My work has started to ask me about the bruises again.
Though we have been back together for more than 6 months, I just recently told my work that Lucifer and I were trying to work things out. Since the last time I was with Lucifer, I was coming in to work with different bruises and black eyes, they are more than a bit concerned that I will get beat up by him again.
They’re right, I am.
Even though I know the “cycle of violence”, I know that this will keep happening and probably get worse each time, I still think each time will be the last.
Last week I pissed Lucifer off. I know I was being a bitch, we were arguing and then yelling and then he was choking me and pinching me. When I say ‘pinch’ I don’t mean like, ‘ooh you’re not wearing green for St Patricks day’ kind of pinch. I mean he grabs my arm or leg and pretty much tries to tear the muscle off my bones. It hurts worse than anything else he does and it leaves the biggest bruises. The whole back off my calf is a bruise right now. Last week it was my arm.
When he pinches me like that, I’m immobilized in pain. I can’t stay quiet, when he does that it hurts so bad I immediately stop fighting back and just scream and cry. It’s all I can do. He finally stops pinching me and head butts me instead. I’m going crazy now, wildly flapping my arms in some kind of puny defense and I actually land one, I hit him right in the face. Bad move, he punches me in the stomach, and down I go. As I’m on the ground wheezing and trying to breathe, he’s yelling at me that I’m a bitch and I need to stop acting crazy.
After a few moments, he picks me up and holds me, tells me he’s sorry, that I just make him so mad but he doesn’t ever mean to hurt me.
Later, after the storm is over, I ask him how he can keep hurting me when I’m screaming and crying in pain? I know it’s not right, but I get it when I’m hiding the pain and fighting back how he could think maybe I’m not actually getting hurt but how in the world can he keep going when I’m screaming and crying and obviously really in pain? Lucifer tells me that when it’s all happening, in his head, I’m faking it. He says now looking back at the memory, he can tell I’m hurting and he’s disgusted with himself. But at the time, he says it’s like a voice saying “She’s faking it. She’s not really hurt”. Then he thinks he needs to just hurt me a little bit more for me to actually “get it”.
I feel hopeless because of his rage, because of my own co-dependence. I feel like we can’t get any help. I love Lucifer, I want to be with him. I don’t accept this horrible theory that is widely recognized by society that the way we solve domestic violence is to get the girl to leave the relationship after it happens the first time. Society also tells me that he will most likely keep abusing. So let me get this straight, we all agree that abusers will keep abusing, but our answer to it is pretty much get out and let him go find another girl to hit? Aren’t I just pushing this problem to some other girl now? We wonder why 1 in 4 women will go through this? Well, our answer is to not ever help the men change, it’s to get the women to just share this same batch of damaged men with each other.
We’re set up to fail.
I’ve been trying to find even one damn place that will help a couple going through this. I’m sure if I had more money, I could pay a good therapist to help us. For free or affordable programs, there is only one option. Therapy for the woman to help her leave and BIPP for the men. There is no way to get help together. I went to a shelter last year for a while. They were absolutely amazing and I can’t say enough how thankful I am that they gave me their support and resources. But one thing that became clear right away was that if I wanted to continue trying to work it out with my abuser, they were almost frustrated and thought I wasn’t trying. My love for him was treated as a by-product.
When do we as a society start working on the men? When do we help them change? Why are we as women just trading these abusive men to each other? We’re not supposed to think about that. Even getting professional therapy for the abuse, when you ask anything about, ‘well won’t he just beat the next girl?’, you are told not to worry about that and you need to worry about you, not anyone else right now. And then we wonder why the problem goes on and on? Those same guys still exist. Just because I am no longer with him, doesn’t mean he has stopped. So I get smart and I leave and a year later you have a new damaged girl in the battered women shelter. Get her better and convince her to leave and a year later there is another damaged girl in the shelter. On and on it goes and no one is saying, he do we realize it’s the same guy doing this to all these women? Getting the woman strong enough to leave is great and needs to be done but we’re delusional if we think this is helping solve the problem.
We let the guy keep going on and abusing. When he does it again, it’s a test for the woman. If she stays, it’s now her fault. If she leaves, then we act like she solved domestic violence. Do you not see, THAT GUY IS STILL ABUSING. Leaving them doesn’t end the abuse, it just pushes the cycle to someone else. Job security for social justice workers, I guess.
I never thought I’d be in an abusive relationship. If you saw me on the street, you wouldn’t think I would be either. I’m strong and smart, I’m pretty and confident and outgoing. I’m tough and I’m funny. So why do I let myself be treated like this? Why do I continue to love him when he hurts me so bad?
Quitting Lucifer is harder than quitting crystal meth.