Any Friday that ABC's What Would You Do? is airing, you can most likely find me glued to my television. I always find it interesting to see what people do in these situations. Well, tonight was no different. After I tucked Baby Butterbean into bed, I curled up under my blanket on the couch and switched on the tv. And within minutes of the second segment of the show, I was in tears, despite knowing it was all fake. The set up was a teenage couple fighting in a park. The boyfriend was being mostly mentally and emotionally abusive, but there were a few times when he put his hands on her. Most people walked by and stayed out of it, but a few good Samaritans stepped in to stop the punk kid.
This hit very close to home with me because before I met The Hubs, I was in that exact relationship. I know what it's like to be treated this way. I have never told my family, partly because I eventually grew strong enough to leave him, but partly because I've felt that it was somewhat shameful. Let me explain that statement. I've always prided myself on being a strong person. I've stood up for myself, and others as well. I've never wanted to be in the situation where I needed someone else's help. And then, I found myself in a situation where I needed someone's help, but since I had put myself in that situation, I felt almost like I didn't deserve anyone's help.
Everyday for 9 months I lived in pure hell. I was told that I was worthless, stupid, fat, a waste of life, and that no one would ever truly love me, among many other worse things. Now, I know that a lot of people who haven't experienced this would wonder why I didn't just leave. Just pack my things and go. The only way I can answer that is to say that I thought if I loved him enough, he'd change, but also, after hearing these horrible things over and over, you start to believe them.
My point of writing this post is not to get sympathy. It's been a long time since all of this happened, and I've gotten over this. My heart has healed and I've moved on. The point of writing this post is to voice my frustration in the people that see things like this occurring and do nothing. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should step in and stop the abuser, because not everyone feels comfortable confronting others, but you should at least notify the authorities. I'm a firm believer in living by the golden rule. Treat others as you would want them to treat you. It's our responsibility to do the right thing. We cannot turn away and act as though nothing is happening.
I would never wish what I went through on anyone, and I can't even begin to imagine what it's like for women in worse situations, but I do know that it made me a stronger and wiser person. It caused me to make sure I raise my daughter to stand up for what's right and to always help those in need, and I wish that all mothers would do the same. That's the least that we can do. Wouldn't you want someone to stand up for your child if they were in a similar situation?
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