Letter to a Battered Woman

Dear Woman,

You deserve so much more than that man who talks down to you. He’s traded physical abuse for mental and emotional abuse. He still threatens you. He acts like the victim and makes you believe everything is your fault that he can’t control his emotions. You provoked him he says. Why are you always trying to start a fight? Why can’t you just keep your mouth closed? You are stupid he says. He has tried his best to isolate you from your friends and family. Anytime they came around he tried his best to make them uncomfortable by either mistreating them or intruding on any time you try and have with them. It’s like you can’t have friends outside of him, yet he can have all types of friends, even those seemingly inappropriate relationships. He wants you all to himself so he can mistreat you so that’s why he makes sure to try his best to isolate you. He even spreads lies about you to everyone who will listen in an effort to tarnish your character so that you’ll truly have nobody.

You find yourself believing the false narrative he’s built about the abuse and taking on the responsibility for the abuse like, “ Well, perhaps I shouldn’t have said anything because I knew he’d probably get mad. My voice doesn’t matter.” Well, the truth of the matter is that he’s an abuser, a coward, a liar, a manipulator, a bad person, a bully. Your voice does matter. Sometimes all you have to do is exist and it’ll anger him. Whether or not you use your voice, he will be angry. He cannot stand the light that shines within you. He wants to extinguish it. He can’t understand why when he’s spreading these lies about you people still seem to love you, why you still seem to have so much favor, why the traps he’s set for you only seem to ensnare him.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me…. one of the biggest lies ever told. Oftentimes after the sting of physical abuse goes away; it’s the words that remain with us replaying themselves over and over again in our head.

Battered woman, I hope one day you escape the prison you seem to be locked up in. I hope you seek counseling to overcome. I hope that you are able to experience a life free from the bondage and that you are able to stop living in shame as though you somehow did something to deserve the abuse.

Many people know they have a family member out there terrorizing someone. Don’t encourage that behavior. Warn people that you see them trying to get involved with. Encourage the abuser to seek help before they ruin someone’s life. Don’t encourage the person being abused to just stay and deal with it. Encourage them to seek help. If they talk to you about what’s going on, don’t tell them to keep those secrets in their own house. That’s one way to stay abused by suffering in silence.

I won’t pretend to have to solution to your problem because there is no one size fits all since people’s situations are different. Just know that there is someone out there who loves you. You can get help. You are worthy of a life free from the abuse that you suffer through.

Until next time,

It’s Me

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