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The Domestic Violence Cycle: It Reads Like a Dramatic Play

This was sent to me and unfortunately the author is unknown, but I think it is a wonderful way of describing the cycle of domestic violence.

Act One

You meet a neat person.
You get to know them over a period of time -- often brief.
You begin a relationship.
You are in love.
Everything is great.
Then something happens that is not so great. An explosive argument, a jealous fit, a glass thrown across the room shatters against the wall.
You're shocked, perhaps frightened. You assess things (maybe). You decide, okay until then the relationship has been perfect. Maybe the sex is great or the friendship is really important or you have so many things in common it seems predestined or maybe you were together in a former life or you are in sync on so many levels or you're just plain lonely. And you decide it wasn't that important.
Maybe the person apologizes or maybe you do. After all, if you hadn't been so demanding or you hadn't been on the phone so long with your best friend or your mother hadn't come over, this wouldn't have happened.
Your partner promises it won't happen again.
Your partner brings you gifts, takes you out to dinner.
So you carry on as if nothing happened.

Act Two

This repeats a few times, maybe taking different forms. Your partner puts you down. Or doesn't talk to you as much as before. But you're in love. So you try harder.
Then you move in together, maybe even get married. Perhaps a commitment on your part will assure your partner of your love.
Little incidents continue to happen. You continue to ignore them. Sometimes you may even throw a fit of your own.
Then one night your partner doesn't come home at all. Or your partner comes home drunk. Or your partner is really angry and raises a hand at you. Or your partner puts you down. You're not thin enough, smart enough, don't make enough money.
Okay, you're a little more frightened, maybe a little more angry. But you decide everyone has problems and you can deal with this.
Your partner apologizes.
Your partner brings you gifts, takes you out to dinner.
Things are better than ever.
Things go on for a while like this.
You feel proud that you can accept your partner's idiosyncrasies. After all, it could be worse. And God knows, you're not perfect either.

Act Three

And then things change again. Maybe your partner ridicules you in public. Or maybe your partner even has sex with someone else, but says "It didn't mean anything."
You're very hurt. Your partner apologizes, brings you gifts, takes you out to dinner, You forgive.
Things are better than ever.
Then something else happens.
Something bigger than the last thing.
Like maybe your partner disappears for a few days. Or maybe your partner comes to your office and throws a fit because you happen to work with other people and thus you've made your partner jealous. Or maybe your partner gets really mad and throws the glass at you.
You explain and soothe your partner's feathers. You assure your partner it's okay, you love no one else, there's no reason to be jealous, everyone needs to get away every once in a while, and gee, there aren't any scars from the glass, so it's all okay.
Your partner brings you gifts, takes you out to dinner.
Things are better than ever.
And things go on like this for a while.

Act Four

Then one night something big happens. Like your partner, whom you love with all your heart, gets angry yet again and locks your kids in their bedroom. Without supper. Without lights. And maybe you speak up. And maybe this time instead of a glass, it's a shoe of a chair or a ball bat that hits you.
And you cry.
And your partner apologizes.
More gifts, more dinners, more promises it will never happen again.
And you believe.
Things are better than ever.
Then it happens again. And each time it gets a little worse. Or it takes another form. Like your partner decides you shouldn't have a particular friend because that friend is the one causing all your problems. Or your partner should manage all the money because that will eliminate some of your partner's stress. And you agree, because after all, your partner wasn't like this in the beginning, so it must be something you're doing, right?
Someday your partner may do something so bad that you kick your partner out of the house. Or you run away yourself. But oh, you miss the love, don't you? The good times? So when your partner apologizes this time, with more gifts, more promises, you go back home or let your partner back in the house, knowing this time your partner means it. This time it really will change.
Things are better than ever.

Act Five

But things change again.
If the abuse is physical, one night you find yourself in the emergency room, lying about how you got that black eye or that broken arm.
If the abuse is emotional, you may find yourself in a therapist's office trying to figure out what you are doing wrong.
Your family and friends try to talk to you.
You pretend to listen but decide they don't know what they're talking about and after all, you love your partner and your partner loves you.
You go back home.
Your partner brings you gifts. You don't want to go out to dinner.
Things are great for a while. Better than ever.

The Curtain Falls

And then things start going down hill again.
More violence, more cruelty, more belittlement, more control, whatever form the abuse is taking, it just gets worse.
And one day you don't come home.
Because you're dead or have gone insane.

And why?

Because you kept doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

That is the true definition of insanity.

But It Doesn't Have To Be Like This.




A Suggestion to Escape From Domestic Violence