Break the Cycle- Domestic Violence Awareness

Domestic violence affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men.  I am one of 3.  I grew up in a home with my 3 sisters and my parents and it wasn't an easy childhood.  My father was an addict and this triggered some very violent situations.  I didn't have a happy home-life and it is something that I still struggle with.  The effects are life-altering and something that has made me suffer anxiety, anger, and true sadness some 30+ years later.  

The dynamic in my family was not a normal one.  My mom married the "bad boy" with the intention to be the one that tamed him.  She couldn't have known then what she found out over the course of their 19 years together.  My dad had anger issues and at the time was an addict.  The combination was explosive.  For the longest time, his rage was always directed at my mom.  He would hit her, drag her by the hair, and once when she was pregnant with my youngest sister he choked her until she passed out.  

Then came the times when the rage turned toward us.  The simplest mistakes such as getting water on the counter after washing the dishes, waking up one of my siblings by being too loud, or just walking in front of him.  Talking about it now, makes me feel sad, but also makes me feel strong.  I am someone that made it through it and as sad as it sounds, I am one of the lucky ones.  I am still standing.  I struggle with trust issues, anxiety, and fear that I am undeserving of the life I have now.     

I have forgiven my father as the years have passed because I understand that addiction took hold of him in ways that made him behave the way he did.  He is not excused because of his addiction and there is no pass on what he did when we were younger.  I just could not hold anger in my heart because it only hurt me.  I learned from my experience.  I learned what I wouldn't tolerate in my life and I can walk away now when I couldn't as a kid.

My mom still struggles with what happened and has never faced it.  It has changed who she is and it has sullied the relationship I have with her.  I wish it could be different, but I can't keep living in the past if I want to have a happy future.  I will always be here for her, but I won't tolerate any abuse whether it is physical, emotional, or psychological.  

I married a man, that values me and my children.  I married a man that would never raise his hand at me or my children.  I married a man that makes me feel safe and I never thought that would happen.  With him came a wonderful set of in-laws that I treasure more than anything.  They show me what family is supposed to be like.   


   
My earliest memories, always revolve around my big sister taking care of me.  Only 2 years older, but V had mothering in her blood.  Whenever I was scared, sad, or excited I relied on V to be my support system.  It hasn't changed in all these years.  Honestly, if it weren't for her, I don't think I would have been able to cope with my life as well as I have.  I wouldn't still be standing here.  V has always been the one that I turn to and when I was little I used to pray she would come home to protect me from the yelling.  I only felt safe when she was near.  That hasn't changed either.  She is the strongest person I know and the best mom I know.  She has been mine my whole life.  

 

I'm here to tell you that there is life after domestic violence, but it will forever change who you are.  I know you are scared to leave because there is so much unknown.  From any amount of time suffering through abuse, it is hard to realize that you are stronger than your abuser gives you credit for.  It is easy to believe the words they say to you and lose the self-esteem you deserve.  Then of course is the fear of making them angrier or that you can change them.  The truth is that you can't change them and their true anger is with themselves and their failures.  

If you are struggling with domestic violence please reach out for help.  I am an ear, a shoulder, and an ally.  I will help you in any way you may need. Here are some links to assist you wherever you may be reading this from.  Please open any links in an incognito window as this will hide your search history as a precaution and please make sure to clear your browser history as well.       




There are so many services that can help you in your community. If you cannot search for yourself post a comment on where you are and I will get the information to you.  There is help and you don't deserve the treatment you are experiencing.  Your children don't need to see it nor do they deserve to have that anger turned on them.  Trust me it is something that will never leave their minds.  You are strong and you are loved.      



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