Hello all ....
It took me a while to post this, but I'm finely ready :-)
This is my personal story, I am a domestic violence survivor and I want to share with you a little about this, I would like to help raise the awareness of domestic violence and I wish you would help and pass it forward. STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE !
Thank you for taking the time to read!
I first read about domestic violence in 2003 when I was living in Israel. “One out of every six women suffers from domestic violence.” That’s when it became real.
I looked around me and started counting every 6th woman I saw. One of them is like me.
It didn't comfort me to know I wasn’t alone. And it didn't make me feel less embarrassed. I could not talk about it with anyone—I could barely admit it to myself. I can’t even remember exactly when it started. I just knew I was in that place for a very long time. And when I was carrying our newborn in my arms, I was sure things would change. Nothing changed. I thought things would get better, not worse. But they did get worse.
I was 21 when I met the person I married four years later. There were warning signs, but I ignored them. I learned the hard way, and also that being in our early 20’s, sometimes we are too young to understand life’s challenges. Although two decades have almost passed, I still feel like I am paying for my young ignorance. I feel guilty for inviting this trauma into my life. Even worse, I find it almost impossible to forgive myself for granting my daughter a father like that. She is almost 12 years old, and I feel that any of her residual suffering is due to my poor decision-making.
In the United States today, domestic-violence statistics point to one-out-of-four as victims, and in some areas, one-out-of-three. It has no boundaries; it could be anywhere, any economic status, and any education level. It could be anyone. And usually it's a secret. But it's all around you.
I didn't speak out about my situation because I was ashamed. I didn't want people to judge, to feel sorry for me, or look at me with pity. I couldn't imagine answering others’ questions, and I couldn't find answers to the questions I already had for myself.
I did not come from a rich family, but we had economic resources. I could have financially supported my daughter and myself, and we could have had emotional support from my family. I was not dependent on my abuser for monetary support. So why didn’t I just leave the first time it happened?
Why didn’t I just leave after the 10th time?
I am still figuring out that answer. The only thing I know is, and I am admitting it out loud, “I was a victim of domestic abuse and violence.”
Domestic violence happens in your home, the place you think you are safe, the place you run to at the end of the day, happy to be back. Home is such a cozy word. Not for those who suffer the worst. I used to hate going home. I used to be relieved when my home was empty. I used to hide my bruises and black-and-blue marks. I became a shadow of myself. No happiness, no laughing, no confidence—just bitterness and anger.
When I first talked about it out openly, it was in a therapy session. It took a few months before I could even speak about my experiences. After that session, I learned how to talk about it. It was extremely difficult—even harder than breaking up the marriage. It opened old wounds and created new scars. The abusive person that I was married to claimed I made up everything, and he did everything in his power to seek revenge for my speaking up. My divorce was even worse than the marriage. Old wounds opened, but talking, and this process of therapy allowed them to heal properly, once and for all.
And there is a happy ending to this story. I met somebody else, we have two children together, and we have been happier than ever for the past 10 years. Even when my ex-husband still tries to interfere in my life, I don’t allow that.
I’ve learned how to cherish my family, even though it’s been a very rough journey. You know how a wounded animal becomes aggressive if someone tries to touch it? People react the same. When they are wounded inside their soul, they are not always so nice to other people; they can be aggressive too. So next time someone is not so nice to you, remember he/she may be carrying a wounded soul. Unfortunately, I know this.
My family has supported and stood up for me as long as I have needed. They suffer with me, cry with me, but also laugh with me, and love me. As I love them.
I have discovered many good things during my journey, and I wish to pay it forward. Be kind and courageous, and you can do anything, for yourself and for others.
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