Broken 2

Tammy:

“I’m falling apart , I’m barley breathing, with a Broken heart that is still beating”. Lifehouse

Life is a mystery, we are so fragile, yet so strong, but how much suffering did to take to break me?

By the time I realized that D.M was not genuinely sorry, it was too late, I was paralyzed with fear, and leaving was no longer an option. something had to happen that was more fearful than the pain and suffering he was causing me. Was that even possible? I thought that things would be so much better when we got married. I was wrong, and like so many other abused women, I found out the horrific truth that it only gets worse, never better. Another contributing factor to abuse becoming worse is a woman getting pregnant. I was unable to get pregnant, so I never had to deal with the horror of trying to save not only my life but the life of a child.

D.M got our marriage certificate, saying No was not even a option. I was so afraid that he would murder me. My sister who is a R.N told me that when her kicked me with his cow boy boots on and made me loose control of my bowels I was lucky he didn’t kill me, as he so easily could have. she explained that were he kicked me he could have broke it and I would have died from internal bleeding. did he know that? I think he really didn’t care on way or the other. Even if he murdered me he would play the grieving victim, and I would be just as dead.

He invited his best friend and his girl friend to the simple ceremony. I was so nervous I had hoped the clergy man would have refused to marry us. However, that did not happen, and I felt powerless to stop the wedding, knowing if I did he would have beat me and no one would have saved me. I could not help my self from laughing hysterically, this was a nightmare, how could this be happening?! I was losing what little sanity I had left. Once the marriage ceremony was complete, my fate was signed, sealed and delivered. That is what I believed. I suppose it is what he believed as well as the beatings became more horrific and frequent. I would have bruises upon bruises, and no part of my body was off limits, including my face.

Like the cycle theory shows, the frequency of the episodes get shorted and shorter, until such a time as it is just constant abuse. This is a critical and very dangerous time, as this is when most women are murdered by their abusers. I didn’t know this, all I knew is that every day I was being slapped, punched, kicked, hit with objects, sworn at, cussed out, told I was worthless, a slut a whore. We were married and there was no honeymoon stage. I was horrified and stunned. After the wedding ceremony he went to the bar and sent me off to play BINGO. Seriously I didn’t want to go play BINGO but that is what he wanted so really what choice did I have? It was humiliating, as people asked why I was so dressed up, and I had to tell them I just got married, and my new husband was in the bar drinking , while I played BINGO. We were to be married for a total of six months, all together I was with him for two and a half horrific years.

It was very clear to me that the people on the reserve considered me Donald’s property, and I had no one I could turn too, as many of the women on the reserve were also being savagely abused. when he would leave for work, I was ordered no to leave the house, or he would know. apparently he had the doors rigged so that if they were opened the tape on the outside would be broken. The only reason why I knew this was his dad came looking for him and I opened the door to talk to him. I seen the tape flapping and put two and two together and my blood ran cold. Of course I did get a beating for that because I broke the rule and opened the door to the outside world while he was not there. It did not matter that it was his Dad who was at the door, I was not supposed to open the door.

I did wonder why some one who seemed to hate me so much wanted me around? I was confused. I was trapped, being help against my will, and I had no one to rescue me. During this time there was changes being made to the law, were women had to level chargers against their abusers, now the police were laying the charges, whether the woman wanted to lay charges or not. Abused women knew that charging their husbands was a very dangerous thing to do, since they did minimal time, basically enough time to really piss them off and give a hellish beating to the abused woman.So it is no wonder that many abused women will lie and hide the abuse, in the hopes that the beatings will stop or not be as violent. However, this is never the case. If there is a woman who reconciled with her abuser and formed a healthy equal partnership, I have yet to hear about it. Some women probably say they are the exception to the rule, if this is the case with a woman who has been abused by her partner, and is now in a healthy loving relationship built on trust, then wow you are really an exception to the rule. However, I was not willing to bet my life that I was an exception.. would you?

