This post needs to written, it’s a huge part of who I am. It has a lot of potential triggers for other victims of abuse, domestic or other. Read under the cut at your own discretion.
I was raped.
I was pushed down stairs.
I had my life and the lives of my children threatened on multiple occasions.
I was held down on the floor, in a closet at 7 months pregnant with his hands wrapped around my neck, a knife to my skin just over the place where my daughter’s heart beat in my womb. My older child playing in the living room 30 feet away.
I was pushed, I was insulted.
was degraded, felt worthless, helpless, alone.
I tried to protect my daughters and my stepson by stepping in between their father and them.
And 5 years ago, I couldn’t say any of these things to anyone. Until one day I had to.
I survived domestic abuse at the hands of my first husband. I still struggle and survive this abuse every single day. Even with fiancée B being the most patient person when it comes to dealing with a lot of the after shocks and side effects, this is something I struggle with alone.
Part of the reason I gained so much weight in my twenties was to protect myself. I had incredibly low self-esteem, I still do. There were legit health factors involved also, but I let it spiral because of my state of mind, not the state of my health.
This morning a friend of mine tweeted a headline. A high school friend of hers was found Wednesday night, allegedly killed by her husband. Their infant son was in the house. That could have easily been me. The family now grieving their daughter could have been mine. The child growing up without a mother could have been H or D or both. I survived, and she didn’t. How does that happen?
Trying to leave abuse isn’t as simple as saying you need help. It just isn’t. Whoever tells you that doesn’t know better (though they may be trying to help) or is lying. Leaving an abusive partner significantly and dramatically increases your risk for being killed. If you are in an abusive situation right now, you are right to be afraid. Don’t get me wrong, do not let that fear dictate your life right now, but you need to be smart about being safe. That fear should not keep you in your home.
If you are ready to leave, here is what you need to do. DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK FROM YOUR HOME. If you are being abused, do NOT click this link at home. Find a library, a kinko’s a friend’s house. DO NOT try to find a way out from your own computer. If your spouse checks you logs or has software installed this link you put your life in danger. If you are a friend trying to help someone, click this link at your own home or anywhere else, but do not investigate ways for a victim to leave from their home.
If you’re ready to leave, you can do this. You might not want to leave your home, your possessions, your children’s toys. It’s not fair, it sucks. It REALLY, REALLY sucks. But living with the risk of becoming a homicide statistic is so much worse. You can do this.
When I left, it was in the middle of the night, with 3 sleeping children and $40 in my wallet. I left everything I owned behind. Now, I did get ‘lucky’ my ex made some big mistakes and made them public. When he checked into a hospital, his physician took the time to talk to me. He said that I was a carrot in front of a donkey and that I should get as far away as possible. I should hide, I should run. My ex husband was “violent, not crazy… I can’t treat violent.” I’m still shocked the hospital didn’t call the police to report him, he admitted some of the violence to them and they did nothing. The doctor promised to keep him over the weekend to help get him past his thoughts of suicide. I rented a truck, drove to my old home and packed up everything I could prove was mine. It wasn’t much, mostly children’s clothing and photos.
I rebuilt my life from scratch. A lot of people felt bad for me, gave me seconds, hand me downs and I slowly put everything back together. I’m still putting every physical thing back together. What I learned from this… it’s just stuff, things, material and it’s all replaceable. You can do this.
You need to be ready for some people who you thought would stick by you to bail. It happens. You’ll be surprised to find you had friends where you didn’t know you had friends before. You can do this. I did this and you can do this to.
Good luck, and love yourself enough to make it out alive.