“Respect and values are meant to be given, not taken” UndyingThoughts
From all the pain and anger came the most beautiful sights I have ever beheld. My sweet babies! They made me realize how strong I was, how kind I could still be, and that I was still capable of smiling even through the pain. They were my rays of sunshine in a life filled with despair and darkness. They loved me unconditionally! A type of love that I had never experienced before! They are a reflection of my soul, they are kind and loving and trusting. Most importantly, they believe that I can do anything and because of them, I had to be strong and brave. My life finally had meaning and purpose. I finally had worth.
It took me many years to free myself from my abusive relationship. Not only was I scared, I simply was not ready – I was broken. When you’re in that moment, stripped of your strength and self-belief, you think the lies, constantly spewed at you, are your truth. The questions always are; “what did I do to cause this?”, “what can I do to fix it?” It is not rational – you are scared and ashamed and dependent on your abuser. You ‘know’ no one will understand that your emotional scars are just as painful and destructive as any physical scars. You’re afraid of being judged, afraid of failing your children, and the world.
You never think about yourself. Even in your pain and defeat, you worry about others. That is what kept me in that nightmare for way too long. I thought to stay provided stability for my children. But their home was neither stable nor safe. It was not a sanctuary with him in it. My courage and strength found me one dark night a couple of years ago in September! I clearly remember it was the night that bastard laid his filthy hand on my son! The child I carried for 40 weeks in my stomach, the child I loved beyond my life. That asshole put fear and pain in my children’s eyes. The sadness of their smiles and the fear in their eyes led to finally say the words: “No more!” “You never deserved our kindness and love, and we do not deserve your hate and negativity around us!”
Abuse, be it verbal, emotional, mental, financial, or physical, is not normal! It is debilitating and destructive. It is meant to break one person down while feeding the insecurities of another. When you finally find the courage to acknowledge that you’re in an abusive relationship, only then will you be strong enough to take the next steps. When you’re ready, reach out for help. I finally discarded the pride and embarrassment and asked for help. Because of some very generous and non-judgmental females, I was able to financially restart my life. They, without questions, were there jointly extending their hands in love.
My group of friends, when I finally told my truth, was there for me in a way that I never thought possible. When you’re made to believe for so long, that you don’t deserve to be loved, that you’re not valued, it is hard to reach for help. You always doubt that you will be believed and you are so deathly afraid of being rejected by yet another person. I am telling you right now that you are worthy, you deserve to be happy, cherished, respected and honored. You are everything! You are kind, you are beautiful and you are loved. Remember, it is never about you. It’s always about your abuser; their insecurity, their lack of self-worth, and the ugliness in their heart. You will emerge stronger. You will survive and you will be happy again.
Retelling this took me back to the pain and fear. I don’t know if it will ever go away. There are days I still feel a sense of sadness coming over me, the one I felt when I did not have any hope of ever-changing my life. I still blame and judge myself harshly. It is a healing process and it will take time. But I survived, I am happy again. By no means am I financially well off or have unlimited access to funds. My desire to survive and my love for my children are the reasons that keep me forging ahead on tough days. It’s been over a year since my divorce was finalized. My faith and spirituality have emerged stronger. I am grateful that my children and I have the opportunity to live life on our own terms.
My heart is at peace. I smile again. I am not so afraid any longer. I am free to do things I was told I was not capable of doing. How could I have believed that narcissistic fool? I never again have to apologize for not being enough or worry about trying to conform to someone else’s expectations of me. I am more than enough. My children and I are thriving and growing. Without a doubt, they know that I love them unconditionally. My single wish is that they never experience the ugly side of love like I did- a painful, demeaning, isolating love. My hope is that I have shown them that it is possible to move on, to be happy, and to rebuild again.
This experience sadly is not isolated to only me and my children. It is a global issue that resonates with too many. A victim of abuse does not choose to stay. Before an individual is deemed abused…there is a process of stripping them of their self-worth, confidence, friends, choices, opinions, strength. Their very foundation is stripped bare and lay to waste. By the time that individual realizes the abuse; they already are powerless to even begin to fight. Everyone’s journey, while it may appear to be the same, is very unique to that particular person. Abuse does not differentiate between wealth, class, education or lack of these. There’s no difference between woman, child or man. A narcissist sees only themselves and their desire to destroy, degrade, denigrate, and demean while being the victim. “Normal” arguments are healthy. It’s quite okay to have differing opinions or beliefs. Abusers make it personal. Their sole intent is to break down the other person, in an attempt to make themselves feel superior.
Due to fear of retaliation, the author is using a pen name. You can reach out to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please reach out to your local Domestic Abuse Centre for help. There are resources in place to assist victims and children of abuse.