An Open Letter To Those Struggling With Domestic Violence

Dear friend,

He or She does not love you.

I don’t care what they tell you. There is no logical way that someone who loves you would ever treat you the way you are being treated. Trust me when I say: I know this is easier said than realized. Love is not a constant exchanging of favors, or feeling like you owe each other. Love is not the terrifying warmth of his hand covering your mouth so the neighbors don’t hear you crying.

Maybe he always apologizes. Maybe she always greets you at the door, after a fight, with fresh baked cookies. Maybe he buys you flowers and tells you how much you mean to him. Maybe all of these things and more are true. But what is real truth is that you have to get out. People who hurt others like you’re being hurt cannot control what they do or when they do it.

Does it come out when he drinks? Does she get more than playfully “rough” with you? Do they swear it’ll never happen? Do they promise it was a one time thing? Swears and promises don’t mean a God damned thing when you’re covered in the dark purple, swollen signs of his “one time” mistakes.

What you have with this person is not love, but that’s not to say you aren’t immensely loved by all those around you. You are a strong and vibrant person who deserves so much more than the cards you’ve been dealt.

I know that this somehow feels like it’s your fault. But please know that it isn’t. You replay it over and over in your head, and maybe you have yourself convinced that you provoked him. Or maybe you’ve talked yourself into thinking you egged her on with your words. I don’t care what it was that you think you did, his hand should never be the reason your face is dark and swollen. Her fists should never be the reason you feel ashamed to take off your shirt at the gym.

Perhaps you feel like you’d hurt them by leaving, and that may be true. But let me tell you something, your safety is so much more important. You need to be selfish. For the love of God, please be selfish. You need to tear yourself away from the nails digging into your skin, because while the broken bones will heal, the memories will be harder to wipe away.

There is no amount of makeup or bandages that can cover up the real damage they have left on you. You are a strong person, but you cannot fix this on your own. Please seek every ounce of help necessary, because there’s someone out there that knows what to do, even though you might not.

Please know that even though, right now, you might not love yourself, there are people that most certainly do. And those people are waiting to help heal your broken bones, ice your bruises, and be there to mend your broken heart. It’s so easy to shut everyone out, but it won’t help. Trust me.

You are so much more than everything they say you aren’t.

Love,

Someone Who Cares

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