Escape the Abuse
Something very sad happened today, and I would like to share this story in hopes that it will help someone else in a similar situation.
I was selling my art at the Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco today, and during the end of the day, right after I finished packing up, a nicely dressed girl around my age came up to me asking for money to take the train home.
I asked her how much she needed. She said $21, which is a lot more than I’m used to hearing. Normally people are a few dollars short, so I thought she was trying to scam me. But then I took a closer look at her and realized that she looked very beat up. Her lips were swollen and her nose was bruised. It turns out that she had to run away from her abusive boyfriend’s house this morning and didn’t have time to grab her stuff. She didn’t have any friends or family to rely on so she had been wondering around the city for over 13 hours asking for change so she can take a train to her grandmother’s house 2 hours away.
It’s unbelievably tragic that she had to go through all that. My publisher and I gave her the money she needed and drove her to the train station. On the way, she talked about how her boyfriend had abused her for many days before it finally got so bad that she had to escape.
This reminded me somewhat of my own situation 5 years ago when my psychotic stepmom talked her son into trying to kill me with a kitchen knife. I told the girl about my past, and how I immediately escaped to the safety of my grandparent’s house because waiting would mean potential death.
So to anyone out there who is currently in an abusive situation, be it from your boyfriend, or step parents, or anyone who is threatening your health and happiness: Leave. Don’t wait. We can hope that those abusive people will change, but realistically, it’s very unlikely that they will. Don’t let them guilt trip you into staying with their lies and false promises. At the first sign of abuse, leave and never look back. Don’t wait until it gets so bad that you have to escape in desperation and covered in bruises. Save yourself as soon as you can. You are worth way more than how they’ve been treating you.