A friend of mine recently shared with me that she’s been dealing with emotional and physical abuse at the hands of a guy she was seeing.
I say was because she has fortunately left the relationship, and now is when I worry about her the most.
The most dangerous time for a victim is immediately after escape.
My friend was safe last night and this morning. She has a plan and she is strong.
I’m not going to share her story because it’s not mine to share, but I do want to talk a little about being on the other side of this for once—being the friend who listens and believes and doesn’t say should, the way my closest friends listened to and believed me and didn’t say should. (And guess what, not saying should isn’t easy, so thank you, friends. You’re incredible.)
I’m not new to people telling me they’ve been abused. Writing about domestic violence in a public way means that women frequently contact me and tell me about their own experiences. It’s the most positive feedback I receive—which might sound strange, but those messages always come with a thank you, I feel less alone since I read what you wrote. Good, that’s why I wrote it.
What I’m new to is being close to someone, seeing warning signs, and still practicing what I preach about listening instead of instructing. Continue reading