***POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING!*** Contains references to physical abuse!
Reflecting on five years POST-abuse, I have this message I want to share. First, peace is priceless, and secondly, don’t ever lose hope! EVER!
Peace is 100% priceless. If I had know how great it would be or how much I would regard my solitude and meager life (because it was my own), I would’ve escaped sooner or stayed gone and never went back! Instead, I thought the future too scary and went back again and again, because society says we shouldn’t be alone. I didn’t reflect how “lonely” I was in that relationship — I didn’t want to be alone and he kept telling me that I couldn’t do it alone — and I believed him, even though he had been wrong about LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE! Fear is definitely debilitating, but, you see, I wasn’t alone…I had and have God protecting me. The abuse was even clouding my Faith! Trauma bonding is real and keeps us bound to our abusers, the ultimate “smoke an mirrors” performers!
Sadly, the average victim goes back to their abuser seven times. SEVEN! Can you imagine? I can, for sure. My number was five. I’m certain there would NOT have been a “next time” to escape, as he would’ve killed me…as in DEAD…I know this because he shot at me the day prior, with his 9mm, and strangled me the day of, beating my head against the floor until I was unconscious. I’m really not sure what all he did to me while I was incoherent, but I don’t think I was out cold for more than about 10 to 15 minutes. I’d be willing to say he kicked me in the ribs while I laid there, out cold; I later bore a bruise the size of a dinner plate on my left side for weeks, until it disappeared completely. I can now tell you with 100% certainty, when I experience a dull ache on that side, we will soon be receiving precipitation. I also have permanent marks from the final strangulation. They are so noticeable that people ask me if I have a rash. The blood vessels are permanently broken. It is my DV conversation starter. *Shrugs* The positive outlook to all of this: I didn’t die. Period.
The other day, when I was at work, walking to the nearest printer for a receipt for a customer, I had an epiphany. I suddenly realized that I have someone amazing as my significant other, that my life is really on my terms, I have a terrific and stable job, my children are well, and I have a delightful grandson that I love more than anything. My heart fluttered with happiness. What a long time it took getting here…but it was SO worth it! I got goosebumps when I realized how truly and fully blessed I am!
Do I still struggle? YES. Am I financially well-off. NO, but I’m getting there. My fiscal health was undone over 26 years, so it’s taking a while to sort out — BUT two years from December, my Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be completed! I just know that I am free from abuse and safe. I am loved and I am enough. I have had to cut anyone and everyone out that didn’t think so. I even had to cut out someone that I thought was one of my best friends, because she tried to break up my current significant other and I — all due to jealousy. I also found out, after the fact, that anyone I was interested in, prior to him, she went to and tried to tell them that I was “A LOT” and had “SO much baggage.” Then she tried to date them and/or sleep with them. That was not a friend, that was yet someone else who wanted to control me. I will NOT be controlled!!!
So, if you’re struggling and floundering, after escaping abuse, please do the following: keep tightly bound to God and DO NOT GIVE UP!
- Keep moving forward, even slowly. Any progress is progress — you are NOT in a race with anyone!
- Protect your peace and privacy at all costs!
- Those who anger you, own you!
- People come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime! Be discerning and pay attention to the lessons!
- Be grateful for anything and everything. Keep a gratitude journal and journal about what life throws your way, only turn it around and be grateful for what life is teaching you.
- Move in “attack” formation on anything plaguing your peace (i.e. financial matters, credit scores, legal issues, etc.). You only fail if you give up and stop moving!
- Keep learning and growing. I have taken so many courses and workshops on things I wanted to know more about. Abuse was one of them — I had to know why and how and how I could help others escape!
- Do something therapeutic: support groups, therapy, counseling — SOMETHING! If you don’t heal, you will bleed all over those who didn’t cut you!
This is literally how I survived. I had to not let my grief and anxiety crush me. It’s difficult, but not impossible! Love and light! <3