With all of the talk about Domestic Violence lately, I figured now is as good a time as any to tell my “Why I Stayed” story. I used to live in a shelter for abused women and their children. It was there that I learned how domestic violence encompasses not only physical abuse, but mental and sexual abuse as well. Before we get into that, let me give you a little history and show you how it may correlate to someone staying in a relationship that is no good for them.
I grew up in a dysfunctional home, much like the rest of the world, but I did not realize how dysfunctional it was until I got older and after I’d had a couple of children of my own. My father was in the Navy for most of my childhood. My mother was a stay-at-home mom but ended up working full-time, outside of the home, a few years before she and my dad divorced. Growing up I saw my parents argue and fight with each other and I always thought that was normal.
Sidenote: I think that kids should see their parents argue but I also feel that they should see them resolve their issues and make-up… I mean, how else can we teach them problem solving skills and to work with people who are different than they are, if they always think that everything is easy and the 2 most important people in their lives never have any issues???
The arguing quickly turned into physical fighting and, even as a child, I knew that this was not right. I saw my dad grab and hit my mother in ways that a man should never place his hands on a woman. I remember wanting to protect my mother, and actually trying to physically protect her a time or two, only to be slapped or knocked unconscious myself. I also remember, as my siblings and I got older, my younger brother and my dad physically fighting like they didn’t know and love each other. It appalls me to think that my father, being the adult and thought to be “mature one” in the matter, thought this was okay.