I am talking to you. Mostly women, some not. Not everyone who struggles in a relationship, because that’s everyone, but those who have special struggles. I am not you, but I’ve seen you struggle. I’ve seen you afraid. You are afraid of the cut-downs, the control, even the blows. You are afraid you can’t be alone, but afraid of being with him, too. You are afraid that you deserve to be treated like this.
I don’t pretend to know everything about you. But I know what good relationships look like and that isn’t it. You don’t deserve to be treated like that. You don’t need to be controlled. You don’t need to be raped. Even if you were in prison for mass murder, you don’t deserve that. You don’t need to be afraid of being alone, because you are capable of doing things on your own. And being alone is better than being treated like that, but you don’t have to be alone.
You’re strong. That’s how you’ve survived so far. You’re special. And there are people out here who recognize that and will treat you that way. There are people out here who want to help you be happy. But we can’t help you unless you reach out to us.
It’s not just for yourself that you need to do this. It’s for everyone who has ever been belittled, hit, forced, raped, or controlled. How can we stop it if you don’t tell us about it? How can we help you if you don’t ask for help? How can we teach children that it’s wrong to treat people this way if they see it in their own homes and nothing is done about it? How can we teach our daughters that they deserve to be treated well when they see their mothers just ‘put up with it?’ How can we teach our sons that no one should be treated badly when that’s the only example they’ve ever had? You are the first step. Yes it is hard. It is scary. But it is worth it.
Some of you have had bad experiences seeking help. I’m sorry. Try again, with someone else if you need to. Keep trying until somebody listens. Because somebody will listen. Someone will help. A counselor. A friend. A women’s shelter. A religious adviser. A cop. Someone will help. You have to trust just enough to make that happen. You have to be the one to stop the cycle.
Most of all, though, you need to hang in there. Don’t give up. Don’t just ‘put up with it.’ Things can change. You are part of the change. Imagine what life will be like when you have acceptance, love, security. Then strive for that vision. There is tenderness. There is love. There is acceptance. There is a rewarding relationship. For you. It won’t be easy. Nothing worth having ever is. But you will find happiness. My hand is reaching out to you. Take it.