I’m not a therapist, and my study of psychology is quite limited, so everything you read here is either my opinion on the matter coming from my experience, or something a counselor has said to me. Either way I do believe all situations are different, and how people take their cirucumstances are different as well.
That being said, I am a survivor of domestic abuse and/or battery. I learned that the abuse part of the statement does not encompass physical neccesarily and so battery is added. When I say I’m a survivor, I was never beaten to a pulp like some unfortunate souls, and I never came close to an actual bodily death; however, I survived in the sense that I finally got out of the situation. I was scared, and emotionally and spiritually nearly dead. The self who went into the marriage no longer existed, and had to be sought out again.
Abuse sometimes begins with one person controling another person. It can be small at first, and easily over looked. Wanting to know whereabouts constantly, not trusting, keeping tabs by phone, reading private messages. Eventually the controlling person may ask for the victim to stop talking to friends and family, and may keep the victim away from these people.
Once little things such as these have been set in place, and is now “normal” to both people harsher types of abuse may begin. Verbal abuse, emotional and more mental abuse. In my case what camne next was slowly, without my noticing, being convinced I could not live with out him. Literally, I was convinced if I left him, or he left me, there would be no way for me to survive. Much less raise two young children. I couldn’t drive, I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have a home, I wasn’t much of a cook. How would I get myself and the children to the many places we needed to go with out driving. This part was particularly hard for me to get past, being a non driver, and legally blind, I had been convinced this would actually be impossible for me.
After these mindsets were in place, physical abuse was allowed to happen because I was too afraid to leave. He would take the kids, I thought, because I couldn’t care for them on my own. The kids need their daddy, I told myself. So I stayed…
I had always told myself before I got married, that I would NEVER be one of THOSE women who stay in an abusive relationship. Boy oh boy, the saying “never say never” is all too true, because God made sure I understood what those women went through. Not because he wanted me to hurt, but to gain compassion for them, because in that place and time I was no longer thinking for myself. I wasn’t having rational thoughts. I was truly convinced I would probably die and lose my children if I left him. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s because it is. I had been mentally abused and altered to fit what he wanted, someone that would never leave him no matter what.
The thing that finally ended it all, was a slap in the face. This wasn’t abnormal in his physical abuse, nor was it the worst thing that had ever happened. What made this time different was that my son saw it happen. My ex and I were already having problems, and were on the verge of separating, I was just far too scared. I kept going back because of my mental state, but this day God gave me the strength I needed all those years. An extreme calm came over me. I told him in a soft calm voice I was going to call the police, and then I would be leaving with the children.
After all was said and done, I did get out of the situation. I went to counselors, and I still go in fact. I am also still working on my way back to myself.
I want to say here, that if you or anyone you know is suffering any type of abuse, please don’t hesitate, you can contact me, or there are help lines, many many people and places willing to help.
I also want to say, I know that my case was “mild” in comparison to many others’ experiences, and I am not saying that it is easy to get out at all, in fact I am acknowledging that it is tremendously hard. But never give up on your self, and God and others around you can help if you need.
So that was my experience with this terrible thing that happens in real life. Anyone can be the abuser, not just men. Its hard to get out of, and scary. In cases like mine it goes unnoticed or ignored, or written away and excused because it seems so “mild” it can’t be “real” abuse. I had convinced myself it wasn’t because I had never had to go to the hospital. Silly looking back, but that was how I made it “ok” to stay.
I’m not writing this for anyone to feel sorry for me, the opposite in fact. I am a survivor, I am still weak and scared sometime, but I keep going and I persevere. I also wanted others to see that there are “varying degrees” of abuse, and maybe sometimes it goes unnoticed. I wanted to tell my story because, maybe possibly it will help someone else someday. And if not, I got it off my chest. But abuse is something no one has to take, from anyone, ever, and there are things that we can do about it. Thank you for reading.
Love and prayers,