I love weddings; maybe I love them too much compared to other feminists. I have a Pinterest account with very specific boards for each detail of the wedding. I love Jennifer López in The Wedding Planner and I have always dreamed about a Vera Wang dress. This Pinterest account has become a place where I can go when I’m sad and look at all the beautiful wedding things. But lately I have been thinking about this account and about all these boards. You see, I didn’t pay much importance to them before but now I have a friend who is getting married. Maybe you are thinking, “Well, she must be jealous” but no. In fact, I am really worried.
My friend began her relationship with her partner like most of us do with an endless amount of optimism and a lot of love. Of course, they had problems, but they didn’t seem big enough to notice. They had a long distance relationship, yet somehow through commitment and a lot of patience they made it work. After some time, my friend moved to where her partner lived (which incidentally is where I am living) and started living with him. We would go out for coffee sometimes and she would tell me her problems, nothing big just a few common misunderstandings.
One day, she told me they have had a physical fight and the alarm bells went off in my head. I didn’t do anything because she didn’t provide enough details to know who was the attacker and who was attacked. I asked her if she was ok, if she needed me to go there and take her out and I made her know she could count on me.
Communication stopped for a month or so, then one morning out of the blue I receive the most horrifying message from her: “HELP!!!” Coming from a family that has been deeply involved with partner violence, I always tend to think the worst with this kind of messages so I panicked. I called her a thousand times with no response and when I was about to call the police I received a second message telling me that she had slept in another room and he didn’t like it, so he closed the door to their own room and took her car keys.
She couldn’t enter the bathroom, she couldn’t change clothes and she couldn’t go to work because he refused to open the doors and return her keys. I immediately asked if he had hit her to which I got the response “I’m ok, don’t tell anyone about this.” I agreed but under the condition she would leave that house that same day.
As you might imagine, she refused. I got really scared and insecure about my own definitions of what constitutes violence in a relationship. I called a help line and told them the situation, asking them “Is this violence or am I crazy?” Of course it was violence! Of course I was not crazy and I knew it but the fact that my friend seemed to be fine with it really shook me. So I took the phone once again and called her parents. Suddenly, I felt like a 15-year-old trying to fix everything with the help of a “responsible adult.”
Telling her dad what had happened wasn’t an easy task, I have always had a very good relationship with her father and I didn’t want to hurt him but that day I made him cry. Before we hung up, I told him I was sorry and he thanked me. That afternoon my inner feminist was glowing. She had cape on, she could do it all.
Later that day my friend called. She was angry at me for telling her parents and asked if she could stay with me until she found an apartment to which I gladly agreed. After that there were no calls, not from her or her parents. I found out that she didn’t leave that home. Nobody came for her and I thought to myself what kind of parent doesn’t take away her daughter after something like that? How irresponsible! How ridiculous! I tried to let it go but I didn’t until I found out she was getting married. She sent me a direct message in Instagram with a photo of her in the most beautiful wedding dress. That day my inner feminist took of her cape, she felt defeated.
Needless to say I am not invited to that wedding. Maybe it’s just about timing and all she needs is some more time to get out of there. In the meantime, while browsing all these wedding boards, I can only hope her something borrowed is not her dignity and her something blue is not a bruise.