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Admyering the view: Stay or go?

 by Amanda L. Myers  published on Thursday, April 7, 2005

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Myers
 

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Witnessing my parents' abusive relationship taught me leaving is the best option.

I've never been in an abusive relationship, but my mother has.

Her abuser: My father.

No, he didn't hit my mother, but he inflicted on her an abuse just as destructive: emotional abuse, a subject SPM assistant editor and writer Erika Wurst explores in "Controlling love," this week's cover story on page 6.

As a child, I remember being confused when my father went on one of his rampages, yelling at my mother and me and making ridiculous accusations that my mother was cheating on him or didn't love him.

The emotional abuse took its toll.

My mother and I often slept in my bed if Dad was angry or acting weird. We'd talk all night, crying, laughing, wishing he would just be a normal husband and father.

These all-night talks became our comfort, our support. It's how we coped, and it bonded us like I will never be bonded with another person for as long as I live.

Eventually, my mother had enough and left my father. The separation was devastating for her while I was grateful for the freedom of not worrying what Dad would do or say next, what little thing would set him off.

But living without my father was too much for Mom. We went back after a year of living apart, and ended up leaving again after another year of his zany antics.

Another reunion and separation later, my mother has finally found a way to be with my dad without being with him.

They live 10 minutes away from each other in Phoenix. They hang out a few times a week, talk on the phone every night and sometimes go on vacations together.

When he acts up, as he inevitably will, she just goes home. There are still tears and arguments, but she's a happier person, and I'm proud that she was strong enough to leave.

As you will read in "Controlling love," leaving is the hardest part of an abusive relationship. So, good job, Mom.

Also in this issue is "Addicted to Adderall," on page 10. Writer Heather Wells talks to students who use the prescription drug meant to treat attention deficit disorder to either focus on schoolwork for hours at a time or "get messed up."

And don't miss "Over their heads" on page 11. Writer Kate Kliner talks to two students who are in thousands of dollars of credit card debt, a fairly common occurrence among the college-aged population, which has a clean slate of credit and can easily get approved for cards.



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