Abuse in any form takes hard work and dedication to overcome. I am stronger, I am a different person and I am the person I am because of what I have been through. Coming out of the abusive relationship, I had no idea who I was. I was broken, confused and just lost. I dedicated my time to writing and coming to terms with what I had been through. It is very difficult, but at the end of the day I would not go back and change what I have been through. It made me who I am today, it made me stronger, it taught me a lot and most of all it gave me the opportunity to help others who have been through it. If I can make a difference in one life then I am blessed.
I feel very strongly about abuse, it is everywhere. When I talk to people, I can’t believe how common it is. I wish I could just wipe all abuse off of the earth, but alas all I can do is help in my own small way.
Abuse tends to come back to bite when you least expect it. When you know that you have moved on and are stronger and healed. A very special friend of mine received a phone call recently from a family member of her ex’s new girlfriend, complaining about the way she is being treated. She was concerned for her family member and wanted to find out more about the man she is dating who is my friend’s ex. Without going into too much detail, my friend was left absolutely devastated. All of the pain and emotions came flooding back. I have been here on more than one occasion, one in particular my ex called me to tell me that he had beaten his girlfriend at the time and I cried on the phone and I said he should have learnt through losing me. I could not understand why the abuse was carrying on with his next girlfriend. The truth is it still is although the wonderful lady he called me about has moved on and has a beautiful life with a beautiful daughter. My point here is that like all bad experiences they sometimes haunt you with the smallest thing triggering a flood of emotions, pain and memories. So, no matter how far you have gotten at times you get stung by the memories of hell.
I spoke to my friend and I explained that her reaction was normal and that she has come so far, I am super proud of my gorgeous friend. She is a strong, beautiful, intelligent lady and she is going to go much further than she ever imagined.
Having once been a victim of abuse means that no matter how much I have healed every now and then something comes along to take me back to the pain. I can be brought suddenly down to my knees, with an agonizing thump, with the smallest reminder. A reminder that puts me back in the situation that caused all of the damage to begin with. Having said that, I am no longer a victim but a survivor, I am the victor of my circumstances and I am going make a difference.
The most valuable advice that I can give is if you are covering up for things in a relationship, lying and pretending everything is okay then there is a problem. I built up a wall of lies when I was in an abusive relationship. No one knew I was abused. I kept on making excuses and pretending. THIS IS THE BIGGEST WARNING SIGN, A RED LIGHT. Being abused is embarrassing, I didn’t want to tell people. I didn’t want them to know. And most of all I didn’t not want to talk about it, it made it even more real. When I started talking, I started healing and in healing I got to know me for me and I got to love the incredible woman that I am.
The road has not been smooth, at one point I had been in another abusive situation and when I was given help and guidance by professionals, they immediately picked up that I identified with abuse. I so easily accepted abuse almost as the norm. I am an intelligent woman but having been groomed in abuse at such a young age, I was exactly that, groomed in abuse.
I know the signs, I am a strong woman and through experience I have gained strength, character, wisdom, courage and even forgiveness. I am the master of my own destiny and I will not allow abuse into my life.
Hold your head up high, know your worth, stand your ground and most of all ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.