Twice in my lifetime, I have been a victim (and survivor) of domestic violence/intimate partner abuse.
At the age of 18, I was physically abused by my boyfriend who was also 18. I was popular, smart, and pretty and had a family that loved me. But that didn’t stop him from beating me repeatedly and threatening my life in many ways. I was able to escape the relationship but never spoke about it out of shame and embarrassment and was determined NEVER to put myself in that type of danger in the future. I suffered silently.
Twenty years later, at the age of 38, I found myself in another abusive relationship, but I didn’t recognize it as abusive because he never assaulted me physically (at first); the abuse was verbal and emotional. The control was overwhelming, and the insidiousness of his abuse slowly took over me and nearly destroyed my spirit and faith in myself and faith in the existence of goodness. Again, I escaped and suffered silently.
My silent suffering closed me off from family and friends. My silent suffering ate away at my self confidence and my ability to trust others. My silent suffering kept me from reaching my potential and becoming the person I was born to be. My silent suffering fed the demons within me, giving them power and energy to fester and eat away at my body, mind, and spirit.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment I became aware that my silent suffering was the root of many of my personal issues and struggles, but that moment came this year. After breaking my silence and sharing my story, I was overwhelmed with an outpouring of support and love. I didn’t realize so much support and love existed, and that it was always there waiting for me. All I had to do was speak my truth.
I support the NO MORE campaign, because I don’t want any woman, man, or child to suffer in silence like I did. My hope is that all victims and survivors of domestic violence, intimate partner abuse, and sexual violence will find inner peace through knowing they are not alone and knowing they did not make anyone abuse or violate them. To me, NO MORE means no more suffering, no more excuses, and no more abuse.
I welcome anyone interested in supporting NO MORE and the message of NO MORE to request the toolkit, visit by blog, read my book, and spread the word. We can fight this together. I am hopeful.
Escaping the Boy: My Life with a Sociopath, Paula’s book (to be published in print September 2012):
Paula’s Pontifications, Paula’s blog:
Living Inside Out Loud, Paula’s Washington Times Communities column: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/living-inside-out-loud/
This post was written and submitted by Paula Carrasquillo.