I have personally dealt with domestic violence situations and have had that person stalk me after the relationship ended. Nothing is scarier than being physically assaulted by the partner you love and nothing is as damaging as the hurtful words they say. In my case, the physical signs of abuse went away very quickly, but the emotional scars from their physical and verbal assaults lasted for years. To me, the verbal abuse was the most damaging. It took me from the happy, carefree spirit I was and turned me into someone who had ZERO self esteem, who apologized for everything (even when I did absolutely nothing wrong), someone who was afraid of their own shadow, and was a person who no one recognized...not even myself.
If you've ever been in a similar situation, you know that one of the scariest and HARDEST things you will ever do is leave your abuser. Why?
- Packing to make a quick getaway is pretty much heart attack educing.
- Sleep, for weeks afterward, is basically non-existent because you fear your abuser is going to find you and/or harm you and drag you back. (I personally had the worst nightmares of my life. My abuser haunted me...even in my sleep.)
- In my case, my abuser controlled EVERY aspect of my life. Contact with my friends and family was discouraged and as for money, well...basically, i had none because they controlled that, too. I depended on family and friends to help me when i left, but couldn't tell them why i had left my abuser for fear of them judging me or looking down on me. (I, like many in abusive relationships, hid my abuse from EVERYONE. I was so ashamed. No one...absolutely NO ONE...knew until years after i left that person and I finally felt comfortable enough to speak up.) I had people try and convince me to go back to my abuser and i had to field these thoughts/questions/advise on a daily basis for months.
- Feeling like you have no one but yourself. (During the first few months after i left was THE absolute loneliest time of my life. I didn't know that there were resources and support groups out there to help me.)
Why am I blogging about something so dreary and depressing this morning? Well, I had an all-too-familiar nightmare last night and when i woke up, i wondered how many people out there STILL have nightmares because of past abuse. And, how many out there are currently dealing with abuse. Sadly, many of the abused will never speak up...never seek help, and never tell another living soul. This is my first time publicly speaking about what happened to me. I guess the reason why I chose to do this this morning is to let others in similar situations know that you are not alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
There are many, many resources out there for you. There are places that will help you with shelter, counseling, schooling, clothes, bills...you name it. These organizations are all about empowering you to again be the person you once were before your abuser came along and destroyed you. There is help out there, if you want it.
My abuse ended a decade ago, save for the stalking. I'm still dealing with what that person did to me...and like many formerly abused...i think i could benefit from some counseling. (Sadly, I still haven't gotten any.) The one thing that saved me and brought me back to my former, happier, livelier and full self was my amazing and loving husband Kenny. If i hadn't have met him, God only knows what would have happened to me. I probably would have entered another unhealthy relationship and repeated my mistakes like many abused do...or have gone back to my abuser.
If you need help, here are some links with life saving information.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE
- Stalking Help
- Safe House - Emergency Shelter
- Safe House 24hr Crisis Hotline 1.800.341.1830
- All victims should read this!
Never be ashamed, because it's not your fault. No matter what, you don't deserve to be abused...physically, verbally, mentally, emotionally.
If you ever need to talk lovelies, I will always be here for you. Click here to email me.