I was watching my guilty pleasure of the week, Grey’s Anatomy, with one of the story lines of the episode being domestic violence. One of character’s abusive ex-husband has a new girlfriend. Fast forwarding a bit to a scene which really struck a cord, with the new girlfriend coming to terms with the abuse she also experienced.
I’m smart. I am a scientist. I am feminist. I never thought I would end up in something like this.
The way the script is written shows the exact steps of a violent and volatile relationship. In this case it was a case of physical as well as emotional abuse but there are many cases when it is just emotional abuse and the sequence is the same.
At the beginning the abusers are all nice and so easy to fall in love with. Then it becomes the little things. They start emotionally attacking you until at one point you no longer recognise yourself. You may not even realise what happened till you are actually out of the relationship. It is when you see yourself rebuilding your character to the person you were before the relationship that you actually realise how you had been manipulated.
You believe your aggressor even when he tells you that you are in the wrong. Even when the violence starts you do not think anything of it because they will tell you it is your fault. You make excuses to yourself that you asked for it or maybe it was just a one off thing. Until it gets worse and worse.
Of course this is just a story but it really does portray what these victims go through. And sometimes the word ‘victims’ makes it seem so tragic, which of course it is. But it can happen to anyone not just some poor helpless woman who cannot stand up for herself. It can happen to you and it can happen to any woman as well as man. So really think about it and just start with the small step of admitting to yourself that maybe you’re not always wrong.