what are my options??

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I am in anbusive relationship. It begin subtly by controlling what I watch on TV and who I talk to but it has gotten to the piont that I am hit and disciplined like a child everyday. I called the police on her when she pulled a knife on me and they did not take her and told her to leave. All she did was go around the street and come back for more. They do not treat us seriuosly because I am a lesbian. She has told me that she was going to kill me if I left her and i am a prisoner. The police aid I can not evict her because even though she is not on the lease she is a teneant and in Texas I ahve to give her 30 days. I think she will retaliate. I know she will kill me. I have heard her talk and seen her hurt people. I know my time is short. What can I do. I have thought about safe homes but all my things are in my house and she will tear them up. Plus she has been in alot of shelters and she knows where they are at. And i can not leave my job in this economy and lose my home because of her. I have been here 6 years and i am up for a promotion. I am well respescted at work but i am treted like a dog at home. On top of that i think she is the person who killed a pet of mine but she said she just found it like that. I am scared

-- Anonymous, March 22, 2002


Dear Jessica,

My heart goes out to you. I am not gay, but have many gay friends. Have you tried getting a restraining order against her? Do you have anyone you know and trust (someone at work perhaps) who would let you stay with them temporarily? This must be someone she does not know, and doesn't know where they live. You could pack up as much as you could while she is at work and move them to a place. Talk to your employer and maybe explain the situation. If you are a good employee and are up for a promotion, you certainly don't want to start over after six years. Tell your employer it may start affecting your work (if it hasn't already) and you do not want to jepordize your job. Maybe they could help. Even if there was a halfway or safehouse an hour away, the compute might be worth the time to travel to and from your job for the time being. You might ask a trusted friend if they could store some of your belongings if you did this as you might not be able to carry that much to the safehouse.

I do not understand how someone can treat another person so badly. I feel they are the ones who need the help. I don't think they are happy themselves, or do not like themselves in general. Why they feel the need to control is beyond me. I watched a show once that scared the hell out of me. This was a man abusing his wife. He would actually clock to distance on her car each and every day. If she had to go to the supermarket, and he knew it was six miles round trip, by God there better not be a tenth of a mile over that six miles or she was beaten when he got home. He would call at different times during the day to make sure she was home and she had better be there. She finally escaped by packing as much as she could in a suitcase and borrowed money from friends and relatives and took a bus the first thing one morning out of town so he could not find her. But with your job, I know you don't want to leave. But verbal abuse is still horrible, may not as terrible as physical abuse, but bad just the same. Public humiliation, or threats where you may fear for your life - can cause serious health problems down the road. The stress of the entire situation is to blame. I urge you to try and find someone you can confide in be it your employer or relative or trusted friend. If you have tried to work things out with her before, and she is still treating you in a way where you are constantly being belittled, or she has threatened you or you say maybe even hurt a pet, it could get worse. You did not mention if she was on anti-depressents, or any type of drugs. Sometimes this has an affect I have heard. But the restraining order is only going to work if you are somewhere else I would imagine. If you were able to get it, and you were still living at home, I don't know how that would work out. Since she cannot be evicted for 30 days. But if you could find someone to stay with for thirty days until she could be forced to leave maybe. I used to work in the motel business before getting my degree in accounting. Some motels have affordable monthly rates (with kitchens) and you might call at work and find one that you could stay at for the month if you don't have anyone else to take you in that she would not find you. Maybe at motel she would not find you. Does she know where you work though? Would she show up at your place of employment to harrass you if she found you gone. They could call the cops on her there. But remind them too, that if she tried to follow you home - whether it be at a motel or a trusted friend or relative who took you in, then she would know where you were living. I don't know how much I have helped, Jessica, but please know you are not alone. Do you own the home or are you renting with her? Your employer might even make an advance on your pay for the motel (if you went that route) and let you pay it back a little at the time out of each paycheck. It would be better that living in constant fear. But if she DID show up at your work, you would have to call the police and have the restraining order put in effect, and let her know she would be arrested if she tried to contact you or came within 50 feet, etc. If you want to email me and need to talk, please feel free. But that is up to you. God bless you. Janet

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2002

For women, lesbian or straight, there are great many shelters and YWCAs all over the country -- isn't it nice to have a choice of $10 private rooms in many locations at the 'YWCA'.

Staying in an abusive relationship is just a bad choice and bad decision. Moving in and living with someone is another bad decision.

Stop making bad decisions. Plan your getaway carefully. Move far-far away, while you can. Think about it, what's more important, your money or your life?

-- Anonymous, May 19, 2002

I am tring to start a group in san antonio, texas where women can talk and get together and find answers to help themselfs I was with someone for almost 10 years, and I have alot of anger because I let it happen, I let her control and now I want to fight back in a way that it can help other women that can help other women that are in that same place.

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2002

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