Earlier today I was at Starbucks working on a site for a client and overheard a conversation.
I go to Starbucks pretty regularly. Especially with lil one in school full-time I use it as a meeting place for clients and a work space. I could work at home…in the house, but the never ending list of mommy chores (dishes, laundry, cleaning, organizing, blah and blah) would consume my day and my project wouldn’t get completed. Starbucks is my escape where I can go WORK with little or no interruption from other people. They also have cookies and other sweets that I don’t have to wash a dish for afterwards. If you are new to my blog, I am a Starbucks regular. I gave it up for lent once and I’m not even Catholic. LOL.
Anyways, today was different.
I knew when I parked my car at this location that things were not going to be the usual. Part of me wanted to drive to another location, but I just finished a scope (Periscope broadcast) and did not feel like driving anymore.
I bid my viewers good bye as I always do and walked into my favorite table. Even though I am one person with one lap top and one computer bag I like a table with 4 chairs. I like the illusion of space. I put my computer on the desk and plugged in my phone to charge as I usually do. I put my bag in the chair beside me as I always do. I went to the counter to order and suddenly got indecisive about wanting a cold or hot Chai Latte as I always do. I ordered a Spinach Feta wrap. Why did I order that? I did not want a wrap.
As I sat in my seat waiting on the wrap that I didn’t plan on ordering I overheard the ladies talking in the table ahead of me. People are always talking in Starbucks so that wasn’t strange. It’s not the library so no one is saying Shhhhhhhhh! I tried to ignore their conversation. I really did.
There was a part that struck me. I was moved. I got teary-eyed. In both eyes. I had to hold back tears and pretend I wasn’t listening.
When I walked in, I assumed they were talking about a job offer or an interview of some sort. There was an ID on the table and some papers. The ladies were casually dressed and there is a mall nearby. I assumed one lady worked at the mall and was hiring the other.
I was WRONG. I wish I hadn’t sat beside them. I wish I hadn’t gone to that Starbucks.
You know how they say everything happens for a reason?
So yeah they weren’t talking about a hire date or a job at all. They were talking about an extremely taboo topic in our culture. It was a triumph topic in a way. My tears may have been of joy, not sadness.
The ladies sitting in the table in front of me were talking about the one lady leaving an abusive relationship. The lady that I thought was giving an interview was a social worker with Hubbard House. The lady I thought was being interviewed was a very brave soul that was making a great choice for her and her children.
Why did I get teary eyed about this?
The part of the conversation that struck me was the social worker telling the other lady “It gets more dangerous after you leave so..”
I remembered my Dad telling me that when I left my child’s father.
In that very moment all these past emotions rushed at me. All the arguments. All the yelling. The fear of waking up beside someone that could hurt me.
I consider myself lucky. I got out of the relationship within months of realizing it was abusive. I made the mistake of taking him back, but then enough was enough.
Women stay in abusive relationships for years. Fear keeps them there. Fear leads them back.
The worst part of my situation was telling people that I trusted what happened and them replying “Will y’all get back together?” or “I’m praying for you two.”
Pardon my french, but What the fuck? You just heard the agonizing experience I went through and are encouraging me to stay with that person? Are you serious?
I officially called it quits with my child’s father in 2013. I said enough was enough in 2014. To this day, there are people that have hope that we will get back together.
If you know someone in an abusive relationship and they actually escape, why would you encourage them to go back? Why? Someone has to provide a reason. It makes no sense to me.
Society tries to paint the victim of abuse as “mentally weak” for allowing the abuse. Then turns around and encourages him/her to give their abuser another chance. Basically so they can call them demean them some more.
When a woman mentions her victory of escaping her toxic relationship she automatically labeled a victim. A person that leaves an abusive relationship is a hero. Even if the only person they are saving is their own self.
As a single mother that left a toxic relationship, I don’t want sympathy. I want respect.
People need to stop perpetuating the idea that it is okay for someone to be mistreated by someone that says they love them. All over social media there are video clips of people abused. There are even skits of people making fun of the abuse. There are so many images of men disrespecting women. It is disgusting.
On social media everyone pretends their relationships are perfect. Couldn’t be further from the truth. Some of those same people smiling in pictures are the same ones fighting and living in fear.
If you know anyone in an abusive relationship listen to them. Just let them talk. Don’t offer suggestions. Don’t interrupt. What that person needs is a friend, someone to trust. Pray for them. Pray that they get the strength to leave for good. Pray that their children are unharmed by the abuser. Pray for them to not break spiritually.
Abuse is the abuser’s problem. Not the victim’s. Pray for the abuser and that no one else gets in their grasp.
This story was totally different than any I have ever shared before. Thank you for reading it.