last week, i broke my left arm. it's a radial fracture in my elbow. my feet got tangled up on the stairs and i missed the handrail and went careening to the ground, landing on my hands- hard. the force of the hit in my wrists broke my elbow. i'm wearing a splint, no cast and i have a sling. when you are hurt in some way, it's interesting how everyone wants to know what happened to you- like total strangers in the store. it feels kind of invasive at times but other times it is conversational and okay. like "yes, i broke my arm falling down the stairs." and other times "no, i'm not in an abusive relationship." a long time ago, when i had a black eye, the stranger questions were even worse. the truth was, i got mugged. but i started lying to people in grocery stores and telling them i got hit with a baseball in a game because a crapload of judgment came my way from strangers when i told the truth. 'what were you doing out at night in a bad neighborhood? you shouldn't go walking by yourself.'
the whole victim blaming thing is just out of control. it was easier to tell a white lie to strangers than to deal with their feelings about the matter.
it didn't matter that i had not told the stranger what neighborhood i was in or whether i was by myself. it's funny when strangers feel entitled enough to make those leaps.
i told my friends the truth and some of my friends joked that my boyfriend must be beating me up, which was false and also quite hurtful. because at the time of that black eye, i was long away from any abusive relationship and it was already far in my past. when i was in an abusive relationship, many, many years ago, i mostly got hit where it wouldn't show and no one ever noticed that i was walking wounded.
so, guys, no, my husband is not hurting me. i truly fell down the stairs in the parking garage and it happened in the day time, so you don't need to be concerned about me walking alone- not that i would care at all if someone told me not to walk alone, cause i will do it anyway- i am stubborn like that.
but just thinking out loud, wondering what someone would have done had i ever confessed to the abusive relationships?
mostly people did nothing that knew about it- felt they could not-- or actually were unable to- or said that they did not think it was that bad. but the most common reaction was- no one noticed.
here is the thing. when someone is in an abusive relationship, the first thing you notice is not going to be a black eye. that is just movie of the week hysteria nonsense.
the real story is that look in her eye. she is the walking wounded, she will flinch at a loud noise. she will react out of proportion to a perceived threat. she will walk around with a look in her eyes that only those of us who have suffered will recognize.
look for the finger marks on the arm where she was held too tight. she will be protecting some area of her body that is sore. that happens a lot.
people are funny. nosey when they shouldn't be and stay out of it when they should get involved. this is not to say there are not a whole ton of wonderful, compassionate and cool people in this world. because there are. unfortunately, they don't make a good story in blog. it's the rudes i am writing about, the looky loos in the grocery store. but just for the record, thanks to my awesome friends and all the kind people out there who wished me well. hugs and kisses.