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18+ Violence Mature Content

Respect

by Frances


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for violence and mature content.

I read something once, that there are two definitions of respect. One definition is the respect given to all life on earth, respect for each being's individuality and right to life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. The other definition is the respect given to authority figures, ones with power and knowledge, respect for those of higher status. Some people will expect the respect of authority figures, and if you don't give it to them, they will not give you the respect that all life deserves. It was put much more eloquently than that, but I can't remember the quote exactly. It was the the meaning that stuck with me. I look at my life, and I find that this is happening to me. I am expected to give him the respect of an authority, but I may only be given the respect of life if I some how convince him that I deserve it that day. 

My family is on the other side of the country. I have no friends here. My natural awkwardness has played some part in this, I must admit, but I can't help but feel that he has isolated me. So therefore I can't leave without having to go to the salvation army. This is a wonderful organization, and I have stayed there before, but somehow, having to give up a warm apartment to live among strangers who have their own problems is less than desirable. Especially when I have the comfort of routine. It is a routine of constant pain, but still it is familiar.

He will come home, and even if I have cleaned up, gotten dishes done, and tried to set things up nicely, he will find the first thing out of place, such as a door open, and belittle me. Make me feel small and worthless. This was true even when I had a job, but now that I am unemployed its even worse. I am looking for work, but halfheartedly. I feel somewhat depressed, and I think, what's the point. Besides, if I find a job, it will be one more excuse to stay here, under his thumb. 

I could move back home, but I don't want to. I moved so far away for a reason. I won't go into that now, that's another whole essay's worth of bullshit. I feel so stuck, and when I feel stuck, I just shut down. Character flaw, I suppose. 

Also, he takes all my money. He has been doing so since the beginning of our relationship, when I felt I needed to pay him back for taking care of me when I dropped out of college because of a severe case of depression that landed me two different stays in the psych ward of the hospital. Not a good time for me. I was alone, and very vulnerable. And he was there. He is the only man I have ever been with, emotionally and physically. How can I give up on 5 years of relationship? If I try to not give him all of it, it is terrible, screaming and threatening. I know he can make good on his threats, he has done so before.

Oh yes, it has gotten physical, 4 or 5 times that it left visible bruises. The first few times, I tried to fight back. I have a temper of my own, you see. But that only made it so much worse, he is stronger than me, and has training. I will not try that again.

I have halfheartedly tried to leave on many occasions, packing a suitcase, having a screaming match about how he treats me. About a month ago, I dared to try and get him to go to work on a day he was scheduled, and I ended up getting hit across the face. I got up, took a shower, and was going to go to the gas station to get some quarters to do laundry. He tried to get me to stay and "talk it over" (continue to fight.) He pulled my arm and I screamed, "LET GO OF ME" and yanked it back. I dropped my wallet and as I reached for it he punched me twice on the hip. I grabbed my wallet and ran.

I went to the gas station. As I was walking there I was sobbing. He drove by me a few times, but I guess he didn't know it was me, because he didn't stop. I got to the gas station and went to the bathroom to try to get a hold of myself. I realized that I didn't want to go back. So I didn't.

I went to the salvation army, and they referred me to a women's shelter. I stayed over the weekend, and as I had left my phone behind, I didn't hear from him. Then it was Monday, and I had to go to work. He brought my phone, and I agreed to go talk to him. He cried. I cried. I missed him, he missed me. He was so sweet, and begged me to come home. I wasn't ready yet, so that evening I went back to the shelter. By Thursday, I came back home. Our puppy missed me. 

The problem is, I love him. I love him so much. I want to see him happy. And when he is happy, he is charming and intelligent and interesting. For a few days, it was like that. I tried to work out some rules so that I wouldn't get taken advantage of anymore. We made love. It felt like it would work. That we could make it work. 

Then we got back to our routine, the constant bickering, put-downs, perfectionism. I lost my job. And I can't tell anyone about it, because when you stay, you are weak. You are foolish and stupid. I know it, you know it. Why don't I just leave? Because I am weak, and alone, and afraid. Because I have lost myself. I have nothing, and no-one. And I love him. Maybe if I can just show him, he can change, we can change. But you and I both know that never happens. So here I am. Stuck. 


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Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:45 am
ShadowVyper wrote a review...



Hey Frances,

Shady here with a review to rescue your work from the Green Room! My style tends to be to make comments as I'm reading about anything that stands out to me, and then give a general summary at the end about my thoughts about the piece. Let's get started...

Some people will expect the respect of authority figures, and if you don't give it to them, they will not give you the respect that all life deserves.


Wow, that's a really powerful sentence. <3

having to go to the salvation army.


So this is a minor nitpick, but Salvation Army is the name of an organization and is therefore a proper noun that should be capitalized.

Maybe if I can just show him, he can change, we can change.


No, no, no. Abusers don't change. They only take advantage of you.

~ ~ ~

This actually really concerns me to read, Frances, since you said it was based on a true story. I really, really hope that if this is about you and your current relationship that you will please, please, please seek out help.

You are not weak or foolish or stupid. The man in this story is not loving and he is not worth your love. He is selfish and he will continue to hurt you and you in no way whatsoever deserve that. You deserve to be with someone who values you for you and who won't belittle you or put you down or hit you or hurt you in any way. You deserve happiness. You deserve safety.

I really hope things improve for you <3

~Shady 8)




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Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:32 pm



Yup. It really doesn't ever change. My mother, in desperate, lonely times, used to tell me, "you can't change other people, you can only change yourself."

That's why it's important to let go of bad partners and, well, just look for better ones. Plenty of fish in the sea, you know, and most of those fish are pretty decent, respectful and respectable catches.
Some words worth considering.

So if this is a true story and you're its protagonist... Damn, lass, pick up your stuff and bail ASAP!




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Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:08 am
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alliyah wrote a review...



Wow my heart goes out to you. I'm not going to really review this piece's literary content too much because of the author's not that this is a true experience that you went through. (Also if this was not autobiographical, then I apologize for interpreting it that way).

I just have to say, and you probably are aware of this, but it seems like this is very much the cycle of abuse. It is never okay for anyone to hit another person, especially not someone you're in a relationship with. And the way these cycles of abuse happens, he'll keep having those moments where it looks like "everything has changed" and he'll be nice - but it so often won't stay like that, he'll go back to abuse. Even if you do nothing wrong. Even if you love him.

It's completely unfair, but some people are just like that. And you wrote this, and know you're own life, so I don't think I'm telling you anything you don't already know. <3

I also want to respond to something in your last paragraph - you ask,

Why don't I just leave? Because I am weak, and alone, and afraid. Because I have lost myself. I have nothing, and no-one


You are not weak at all, that is by no means an easy thing to go through. And none of that abuse is your fault - it has much more to do with the abuser trying to exercise power than anything. Also I know it might feel like it, but you aren't alone either. Figure out what safe connections you might have. Do you have any family that can help you get out? Any friends? That woman's shelter you stayed at likely has a lot of good resources that you can access and think about - it likely has people trained in these sorts of situations who'll be willing to hear-you-out and talk about options you might have to get out.

I really recommend checking out the National Domestic Violence Hotline's website - ( https://www.thehotline.org/ ) talking to someone from the hotline about resources and information that might be available might be a really good idea. The hotline also has information about other topics that might help you like setting boundaries: https://www.thehotline.org/healthy-rela ... oundaries/ and creating a safety plan if you do decide to leave: https://www.thehotline.org/help/path-to-safety/ .

You might not feel ready to leave, and I can't judge you for that - but you aren't alone, and there are resources and people out there who are willing to help you.





It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
— Mark Twain