Like I did with my mother, I did with my husband I would clean up the evidence of his abuse. Instead of empty bottles, I would clean up my own blood of the walls, the floor, from the sink and the tub. there was so much blood! Sometimes he would use objects to hit me, like whisky bottles, pans wooden spoons, switches of a willow tree. One time he hit me with a fanny pack and the zipper cut open my chin and I had to go to the hospital for stitches. he told me to tell them I simply fell and split open my chin. As I had never been to the hospital before , they accepted this lie. I felt so broken when they sent me home with him, I so desperately wanted to say something. I guess all the bruises and the split chin was indicative of a very bad fall. One nurse however, wasn’t letting it go that easy, and confronted me. I told her what happened and she made arrangements for me to go to a shelter..

This was my very first time in a shelter and I was scared out of my mind. I was there for four days before I finally said enough was enough. They did an intake with me, filled a bunch of forms and left me to my own devices. The workers sat in the office chatting and gossiping with each other, as I sat there in front of a tv trying to put my mind at ease, and heal my body. The entire time I was there none of the staff approached me to see how I was doing. They would pass by me and look at me as if I was some interesting specimen and then carry on with what ever they were doing. Needless to say, I could only take so much of this and just walked out the front door and left, no one even tried to stop me.

Did I expect more? Yes I did, having grown up with social workers, case workers, counselors and therapists, I expected they would at least talk to me and see how I was doing. At least check and see if I was suicidal.. they did none of this, they pretty much ignored me. I was truly shocked at the treatment I was receiving. These people who worked with abused women were anti productive when it came to trying to save women’s lives. If anything, they took away any hope I had of building a new life. Maybe it is better now I do not know. I just hope that any women who were or are treated like I was are able to stay and get away from their abusers. I would now ask for a transfer, since I am more aware of what shelters are supposed to be like. However, at the time I didn’t realize I could ask for a transfer.. I had no information at all. They never even went over the cycle theory of violence with me, which is standard of all shelters.

I really had no one to turn too, so going back to my husband seemed to be the only option open to me. So I called him, and he came and got me. For once he was really kind to me, and I thought hey maybe this time away was not such a bad thing after all. It was a false though, inside he was seething!!

For the next week however, we had a great time it was warm and we had been hanging with his friend and his girl, drinking. Until the night that his friend started beating his girlfriend I realized, that abuse was so prevalent and I was not going to be getting away from it any time soon. I went to the same shelter that I was in the first time again, after a particularly bad beating, however, it was the very same treatment, and I ended up leaving, with it firmly ingrained that all shelters were like this, and I wanted nothing to do with them. I just felt shamed and humiliated, and worthless by the way I was treated.

Again I went back, it is not uncommon for an abused woman to leave her abuser multiple times before finally being able to break free. The average statistic is seven times. there are a lot of factors that go into a woman leaving her abuser, the least of them not being the danger and fear.

Statistics:

Intimate partner homicides

80%

of victims in police-reported intimate partner homicides in 2014 were women

Spousal murders

26%

of all women who are murdered by their spouse had left the relationship

Dating violence

60%

of all dating violence happens after the relationship has ended

Lack of reporting

70%

of spousal violence is not reported to the police

The National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 En Espanol

Leaving is often the most dangerous time for a victim of abuse, because abuse is about power and control. When a victim leaves, they are taking control and threatening the abusive partner’s power, which could cause the abusive partner to retaliate in very destructive ways.

