Sunday, July 24, 2005

Like a fish needs a bicycle

Part of working at the shelter is accepting that a lot of the women who live there will go back to their abusers, and that some are back at the shelter after living there before and moving back in with the same abusers they were running from the first time. We take them back as many times as they need it. Women leave their abusers an average of something like nine times before they leave for good. This boggles my mind. I could see leaving and coming back a once or twice when you had no place to go or in a moment of loneliness, but how do it over and over?

I think my mind just works on a different frame from most people's here. I've known almost forever I wanted kids, but I could more easily do without a man. I'd rather be a single mother than a childless wife, though I don't plan on being either. I just can't fathom the kind of need that would drive a person to go back to their abuser nine times. Bridget used to be annoyed with Ann Landers for advising women to leave men who'd done them wrong - "Hello? She loves him! You can't just expect her to leave." To me the two things never seemed to have much to do with each other.

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