Abuse Is Not Love

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Some people learn the hard way, that letting someone abuse you, does not mean they love you.

Submitted: March 24, 2007

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Submitted: March 24, 2007

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I saw his hand come down on me, but I didn’t feel it. I hadn’t felt it for a long time, I’d become so numb to the abuse. I just took it, but this time I came into darkness. And now I’m lost somewhere in this comatose, peripheral state remembering back to December. A time when I was happy. A time when life was “perfect.”

December was when I fell in love with Braeden. He was suave, benign, and gentle. He always bought me lacquered gifts from expensive places, and took me to fancy restaurants. We’d spend every free moment we had with one another. I had no idea when I met him at that party he was the monster sitting beside me now.


The first time he hit me was on Christmas. I was sick, but I was determined to party with the man that I “loved”, so I rubbed on some Vicks and left the house unaware of the slag that had built up where I’d rubbed it. When he went to hug me it seeped through my shirt and got on his. He got this wild look in his eyes and grabbed me real hard and hit me across the face. Then he gave me my gift, a pair of zori his father brought back from Asia with him, like nothing had even happened.


After that the formidable prospect of escaping, abuse ceased to exist, and the bruises never stopped coming. I hid what I could with make-up and clothing and he would ostracize me for hiding them because no one ever noticed. And he was right, no one did notice. Even after I quit the basketball team and refused an internship at a modeling agency, no one showed any concern. And as I lay here trapped in my mind, I think about why no one tried to save me. Why I didn’t even try and save myself.


Why did I stay with him for so long? I can’t seem to sequester the pros from the cons as to why I stayed with Braeden for so long. It wasn’t like his love was irrevocable. In fact our whole relationship was sacrilege. Wouldn‘t that have made it easy to leave him? Why did I let him misuse and abuse me for so long?


The answer to the question asked came to me in a few fructifying memories. One memory in particular standing out above the rest.


I was seven years old and I’d run in from school to show my mother the A I’d received on my spelling test. When I’d entered the kitchen I seen my father strike her hard across the face. I dropped my bag and ran up to my room shutting the door behind me. My mind was addled from what I witnessed. Sometime later my mother came up to tell me why he’d hit her.


“Bella do you know why daddy hit mommy?” I shook my head no and so she said, “Daddy hit me because he loves me.”


I grew up thinking this kind of pain was love. I was not the primogeniture of domestic violence, or in this case child abuse, but I believed I was. That is the reason why I longed so much for Braeden’s love and allowed him to abuse me. I thought when I met him that he would be different from my father or any other woman beater, and when he wasn’t I succumbed to his abuse as my mother did my father’s.


I’m sorry now that I was precarious and felt like I needed Braeden to survive. I’m sorry that I tried to consolidate my soul with such a monster’s soul. I’m sorry that I endured so much pain in just five months.


But if there’s one thing I’m not sorry for, it’s laying here unconscious, letting my memories strum at the chords of my heart like a plectrum. Because if I wasn’t lying here thinking I probably wouldn’t have come to the conclusion that its time to take my life back from this treacherous love.


Slowly I open my eyes and realize that Braeden is shaking me, trying to arouse me. I touch the spot on my head where I’ve hit it up against the dashboard, surprised to find there is no blood.


“I’m sorry, I promise I’ll get better, I’ll go to therapy….please don’t leave me,” he cries and buries his face in his hands.


Smiling, a façade for the situation, I open the car door and shut it. I was afraid he wouldn’t acquiesce to me getting out of the car, but he did. He looks at me with that same wild look he gave me on Christmas, but now I am no longer afraid. And so I climb the steps to my house and open the front door. Looking back at him one more time, a single tear falls down my face as I shut the door on him and that part of my life forever.


It doesn’t matter the arduous heartache I had to endure to save myself from the lie that Braeden loved me by beating on me, what matters is the journey it took to reach my awakening. Had I not traveled the road of the abuse, had I not been hit tonight, and had I not taken a journey through my mind, my heart might never of learned to become strong and I would of never walked away from this relationship. And most importantly I might of never learned that abuse is not love.


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