Domestic violence is on the rise, but it appears that knowledge of it has not caught up with its trajectory.
Why do we stay? I say 'we,' as in women, teenage girls, even men? Why do we choose to stay
with someone whose intentions are to hurt, to cause physical and emotional pain?
I've asked my younger 22-year-old self that question a thousand times. The many beatings followed by apologies opened the pathway for my feet to walk right back into my abuser's arms.
Reflecting on the 22-year-old Terri, I understood I was not mentally equipped to digest what was actually happening to me. Blame took root for his outrage. Why? Because I heard over and over again, "If you stop making me angry I won't...or, "Look what you've made me do," and "Babe, I'm sorry, I won't do it again." And the cycle repeats itself. Soon the abuse gets out of control, and you become ashamed and don't want anyone to think you've fallen off your rocker.
EDUCATE YOURSELF! KNOW THE SIGNS! RECOGNIZE AND ADHERE TO THE RED FLAGS
1. BRUNT OF EMBARRASSING JOKES
At the beginning of any relationship, pay attention to treatments conducted in the presence of family or friends. If they are always making you the brunt of jokes that are embarrassing, that is a subtle sign. Humiliating comments soon become harsh.
2. CONTROLS YOUR COMINGS AND GOINGS
In most instances, an abuser wants to know where you are at all times. From 15 years old to 29 years old, you may think it's cute and that he -she loves you that much. No, what is transpiring is a case of jealousy. Once jealousy materializes, and the cuteness of the keep-ups become annoying, you can rest assured that a physical altercation will soon follow, especially when you confront.
3. PLAYFUL HITS THAT HURT
A playful hit from your partner should never hurt. It will start as a subtle touch. As time drives on,
the taps miffed. The abuser is now in play to keep you in check. But beware, No one should lay hands on you that cause pain. It is not okay for anyone to hit you.
In my next blog, I will expound more on signs of abuse, and red flags that will leave you baffled but in the know. Have a safe Memorial Day!
TERRI BRITT WATTS