Dealing With Physical Abuse
The Struggle Physical Abuse Brings People all around the world have suffered from being abused verbally and physically, causing a struggle because they don’t know how to handle these types of situations. In the short story Runaways by Karen Brennan, the main character Lou is physically abused by her husband, which leads Lou to run away, causing problems between friends and family. What are you without loved ones? When you really care about someone you will give an arm and a leg for him or her but once they cross a line they shouldn’t, it feels like the world is supposed to end.
In Lou’s situation this is exactly what happened to her. She gave her entire life to her husband and her children. Unfortunately her husband didn’t care about her feelings and cared more about what he wanted than what would keep her happy. Physical abuse in a relationship is a key factor of failing marriages. Lack of communication can lead to physical abuse. Throughout the time that Lou and her husband have been married, they have been through a lot. One thing that might have started all their arguing besides his drinking problem may be that they “have difficulty talking to each other”(Brennan,501).
Lou states, “My husband didn’t always beat me. In the beginning he was just irresponsible. I could live with that. He drank too much and in the worst times he drove too fast with the babies in the car”(Brennan,501). Lou’s husband beats her so often, she is afraid to go to sleep. When her husband was drunk he became a whole different person, “he was a maniac when he was drunk”(Brennan,501). “Its unfair the advantage that men have”(Brennan,501) because woman should be able to stand up for themselves without worrying about what the guys reaction will be.
Lou is a woman who will put others before herself. She is a mother of four children and wants everyone happy. For instance, a lot of mothers’ first reaction to their children crying is to beat them and tell them to “stop whining”. Lou has been beaten by someone she truly loves so why would she want to beat four people she loves unconditionally, her children. Lou states, “I am not one of those mothers who turns around in the car and swats the kids on the legs and tells them to shut up. I have never believed in that. When they whined, I told stories.
I told them about a family who sailed away in an orange balloon”(Brennan,501). Lou had hit her breaking point and had to runaway from her problems. But is running away the answer? Often people who are physically abused turn around and abuse others. For Lou, it was a different story. She was not a young adult who abused her children because her husband abused her. Many people take their anger out on others because it is a way to make themselves feel better. Lou possibly could have felt pressure to raise her four children with her husband being involved.
Lou was strong enough and didn’t stay in an abusive relationship just for the children because she knew leaving was the best decision for her at the time. Through all the ups and downs Lou went through with her husband in the end she felt like she was left with nothing. “a woman without a husband is like an ocean without a sea”(Brennan,500). Its hard being happy if you don’t have the people you cherish most in your life around you. A person can struggle with a bunch of emotions and if you don’t have the support of people that care about you, the situation gets a lot harder.
When you are surrounded with people that want the best for you, then you will get though your struggles with someone by your side, not alone. I personally know someone who went through something very similar from what Lou went through. My cousin who is now 25 years old has been dealing with family problems ever since she was about 10 years old. I have heard all these stories about my cousin and her family from my parents. I was always curious and wanted to know what was happening but it was not my place to ask questions because it might be a sensitive topic for her.
Her father was a heavy drinker which caused him to be very angry not only friend friends but especially with his family. My cousin Kelley was the youngest of the two kids. She has an older sister who was 4 years older than she is. Night after night her father kept drinking excessively. The family knew what was coming along with his drinking, his anger. One night it got really bad, he yelled at Kelley for the littlest things, things that were not even a big deal. One time, she didn’t wash her plate after dinner because she was too tired and wanted to go to bed.
He became highly upset and rushed into her bedroom, slapped her, and told her to get up and clean her plate. Each day he got worse and worse. After a couple years went by Kelley, her mom, and he sister could no longer handle him and his drinking problem. They moved out when he was at work so he could not say anything about it. The girls moved far away and did not tell anyone where they were going because they did not want their father to find out. They knew he would make a big deal about it. Three girls living on their own trying to survive must have been hard.
Having a main man in their life was their leading factor to surviving. Without her dad paying for everything and supplying for the family, it’s difficult for the girls. Somehow her father found out where they were and made them come back. They decided to give their father one more chance, thinking that things would be different but they only got worse. He thought they would leave him again so he tried to be more protective which only caused his anger to be worse than it already was. As Kelley matured throughout the years she realized she no longer wanted to have her dad in her life at all so she lost all contact with him.
She got her own apartment and did almost all her daily actives on her own. After everything that happened with her dad, she didn’t want to depend on anyone else but herself. This made it difficult for Kelley to keep close friendships with her girlfriends because after her father, she thought that everyone she truly cared about would let her down like he did. Kelley’s fear of having to abandon ones she love caused her to have little friends. She was afraid to trust anyone at all because she believed that friendships and relationships don’t last forever.
Later when Kelley became a young adult she realized that she could not go on any longer not having her father in her life and having little friends that she can count on. Being on your own is tough. So Kelley allowed her father to re enter her life but not fully be involved 100%. She realized although she had been through a lot over the years, having her dad around again was exactly what she needed to be happy again. As the years go on, you find out who you need in your life and who you would be okay without. I thought that Lou and my cousin Kelley’s story were similar due to running away from their problems.
Although Lou was physically abused and Kelley was verbally abused their problems with the men in their lives bring their two stories together. Not having a close relationship with someone who means the world to you has to be really hard. Especially for Kelley, being so young and thinking you dad would be someone you would look up to as the years went on. Her father ended up being someone she never thought he would be, which had to of been beyond upsetting. As for Lou, the man who has been the love of her life for years now and has children who look up to him is not the type of father they though he was going to be.
Its hard putting all your effort into someone and believing they are going to give their best to you and then be let down. Being let down is very hurtful and can cause someone a lot of pain, for instance Lou and Kelley. Although Lou and Kelley did not end with the same feelings at the end of both of their stories they still dealt with the same process. Work Cited Alvarado, Beth, Barbara Cully, and Michael Robinson. “Runaways. ” Writing as Revision. Boston, MA. : Pearson Custom Pub. , 2003. 499-509. Print.