The beloved by me and many other people Olivia Cooper wrote a great post on Domestic Violence, October’s other big cause. I can’t speak personally about breast cancer (kinehora) but can about this.
When Zachary began to verbally abuse me, then broke my window and overturned furniture, then stalked me for a year little was known about domestic violence. Not little. It didn’t happen. Not to white girls who lived in good zip codes.
I was fortunate. I could tell my parents who were an amazing source of support and strength. I still had to hide out in Miami–he couldn’t afford to go there, and Sheapshead Bay–had a friend who lived there and it was the last place people would think of looking for me in.
A year or two later Dominic Dunne’s daughter Dominique was killed by her lover. Dunne made it his cause and it was his comeback. Horrible price to pay for a comeback.
There isn’t much I have to say on this subject that I haven’t said already. Zachary blamed me for everything that went wrong in his life. For awhile I agreed. Some inner strength took over and I kicked him out. But one day when I was studying, my guard was down and I let him in. That’s when he broke my things. I knew less than nothing about domestic violence but it seemed logical that if he could break my things I would be broken next.
I no longer have patience for women who give men one more chance. I have seen what can happen. I worked in elder abuse. Yes it can happen to 80 year olds by 80 year olds.
I have gotten comments when I have written about Zachary saying that all he needed was the love of a good woman and I wasn’t doing my good woman job. Wasn’t my job to do. He was sick and did kill himself several years later.
I used to feel guilty that I didn’t get him help. I was in therapy. My therapist was more scared than me or my parents. Zachary wouldn’t have gone for therapy or any help. Actually that was one of his complaints about me. I might be talking about the great Zachary.
My therapist was probably right to be that scared. He was just learning about domestic violence and the signs were bad.
The police were useless. They wouldn’t give me a restraining order. They will give you an order of protection today. Counseling is mandatory for abusers but the recidivism rate is very high.
Run at the first signs, and you will know them. Verbal abuse can be tricky, but if it escalates into an everyday thing, it’s abuse. Mutual abuse is a whole other subject and not healthy for either party or their children.
I have been engaged since then and in several other serious relationships. But the trust was gone. I always held back big parts of myself. I upset men because of that and they were right. My fear was so great I became a love him and leave him person. That’s my problem, and in this later stage of life I’m beginning to feel differently. It shouldn’t have taken so long.
I’m supposed to have a great memory but remember most of my later boyfriends as “the actor” “the piano player” etc. I held myself back so so much.
Cooper has a great list of resources. Read them!