Friday, October 28, 2011

This is My Story, For You

Today was very difficult for me.  A woman came at lunch to speak about domestic violence and it took every ounce of my being to not break down and cry in front of everyone.  It's been over 3 years since I got out, but I'm still haunted by the feelings of fear and inadequacy.  I survived almost 7 years of being in an abusive relationship.  I thought I got out unscathed.  Anytime someone talks about women getting hurt by someone that they are supposed to trust, I break down into tears.  I still have flashbacks of his open hand, of looking in the mirror wondering "will that leave a bruise?"  Wondering, maybe he'll get into a car accident and die today.  I prayed for him to die so I could escape.  I can see how murder seems to be the only way out for some women.  You really pent up a lot of anger and hate towards someone that is supposed to care about you.

My oldest was 4 months old when he first hit me, the yelling and screaming was a daily occurrence by then.  He laughed saying I walked into his closed fist. I WALKED INTO A CLOSED FIST!  And I was in shock. I actually let myself believe that that was what happened.  I felt so ashamed that I ostracized myself from my closest friends.  I didn't know if they saw what he did to me, but I was so scared that they would find out that I was ALLOWING someone to treat me like garbage.  So I stopped hanging out.  Then I started to wonder if anyone even cared.  Why did no one SAY anything?  Was I hiding the abuse that well?

And yes, it did go get to the point that I knew it was abuse, but I was terrified of leaving.  HE'D KILL ME if I ever left.  He threatened any guy I spoke to.  He accused me of trying to hook up with guys behind his back.  And I made up excuse after excuse and convinced myself, if I PRAY HARDER then God will change him.  So I prayed, and prayed and prayed for God to change him.  And I thought that staying would be a testament to my faith.

I was FOOLED.  I was BRAINWASHED. I was TERRIFIED.  Even after I was taken to the hospital and my sweet innocent children saw me with a bloody nose, I tried to make it work out.  And finally I realized that all the praying I was doing for change - it happened.  I CHANGED.  I decided come hell or high water, let him try and kill me if that was what was going to happen.  I WAS DONE.  No more slapping me until I was covered in black and blue.  No more throwing me down the stairs.  No more pinning me down. NO MORE.

Knowing now what it feels like to be in a great relationship where I'm loved and respected makes me even angrier that I allowed anyone to control me the way that I allowed for in the past.  It angers me to the nth degree when I see people that I love and care about be in a relationship that is so similar to what I went through.  To hear the stories that he hit her, he picked her up by her neck, he threatens her, I just want to kidnap them away!  When I cry from the flashbacks, the tears I shed are for them also.  THE TEARS I CRY ARE FOR YOU! If you're reading this, and you think I'm talking about you - I AM.  Get out, GET OUT!

There is someone that God has for you that will treat YOU LIKE A QUEEN! That would never fathom to raise their voice or hand at you.  That would never insult you, threaten you, or make you feel worthless.  GET OUT while you have a chance.  Don't let the fantasy he feeds fool you like it fooled me for so long.  A real man will not PROMISE you a fantasy, a real man will PROVE it to you.

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