Thursday, February 2, 2012

On Abuse and Escape

Holy shit, when did it become February?  Oy.  Time flies, I guess.  I haven't been writing much lately because I feel like there isn't much to say.  I have abstract ideas, like I mentioned in my previous post, but I just haven't felt inspired.

Things between Master and I are.. well, in some ways, they're just going too well to have any kind of interesting post content. xD Weird as that sounds.  I just don't think people would be very entertained by me checking in every few days and saying "Yep!  Stiiiiiill awesome!".  Things usually are well between us, but it's more interesting to talk about my internal conflicts or struggles/difficulties... I haven't had those lately.  Perhaps that's because he hasn't asked very much of me lately.  I might be getting lazy because, strangely, I'm okay with that.  Some would say that makes me a bad slave, I think. lol  But that's fine for them.  I need the rest/recuperation and he needs love and support right now.  Part of it, I think, is that he doesn't have the energy to drag me down a hole with him right now.  That's fine.  At least we're both in sync about it.

*Cue unrelated tangent*

... I've been thinking a lot recently about abusive relationships.  Particularly the stereotype of male abusing female, but really there aren't boundaries on this.  Many, many men are the victims of domestic violence perpetrated by women.  There are also same sex couples that take abusive turns.  Sex and gender aren't a huge part of it, but my thoughts have been lingering on the stereotypical "woman trapped with an abusive man" for various personal reasons.

My father is an abusive man.  He's an alcohol and is verbally/emotionally abusive.  My mother still lives with him.  She's a fucking saint, I swear.  I worry about it a lot and, as her child, I don't know what to do for her.  I still have a relationship with him, but it's very strained (all of his relationships are strained).  She rarely complains about him.  When she gets upset, she doesn't "bother" other people with it (it's not a bother, but she'd rather keep it to herself I suppose).  But the other day she called me, hysterical and just.. tired of him and his bullshit.  When she hung up the phone with me, I cried for a long time.  I'm not a crier.  I ran across the street to an apartment belonging to some friends of mine and just cried on their couch while they gaped at me - unsure what to do in the face of the group "rock" so unabashedly weeping.

I just felt helpless and useless and stupid.  She could always live with Master and I, even if we lived in a box.  I'd find a way.  But she doesn't seem to want to.  Despite his antics, she's quite happy where she is.  She has a job she loves.  She has friends she loves.  She doesn't want to pull out of all that.  If she thinks those things are worth his crap, who am I to tell her otherwise?  It has to be her choice, I can't make her leave.  She has to want it.  But I felt guilty and awful at the time.  I felt like a child all over again - helplessly watching another fight playing out.  As I got older, I attempted to intervene.  I can usually get him to back off and apologize. ... But I'm not there anymore.  She wouldn't want me to stay there, but I feel like I abandoned her sometimes.  She doesn't feel that way at all but.. sometimes I do.

In any event, this has had me thinking about my childhood.  Sometimes when I was a kid, I'd wish she was "stronger" - so that we could leave.  Vaguely, in the back of my mind, I resented having to continue to live with this man who was so awful to the both of us and everyone else around him.  He has an ex-wife who had to relocate to escape him and 2 sons (from his previous marriage) that will have nothing to do with him.  Why did they get to leave and I didn't?  Why did I have to stay?  Why did *we* have to stay?  I always thought it was bullshit.  As soon as I found out about them, my child-like brain immediately sensed injustice.  It wasn't fair.

Getting older, though.. I understood better.  It's something that won't make sense unless you've lived it.  Which brings me to the main point of this post  - I can't fucking stand it when your average concerned citizen says "Why don't you just leave?  What is wrong with you?".  Drives. Me. Insane.

It's one thing to offer "you have to consider your children" or "consider your own happiness".  It's another to be a survivor of abuse and come up to someone and tell them "it IS possible, you can do it".  It is something else entirely to be totally ignorant of that situation and go GOD, I DON'T GET IT - WHY ARE THEY SO PATHETIC?  WHY CAN'T THEY JUST WALK AWAY?  It really is just not that fucking simple.  And I have news for you - these women (and men too) are not pathetic.  They are strong people who are surviving a shitstorm the likes of which you can't fathom.

It's not that I think it's wrong to encourage people to get the hell out of there.  Quite the contrary, it's necessary to have support like that.  Other times they just need someone to listen without going OMG IT'S YOUR FAULT FOR STAYING.  But really, I just can't stand the ignorance, naivete, and insulting.  It makes me bristle quite hard to think of people calling anyone - let alone my mother - weak or stupid or accusing them of not caring about their children.

I suppose the point of this is just.. bah.  It's not that easy.  It's hard to get out.  There are cases of people leaving only to have themselves and their children murdered by a stalking ex.  That's the real terror these people face.  Encourage them to leave, offer to help them find resources and make choices.. but please, just... don't call them pathetic.  Or stupid.  Or anything else.  You won't understand unless you've lived it.

I.. I'm sorry, I don't know where this came from.  I hope I haven't offended anyone.  I feel kind of uncomfortable airing something so personal here but.. well, I guess we'll just see how it goes.  I don't need pity or anything but uh.. you know, be kind and all that. :P