Healing Quotes 701

“I see the words “I know he would never hit me/physically harm me” in a lot of letters I get. Far more than I could ever, ever, ever answer or publish.

Those words break my heart, every time, because the people who write them are offering them up as an example of how the relationship can be saved and how I shouldn’t judge their partner too harshly. They mean “he’s not ABUSIVE-abusive (even though he does all these abusive and controlling things to me). I’m not like those abused women, I would leave if someone actually hit me.” They break my heart because the letter writers have had to do the calculus, the calculus called Would He Hit Me? and they offer the answer up as proof that he wouldn’t but all I can see is proof that he almost did, that he’s thinking about it, that he’s a week or a year or a hair’s breadth away from it. It’s proof that she’s thinking about it, too, that she’s had to do the math. Nathan wouldn’t hit you, but he’d punch a wall in front of you, so you can see the force of how his fists slam into things., so you can see how hurt his hand is afterward, so you know that the damage is your fault. When I read those words about how the partner doesn’t harm or hit, I can hear the echo of the guy saying them, too, like “Well, it’s not like I physically hurt you! Come on! Be reasonable (and do what I say)!“(Mentioning how “at least you don’t hit” someone kinda sorta exactly like reminding them that you could hit them, that you might hit them, that hitting them is on the list of possible things that could happen, you are a fucking goddamn hero of a man for making the difficult heroic choice not to. Someone saying this to you should always make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and prompt you to look around for the exits).

And then the letters, like your letter, contain the most heartbreaking question of all, which is how, how can I be better/fix it/make it right/not make him scary and angry anymore. How can I be perfect (give up caffeine), how can I show him (check in with him by cell phone every time I change locations or company) that I’m worthy? Because the abuser-logic has worked. “When you make mistakes it’s your fault, when I make mistakes (like scaring you) it’s also your fault.” Someone doesn’t have to physically hurt you to harm you.

People in non-abusive relationships don’t have to do this constant calculus. Non-abusive dudes don’t get described as “intimidating” by their girlfriends, because non-abusive dudes, even the big strong burly ones who might look pretty intimidating to a stranger don’t intimidate their girlfriends. They don’t punch walls, or throw things, or put 10,000 tiny conditions around everything, or monitor their movements or their phones. When those dudes feel lonely, they fucking call a friend, or they muddle through those lonely feelings. Non-abusive dudes don’t pat themselves on the back for not hurting women, because it doesn’t occur to them to hurt women.”
~ Captain Awkward, #640: “I Know He Would Never Physically Hurt Me” and Other Fairy Tales.

Been there, done that. I’ve seen a boyfriend that I loved, who claimed to love me, hit the steering wheel over and over, when in a rage at me. I went numb. I froze, I didn’t react, I was shut down, there was nothing in me to react. It took me four years after the relationship to understand this too is abuse.

He had lots of rages, in lots of places, for lots of reasons. He always blamed me.

I don’t recall explaining him or calculating in my mind how to explain it all to someone else, just didn’t tell others what he was doing to me and how it felt and how it affected me, changed me. And yes, he hit me, he physically assaulted me, and that was the last he got to see of me. I always told him never to hit me and that in itself shows how yes he was calculating it in his mind, and so was I.

Survivor Quotes 50

Our house was small, and when you grow up with domestic violence in a confined space you learn to gauge, very precisely, the temperature of situations. I knew exactly when the shouting was done and a hand was about to be raised – I also knew exactly when to insert a small body between the fist and her face, a skill no child should ever have to learn. Curiously, I never felt fear for myself and he never struck me, an odd moral imposition that would not allow him to strike a child. The situation was barely tolerable: I witnessed terrible things, which I knew were wrong, but there was nowhere to go for help. Worse, there were those who condoned the abuse. I heard police or ambulancemen, standing in our house, say, “She must have provoked him,” or, “Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.” They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.

~ Patrick Stewart, actor, who played Captain Picard, from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Resources: Domestic Violence

International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies (Global list of abuse hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centres and women’s organizations, plus domestic violence information in over 80 languages.)

Survivor Resource Pages (Forty pages of resources, non-profit organizations, articles, and healing support for survivors of child sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and dealing with the aftermath of child sexual abuse.)

Domestic Violence Handbook

What are the Effects of Domestic Violence?

The Mindset of an Abuse Victim

Domestic Violence: Are You a Victim?

Domestic Violence Against Women and Girls

Grounding/Coping Skills

Self-Soothe/Comfort Skills

Emotional Abuse

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Rape/Sexual Assault

Healing from Child Sexual Abuse



Are You In a Relationship with an Abusive Partner

Signs to Look for In Someone Who Batters

Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence

20 Traits of a Malignant Narcissist

I Wanted Someone to Hear Me

The Meaning of “Normal”

Abusive Relationship Healing- 5 Tips For Lifting Depression After Your Abusive Relationship

There is a Way Out of Domestic Violence

Are You a Domestic Violence Survivor?

I’ve Thought About Leaving. How do I do It?

Barriers to Leaving- A Checklist

Understanding and Breaking Free From Relationship Violence

Stay or Leave? Go Back or Stay Away. An Explanation

How to Tell They Are Not Changing Their Abusive Behaivor

No Contact

The Connection Between Batterers and Sexual Abuse Perpetrators

Understanding the Victims of Spousal Abuse

Domestic Violence in Lesbian Relationships

Talking About Lesbian Partner Abuse

Domestic Violence in Gay and Lesbian Relationships

The Network/La Red: Ending Abuse is Lesbian, Bisexual Women’s, and Transgender Communities

LGBTQ Survivors of Domestic Violence

Battering and Abuse in Lesbian, Bisexual, and Trans Communities: Myths and Facts

Myths, Facts, and Statistics on Lesbian Domestic Violence

Intersex and Trans People and Domestic Violence

Trans and Intersex Survivors of Domestic Violence: Defining Terms, Barriers, and Responsibilities

Checklist (for Intersex and Transsexual Individuals)

Safety Planning (for Intersex and Transsexual Individuals)

A Note About Dealing with Helping People (for Intersex and Transsexual Individuals

When Love Gets Rough (A Transsexual Story)

The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence: Men Abuse in Intimate Relationships

The Story of a Battered Man

Aphrodite Wounded: Help for Women Sexually Assaulted by Partners

For Women Survivors of Intimate Partner Rape

Overview of Partner Rape

Marital Rape

Short and Long Term Effects of Intimate Partner Rape

Considering the Differences: Intimate Partner Sexual Violence in Sexual Assault and Violence Discourse

Falling into a Crevasse Within the Crack: My Experience of IPSV

Vow of Silence

Raped by Someone You Love

Sleeping With the Enemy

Making the Connections: Advocating for Survivors of Intimate Partner Sexual Violence