Women who compete in pageants are often times held to different standards. By this I mean most are considered role models. The way they dress, fix their hair, speak, and relationships. I am a huge advocate for abuse in relationships. No woman or man should have to be put through any kind of abuse; emotional or physical. Throughout my pageant career I have had the opportunity to meet several new friends. Many I will keep for a life time. Recently I had a very close friend of mine come to me and ask if I would share her story. I had no idea what this beautiful woman was going through. On the outside (to me at least) she was headstrong, carried herself well and gorgeous. But little did I know the emotions she was carrying around on the inside. When I met her at Miss Georgia USA, I would have never in million years thought she would be in an abusive relationship. What man would want to abuse someone that precious?
For her privacy I will use different names to tell her story. She asked me to share it to help other women know you can get out and signs to look for.
About a year ago Annie met Jake. To her knowledge, based on friends and people who knew him, Jake was a great guy. At the time they met Annie was in a relationship but about six months later her and Jake reconnected, moved in together and starting dating without realizing it.
One night, after they started dating, Jake wanted to surprise Annie by taking her to one of her favorite places in town. After their surprise date Annie wanted to meet up with some friends who were in town, and being like any girl, gave Jake her wallet, cell phone, and credit card, to keep from having to carry a purse. After all they would be there together and leave together. After searching for him in 3 places, she comes to realize he had left her, later claiming she was “flirting with other men.” Thankfully she had friends there or she would have been stranded.
After an argument and Jake promising he wouldn’t do it again, Annie forgave him and rocked on for another three weeks. But just like most abusive relationships they had another explosion. Only this time Jake called Annie names that are very degrading to a woman. Once again she gathers her things to leave only to be persuaded back in with an “I’m Sorry.”
Strike three happens at a beach wedding for one of Annie’s friends. Where Jake gets extremely intoxicated and again verbally abuses Annie and gets in her face to the point the groom has to pull him away from her.
A few more explosions happen and Jake finally throws at Annie that “God was telling him to drink and verbally abuse her.” Annie and Jakes religious views were out of line with one another.
Annie like so many women faces abuse every day. But where do we draw the line? When do we decide we deserve better? Are we scared to leave? Do we think this is the norm? Women deserve so much more respect than abuse from a significant other. Never think that what you have to offer is insignificant. There will always be someone out there that needs what you have to give. Men who abuse women do not deserve to be called men.
Remember just because someone is pretty, successful, sweet, smart, or funny doesn’t mean they aren’t fighting a battle on the inside no one knows about. Be strong in who you are and don’t accept abuse. Everyone deserves to be respected not abused.
Here are signs of a potentially abusive personality:
• Lose their temper quickly?
• Blame others for their problems?
• Get angry if you don’t take their advice?
• Get jealous and suspicious of your friends?
• Accuse you of lying about where you are or what you are doing?
• Want them with you all the time?
• Always know where you are and who you are with?