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Monday, May 17, 2010

all joking aside: abuse is a real issue

So I got this in my email this morning...

Sweet Tea

A  woman goes to the doctor, beaten black and Blue.

Doctor: "What happened?"

Woman: "Doctor, I don't know what to do.
Every time my husband comes home drunk he beats me to a pulp."

Doctor: "I have a real good medicine for that.
When your husband comes home drunk,
just take a glass of sweet tea and start swishing it in your mouth. 
Just swish and swish but don't swallow until he goes to bed and is asleep."

Two weeks  later the woman comes back to the doctor looking fresh and reborn.
Woman: "Doctor, that was a brilliant idea!

Every time my husband came home drunk, I swished with sweet tea.  I  swished and swished, and he didn't touch me!"

Doctor: "You see how much keeping your mouth shut helps?"

OKAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, I so didn't find this funny.  I mean I can laugh at a joke like the next person and maybe it's because the nature of the joke offended me.  I dunno but I did not laugh.  Abuse is a real issue and not one to be taken lightly.

I was in an abusive relationship with Gamer's biological father he who should not be named, it was unhealthy, horrible and I had no idea what I was doing.  It happened over a period of ten years and thinking back I often wondered why I didn't see the signs.  Were there signs?  How many young girls fall in what they think is love only to discover it's not and find themselves going through what I did.

So what can we teach our children?

Relationships should be built on trust and respect.  Yes people argue, everyone can disagree at times, but feeling put down or worthless is not a good sign.

So what are the signs?

Your Inner Thoughts and FeelingsYour Partner’s Belittling Behavior
Do you:
  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless? 
Does your partner:
  • humiliate or yell at you?
  • criticize you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for his own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or ThreatsYour Partner’s Controlling Behavior
Does your partner:
  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you? 
  • threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?
Does your partner:
  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?

Sometimes I wish I had been smarter, wiser and known what to look for.  But I didn't.  My parents never sat down and talked to me about abuse, their marriage is good, married for 37 years strong so I had that to go on and yet wound up getting my face punched in.

I think one way we can help our sons and daughters realize more about abuse in relationship is by starting to get them to understand themselves, who they and what they are worth.  Self esteem plays a big part in abusive relationships and the scars that can be left can devastate a person for life.

So yes, all joking aside: abuse is a real issue.  If you don't believe me just ask ten women on the street randomly if they have ever been hit by someone they love.  The amount of yes's you will get will surprise you.



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