Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Violence can be verbal

Violence is usually attributed to the physical; few realize that it can be emotional/mental as well. Words of abuse hurled at women are generally accepted as OK. It's a man's world after all and the lord and master may do as he pleases.

As International Women's Day approaches I see many posts on this topic. I have to contribute...I have intense sentiments attached to this.

I lived with a man with a nasty tongue. every word, every sentence was a violent delivery of insults. His temper and rage manifested itself in verbal abuse that wounded me deeply at an emotional level.

To the world outside divorce seems to have become an easy task. People talk about how the youth today no longer value the family system or marriage. They talk of how urbanization has led to women's financial independance that in turn has paved a way for women to throw up their hands and walk out of a marriage. Little do they realize what torture one can endure in a relationship that has no basis or meaning. A relationship/marriage has no meaning if respect for one another takes a backseat. People value the essence of the relationship - not the institution that marriage has become. It took an immense amount of strength and willpower to walk away from a man who's cruel intent was to break me in every possible way.

When my story made headlines in the local gossip rag several people made matter-of-fact statements about how it was perfectly fine for a man to be violent. I listened in amazement when folks said that a man's abusive tongue was nothing out of the ordinary. I couldn't believe it when people told me that every woman must learn to adjust to the situation - men will be abusive and women had to keep their cool, keep their mouths shut and listen to everything that was said. It was not OK for a woman to expect respect from a man. A woman's place was to be in the shadows always.....no identity was required.

The nightmare: every day was a battle to try and calm the violence that threatened to get physical. It was pure hell to wake up to a man whose coldness chilled and to get into bed at night with the memory of the day's verbal assault playing over and over in my mind. Every reaction was violent....there was no good day. I often lay awake at night wondering how to make things better...what I did wrong???

He had broken my sprit by the time I walked out the door.I spent a year trying to build my confidence back. It's taken a while to believe that it was not my fault that this happened to me.

I'm joining the fight to end the violence against women in every form.I walked out without punishing the man......I saw myself as weak. I wished I had taken legal action to make him pay for ruining my life. The hassles of the legal battle were too cumbersome to bother with. I no longer regret that I didn't do anything...I guess I've moved on. (Thank God for that)

I'll tell anyone in a bad relationship - If you know it is never going to improve - get out. You live one life.......enjoy it. Walking away is never easy....it's a long road; at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Today, I can look back and feel satisfaction that I had the courage to walk away when I did. Today life looks wonderful again.

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