Yesterday was an interesting day. I found myself in a conversation with a woman I hardly knew. She was a beautiful woman with tumbling locks and gorgeous olive skin. As she spoke to me, I couldn’t help but notice that her large brown eyes told a story, not of happiness and fulfillment, but of sadness and hardship. We somehow found ourselves on the topic on the relationship that she is in. She expressed to me that the man that she is with not only treats her with disrespect but also occasionally gets angry and takes his anger out on her in a physically abusive manner. When I asked her why she stays she responded with that she stays because she doesn’t want her two girls to grow up without a father and though he hits her, he never hits his daughters... at least for right now.
I nodded my head with understanding but then responded with a question. “Would you want your children to be with a man who treats them the way that your man treats you ?” In shock she looked at me, not knowing how to respond. She remained quiet so I continued. “You are an influence to your children. If you stay with a man who does not treat you with respect, your kids will see that and will take that as their largest example of how a relationship should look like. If you say, “Enough is enough. I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” and you leave, your kids will see that too and learn from it. So what lesson do you want to teach your kids? Do you want to teach them that if they reproduce with a man who treats them like crap that they should just stay in it for the kids? Or do you want to teach them that it is better to be alone and wait for someone who treats you with kindness and respect, then to be with someone who physically or emotionally abuses you? The choice is yours.”
I often hear people talk about how girls or boys that grow up in an abusive family will either get with someone who is abusive or become abusive themselves. But you do not have to be a reflection of your family and although it takes work and a lot of self-love, you can break the cycle and begin a new path.
Do you remember when you were a child and you spun around in a circle until you became so dizzy that even when you stopped, the world around you kept spinning? Well when you get into these relationships, you are the child, still spinning in a circle. You continue to spin because that is what is familiar to you. But once you decide that enough is enough, you stop. And although you are dizzy and often times don’t know what direction to go, if you remain firm and make it a point to take the right steps in healing, little by little, your spinning world will slow down until finally you are able to see a calm beauty around you.