i found out something--that you will find out who your true friends are when you go through something like this. or maybe i ought to restate that: getting out of my abusive relationship identified who my real friends and loved ones are...in a way...and i lost the ones who i thought were 'real.'
domestic violence is such a shitty topic. i guess really, who wants to talk about it? sure, there are support groups out there and well meaning people in the world--most amazing people who dedicate themselves to eradicate abuse...the #1 killer of women, ages 15-44, above cancer and auto accidents, if you can believe that. in fact, don't believe me, go check out the stats at the United Nations <site>.
but who really wants to talk about it on an every day basis? especially when they believed your partner, or rather, i ought to say, when they believed my ex was a nice man? that by believing me, they had to believe that they were also wrong in a way, that somehow they just didn't sense it? and above and beyond that, understanding domestic violence in the day-to-day, nitty gritty, non after-school special kind of way, takes a sensitivity and if it's not there, and not that i blame anyone for not having it, it just wears on you. tires you out. that takes a toll. it was just too intense. it was just too much.
i found some of my friends were there from the beginning to the end, living the fire with me. and a handful...while saying they would do anything to help us, to be there no matter what, to testify even if they had to, to support my two little ones, they couldn't help but fade away, to take a step back. and again i understand why. it's like being run over by a truck. and then having it go back and forth over you. so it's not something that is good or bad, it just is. limits were found that are good to know about.
what surprised me though, is that even now, in the aftermath, in the light of my new life that is full of blessings i had never imagined, it's almost like a handful could understand and empathize with the victim that i was. but now, on the other side, with new opportunities and change and life happening, again, there is a fade away. it's baffling, and sad, and makes me long for these handful of friendships. i always had a hard time saying goodbye. but on the other hand, maybe it's one of those things that i ought to embrace. the loved ones who are coming back into my life again, now that the storm is over, or my loved ones that were always there, all along. so there might be the side effect of the purge--the people who can't handle the situation who quietly go...but also there is the blessing that the ones who love you truly, understand or do their best to understand, who showed their love in ways that you or i couldn't have ever anticipated...maybe that is the best side effect ever.