Domestic Violence: No Longer Suffering In Silence

President Barack Obama declared October Domestic Violence Awareness month on September 29, 2013. Finally, the many women (and men) who have suffered from domestic violence by their intimate partner(s) – physical, mental, and emotional; the survivors are being celebrated, those still in peril are being encouraged, those incarcerated are being acknowledged and for the many who have lost their lives to domestic abuse – a tribute and remembrance.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Abuse 1

I am a survivor of domestic violence; I suffered for many years (in silence) the rage and anger, embarrassment and shame of being a victim of abuse. Those in my inner circle knew of some things I endured, even on my beautiful, dark skin make-up and unseasonal clothing choices could only hide so much. I only told them what I wanted them to know, I protected my victimizer for fear of losing my children. Yes, there are laws in place to “assist” those in abusive situations but more often than not, the victim becomes victimized by the system and the abuser at the same time.

It took many years for me to break away from this torment, to slowly regain my voice and my power; to truly understand I didn’t deserve the things I was ALLOWING to happen to me. My family was aware but only with certain aspects of the things that were happening, my mother lived in constant fear of my life being taken from me, my children where traumatized but I still trying to fix someone who was broken while tearing myself and my children down in the process.

Domestic Abuse

On February 14th of one year, I was getting dressed. My significant other and I were arguing and before I knew it he lifted me off the floor by my neck chocking me. This wasn’t the biggest physical infraction he’s ever committed; I’ve been punched, slapped, kicked, dragged up and down stairs by my hair, smothered…the list goes on. But something about that day, something in that moment told me I was finally done and it was time, finally, for me to break free from this. It would take a few more months to be completely free, one more fight where I would be kicked in my back and spat on but I was introduced to someone (by a real friend who never left my side through all of this – she did more than anyone else to help me become a survivor) during this time that understood my pain, walked in my shoes and went through the same journey I was going to embark on.

Domestic Abuse 2

She lost every materialistic possession but regained herself and her children; she was rich in spirit, happiness and peace. I wanted that, I needed that for my kids and myself. It was time and she walked me through it, held my hand, let me cry on her shoulder and allowed me to borrow her strength! Her voice was my voice, my cries use to be hers – I will never forget the value of her words and her time; she showed me the roadmap that lead back to…ME!

So for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I want to salute these two women (K.A and “T”) and to all the men and women who made a different for women (and men) like me, who took those baby steps with us, showed us compassion, gave us encouragement, helped without judgment, loved us despite us not loving ourselves, took time out to be the very person to help us get out of the grave and back to living. The women and men who said if you’re ready to shed this cloud of abuse, I will be here with you; the endured the threats from our abusers, and sometimes the violence, to see us out of the turmoil and chaos of our lives.

IMG_0466

You saved the lives of women, like me, because of you I can help someone else who is suffering in silence. Words do not describe the depth of gratitude owed to you, the magnitude of your generosity, the abundance of love you showed me and others like me – you deserve to be acknowledged, recognized for your efforts! With all that I am and all the I ever will be, I thank you! I love you more than you can possibly image and more than you will ever know.

I've seen it all, been through it all and I am still standing strong. I have very little patience for foolishness but I have enough compassion and drive to help those who ask for help. Recently, I got tired of seeing women just making some poor choices and having made many mistakes in my life; I am here to help you out!

4 Comments