him, I would cover up his abuse. I told him that I would let him abuse me and from that day on he did, over and over again. I also enabled him by not making him take responsibility. Like so many other victims I wondered what I had done wrong. Not for a moment did I think that he was responsible for his reactions to me saying no to the onions. It did not enter my head that it was HIS choice to throw the frying pan. It was HIS choice to threaten me and it was HIS choice to keep pushing on that bedroom door. I did not make him do those things nor did I provoke him. I just said no to wanting onions in my omelet. That is how, as victims, we keep ourselves down. We take responsibility for their abuse. We look at ourselves and think that we must be a horrible person to make the one we love act this way. In doing that we abuse ourselves and our abuser is happy to let us do that. It makes his or her job easier to break us down.
I encourage you to stop enabling your abuser. They are responsible for any abuse they do to you. Also please know you are not horrible or whatever he or she tells you. You are beautiful. You Deserve a life free of abuse! When it is safe to do so hold your abuser accountable and take your permission back!
If you are thinking of leaving your abusive relationship I encourage you to create a Safety Plan. Like a how a fire drill helps you safely escape a fire, a Safety Plan helps you safely leave an abusive relationship. Please check out this link; http://verbalabusejournals.com/how-stop-abuse/safety-planning/ Scroll down the page it opens to download it for free.
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