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Ask AC -Domestic Abuse

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Behind Closed Doors

This is hard and embarrassing but it’s time for me to come out. I’m married for 10 years; a mother of two young girls, a college graduate, and work as a professional overseeing a staff of 150 people. I love my family and most of the time have a blessed life, despite the problem I’m having.

The problem is, my husband beats me. Mostly he chokes, slaps and holds me down covering my mouth to stop my screams. He doesn’t use his fists. I try to appease him, tell him I love him and pretend like I’m not afraid, but of course I am. I’ve heard people say that women in abusive relationships like it. They’re wrong, I love him not the abuse. Every time it happens I can’t believe it. I know he loves me but something clicks in him and he’s frighteningly ugly and I don’t recognize him. I’m afraid he’ll kill me. I realize how insane I sound, how can you love a monster?

I can see on the faces of my family, friends and neighbors that they suspect something. I don’t want their pity, and I don’t want to admit that I am weak and afraid. I guess I don’t want to be lumped into some stereotype of some poor, ignorant woman with no self-worth.

When he’s good, he’s amazing. He’s a good father to our girls and has never as much as raised his voice or spanked them. I don’t know how to stop loving him, stop wanting him, or how to stop him from hurting me. What can I do to help him get control?

Abused

Dear Abused,

Thank you for bringing your story to the conversation. You are not alone. Domestic violence continues in all socio-economic communities but sadly continues to be stigmatized. Sweeping it under the table does no one any good. If you are a regular reader you know I am a proponent of communication while providing direction to additional resources and offering a few words of encouragement.

Attempting to have meaningful dialogue with your abuser in an attempt to de-escalate an attack is futile. The rage is out of control and, as the object of the rage, your words fall on deaf ears.

That said, here are the words of encouragement: Get out! Get out! Get out! Don’t think about mortgage, bills or loneliness or how hurt “he” will be. You and your children are in a dangerous environment. Because you’ve survived in the past doesn’t mean you’ll survive in the future. Make a plan and let it be your priority.

Ignore any voice that tells you, he loves you, he needs you, he doesn’t mean to hurt you, he’s your soul mate. That’s not real, it’s a fantasy you’ve made up. What you have is a romantic addiction. Your addiction is no less dangerous or life-threatening than any other addict’s.

Don’t hold on to what hurts you. Let him go. Save yourself.

How to obtain a restraining order in Los Angeles http://www.lapdonline.org/get_informed/content_basic_view/8856

How to get out of an abusive relationship https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/getting-out-of-an-abusive-relationship.htm

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

https://www.thehotline.org/ 

Los Angeles - domestic violence-help programs

https://www.domesticshelters.org/los-angeles-ca-domestic-violence-help 

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