Aside from this danger, there are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships. Here are just a few of the common ones:

  • Fear: A person may be afraid of what will happen if they decide to leave the relationship.
  • Believing Abuse is Normal: A person may not know what a healthy relationship looks like, perhaps from growing up in an environment where abuse was common, and they may not recognize that their relationship is unhealthy.
  • Fear of Being Outed: If someone is in an LGBTQ relationship and has not yet come out to everyone, their partner may threaten to reveal this secret.
  • Embarrassment or Shame: It’s often difficult for someone to admit that they’ve been abused. They may feel they’ve done something wrong by becoming involved with an abusive partner. They may also worry that their friends and family will judge them.
  • Low Self-Esteem: When an abusive partner constantly puts someone down and blames them for the abuse, it can be easy for the victim to believe those statements and think that the abuse is their fault.
  • Love: So often, the victim feels love for their abusive partner. They may have children with them and want to maintain their family. Abusive people can often be charming, especially at the beginning of a relationship, and the victim may hope that their partner will go back to being that person. They may only want the violence to stop, not for the relationship to end entirely.
  • Cultural/Religious Reasons: Traditional gender roles supported by someone’s culture or religion may influence them to stay rather than end the relationship for fear of bringing shame upon their family.
  • Language Barriers/Immigration Status: If a person is undocumented, they may fear that reporting the abuse will affect their immigration status. Also, if their first language isn’t English, it can be difficult to express the depth of their situation to others.
  • Lack of Money/Resources: Financial abuse is common, and a victim may be financially dependent on their abusive partner. Without money, access to resources or even a place to go, it can seem impossible for them to leave the relationship. This feeling of helplessness can be especially strong if the person lives with their abusive partner.
  • Disability: When someone is physically dependent on their abusive partner, they can feel that their well-being is connected to the relationship. This dependency could heavily influence their decision to stay in an abusive relationship.

The same reasons why women , leave can be why women go back as well. There are also other reasons , I will mention a couple.

BATTERED WOMAN SYNDROME: Psychiatric Times

BWS has been identified as a subcategory of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).8 Although not all battered women meet all the DSM-IV-TR criteria for PTSD,9 a sufficient number do; thus, a form of trauma treatment is most helpful.10

Table 1 lists 6 groups of criteria that recently have been found to be part of BWS.8

DIAGNOSIS

A number of steps will help you obtain accurate information when you are interviewing a woman whom you believe may be abused by her intimate partner (Table 2)BATTERED WOMAN SYNDROME

BWS has been identified as a subcategory of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).8 Although not all battered women meet all the DSM-IV-TR criteria for PTSD,9 a sufficient number do; thus, a form of trauma treatment is most helpful.10

Table 1 lists 6 groups of criteria that recently have been found to be part of BWS.8

DIAGNOSIS

A number of steps will help you obtain accurate information when you are interviewing a woman whom you believe may be abused by her intimate partner (Table 2)

Conditions Necessary for the Development of Stockholm Syndrome

Four conditions identified by Graham and associates as necessary precursors for the development of Stockholm Syndrome in victims of domestic violence are as follows.

  1. The victim perceives a person threatening her survival. The threats may be physical or psychological. It is not important whether others view her survival as threatened, but rather whether she does.
  2. The victim perceives the abuser showing her some kindness, however small. For example, the kindness may be that for one day out of the month he does not abuse her.
  3. The victim is isolated from outsiders. This isolation may be physical—she is not permitted to have contact with family or friends—and/or ideological—she is permitted exposure to only the abuser’s perspective.
  4. The victim does not perceive a way to escape the abuser. Batterers use violence to help ensure that their partners do not leave them.
  5. If you are working with a battered woman or have left an abusive relationship, researching these topics may help you in your healing and determination to build a new life for yourself and your children if you have any.

One of the most prevalent things I felt aside from the fear was shame, I felt and believed something must be very wrong with me if I am being abused by a man who professes to love me. it cause me great shame that, I was being abused, because he no longer tried to hid it from the public, in fact sometimes it felt like he was parading me around showing people what he had done to me. He had no conscience or qualms about being apprehended by the law. He felt in total control and he held all the power.

I left this man a total of three times, so far it has been twice. The third time was absolutely horrific in nature, so I will talk about that in the next segment, as I gather up the courage and strength to talk about it. Thank you so much for taking this Journey with us! Your very presence helps heal both I and my sister and for that we thank you whole heartedly!! LOVE

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