Disclaimer: This is not something I enjoy writing. Or talking about. Not that I’m embarrassed. But talking about this makes me feel vulnerable. And often people don’t know how to react, so then it just gets all weird and awkward.
If it were up to me, this post would never get written. Ever.
But for the past year, I have felt called to share my story. And though I have started talking about it, I have known that writing about it is what I am supposed to do. And I have delayed, and procrastinated, and put it off. And God just kept coming back around tapping me on the shoulder saying…ahem…you have some writing to do.
So here I am. Baring my soul.
I am a survivor. A survivor of domestic violence.
I know what it is like to be thrown into a wall.
I know what it feels like to be picked up by my hair and thrown across a room.
I know what it feels like to get black eyes.
I know the shame and guilt that comes with trying to cover up a black eye. And trying to explain away how I came to have a black eye.
I know what it feels like to be told that I should go ahead and call the police, because he welcomed it. I was in his house, and what had happened was my fault. So I would be the one arrested.
I know what it feels like to be so afraid to leave my house because I was terrified he was going to show up at my house. To be afraid every time a car drove by.
But the story doesn’t end there.
I got away. But more than that, I have moved ahead. Moved forward. I wouldn’t quite say I have recovered, completely. Because I haven’t. I’m not sure I ever will.
But I also know that right now, I am no longer afraid to leave my house.
It took a long time to get past the things that had been done to me. To get to where I am right now. And it has been a long and difficult journey. Because I felt alone.
Aside from the actual physical abuse, the guy that did all of this, well, he did all of this under the guise of being a Christian.
Now, if you want to annoy me, the thing that gets me the most is to claim to be a Christian, while clearly, and willingly doing things that are not Christian. Now, please don’t confuse this with sin. Because I understand that we are all imperfect, and as a Christian I have received grace and mercy far above and beyond what I deserve. But to deliberately do things that go so far against the Bible bothers me. A lot. And beyond that, to try to use the Bible as part of the abuse, by trying to tell me that I was wrong, and that was part of my punishment, because I defied the man.
So, to say the least, God and I had to find our way back to each other. Ok, strike that, I had to find my way back to God, and he might have drug me along, kicking and screaming. But I am extraordinarily grateful that he never gave up on me.
Through all of the hardship, and struggle, I have found that I can use my past to improve my own future. I wake up every day lucky to be alive. Because there were days I was knew he was going to kill me. There were days I wished he would so the torture would end.
I also know that God works in mysterious ways. And that, though I’ve been through some really sucky things in my life, He wouldn’t have allowed it to happen if I wasn’t strong enough to handle it. I am tough. I forget that sometimes. But I am tough. And I also know that if I don’t use my experiences to help other people, then everything that I have went through is for nothing.
So I started talking about it. I started talking about this to some of my friends. To some of the girls that I work with at church. I want to help them recognize the signs that I accepted because I thought that’s just how it had to be to have a relationship. Because I want to prevent other women from going through the same thing.
I started talking about it. In manageable bites. There are things that I experienced that I will likely never speak of to anyone ever again.
God blessed me with a very good friend. A second mother at times. Who had been through many of the same things I had. Because it wasn’t until I told her how closed off I was about my experiences did I understand that was perfectly normal for my situation.
So I will talk about it, some of it.
I will shock the staff of my Drs. office because they now have to ask if I have ever been a victim of abuse. I casually said yes. The girl asking me all of the personal questions looked up with a horrified look on her face. My response was very much…what? It’s not currently going on.
I’m quite certain she almost had a heart attack.
But the one thing, one thing above all else, that I hope you noticed at the beginning of this post.
I refuse to call myself a victim. To me, victim has a negative connotation. And one that I do not believe fits me. At all.
I. Am. A. SURVIVOR!!!
I am alive. And not only am I alive. I live.
So while my life is far from perfect. Though I am still single. Though my social life often just involves my parents or my dog…I am happy!
So whatever your current situation. Whatever life has thrown at you. Do not be afraid. God is with you. God is for you. God is beside you every single day.
So let me wrap up this evening by saying this…if you are currently in a situation where you are being damaged, physically, mentally, emotionally…you are not alone. You are not so stuck in your situation that you cannot get out.
You. Can. Do. This.
Also, I understand that this is a detour from my normal writing. And though I know that I have been called to talk about this…my normal humor, mixed with sass and sarcasm will be there too. Because life in general is amazing and fun. And I’m kind of a klutz, mixed with a less than sane profession. So let’s not always take life so seriously.