Today I stuck up for a woman who was being verbally abused in the parking lot of my apartment complex.
For the past few months, her boyfriend (well, apparently her now ex-boyfriend) had been yelling at her in their apartment across the way from me. I always wanted to help her, but I could never tell which apartment unit they were in; all I heard was yelling, at least once or twice a week. I always hoped someone else would step in and call the cops on him but I don't think that ever happened.
Well today they were down in the parking lot together, and he was making her pack up his car with all his stuff. By the sounds of it, he moved out because he broke up with her because he "didn't want to be with her anymore" and he "never wanted to see her ever again." He was screaming this over and over again so the entire community could hear him, probably thinking this would make himself look better than her, but in reality, he was just making himself look like a complete asshole.
I was happy to see he finally moved out.
But, of course, he didn't leave quietly; not without his grand finale of a show. Not without tearing her down, one last time.
And she just stood there, letting him get in her face and verbally tear her to shreds in front of everyone.
I saw other people out on their balconies go inside their apartments to get away from the disruption in the parking lot and I thought to myself, "Wow, no one is going to help this girl."
I realized I was guilty of not helping her either. I think everyone, including myself, were just trying to stay out of it and not get entangled in their mess. Either that, or we were hoping someone else would be the one step in to do the dirty work to help end it.
But yet no one took any action and we all just let this girl get beat down, over and over.
So I said to myself, "THAT'S IT! Today was the day I was going to do something about it."
I watched from inside my apartment, listening to what he was saying for a little while, and coming up with a game plan of what I was going to say in my head.
I've personably been THAT girl in the past, and so I know being in a situation like this feels very isolating. A situation where someone you care about is screaming at you, telling you you're worthless, and making you feel like you're the cause of all their anger. When no one else steps in to help you out, you believe that everyone else agrees with this person who's yelling at you; that you are a terrible person. If you weren't, someone would step in and say something's not right here.
The reality of this is the abuser is getting away with whatever he wants to say, and however he wants to say it, because no one is stopping him. Since everyone is allowing him to behave like that, it makes it okay in his book, so he just keeps going.
People probably don't want to step in because they don't want to get involved in someone else's mess. Maybe they fear the abuser turning on them. Maybe they want to "be polite" and "mind their own business." Maybe they are hoping someone else will help.
Well, I think people who ignore problems and hope they just go away on their own are cowards. Furthermore, in this situation, they are assisting this abusive person. If things escalated and this girl was to get physically injured or even killed, and everyone just stood around trying to "mind their own business," would the situation still be the same? They are witness who had a choice, and they chose to be passive and do what everyone else is doing.
The way I see it, a fellow GOOD human being is being emotionally tortured. This person does not know what kind of power she has in her because she always listens to what other people tell her and believes what she hears. She has not yet learned to voice her own opinions or truly think for herself.
She's not a bad person for this, she just hasn't learned to fight for her own soul yet. She doesn't know how to handle conflict or how to recognize a mental illness in another person.
I have personally been through this stuff before and so I've learned from my own experiences (over a long, long period of time because no one else really stepped in to teach me this stuff.) I now know my own worth and I know how to fight back.
If you're struggling with anything in this world, realize that the only person who can and will ever save you is YOURSELF.
You have to develop your own unique core morals and values and you have to grow stronger. If you don't, you will be eaten alive in this world.
I used to be timid, and I've also been in and around abusive situations, but since then I've grown into myself. I now don't take shit from anyone and can be feisty as all hell when I feel like something is off track from my own core morals and values. If people don't like me for that, I don't give a fuck. Those people aren't worth my time anyways; if they can't handle me at my worst, they certainly don't deserve me at my best! On the contrary, people who work hard to keep me in their life are the ones who are worth keeping around and so I work just as hard to keep them in my life.
End of rant.
Back to my story about the girl being verbally abused today. I listened to and observed her getting berated by her ex-boyfriend for about 15 minutes until I couldn't take it anymore. No one else was doing anything so I mustered up my own courage, stepped outside on my balcony and yelled down, "Hey girl!"
Their conversation paused and she turned and looked up at me.
"Don't listen to anything else he says. He's an abuser and you're better than that. I can call the cops for you if you want."
She then started to back away from him, and he jumped out of his car and started yelling up at me (this took the heat off of her and distracted him while she ran inside to her apartment.)
"Mind your own business! And you can suck my D, too!," the asshole yelled up at me.
I just turned my back on him, walked back into my apartment and slammed my screen door (signaling I was clearly done talking. End of conversation. Drop the mic.)
He continued on and on, yelling out of his car as he drove off into his own personal hell.
"Good fuckin' riddens to you, sir. No one wants you here anyways," I thought to myself.
Our community was back at peace and that girl was back in her apartment and safe.
It doesn't take much to help sometimes. All I had to say was a few sentences to scare him off, and already had it mentally prepared in my head that I wasn't going to let him get to me. I just said what I needed to say and then I was gone. Out of the conversation. I actually didn't even have to talk to him, I was only talking to her 😉
I put an end to his abuse, even if it was only for the moment, but I feel like I helped. And for that I feel like I did the right thing.
I have no idea what she's been thinking about the rest of the afternoon but I hope she feels like one person in her community believes in her and has her back. Just knowing you're not alone is sometimes all you need in order to move forward to a more positive life for yourself.
You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop and what you reinforce.
I hope more people out there can find the courage to help others who are in need. I also hope more people will realize their true worth sooner in life rather than later and ditch the toxic people in their lives. Maybe then those toxic people will realize there's something wrong with them and go get some professional help. If we keep allowing these mentally ill people to behave badly, then it just encourages them to continue doing what they are doing, which means people will just keep getting hurt. The best thing to do is to ignore them and save yourself.
Again, the only person who can save you is yourself.
I hope this blog post and this blog empowers others to rise to their full potential. If you've got any comments about this, please leave them below! I'd love to hear your opinion!
If you'd like more info on abuse or mentally ill people, including narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths, there are a few Facebook communities I personally like to follow for support: