This is the part of the past that’s hard to write about. Please note: THE PAST.
Vivian: People put you down enough, you start to believe it.
Edward: I think you are a very bright, very special woman.
Vivian: The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?
Vivian: Why do guys always know how to hit a woman? Right across the cheek, wham, so it feels like your eye is going to explode. What do they do? Take you all aside in high school and show you how?
Edward: Not all men hit.
In case you’re unaware, those are lines from “Pretty Woman“. I don’t like knowing how right Julia Roberts’ character was. So for my next list of 10, 10 warning signs of an abusive relationship. You can find more here.
1. Does your partner call you names such as “stupid” or “b*tch”?
Or, alternatively, “fat, f-ing whore.” That’s always a good one. It was said once, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will break my heart.” Physical wounds, you can see them healing. Sometimes those words, though, they just hang on and cut deeper than any knife could.
2. Does your partner act jealous of your friends, family, co-workers?
Oh. My. Gosh. It seems that no matter how little time you’re away from him, it’s because you want to be away from him. Guy friends, they all want you, of course. Co-workers, mostly male, they’re all looking to sleep with you. If a boss wants to take you out to lunch, there’s an ulterior motive. Even if the boss is old enough to be your grandfather.
3. Does your partner get angry about clothes you wear or how you style your hair?
“Who are you wearing that skirt for?” he asks. “Why are you spending so much time on your hair?” “Why are you putting on makeup?” “Who are you trying to look good for?”
4. Does your partner check up on you by calling, driving by, or getting someone else to?
Or has you install an instant messaging client on your work computer so he can be in contact with you every moment that you’re there. If a higher-up calls you into his office, you have to report that and every little detail of what happened while you were away. You have to mention bathroom breaks too. He is so interested in your whereabouts that you call him the minute you leave and stay on the phone to casually describe your route home so he knows you didn’t go anywhere else. You’ve even considered tracking the mileage to all the places you usually go so he can check the odometer when you return.
5. Does your partner insist on knowing who you talk to on the phone?
To the point that you just don’t take calls in front of him anymore? Been there. Done that.
6. Does your partner get angry so easily that you feel like you’re walking on eggshells?
That seems like the overall statement of how it feels. You tailor every response to be the most accommodating. Every move you make is intended to make him happy. Or at the very least, not totally unhappy.
7. Does your partner hit walls, drive dangerously, or do other things to scare you?
Like put a hole so large in a wall that it takes a huge team banner to cover it? Throw a stand fan when mad? Break remote controls?
8. Have you lost friends or no longer see some of your family because of your partner?
Of course. Not just because of #2, but also because there’s no way to hide the bruises all the time. Or to be with him and your friends without them catching a glimpse of how he’s treating you. Without wishing to God that they could help you get out, but knowing at the same time that there’s absolutely nothing they can do. It’s just easier to distance yourself from everyone, then maybe you’ll be the only one getting hurt.
9. Does your partner accuse you of being interested in someone else?
How about multiple someones? The male friends you had. Every male co-worker. Random men sitting in church that you have to look past as you’re looking at the pastor. The entire softball team.
10. Is your partner like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, acting one way in front of other people and another way when you are alone?
Well, duh. Why else would he be seen as a good catch? Kind, sweet, romantic, flattering in public. Menacing, condescending, insulting and violent in private.
Not all men hit, that’s true. And not all men that hit are the kind you’d see on “Cops” or something. They’re professionals. Doctors. Attorneys. The neighbor that always smiles and waves. The guy at church who is there every time the doors are open.
Not all women who get hit are pathetic wimps who must be asking for it. They’re professionals. Doctors. Attorneys. The neighbor that always smiles and waves. The woman at church who is there every time the doors are open. And she needs someone to just be there.