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And working my head off!

I want to learn how to do diaphragms and cervical caps, even though there are no more cervical caps in this country, Canada makes some nice ones called Oves that we’ve used. I want to learn to inseminate. (Someone said to me: Men can do it, how hard can it be?) I want to have a Well-Woman Day at least once a month here to get things hopping. I need to find places to announce the Meet the Midwives Nights. I am scheduling the childbirth classes a year in advance… we are going to do one on a weeknight and another on Saturday morning. There is so much to do!

I have a woman who thinks I am going to be her midwife, but I haven’t agreed to it yet. I can’t find anyone to assist me. There are social safety and physical safety issues at play and every bit of instinct says to stay away. I will have to tell her when she comes in next.

Why do women who are abused keep going back to the man? I cannot fathom why they do the yo-yo thing and come and go depending on the man’s actions. How hard can it be to realize they are not going to change unless they quit drinking/drugging/sexing and get help… continuous help. When a woman doesn’t realize it is abuse, that is one thing, but when they verbalize the knowledge that it is abuse… and describe episodes in detail… how can they selectively forget that? It is just baffling.

Reader Comments (1)

There's an entire mentality among many abused women that is difficult to understand. As someone who has been through it, I can say that the reason I stayed the first time was because I just KNEW that if I was good enough to him, and could get him to love me, he'd change and stop being an asshole. My mom scared me when she used the word "abusive" because it never even occurred to me that that was my situation. I left, and a year later, I went back, convinced that he had changed. Everything was great until I got pregnant and refused to have an abortion. When I realized that this man was willing (and eager) to put me and his child out on the street with nothing, just to avoid the responsibility of being a parent, I woke up and left for good.

I think that epiphany is one that every battered woman needs to come to on her own. Once she realizes that she cannot change her partner, and that her quality of life is NOT going to get better as long as she's with this person, she'll be ready to leave.

There are also so many other reasons why they don't leave. In a lot of cases, the abusive partner has cut off all access to the outside world. Friends and family are alienated, finances are tightly controlled, outside work or activities are forbidden.. the list goes on. The woman often has no marketable skills, no experience in handling finances, no understanding of how to run a home on their own.

Fortunately, there ARE resources available to these women, to help them get the knowledge and confidence they need. UNfortunately, so many of them don't even know about the resources. They've heard about shelters, but they've seen the movies on TV where the psycho estranged husband shows up and tries to kill everyone, and they fear that.

What it boils down to (or at least, what it did for me) is knowing that there was SOMEONE, ANYONE out there who believes, respects, and cares for them. When you're not in their situation, it's easy to ask why they stay, and it's easy to get frustrated when they don't *hear* you tell them they've got to get out. Nine times out of ten, what these women need more than anything is someone who will love and support them, no matter what. Even though you know (and they know in some small way) that your urging is well-intentioned, it often comes across as pressure to do something they're afraid of. And when you get frustrated because they don't leave, they often think that you're blaming them for the abuse they're suffering. After all, they already believe it's their fault, so this is just confirmation in their minds.

Sorry for the long-winded comment..

(The "you" here is general.. not directed at you personally, Barb, and the situations I'm referring to are the majority of, not all, abuse victims. I use the feminine simply because they're the most commonly abused; I know there are abused men out there, too.)

September 10, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterShylah

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