And isn't it a crazy thing to love someone who makes you wonder aimlessly, How can I practice self-care when I am being abused? People like to say that people in abusive relationships are stuck. But then why do so many of them spend time trying to answer questions like, how can I find happiness when I am in an abusive relationship? People paint people in abusive relationships in this one dimensional way that is meant to garner pity from the hearts and minds of apathetic people. Seldom does the rhetoric surrounding abusive relationships call for understanding.
What is the humane and godly way to treat my abuser? The question may evoke sympathy from some. It conjures admiration for me. To feel trapped by someone who elicits pain from you and still strive to be good to them is my definition of strength.
He hurts me but then apologizes. He's apologized so many times I've lost count. This is the narrative that is spread. This is the mainstream cry of the abused. But what else does do they say? These are not her only thoughts. Her plight has been simplified, ensuring that she stays in her place.
Allow me to "open the conversation". I will try to paraphrase another cry in the hearts and souls of the abused. It is that moment when they say, You may beat me down but you will never control my mind. This is the start of something new. This is the start of freedom for the abused. I want to emphasize that this is only the beginning because there will be times when she will tell herself, I haven't learned how to tell the difference between "healthy" justifiable anger and manic episodes. I don't know how. This thought will plague her, so much so that she will unintentionally risk freedom it. So there will be pre-emptive attacks. Created and produced by her. She will fight with her mind and with her mouth. With him. Even when he is not fighting with her. She will cry wolf over and over. He will say that she is delusional. This will make him angry. This will make her resentful. Rarely, will he be understanding. Regardless, for her, the "delusions" are always very will.
Until they aren't and she begins to blame herself for his mistakes. But that's another story.
If you hurt someone over and over again and apologize over and over again and tell the person you abused over and over again that you will never do it again, then sooner or later the human being that you abused will begin to see malice and hatred in your justifiable and healthy frustration. They will expect you to hurt them. They will look for signs of malice in your smallest movements. Don't mistake this expectation with fear. Fear does not always have to taint it. My point is that it can be hard for the abused to distinguish the man from the monster.
At this point, some people will stop reading. They will think, the abused is caring for a monster, not a man. Their compassion is futile. They must GET OUT. But to this, I say that getting out isn't always easy. Especially if you are black.
And isn't it the same with whites and blacks? White people find creative ingenious ways to fuck black people over, It would be a futile to count how many times they've claimed goodwill; to change and be different. It is common to hear a black person say, I went to the store and the clerk was racist. My professor doesn't like me. He's racist. and white people will say, "they see racism in everything."
One day, not too long ago, I read a comment on social media. A white man was responding to a black person about a police brutality issue. Maybe it was a cultural appropriation issue. Perhaps it was regarding a video that had recently come out. These comments are frequent among the white community so it is hard to remember which one it was. The man claimed that black people were race-baiting. They were crying wolf and that one day white people might actually do something and no white person would be there to help because too many black people cry wolf. Too many black people cry racism.
This has stuck with me for a long time.
Isn't it crazy that they've beaten us down so much that we see an intent to hurt in everything that they do? They've beaten us down so much that all of their actions are tainted by the expectation that somewhere, sometime they will do it again. That regardless of if they did it in that particular instance, they will soon. And they will continue to do so. Again and again and again and again.