Violence is Not Unpredictable

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

We like to think red flags are mysterious. Hard to spot until it’s too late. Evasive.




I disagree.




I used to believe I “couldn’t know” if someone was trustworthy or safe, without eventually getting burned really badly. I would spiral into very volatile and dangerous situations and then scratch my head, wondering how things went wrong.




I eventually got bitter thinking of love and the idea of trusting someone, because, it was just all such an unpredictable mystery.




Or, was it?




When I look back at my most damaging relationships, there were MANY red flags. There were red flags I suppressed and pushed away. Ignored. Denied. When I am honest, I have to admit I did EVERYTHING I could to NOT see the red flags, because I didn’t WANT to.




I didn’t want to admit the “short relapse” was a big deal.

I didn’t want to admit the pressured quick pace of the relationship was a big deal.

I didn’t want to admit the inability to be flexible was a big deal.

I didn’t want to admit the gun and defense obsession was a big deal.

I didn’t want to admit the hostility toward ex partners was a big deal.

I didn’t want to admit the blaming and lack of responsibility was a big deal.

I didn’t want to admit the warnings from his friends were a big deal.

I didn’t want to admit the temper tantrums were a big deal.




But they were.




I thought he just needed to be loved better.

I thought he just needed to be understood better.




I thought it wasn’t really that bad.


I down played and minimized.




Fast forward a few months and the red flags got louder…


I didn’t want to admit the drinking was dangerous.

I didn’t want to admit the ring he insisted I wear felt heavy.

I didn’t want to admit the derogatory remarks toward some women were alarming.

I didn’t want to admit the hateful comments toward certain groups of people were really troublesome.

I didn’t want to admit the guns started to scare me.

I didn’t want to admit the bullet holes in the walls terrified me.

I didn’t want to admit the irrationally angry arguments were too embarrassing to talk about.




And a few years later…


I didn’t want to admit the drug use was life threatening for both of us.

I didn’t want to admit the bullet he kept in case I cheated gave me chills.

I didn’t want to admit the self inflicted bullet wounds were horrifying.

I didn’t want to admit the russian roulette stopped my heart.

I didn’t want to admit the persistent disregard of my boundaries felt unstoppable.

I didn’t want to admit the barrage of threats to ruin me financially or legally felt tangible.

I didn’t want to admit the threats to harm himself and blame it on me if I called the police felt paralyzing.

I didn’t want to admit the attempts to stalk and follow me were not funny.