.D as in Domestic Violence.

My coffee is strong, I pour in some milk; the white substance plunges in and reappears in some odd looking pattern. I hold my hands around the cup to warm them. I think about the past, I think about her. Her face is horribly sad and she looks very tired. I have wanted to say something to her for a long time but decided to wait. The only reason I am writing this is that I am worried about her, worried about her wellbeing.

I blow into my cup before taking a sip; perhaps this just makes the time pass, while saying her name inside. I don’t know if this is the right thing to do but I start to write.

D.,

this is a letter to you. You, who is in an abusive relationship. The abuse you are living is verbal, emotional, physical and maybe even sexual. There are some things I want you to know, and the first and most important is that you are loved. The second one is that, even though I am far away, I am here for you. You are a good person. You are wonderful no matter what happened and what has been said. You are you.

You are valuable. Please do not forget that, even though he will try to convince you otherwise. You are stronger than that, do not be frightened by him. You have value and worth that he can neither give nor take away from you. You have a right to your reactions, a right to wear make-up and a skirt if you choose to. You have a right to have a Facebook or Instagram account if you want to. Nobody is allowed to tell you to delete all this just because you start a relationship.

He will make you feel bad. He will tell you that you are wrong and unreasonable and just misunderstood by everyone, including your family. But the family is here for you. Nobody left. He put so much bullshit in your head that you, at this point are probably not even sure anymore what is real. Maybe you feel like you cannot trust your own memories and you ended up agreeing with him. Of course, you must have misunderstood when he told you not to wear that dress to pick up your children from school. How come he beat you up so badly because didn’t he say he loves you? How come he does not let you have your own phone? How come he controls who you talk to and when? How come I cannot ever reach you?

So he tells you more lies and garbage and you end up agreeing with him. Of course, you do. He threatens you with more stuff. You also must have misunderstood when he told you you cannot spend time with your girlfriends anymore. You ask yourself how someone so loving, caring and sweet as he can be sometimes does such hurtful things.

You know why? Because the darkness in your partner won’t go away. No therapy can fix this. Ever. You are not imagining things. You do not have to punish yourself or bring yourself down. You are enough. Good enough. It is your okay to talk to family and friends on YOUR OWN phone. Just because you have some good memories with him does not mean the bad times are worth enduring. Don’t the good times usually always come when you almost had enough? Maybe you don’t see that you are abused or maybe it is hard because you love him but just because there may be love does not mean there isn’t abuse.

Abuse can take many forms and maybe you are too deep in it all to really see and understand. It may even have become normal to you. Even normal to the two of you. When you cry on the phone, when you whisper on the phone, when you have to hang up because he is coming home it is NOT OKAY. When your kids say that you cry a lot and are sad, it is NOT OKAY. When you have to hide things from him because you know it will upset him to the point that the anger terrifies you, it is NOT OKAY. When he does something that hurts you a lot, then apologizes but keep doing it and DOING it over and over again it is NOT OKAY. It is NOT OKAY that he punches you in the face so you have a black eye.

It must be so hard to see what is happening when you live in this abusive relationship and it seems impossible for family and friends to understand because we all just don’t see “his good parts”. But guess what? We all see what is happening. We all see it clearly in ways you cannot right now. This abusive relationship is changing and damaging you. Everyone can see it but you.

You probably still love and see good him. He says he loves you, the bond is deep, the relationship is real and more but that does NOT mean that the way he treats you is acceptable. That does not mean you should stay. Plus, it is not all about you anymore. You have children.

There is support out there! I will support you. We all will. I promise. Things will suck for a while, but it will all get better. So much better. I will help you and hold you up until the ache changes from being intense to dull to manageable and you can stand up on your own again. You also know where you can always find more help, safety and a place to stay.

Remember, abusive behavior is always a choice. He may be troubled but that does not absolve him of responsibility. It is also not your job to fix him. Looking at what you have been through already, it seems that he is just not a good person for you. You cannot change him! Keep that in mind. He won’t change because of you. I know you want to. I know you want to save this relationship because you put so much love into it and he is so nice sometimes. But you CANNOT! No matter how much you love him. No matter how good you try to be so he won’t get mad. NOTHING WILL EVER STOP THE ABUSE. IT WILL GET WORSE.

Talk to me. Let me know about your situation so I can be there to help if you need it. We always used to talk for hours. I do not want to lose you.

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