Maybe, during recent times, you might have heard the term WOKE. You also might have heard different interpretations of said word, in terms of racial or social indescressions. I know what is meant by the term, but constantly hearing is used prompted me to research the true meaning of the word. Here is what Urban Dictionary, a dictionary made “by the people, for the people:”
So you can see how that has evolved, I like general preface of it, as defined, simply by Cambridge University:
You’re also probably thinking, why are you talking about “woke”? This is a DV survival blog. You’d be right but stay with me here…
When I was in active abuse, I was “blind” to what was going on, for the most part. My Abuser blinded me with emotion (mine more than his), making this a marriage problem where I was the problem partner in the partnership. I knew something wasn’t right, in his treatment of me, but he brainwashed me to believe that his behavior was a direct result of how I conducted myself as a wife and mother.
Once I got away from my Abuser, I had to grasp the why: why he treated me so badly, why I wasn’t good enough in anything I did, and if I would indeed fail as a single adult (without him). Once I was away from the barrage of abuse tactics and violence and chaos, and I started talking to my therapist, my DV advocate, and other survivors — it was then I started learning the dynamics of domestic abuse. I had this need to know, this thirst for knowledge about this topic…so I researched and I read and I watched documentaries about the topic…I went to therapy and support groups. After a full saturation of my resources, I became “woke” to the macrocosm of domestic violence. It was as if I had been awakened from a deep sleep (from being an active victim). I could no longer “unsee” abuse for what it was. The “cycle of abuse” described my family life, the “trauma bond” explained why I could never totally get away from my abuser, and the “power and control wheel” explained why and how I was kept in the relationship. It was enlightening and eye-opening!
I admit that once I had studied DV and started analyzing my own experiences (as I was my own case study), I could start to see narcissists out “in the open.” It was amazing and sickening all at the same time. How was a so blind to this before? Eventually, I started dating and would meet with prospective dates at a coffee shop, to see if I could feel that vibe. Most just wanted to leave and go have sex. I declined and moved on. I could see narcissists out with others in public, and I wanted to scream, “Run, girl!” but I couldn’t. I felt like the kid in the movie, the Sixth Sense (“I see dead people. They’re everywhere!”). Individuals who are with narcissists have to experience that for themselves, otherwise, they will think you’re crazy for telling them about how their “Prince Charming” will change. They don’t see it, because they’re currently in a “love coma” and your deterring them will only band them closer to their incognito narc, who is currently “love bombing” the crap out of them. Ugh.
Lastly, I pray for my Ex’s girlfriend every day. I am no longer hurt and envious of her, I am fearful for her. Leopards don’t change their spots — even black panthers have spots underneath, hidden from immediate view, just like narcissists. Beautiful, but deadly. I know what that man is capable of, what he’s done to me and my children, and that he is NOT to be trusted. I’d love to warn her, but she’d think I was as crazy as I’m sure he’s made me out to be…all I can do is pray for her safety and protection. It’s a perspective I don’t want her to have, but until she does she is blind to it…
It’s tough being “woke” to domestic abuse…that which is seen can no longer be unseen. I work in social services and see it every day. I help victims start to see the light, only to feel helpless as they go back to their abusers. I would love to “wake up” the world to DV, but it’s still whispered about in the shadows, and people still publicly victim shame. It’s my mission to expose it, bare and naked, for the world to see, so that we may save lives and no one gets hurt or dies EVER AGAIN. I want no victims left behind or forgotten: we are ohana! Just know, even though you might be “woke” to something, doesn’t mean everyone else is. It’s much like the Matrix movies, where the majority of the people don’t know because they have never experienced what we have — and I don’t want ANYONE to go through anything like what I have…however, if they had some perspective, I feel like there would be more laws protecting victims and there would be more programs for victims and survivors. You cannot make someone advocate for something, especially victims. We just have to keep preaching our message, kindly (but loudly and firmly), in hopes that it starts seeping through and saturating their walls. Walls eventually DO come down!
Love and light! Stay vigilant! <3