• Marta May

Opportunities To Survive

So, even after 21 years of having being assaulted by my husband in the bathroom (he tried to hit me in the heat of a psychotic episode). It happened again.

It is hard to believe that it was a replay of the old story, only I was attacked by a female relative. I stood my ground again and survived, although it took me two days to come out of the shock. It took me a day and a half to realize first, that I had been assaulted (in my own kitchen) and second, that the assault was the result of my not backing down against a person who is sick and refuses to get help. What makes it hard to solve the problem is that the entire family co-depends for these people.

Once someone reaches the third stage of addiction, it is hard to get them to see reality. Addiction comes in many forms. A person can become addicted to a way of life. This way of life could be just the laziness of sitting in front of the television, or the manipulative way of controlling a family that caters to the person's every wish and whimper.

What really gets me is that things that were clear and evident to one of the family members when the episode was taking place, seems to be wiped out of their memory by the following day. I expected it, but it never fails to amaze me. All of a sudden, it is what I said and did in order to defend myself that is on trial... what they remember. It is not the fact that I was trying to defend myself. The one thing that became evident as the day progressed, was how important it was for the family to keep their secret.

I ask myself... "Why does it keep happening to me? What came first, the chicken or the egg?" The answer is, and I hate to admit it, that as long as I have taken a stand against abuse, I must stay away from abusers or I will be forced to take such stand again and they will go ballistic. So be it.

I do try to recognize them and delete them from my life, but what if it is a relative, and not even of my own family? A Cuban I can deal with. Cubans have no secrets. We also do not hold a grudge. Family members can have a discussion, sometimes a heated argument, but it remains a form of debate, and afterwards it all goes back to, "Heck, we are family, so what if we think differently?" That is how I grew up. My uncle was the communist of the family. We were all just waiting to leave the country… yet, he was one of my favorite uncles and always welcome.

What is right is right. There are too many people that “swing with the tides.” Doesn’t anyone have “balls” anymore to take a stand to advocate truth?

If you cannot get away from a relative, in such a way as to not cause further family strife, you can suffer for years. When together, always sit at the opposite side of the large table. If they become "weird" just leave. But we are not often offered such luxury. Sometimes the relative could turn out to be a paranoid schizophrenic? Who knows? I am not qualified to diagnose. When that relative opens the door by going "psychotic" on you, all bets are off.

Opportunities present themselves and are not to be missed. Push the "delete button" and thank God you survived it… But never bend over and take it unless you enjoy it! This episode, it took me less time to realize what happened. I did not have to go to my psychologist to talk about it, I just wrote. I wrote, and wrote, and am writing.

I thank The Powers of The Universe for each opportunity to learn.

— Marta


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