Show your support for NO MORE domestic violence and sexual assault
I was in both a mentally and physically abusive relationship for a little over five years. I never thought in a million years that that would ever be me, but it was and I was ashamed.
Over time, I became a master of making excuses for my ex and pretending that everything was okay when it definitely was the furthest thing from it. Angry words often turned into slaps, pushes and eventually punches that resulted in bruises, fractures, a broken collarbone, and paper-thin self-esteem. Like most women in an abusive relationship, the calm, apologetic times that would follow the abuse always gave me a false sense of hope that things would be better, that he would actually change.
For years, I walked on eggshells and blamed myself for anything and everything that set him off. I never wanted to label him as an abuser and, instead, would believe every excuse that he told me as to why he couldn’t control his temper and the reasons that he was the way that he was. The turning point for me came one day when I asked him how he would feel if our daughters grew up and dated someone that thought it was okay to hit them like he hit me. He laughed and said that would never happen to them. I realized then that if he didn’t care, I had to. My children were watching and learning from me and they deserved better than to think that this was the norm. After that, I was able to see my situation exactly for what it was and knew that I had to make a change because my life depended on it.
By no means was this change easy. I am eternally grateful for the individuals that were supportive, understanding, and patient with me during that time period. Just hearing something as simple as, “I believe you” or “Everything will be okay” gave me the strength that I needed to leave and not turn back.
So ten years later, here I am. I am not a victim. I am a survivor. Over the years, I had to re-learn to love myself and understand that I deserved so much better. I am now remarried to a man who reminds me every single day what real love is supposed to be.
If you are in an abusive relationship, don’t blame yourself for the abuse. Nothing that you do or don’t do gives him the right to hurt you. Help yourself. Help your children. Don’t be silent. You are not alone. Find the strength to leave however you can. Save your life. Enough is enough. Angelique