Love Hurts

    When people sing ballads and odes to love, extolling the virtues, the joy, laughter, and even the pain, we sing along, believing that indeed, love can hurt. But what about the hurt that happens constantly, behind closed doors, behind closed fists, between two people who are meant to love each other eternally. What happens when that is commonplace, yet hidden like an ugly secret should never be. While this subject matter recalls a rather tired pun (do the words dead and horse mean anything?), it’s no joking matter; it needs to be at the forefront of people’s minds.

    I’ve noticed a lot of people chalk abuse to the socio-economic conditions of the abused and abuser, but in the recent months, I’ve come to see first-hand that in fact, it is so close to home, I can hear the sounds of it through the walls, and if I listen hard enough, it’s all around me. People I am close to, people you would never expect to put up with the sort of behavior that generates broken jaws, bruised upper arms, black eyes. And these people are not hurting economically.

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    So, what is it then? What makes them stay? In this day and age, I find it hard to believe that we have to deal with these issues, and it is even harder to grasp when the people who are NOT dealing properly are the highly educated, world-wise people we have come to admire. Some are such strong advocates for others, and project the “STRONG, EMPOWERED, MATRIARCHAL” vibe, when at home, it’s a different scenario.

    In one home, you have a young mother who is obviously not meant to be with her father’s children, and is simply trying to make the best of a bad situation for the kids in question. When your children call you names and hurl abuse at you, it’s time to cut your losses and give it up. When your children’s father hits you constantly, and you simply hold back from reporting it because you wish to exact revenge, you’re allowing something awful to continue, and you’re creating a cycle that will never stop. Revenge will never come, only heartache and pain.

    In the other home, you have a mother who has fought tooth and nail for all her children. She has given them a home, a life, a chance to survive and make it work. And despite her black sheep’s many, many missteps, she continues to love him. What everyone else fails to see, is that she is being beaten down emotionally by him. Her black sheep is throwing items at her, calling her names, all in his drugged up state of mind, his ruthless ambition to be somebody. Does she call her friends? No, because those same friends are dealing with their insecurities, their own black sheep who degrade them and call them names when they try to live their lives. It is a sad case of role reversal. Most mothers tell their children, ‘it does not matter how old you get, I will always be your mother’. Instead, their sons and daughters tell them, ‘it doesn’t matter how old I get or where I live, I will always do things, and don’t try and stop me, or I will mow you down’.

    In another home, there is a beautiful young woman who has endured the assault on her body by someone who was meant to take care of her; to raise and defend her. Instead, she’s got someone who took advantage of a situation, and now she’s been broken. Now, she finds herself gravitating to the wrong kind of person. She is in love with someone who has a history of being abusive. She knew, yet, she felt she could change him. It is one of the biggest mistake we make, thinking that we can change a loved one. If we have to change them, or feel like we should, perhaps we don’t belong with them. Now she sits at home, and cries when he doesn’t come home in time. She tries to exert her independence, and somehow, she keeps coming back, even when he flies of the handle and mistreats her for trying to be on her own, for having friends, for going out once in a while, for being herself.

    Those are situations happening all around you. Have you looked closely and your friends, wondered what they’re going through? Are you suffering needlessly? It takes one step, one word sometimes. There are a number of people who are willing to help. You simply have to ask.

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