Dear Outside World;
Often times, survivors are bombarded with the same repetitive question: Why didn’t you leave sooner? or Why didn’t you leave when he or she hit you the first time?
Let me be very clear, no one stays in a relationship because they enjoy the abuse. Do you want to know why someone stays in an abusive relationship? Mainly, out of fear. Fear for their own lives as well as the lives of their family. Secondly, the abuser has more than likely isolated the victim from their family and friends, therefore; the victim feels that he or she has nowhere to go. A victim of domestic violence doesn’t become a victim when the abuser physically harms them. He or she becomes a victim the moment the abuser starts belittling, calling the victim names, starts to control things like what the victim can and cannot wear, for female victims; they don’t want you to wear makeup or your hair a certain way. The abuser takes control of your money, they determine when and if you can see your family and friends, and then cuts you off from them completely. (All this tends to occur first before the actual physical abuse starts)
You see, when you look from the outside, you CANNOT JUDGE A VICTIM, you have NO RIGHT! You have no knowledge on this subject, I often tell people that someone who has been victimized this way should be connected with a survivor of domestic violence. It doesn’t matter how many years of schooling you had, how many degrees you have on your belt. You still will not have an idea or sense of the emotions that this individual has experienced during the relationship, nor will you fully understand the emotions the individual will feel while going through the aftermath and their healing process. (If you disagree please feel free and comment)
So, why didn’t I leave after the first time my ex actually hit me? Because I was petrified! Because this individual had said he would kill me, because he said I would never make it out without both my legs being broken. I stayed because I was brainwashed into thinking he was all that I had. I stayed because I had no friends, that when I did manage to sneak a phone call into one of them they ignored my calls, or cussed me out. I didn’t even have a chance to tell my friends I needed their help. They had no idea that all this happened until years later! And believe me, those same few friends I have in my life now, I know they regret it terribly. I didn’t leave because I was embarrassed, I was ashamed. My whole mentality on life was so distorted. I felt like I may have done something to deserve it. Or that maybe it actually was my fault.
Do you know what it feels like to have to sneak out of your own house just to spend time with your own mother? To have your mother buy you a cell phone to keep in contact with her and hide it from your abuser? Even with that, have to try and put on a facade in front of her that everything is okay because you do not want her worrying about you? (as if she didn’t know. Mom always knows) Do you know what it is like to have to lie to the ENTIRE world, when really all you want to do is scream for help? Yet you are in so much fear you somehow manage to paint a smile on your face.
Tell me, Outsider; do you know what it is like to experience all this on a constant basis? 24/7 for however many years, there are no breaks, do you know what good days are like to a victim? Guess what, there are no good days in an abusive relationship; unless you count a good day as not getting choked, slapped, kicked or punched!
There seems to be a huge misconception on victims and survivors of domestic violence from the outside world. I get it, it comes from ignorance. The lack of knowledge that one has towards this issue. Yet, if only you would just listen. DO NOT SPEAK, just LISTEN to what they (we) have to say. Let us explain to you. Do not cut us off while speaking. Do not stop us because it is too much for you to hear. JUST LISTEN, that’s really all we ask for. We pretty much already know that you won’t really get it. What we want, is just for someone to listen. All we ever wanted was for someone to hear us out for once.
You should feel honored if someone wants to tell you their experience(s). That alone is a big deal because what that means is that we found enough trust in you. TRUST, something that very few of us give to ANYBODY! Especially when discussing something so severe.
No one can ever TRUTHFULLY say “I would have left after the first time he or she put their hands on me.” Some of the most strong-willed individuals you know can become victims of domestic violence. You never know what goes on behind closed doors.
There is a moment that comes for a victim when they just know. They know that it is now or never. They know that this is more than likely the only opportunity they may ever have to escape. There is no time limit. The number of years it took for the victim to leave does not compare to the fact that he or she survived! Because, as a survivor I can tell you, all you want is for the person you originally met to return. You didn’t fall in love with the monster, you fell in love with its disguise. You fell in love with all that charm that was poured on you, the wooing effect. You deny the fact of knowing that the facade you met will never return. During the whole relationship, you try and change yourself, to keep your partner happy. But they are never satisfied. You change, when it isn’t you that needed the change. The abuser, who is so insecure with themselves cannot admit to it, so they put it all on you. It is a way to stroke his or her ego and insecurities.
I wrote several blogs before, about this moment. How something inside of you awakens(I refer to it as a tiger in one blog). All of your senses come back to you. Life returns back to the lifeless body. All the control and power you gave to your abuser seems to get sucked out of them and returns to you. You just know that NOW is the time to go.
For some, it may have been a few years, others ten or more. However, the important thing is that you made it! YOU SURVIVED! You followed your gut instinct, you knew it was at that time that you had to go. You “woke up” from your nightmare. However you planned your escape, whether contacting family, friends or an organization. It was successful. Let me say I am proud of you for making it this far.
This is the moment that you have been waiting for. The moment where you get YOU back. The moment where you get your LIFE back. This is the moment of NEW BEGINNINGS! This moment is the moment of the rest of your life! This is the moment where you will no longer be a victim, but you will become a survivor!
It was a tough journey, an unexpected one that you never thought you would experience. But do not beat yourself up over it. Always remind yourself that none of it was your fault! You NEVER deserved ANY of it!
When you are ready, share your story, use you experience for the good. Help others. Take it from me, this is the best decision I made; sharing my story and experiences, blogging to encourage and empower other survivors is the greatest thing I can ever do. I have found so much happiness in the connections that I have made and continue making. There is nothing better than knowing that you are NOT alone. TRUST ME; YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!
To those who may currently be in an abusive relationship, you also are not alone. If you would like to reach out (which I hope you do) please go on my “Contact Me’ page, and you can contact me through the outlets there. By whichever form you feel safest. I will always answer and reply as soon as I can, which is typically that same day. You do not have to worry, I am the ONLY person who checks the email, DM’s and private messages and they are all linked to my phone. I urge you to listen to your instinct, it will never steer you wrong. There are tons of outlets that you can turn to as well (many are mentioned throughout my other blogs). Also, your family will be there for you with open arms, I know one of the things an abuser says is that no one loves you like him or her. But they are so wrong! For one family NEVER stops loving you. Secondly, he or she doesn’t love you, because if he or she did love you, they would NEVER do these things to you.
One thing I ask that you always remember; is that you are not to blame! You are not doing anything wrong that allows any of this to happen to you.
Teen dating violence is a serious issue, did you know that close to 1.5 million high school students are victims of physical violence for a dating partner each year? Join me and others as we discuss the issue.
direct link: https:tlk.io/alifeworthlivingfor
or you can find it on my webpage on the left sidebar.
This coming Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 @ 7pm EST. Let’s talk about teen dating violence! We all know how serious this issue is, so let’s talk about it! If we want to end domestic violence we need to reach out to the younger generations!
The direct link to the chat is: https://tlk.io/alifeworthlivingfor
Or you can find the chat on the left sidebar on my page.
Please comment below, or DM me on twitter to let me know if you will be joining in on the conversation.