Hello there, I see you enjoyed the previous episode of Quarantine Diaries. The government has eased lockdown here in Lagos but we are still at home, at least, for all students. Now, one of those things I am grateful for about this break is the fact that I am able to reflect on life as well as the choices I have made in the past. Well, I have made both right and wrong choices. While reflecting on these choices, a particular one that got me was that of abusive relationships.
I am aware that there are experts who can address domestic violence better, which I am not, but I just feel like sharing this for as many people that would come across this. It would even be more advantageous to the unmarried. Don’t be deceived, issues like these are easier to resolve before marriage, than after. Now, this is not to say that the married are condemned or something but we should be honest about it. It isn’t so easy.
Surprisingly, a lot of people are in abusive relationships without even knowing it. I was once one of those people. It happened just last semester. I broke up with Tony, my psycho ex-boyfriend. Initially, I agreed to date him because I thought he was perfect for me. He was nice, handsome, popular and yes, he was rich. I mean, those are the stupid things we dream of about men. But not anymore, trust me, I have changed a lot since then. Tony literally gave me everything I wanted and at some point, I began to think it was all too good to be true.
Alas, it was! Few weeks into the relationship, he started abusing me verbally. At first, I didn’t think much of it because I consoled myself with the lie that that’s how he gets when he is angry. He would then come back with more gifts to tell me he is sorry. That validated the lie I told myself , so I foolishly accepted him and his gifts. Okay, don’t blame me just yet, I was young and in love, or so I thought. The abuse didn’t stop, instead, it escalated into physical abuse. Tony would find faults and hit me at the slightest provocation. He would then buy me things to hide my bruises. It was traumatizing. I started doing poorly in my school work, then I realized I needed to get help.
I told my best friend, Timmy about it. It was hard doing so but I had to do what I had to do. We came up with a plan. We developed a secret code to call for help whenever the abuse was on. The day I finally put an end to the rubbish, I was at his place when something happened. I can’t even remember what. He started hitting me and I called Timmy, telling her I wanted to get the shoe I told her about. She got the clue and in less than 30minutes, she came around with Daniel, another of our close friends. They saved him from him that day, took me from his house and made sure I never returned there, I got out of that abusive relationship but I didn’t get over it completely that day. It was a healing process, which I am grateful to have been through.
Just because you partner isn’t hitting you, it doesn’t mean you aren’t being abused. Domestic Violence may be verbal, physical or emotional. It is often for the purpose of gaining control over the victim.
Now, one question a lot of people ask is why don’t you just leave? It’s not that simple really. A major reason I didn’t leave, apart from the emotional attachment was fear. I was afraid of things I don’t know. The same goes for other people who are in abusive relationships. It is even harder when you have been isolated from your family members or if the abuser is in charge of your finances. It takes a lot of courage and strength.
How then do you handle an abusive relationship? Get help. Honestly, getting help does not come easy. However, talking to a trusted person will go a long way. You can seek help from reputable organizations such as Project Alert and the likes. I believe they have the adequate training and experience to help you.
In everything you do, avoid making excuses for an abusive partner. Most times, abusers are not willing to change. Instead, seek for ways to help them, like a therapy or counselling, if you can and your partner is willing to change. If they do not appear to change however, stay away from the relationship. Don’t become a punching bag. You are born from a star and you deserve more.
I hope this part of my experience has helped you in some way. Join me in the next episode as we explore my world
Photo: Google Photos
Story: Olu-Ojegbeje Ololade