I usually do my writing in the night. But not today. Today is a day to greet with pulling the monster out of the closet. It’s a monster too many of us have met, and it has a different face to all of us who’ve gone a round with him. The monster that causes shame, and can make a grown woman cower. It has one name to go with its many faces. Abuse. There. I said it.
Let’s get all the stereotypes out of the way. It doesn’t happen to one “type” of woman. It doesn’t care how much money you have. It doesn’t care if you went to college. Or if you go to church, or what race you are. It doesn’t care if you left after once, or if you’re still trying to figure out a way to safely get out while you wonder what might be next.
Too many of you have met the monster. The monster in my closet is charming. He has a good job. He’s well respected. He goes to church, and will help anyone that asks. He doesn’t realize he’s the monster in my closet, even though he had several days in jail to ponder the thought.
I have a child with him. This has made a complete lack of contact impossible. My child has been sent home with with gifts to give me. Carefully chosen gifts at uncanny times in the calendar. My child takes great pride in handing me the gifts. The monster in the closet knows I won’t throw a gift away that has passed through the hands of our child.
The monster in the closet has told me of the place I still hold in his heart, and how I am the only person he can trust. He does not consider that the place I hold for him is in my nightmares, rather than my heart, and that I have difficulty trusting anybody.
There are some who don’t understand why I am angered by the well chosen gifts and pretty words. Many of them feel these things are sad. They feel sorry for the monster in the closet. They feel that perhaps he would never do it again. They know he is sorry.
Can I tell you, dear reader, that I agree it is sad? But not for the reasons you may be thinking. It is sad because this is how abuse is perpetuated. By less vulgar displays of power that provoke sympathy. By people feeling sorry for the monster in the closet.
Statistics inform us that, on average, a woman will try to leave an abusive relationship seven times before she is successful. Please consider, she likely has well chosen gifts and pretty words stored in surplus by the the time she makes it out. She likely felt sorry for the monster in the closet too, and hung on to each pretty word with her life.
Dear ones, please, if you have a monster in your closet, don’t call yourself a victim. Call yourself a survivor. You’ve survived the social disease for which there is no cure. Please don’t claim the monster by calling him “my abuser.” He isn’t yours. He’s simply an abusive person. Don’t elevate his status by owning him and his behavior. And lastly, be kind to yourself. You deserve it.