This recent post by TexanTish Tillish (after watching the TV mini-series MAID) was so powerful, I wanted to share it with you...
From: TexanTish Tillis
So MAID on Netflix... is possibly one of the most important series in history. Yep. I said it.
Why is talking about domestic violence so important? It's important because even though women are the victims, domestic violence carries this terrible stigma even in 2021. It's important because abusers are often publicly great guys.
The victims family loves them and they will often defend the abuser, leaving the victim without a support system. The victim becomes the bad guy who wants to break up the family.
This series is important because abusers themselves and many other people do not understand how terrorizing verbal and mental abuse is- the constant promise of change, the apologies.
This series is important because women leaving an abuser often have children and no income outside of the abusers, leaving them isolated and financially bereft. They often feel powerless and without a voice after years of their self-esteem being chipped away at. The victim is an island.
This series is important because it deals with the realistic nightmare challenges of navigating the social services system, subsidized daycare and housing.
This series shows all of these things masterfully which makes it a real gem.
Yes, victims of domestic violence are at risk - they are isolated with their partners in the most dangerous place for them, their homes.
I began my career in a Domestic Violence Outreach program and was a Board Directors for a Transition house for women and children experiencing violence for 5 years.
Throughout these experiences, I learned a lot about unhealthy relationships and the power and control that accompanies these.
Domestic violence is often not physical; it can be emotional abuse, name calling, controlling behaviour, and hidden power struggles behind the scenes.
The abusive partner is often well liked and respected by friends and family. The people who do know the truth or recognize the unhealthy dynamic, often tolerate the behaviour because most of what goes on is unseen.
This invalidates the victim’s experience and makes them question the abuse, and if they really are that bad off. They lose their sense of intuition. This perpetuates the cycle of abuse and harms families for generations.
I’ve seen how this plays out in sneaky ways that many don't even realize is abuse, in ways that make you feel like you are crazy, or are responsible for the abuse...abusers like to create confusion within you.
I’ve learned that too many people feel forced into forgiving and smoothing the waters with their partner and there isn’t enough emphasis on the unhealthy behaviors, which then go unchallenged....
I’ve learned that women stay in these relationships for several reasons including cultural pressure to go with the flow, be a nice girl, to not disappoint others.
I’ve learned that women stay because they believe their partner is a good parent.
A good parent doesn’t abuse/belittle/manipulate/control their child's mother, ever. Children are a way for your abuser to continue to control you.
I have a few things to say to everyone who finds themselves in relationships they know are unhealthy but try to convince themselves staying is their best option:
Make your decision to stay or leave based on behavior shown right now. It’s the unhealthy partner's responsibility to control their behavior and it’s yours to protect yourself and your children. They are very unlikely to change. This is a pattern that repeats itself.
You cannot change your partner, they are not unhealthy due to stress, anger, emotional problems or addiction. These things don’t justify abuse. They are abusive because this is how they have learned to treat their partners, and many will tolerate it. This is how they maintain power and control which is reinforced in society....they also have a distorted view on right and wrong, abusers believe controlling and abusing their partner is justified.
Know your worth, know that REGARDLESS of your flaws, past decisions or experiences or the pressure put on yourself from society to be in a relationship, you deserve to be treated with equality, respect and feel like you have an equal voice. Abuse is a solvable problem.
Abusers distort your mind and keep you focused on them, the key is to shift your thinking to yourself and your children. You are better off ALONE than with someone who doesn’t treat you well.
Please know that your local shelters are still operating (even during Covid) and you can reach out for questions, support or guidance towards resources. To everyone else, please check in on those you know or even suspect are not in a healthy relationship right now. You could save a life. We know violence often escalates in isolation. The red flags will likely be missed.
We all have a role to play in this, unhealthy relationships are all around us.
We also have therapists specializing in unhealthy relationships, child custody challenges within these relationships and can provide support and no pressure guidance.
End the silence.
We're here if you want to talk :)
Take the first step and call us for an appointment ...(506) 651-1239