I know I said I would be sharing the answers from my family this week, and I know this blog post is late. The truth is my family is still so hurt and affected by the abuse that it is hard for them to relive it. They need some more time so HOPEFULLY I will have their answers next week for you guys.
All of this has made me realize a few things, some I knew already and some I didn’t. I already knew how much this monster hurt and ruined the old me. I knew how I lived in fear everyday, how I walked on egg shells, and how I was always afraid for the next blow up. I didn’t realize how much what I went through hurt my friends, more so because I didn’t tell them.
When you are dating an abusive man you are manipulated to believe that every abusive incident is because of something you did. I am sorry I lied to all of you. I am sorry that I didn’t reach out and ask for help. I was in denial of my own life. I would walk into work and put a smile on. I would see my friends(when I was able to) and I would say everything was fine, they had no idea that the night before there was a huge blow up.
When you are dating an abusive man you are constantly told how ugly and worthless you are. You’re groomed into believing that you are a horrible person. You start to believe that even if you did come forward, nobody would believe you, or that you would never have the chance to get help-he would kill you first. I can’t even begin to explain the brainwashing that goes on. R made me into a different person. I probably will never go back to the girl I was before, which I am almost thankful for. I will never be a victim again, I will never be controlled again, and I will never lose myself again. I look back at pictures of me when I was with him and you can just see that there is no light behind my eyes. I was dead inside.
When you are dating an abusive man you are dating a coward. You don’t realize this because they gain control of you by taking away your self worth, self confidence, and self respect. I would never have been with someone who loved a bottle more than he loved me. I was abused multiple times over throwing out alcohol or getting caught pouring it out. I wouldn’t have ever stayed with someone who called me the horrible names he did. Someone who threatened my life, threatened my unborn child’s life, and someone who physically abused me on a regular basis. He felt like such a coward that he had to ruin me to make him feel better.
When you are dating an abusive man you question everyone around you. I don’t trust very many people now. I don’t believe the words people tell me, only actions. I don’t put up with any crap from anyone, which is good and bad. Good because I know that I will never be hurt again. Bad because it can get exhausting, being so skeptical of every person that comes into your life. If you cross me once you wont get a second chance to. I look for red flags in any man I date. Any signs of addictive behaviors, I look at how they act when they are frustrated, how they treat others around them, how they treat their family.
However, dating an abusive man made me stronger. It made my family closer than ever. I lost a lot of friends, but realized who my true friends were. I have been in counseling for over 2 years, forced to relive the abuse I endured in order to overcome it. I had to build myself back up. I am getting me back. My smile, my happiness, my strength. Of course I am still afraid to go to certain restaurants and places in town, but every time I conquer those fears I feel empowered.
Because of that abusive man I realized what my reason for living is. I have a mission to change the stigma of who domestic violence victims are, change the laws and protocols there are on domestic violence, and a mission to change lives.