- Quality of Life & Wellness
Assertiveness Not Abuse
Stand Up For Yourself
Everytime the sun is shining bright on piles of snow I remember the day I snowshoed over several feet of snow to get to an assertivness training course in high school. It was held at a different location than our school, so it took some time and effort to get there since it had to be at least a mile or so. The thing is though, that I didn't have snowshoes, I was wearing clogs. You know those open-ended chunky shoes from the seventies. Well, suffice to say I was not prepared for the onslot of snow we got that day.
As I made my way through the deep layers of ice and snow on my way there, I just thought about what a beautiful day it was, and that I was glad I wasn't just seeing it from a window.I felt positive. I was on my way to learn something. When I got there it wasn't all high school students. It was mostl;y married or involved women. They started to talk. They talked about how they couldn't say things to their partners. How they had been put down. Made to feel inferior. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
I started to feel comfortabe after I heard a few of the womens' stories. I realized I wasn't all alone in the world. They were telling my story. At the time I had a verbally and physically abusive boyfriend. I didn't know boyfriends weren't supposed to treat girls this way. He was my first boyfriend.
I walked all the way to the bus stop that day armed with what would get me out of that terrible relationship. Soon something happened. It was seven a.m. I got up before my roommates and got ready for work. Yes, I moved out of my parents' house the day I turned 17. Anyway, he, the bully, came over in his car just to laugh at me falling off my bike because of the icy sidewalks. I was getting ready to ride my bike several miles wearing my uniform for work and little else. He drove off and left me there after yelling at me.
I got to work, and before the cold drained out of my face he showed up bothering me while I was putting out the make-up displays.He begged me to listen to him say he was sorry for the hundreth time. I told him if he didn't leave, I'd get fired. He left putting up a fight all the way to the door.
When I got home that evening, he was there. One of my three roommates let him in not knowing what was going on with him. I walked down the hall to the bathroom where he was just opening the door to come out. He held up a gun and shot a hole in the ceiling. I freaked out and ran. I called my Dad to come over and take me over to his house. I went and ultimately I was safe.. But if I hadn't taken that seminar on assertiveness I wouldn't have had the guts to do something about a relationshipI didn't want to be in anymore.
To sum up, I've told you all of this to help you realize that there is a way out of an abusive relationship. Back when I was in this situation there weren't very many shelters or places set up to help abused women. At least today, there are places in most communities that help women in need of medical help, counseling, and assertiveness training.