This is a beautiful and eloquent open letter to a friend in an abusive relationship. It can be incredibly difficult for those looking in from the outside to understand why their loved one would stay with someone who is making their lives so miserable but it is so much more complicated than that.
Abusers are clever – they know how to manipulate their victims; in my case my ex-husband convinced me that I was “lucky” that he was willing to put up with me based on what had happened to me in the past. He made me believe that I was dirty, and unworthy of anyone else and the more I believed this the more I tried to please him.
This article is an excellent message to both the victim of in an abusive relationship and the friends who stand by bewildered by what they see – it can be terribly frustrating to see someone you love fall under the spell of a manipulative abuser but it is important to remember that they need you, despite the fact that it may take some time for them to realise what is going on they need YOU to be there, despite the fact they may try to leave and fail (and yes this will be very frustrating) they need YOU to stand by them until they are ready to finally leave.
If you have a loved one in this situation then please don’t abandon them when they need you the most.
Dear loved one,
This is a letter for you, the person in our lives who is in an abusive relationship. You are our sister and our brother, the girl we went to college with, the friend with whom we went on that epic road trip, our coworker, our parent, our past self, our future child. The abuse you’re living though may be emotional, sexual, or physical. You abuser may be a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, parent, friend, or some other relationship to you. Maybe you’ve spoken with us about your abuse, maybe you’re not yet comfortable sharing it, or maybe you’re not even comfortable labeling the treatment you endure with the “A” word. This letter is to you, the one we love who is enduring abusive behavior.
There are some things we want you to know, and the first, the most important, is this:
You are loved.
I love you, and…
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