WHY DO WOMEN STAY IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS?
Chances are you have asked yourself this question about a friend or relative, or perhaps you even ask it of yourself.
In this book, we explore the notion that our society is based on violence. We talk about how a bad choice can permanently influence our lives, and how this knowledge is important when choosing a mate.
You will gain insight as to why we do what we do, and why we shut down when our relationships go bad.
Read about ways to resolve conflict, how to lead a successful life, and learn how to get people to like you.
The Story behind the book
An author’s first book is the baby of the bunch. Instead of learning about parenting, a first book is where you learn the ins and outs of writing, of your writing style, and how well you can put words together. Once you are finished, you realize it’s birth was not as bad as you anticipated, and the thrill of finishing it outweighs the struggle. I could write a zillion books, but this first one will always be my biggest accomplishment as an author.
The book began as an idea in 2000 when I was taking a college course to become a domestic violence advocate. There I was introduced to Gavin de Becker’s book The Gift of Fear: Survival skills that protect us from violence. I owe a great deal to this book. It opened my eyes to my past that I failed to see before, and made me realize abuse takes on many different forms.
deBecker’s book will also open your eyes and help you understand why you allow strange bedfellows into your life, and how awareness of both yours and their actions will lead to healthier, and safer, relationships.
A few years before this, the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) was passed, and the way society treated women and children was beginning to change. With VAWA, we hoped it would be no longer necessary to live in fear of an abusive parent or mate, or of being sexually abused and not able to tell anyone about it.
Life became busy and I had my own issues to deal with, but the idea was growing in my brain. Why do women stay in abusive relationships?
My graduate studies were geared toward finding an answer to this question: Why do women stay in abusive relationships?
We hoped things would change for women and children, and yes, things have changed, all right. Just not in the positive direction we wanted. It seems there is more domestic violence now then there was 30 years ago.
In Walking Between the Raindrops: A treatise on trauma, we explore the origins of mistreatment of women, and believe it or not, the abuse and male privilege dates to the beginning of our Western civilization, 753 BCE, the year Rome was founded.
This has been recorded many times in Roman history. Draw your own conclusion whether the story is fact or legend.
Whether the story is true or not, I hope you agree, we live in a violent society and we are paying the price.
an excerpt from the book
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
ACCORDING TO MARTIAL ART LORE, when a warrior comes out of a battle unscathed, he is said to have “walked between the raindrops.” To march through a rainstorm of artillery, living as if death doesn’t exist, requires extreme skill and enlightenment. This image perfectly describes how someone lives with an abusive partner or parent. Children avoid the abuser by keeping them happy; spouses walk on eggshells to not upset their mate.
The entire world has strayed. Everything is all about winning. Our mentality today is “if all else fails, shoot them.” Get them before they get you. Top Dog. Whatever it takes.
In the end, life comes down to relationships, not how much money is in the bank.
Money can’t buy love.
This book is about love and relationships and treating each other fairly. It is also about abusive relationships, and the toll it takes on everyone – children, mothers, fathers, friends, and extended family.
Abuse is generational. Our mothers and grandmothers tolerated abusive husbands. We pay the price with our emotional state and how we treat our bodies. We pay the price by how others treat us, and how we treat those we love the most.
The people of this world are very tense, masking symptoms of unhappiness with alcohol and drugs. Caught up in the rat race of daily living, we have lost touch with who we are. We have forgotten our self – our Soul.
This treatise on trauma is about the long-term effects of abuse, and what we can do to heal. Trauma knows no boundaries – it affects men, women, and children, and doesn’t distinguish between economy or social status.
Abuse and violence permeate our daily lives. My book is about understanding, not about gender, and even though the focus is on women in a relationship with an abusive man, there is information here for everyone.
To resolve our trauma and prevent it in others, we need to first understand and accept our personal lot in life. Women in abusive relationships find it hard to break free.
Why can’t she walk away?
Why does she go back? If she leaves the guy she’s with she often finds another just like him.
How many times does she get slapped, beaten, and put down before she’s had enough?
Why does she stay?
Every time she gets slapped we say, “Too bad. When will she ever learn? She’s such a victim!” When we look at the heart of the matter, when we view the situation through the woman’s lens, there is a different picture. Here is the chance to open our eyes to the real reasons women stay in their abusive relationships, day after day, year after year.
Pure stubbornness, resilience, love, loyalty – the kids.
Society: Institutions, agencies, and individuals. These entities contribute to family dysfunction. Well-meaning gestures often make the family situation worse.
Abuse: Overpowering, misuse of, or taking advantage of a human, substance, or object.
Abusers are abusers in all levels of society. The bully doesn’t just bully one little child on the playground. He bullies everyone around him. The playground and the family are the training grounds for bullies. Here children learn what works and what doesn’t, perfecting manipulating behaviors through trial and error.
Here they practice the behavior that gets their victims to grovel at their feet, to hang their heads in shame. Bullies learn how to make things go their way, not through kindness and compassion, but with meanness and manipulations.
We encounter abusers in our everyday life. The police officer with power too big for his head. The politician manipulates the system to fit his personal agenda. The neighbor. The boss.
It needs to be said. We are all abusers, in some form or another.
How did we become so immune to other people’s feelings? How did we lose respect for another human being’s values? When did we stop contributing to one another’s happiness?
If one person, or one family, can heal from their trauma, this book has met its goal. If one individual begins the change, another will follow, and soon there will be a Revolution. A Revolution of treating one another with kindness and respect.
In the next pages, we will look at a different point of view about abuse. You will see how childhood perceptions control our choices as adults and how these perceptions also affect how we deal with bullies, bosses, and husbands.
We have lost touch with our nurturing natures. We make wrong decisions, pick incompatible mates, and rule our lives with fear.
The solution is not hopeless. We are not helpless to change it. Once we understand why we do what we do, this cycle of abuse can end.
With me. With you.