“Evil communications corrupt good manners” KJV 1 Corinthians 15:33
“Bad associations spoil useful habits.” NWT 1 Corinthians 15:33
My present husband and I grew up in different religions and when we began to date I would make him say his version of 1 Corinthians 15:33 at the same time that I did. And then I would crack up at the differences, which by the way is only funny to a geeky preacher’s kid. One thing was definite our mothers taught us this scripture for the same reason and it was written across our hearts to the point that we could recite this scripture some 20 years later.
Abuse is an odd thing. It is unnatural. Therefore, it is hard to explain how or why a woman or man would stay in a relationship that is so draining and time consuming. Even more complex is why a teen gets into and stays usually into adulthood (if they make it that long).
Allot of it has to do with choice. At the beginning of the relationship there were only two things presented to you “red flags” and “choices”. Every abuse victim male or female can tell me the same thing. They all remember the defining moment when they thought, “Nah…” but, they went against their better judgment and continued on that date.
In honor of this being 2012 Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month- this one is for the teenagers.
|Me at 17 years old with my beautiful family at my high school graduation.|
I was seventeen years old and from a very good family when I met and fell hard for my abuser. I was sheltered unknowingly but appreciative of the peace it had brought me.
The choice I made at seventeen years old to associate with a boy who claimed he had no family and was abandoned by his mother was a choice that still affects me 17 years later. There are no short term abusive relationships. Whether you get away physically or not- there are many aspects of the relationship that may follow not only you but your family for years. In my case I married him at 20 years old (three years after we met) and mothered his son at 25 years old. Now our son who was a witness to much violence is ten years old. I thought of none of these things when I was only seventeen and wanted to help the abandoned boy with no family feel like he belonged. There was no forethought because of my youthful ignorance.
|Me at 25 years old|
I am miles away from home
pregnant with my son sitting in an abuse shelter in Georgia.
|Here I am 28 years old- |
I still pay for this beating daily it left my body permanently damaged.
I don’t want to be long winded here because that’s what makes teenagers want to turn the volume down on parental lecturing right? But, give me just a second to say this: My dad would go “all ninja” on me every once in a while and would say things like, “Climbing vines and crawling vines do not go together…” Now, as an adult myself I know what Pop was speaking was a fact, one vine by its simple design is going up and the other has to crawl on the ground. This is what they are made to do. It’s no one’s fault- the act of getting into an abusive relationship is like the climbing vine going down to the ground and saying to the crawling vine, “Hey hon’ let me help you up…” The abuser won’t be able to be lifted up. Because what has made him/ her an active abuser will take years to unravel and you as a teen are ill equipped to be his/ her counselor You are from two different worlds – most of the time there is a deviation of morals, values, and sometimes class. You cannot save them from their abusive selves by making yourselves a punching bag or an overly used sexual object. You will never succeed at making an unhappy person happy. This is also fact.
I will end right here. Believe in yourself. Always know that the red flags are there to help you stay away from harm, they show up before mom and dad do. Never be ashamed to make mistakes- we all have. Be brave enough to walk away. And, always know that you are worth love. And, Love is God and God is love. Love Doesn’t Hurt.
Check out: http://blog.loveisrespect.org/
@FreeShayla on Twitter.