She hesitantly returned to him and the abuse stopped for a short while… but it began again. It grew significantly worse over the years due to issues that stemmed from jealousy, insecurity, and control. Nonetheless, she remained with him trying to fix their relationship because of love.
Sometimes it’s fear of deportation or revenge against family; other times it’s the economic dependency, especially if the abuser provided the income. Often, it’s the sheer paralysis of finding a safe place to live, particularly in the Bay Area with its high cost of living. Ana Castillo, who works for the Next Door Solutions (NDS) advocacy housing program, recounts a recent case about a client we will name “Angela”.
My toddler’s instinct to protect his mother enabled me to escape from the darkness. I asked myself: what am I doing? My abuser was removed from our shared home and I changed the locks. A police officer referred me to Next Door Solutions.
What I found shocked me and revealed the fierce grip abuse can have on victims, even when those memories are buried in the deepest corners of our mind.
Contrary to what the song says, love should not hurt. Not in these ways.
Fear. It’s the ultimate four-letter word. Have you ever seen a movie where the bad guy captures the hero’s family and the protagonist says: “whatever you do, don’t hurt them”? That was me.
I confided in my son’s pediatrician. His face grew ashen and implored me to seek the help of the Women’s Alliance (WOMA). “Your son is not growing up in that environment,” he said.
Your muscles hurt. Your lungs hurt. Your skin hurts. Lastly, your heart hurts.
The police report had the basics: my name, the department’s logo, and my statement, neatly typed. But there was more: it included Next Door Solutions’ information. I am eternally grateful it did.