Get the Hell Out

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A woman is missing in San Antonio. Her husband is considered a suspect. Unfortunately, the authorities don’t believe that she’s still alive. 

I bring up this story for one reason: her friends have come forward to say that she told them that if anything happened to her it was the husband’s doing.

I have, unfortunately, some experience with being in an abusive relationship. I won’t go into all the gory details because I’m not a victim, have never been a victim, and will never be a victim. Trotting out the whole story strikes me as being part of the victim mindset. Just trust me when I say I know what I’m talking about.

If a friend or a family member or an acquaintance or a work colleague or someone on a plane/train/subway ever makes that comment to you, tell them to get the hell out, NOW! If you’re in that situation, RUN. When someone gives you an indication that you’re in danger, believe them. Act on it. Don’t wait around thinking that there will be a happy ending.

And don’t, for the love of all that’s holy, think that awful things can’t happen to you. They can. They do.

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17 thoughts on “Get the Hell Out”

  1. When I finally told family and friends what was happening inside my marriage, only my parents agreed with my decision to get out. Everyone else told me I needed to give him another chance. No way was I going to give him another chance to point a gun at me and pull the trigger next time. I always told him if he ever raised a hand at me, it would be the last thing he did. He never did but pointing a gun at my head was the very last straw after all the emotional and verbal abuse. I would advise anyone who expresses fear or even an uncomfortable sense of their marriage to get out but in the end, it has to be their decision. I stuck it out for a decade too long but you just never know what you’re really getting until the worst rears its ugly head. I never expected to get what I got before the I dos. I have no plans to ever marry again. Not worth the risk. Want to be able to send them on their way.

    Reply
    • Amy,

      I am so sorry that you feel you must never marry again to remain safe. I understand. I am going to suggest that you might try counseling in order to give you the tools to move forward in your life.

      I know personally that it can help.

      And I believe, as Karen has said, there are some wonderful men in the world. My son is one of them and I know there are others.

      Reply
  2. I understand all too much of what you speak. And I’m one of the ones that didn’t get out until the fourth or fifth episodes. But I did. 10 years later I met a wonderful man and now it’s been 37 years with him. He is the true example of what a man, a husband and a father should be. Ms. Karen is right, if you’re in that situation don’t wait leave.

    Reply
    • Your comment brings up a great point.

      There are lots of wonderful men out there. I know a few of them. They would cut off their hands before raising them against any woman. They’re great fathers, husbands, companions, and friends.

      There are, regrettably, some guys who aren’t wonderful out there, too. The trick is to identify them.

      Reply
  3. I can’t judge women who stay in that situation because I haven’t been through it. No one should be mistreated by the person who is supposed to love and protect them. There is help out there I wish women would not stay because things will not get better. I only speak for myself but the first time someone hits me will be the last time.

    Reply
    • I truly wish I could say that the first time it happened I left. I didn’t. I think it shocked me so much that I was stunned. My husband was a very intelligent man with an advanced degree. He was a monster when he drank, pure and simple.

      In my case I think it was fear – not wanting to try to support two boys and myself – and a natural optimism that stated that things would get better. They didn’t, but I did learn to support myself and my sons.

      Reply
  4. Thank you, Karen.
    Please tell me how to convince them. I have in the last few years run into my share of
    women who were obviously being “mistreated”. I had long conversations with some of these women. I gave them phone numbers to get help. Offered to pay for the calls (away
    from their homes) so they wouldn’t be overheard by said spouses or that I would see them
    each week when they decided to do something. All to no use. All I can do is pray they finally got some help. Two of them have disappeared and no one knows where they are. I almost don’t want to return to the places I met them but I still hold out hope.

    Reply
    • I volunteered as a counselor at a battered women’s shelter for years after my experiences.

      I ran into the same problems you have. I armed myself with information like you have. I told them my story, how my husband had killed himself after holding me at gunpoint for four hours. How the police told me that I was damn lucky not to have been killed first. (I know that, every single day.) But I also started getting angry. I asked them if they had any identifiable marks/scars/tattoos for when their body had to be identified. I took notes of our conversations and told them what I was doing – information to be passed along to the police for after they were killed. I tried to make the situation as real for them as I could. Bear in mind these were women at the shelter who were thinking of going back to their husbands or boyfriends AFTER they’d been abused and had taken the step of seeking refuge. Sometimes they stayed. Sometimes I heard, but XXXX would never do that to me. Yeah, right. Some of them left. The majority of them came back. One or two didn’t, but it didn’t end well for them.

      Reply
  5. Don’t believe the promise of” it won’t happen again”. It will.

    Don’t believe he is truly sorry. He isn’t.

    Don’t believe it is your fault. It is never your fault if he hurts you.

    Don’t believe you don’t deserve better. You are a human being and all human beings deserve to be treated with respect and love.

    Karen, I am sorry that you had to deal with a terrible time. I am very glad that you are who you are.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Annette, what a lovely thing to say.

      I think being abused is a lot like being raped. We can fall into the trap of thinking we deserved it or we started it or we made him mad. If only we hadn’t worn that skirt we wouldn’t have been raped. If only we hadn’t said something sarcastic to him we wouldn’t have been beaten. What a crock.

      Reply
  6. It’s easy to tell them to get out, but it’s still up to them. There are a lot of reasons, many of which don’t make sense, why a woman doesn’t leave. It takes a strong woman with a good support system to get out, and even then it’s not always enough. The psychological reasons defy the reality of the situation.

    Reply
    • Fear is also a big part of it. My husband told me he would kill me if I left. I believed him. It was only after he tried to kill me that I left – with four suitcases and two children – because I realized I was going to die if I stayed. I’ve never been more afraid than in those weeks. I know what terror means. If I concentrate I can remember that emotion, down to the pain in my stomach. I never want to feel that way again.

      Reply
    • Everyone has to sleep and I warned him that he shouldn’t sleep. Well…. he did and that was the last time he ever touched me. After that and until we separated he slept in the bathroom with the door locked. EVERYONE HAS TO SLEEP!!

      Reply
      • You are braver than I was. I was terrified to say boo, let alone threaten him. It wouldn’t be the same today, however.

        Reply

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