No, you wouldn't.
The things you'll never understand.
I will never understand on-again-off-again relationships. I would never do that.
No, you wouldn't. Not until the happy year you spent falling in love turned into cloud-chasing highs and ocean-drowning lows. Not until his deceptive, sickeningly sweet voice coaxed you back into false safety when you've begun to walk away.
I will never let anyone treat me like that. I don't understand how people stay in abusive relationships.
No, you wouldn't. Not until you had nowhere else to go but a home that never felt even 10 percent yours. Not until he's acting reckless and you can't tell how serious he is, but the odds seem high and you don't think you could live with the guilt he's already placed on you if he actually acted on his words.
I will never understand how sexual assault survivors can stay silent. I would never let someone get away with that.
No, you wouldn’t. Not until you’re in shock because you don’t understand how someone you trusted could violate you like that. Not until you know what it’s like to want so badly to forget it happened that you refuse to let yourself accept it for what it was until months after the fact, until it’s too late to do anything but excommunicate the monster from your life.
I will never let a man come between me and my friends. I don’t understand the women who get in a relationship and disappear.
No, you wouldn’t. Not until you have a partner who has no friends and mistakes his infatuation with you for love. Not until you’re questioned excessively about every guy you speak to and have to decide whether or not they’re worth the fighting or walking away.
I will never understand how someone can get away with beating their partners. I would never let a man lay a finger on me.
No, you wouldn’t. Not until you look in the mirror at your bruises and you have to picture what that conversation would look like if you asked for help. Not until you consider packing your bags and running while he’s at work, but the aching feeling that he would show up where you are with a weapon and a vendetta won’t leave the pit of your stomach.
I will never let myself become dependent on another person. I don’t understand how people can be okay with that.
No, you wouldn’t. Not until you’re not in control of your own finances because you got laid off and can’t find another job no matter how qualified you are. Not until you’re out of options and, as much as you hate it, you have to let someone take care of you even though you know the risks of it.
I will never –
No, you won’t. You can’t. I know. I said the same things once upon a time. Don’t we all? It’s not something to understand. It’s not something that should happen or have to be understood, and you won’t understand unless you go through it. I hope to God you won’t ever have to understand. I hope to God you’ll never have to look back and say but I did when you look back on the things you said you would never do, never tolerate.
Take the luck you’ve had and run with it. No one chooses to be in an abusive situation. They’re stuck. They’re struggling. They may never get out of it. It doesn’t do any good for anyone to add to their problems by insulting their strength – and let me tell you it takes so much strength – to pretend you know what you would do in their situation.
Don’t be. Be better.