Thursday, April 12, 2012

Excuses, excuses! What are your excuses for wearing ill-fitting shoes?

If you are like me, you have a dozen or more excuses for wearing those shoes that hurt your feet. Which have you used before?

• Beauty hurts, my dear, so get over it.
• If they don't hurt, they are not worth wearing.
• They don’t hurt that bad.
• These are sitting shoes, they weren’t made for walking.
• I just have to walk from the house to the car and the car to chair inside.
• I can make it.
• I don’t care how much they hurt, they look good on me.
• They will fit better with socks, stockings, a pad, or a Band-Aid inside.
• Do you know how much these normally cost?
• For this price, I am going to buy them even if they don’t fit.
• It’s the only pair; I am going to buy them even if they are too big/small.
• They don’t hurt if I walk like this…
• For the price I paid, I am keeping these shoes.
• [Insert name] bought me these shoes, I have to wear them.

What other excuses have you used? Share them with us, please. It doesn’t matter what the excuse is, we rationalize it to justify the abuse to our feet. We assert that the damage will only be temporary and the risk/pain is so worth it. The truth is, however, long-term abuse can lead to life-long injuries. Come on, you know this is true. How many of you have seen the movies where the beautiful girl is chastised because of her ugly feet. Some of you can just look down at the deformities that were caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes over an extended period of time. Some of my sisters have had surgeries to shave down the unattractive bulges and bumps on their feet. Others have had corrective surgeries in order to walk again or minimize the constant pain. Let’s face it, we abuse our feet for sports, for dance and for beauty. When will we stop and say, enough is enough? When will we will say NO to abuse, even if the abuse is self-afflicted on our feet?

Let me flip the coin. Yes, my sisters in abusive relationships right now, I am coming for you! I know we have made excuses for staying with angry, controlling, abusive men. I have either said or heard these excuses before, have you?

• But, he loves me.
• You don’t know how sweet he really is to me.
• He makes me feel so good, when he is not angry.
• He’s just under a lot of stress right now.
• We have been together for over xx years now.
• I can’t live without him.
• He doesn’t know how to have a loving relationship.
• I am going to teach him.
• We’re having money problems.
• He doesn’t know how to manage his anger.
• He only acts like that when he’s been drinking/using.
• He was so sweet when we began dating, I don’t know why he changed.
• It’s going to get better when…
• He is getting help for that problem.
• I need to support him right now.
• It’s not that bad. I can handle it.
• He is worth $$$$ or earns $$$$ more than I per month.
• I would be a fool to leave.
• Give up all of this, are you kidding?
• Where would I go and what would I do, if I left him?
• Who is going to help me, financially, emotionally, and physically?
• How do I get out and stay out?

Don’t get me wrong, women can be abusers, too. The gender of the abuser or victim is irrelevant. Abuse of any kind, by anyone, is wrong. It is also a crime in many states. It is time you asked yourself some difficult questions. Why do I make excuses for unacceptable behavior, unbearable living conditions, or physical/emotional injuries? Who taught me to accept this treatment? Why can’t I just say no? What is the worst that can happen if I leave? What is the worst that could happen if I stay? How is this affecting my family/children? Who can I turn to for help? What is my safety plan? Oh, I understand that you have countless more questions. Keep reading, I hope to provide some answers in this blog. But, more importantly, I know people and places where you can get answers, TODAY. I have included a small list below. But, I beseech you to stop making excuses!

Personally, I stopped making excuses when my nine year old daughter asked on the way home from school, after a violent episode the night before, “Mommy, why can’t we just keep driving to somewhere safe? Why do we have to go home?” Within a week, I had sent her to visit my mother, supposedly for the summer. A few weeks later, after another late night attack, I held my tongue until morning. I left for work in the morning with my purse, as if nothing had happened, and never came home again. I went to a women’s shelter where I learned about setting boundaries and healthy relationships. What’s your story? What will it take for you to stop making excuses? What will it take for you to end the abusive relationship? Tell me, what will it take for you to wake up and drive/walk/run to somewhere safe?

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