Open Letter: Karrine Steffans Speaks Out About Recent Physical Abuse
I’ve been a victim of abuse all my life –– literally, for as long as I can remember. It is my norm. Whereas most people would run in the other direction the moment someone physically, emotionally, or mentally abuses them –– I stay.
It’s a sickness and just when I think I am cured, the cancer spreads.
For the past several years, I have been involved in a highly abusive relationship. I have been choked, whipped with belts, thrown about, berated, belittled, raped, and disregarded as a human being. I have been abandoned and embarrassed, then, loved and coddled.
I have been caught in a vicious cycle and have left on many occasions, just to return.
I have found little support from my friends and family because I complain, and I cry, then I go back for more. I go back knowing that, one day, he’ll kill me but he’s all I have. He’s the only one who understands because he’s stuck in this cycle, too.
When I try to confide in friends they ask, “Well, what did you do to him? What did you say to him?” They tell me, “You know how he is, he’s never going to change, so why do you stay? You know what you’re getting into. Don’t tell anyone because he’ll come out looking good and you’ll only make yourself look bad.” It’s always my fault.
No one understands – not even me.
So, I keep it all to myself and it continues. Then, we make up and vow it will never happen again –– then it does and I feel so foolish for ever believing he can change or that we can change. Then, I begin to believe again. I believe even now.
I love him though it pains me to admit. It sickens me to know that I will return to him in an instant and that the next time could be the last time and that breath, my last breath. Still, I hold out hope that one day we’ll learn how to love one another without pain. I pray that those who look on with smirks and judgments know one thing –– domestic violence is very real and, at times, very final.
If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of domestic violence, please contact the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at (800) 799-7233.
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