I remember as a child, the world seemed peaceful and hopeful. The only thing I worried about was the next exploration my imagination would take me. As I got older, real life sank in. I realized the life I explored as a child, wasn’t the life I was expected to live. Growing up in New York City wasn’t easy. Being bullied in elementary school, to dealing with racism and being called SPIC (derogitory word for hispanics) to being raised by a single mom, struggling with five kids-- as a result of domestic violence and its treacherous cycle.
Understanding the dynamics of what it’s like to live in an environment where everything is a struggle. It made it really easy for me to fear that one day, I would be the product of the same struggle that haunted generations. I’m in awe with the reality that we all can walk different paths in life but the echoes of economic struggle trickles within our beings and can be passed on as a cyclic pattern onto the very path-- we thought we’d never fall into. I myself longed to be a successful Hispanic woman. One, who would be proud to never fall at the hands of an abusive partner. Not to even ever be hurt by a man in such a way. I sit here and I think back on how so sure, I was to never fall in that cycle that riddled generations.
Ohhh but I did...
I was afraid, I felt lost, alone and helpless. In a society that judges so harshly, I didn't know who to turn too. I wondered, if I did, would anyone be that shoulder to cry on or ridicule me and kick me while I was down. Reminiscent of a time when I was bullied as a child. I felt mentally stuck. I wanted to leave but I didn't know where to start or even how. The thing about abuse is it's like adapting to certain conditions based on the environment as it becomes apart of the day to day. Regardless, if one is enduring abuse physically, emotionally and/or verbally.
In my experience, the manipulator managed to create a dynamic where emotions were being tampered with. This can manifest in the use of threats of custody over children, finances or basic needs and stability. The manipulator creates a dynamic of control. The one being abused becomes emotionally controlled in some form and becomes apart of an illusion that somehow is preventing the outcome that would bring about the consequences, if the manipulator's demands are not met. This dynamic starts off small and as time goes by and the relationship grows, so does the control. Like what our world is enduring in this time of the pandemic--adaptation to ones conditions within an environment becomes the new normal. In an abusive dynamic, the one being manipulated and or abused adapts to the conditions set forth in prevention of an unnecessary outcome. This dynamic may develop incognizant to the one being manipulated as it happened to me in my expereince.
Being in a relationship that was detrimental to my well being has taught me that just having one person present was enough. Present to listen. This paved the direction for me to hear my own voice through the inner turmoil and confusion. It was easy for me to harshly judge myself as that was the only voice that screamed through the mental anguish; while others who may have known of the circumstances look on in pity. Some may hesitate to think that one day they too may be a victim of some sort.
I thank all those whom were present for me. Those who held back from judgement and allowed me to process what I was enduring. For this, being present to listen and not advise, not judge but to hear with an ear to listen. These stories may not be easy to hear but after all, the person confides in you because they know you care but care in such a way that comes from a place of humility. This may help and enable the person to take their first step on their new journey or just give them the right amount of courage to hear themselves speak about what their enduring. Afterall, if the person doesn't feel that they are being heard....why speak?