On A Serious Note

6 Aug
“Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars.  It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and think loves you in return.”-Dianne Feinstein

I know this post is off the track I ordinarily take.  Bear with me here.

I am a victim of domestic violence.  If you have read through most of my blog I have said as much a couple of times.  But I have never discussed it.  And it needs to be discussed for a number of reasons.  One, to raise and maintain awareness.  Two, because it has made me who I am today.

Hindsight is always 20/20.  The signs were always there.  The possessive way he would talk to me.  His body language toward me.  After the first hit I stayed-stupidly.  Thought I could make it work.  I didn’t want to be divorced.  This was the man I had pledged forever to, in front of God-family-friends.  I asked him to go to counseling.  He refused, said he had no issues with our relationship.  I went on my own, wanted to see if there was something I could do differently.

I eventually became so sick of the name calling and the pushing that I stopped having sex with him.  Wait-let me rephrase that-I tried to stop having sex with him but he forced himself on me anyways.  I endured this for a few years.  Hoping-hoping-hoping things would change.  Get better.  It didn’t.  It just got worse.  For so long I ignored the abuse.  I talked away the signs and symptoms.  This man told me he loved me! Surely that meant I wasn’t a battered woman…

Looking back, I can’t pinpoint what exactly drove me over the edge.  I literally woke up one day, marched out to the kitchen, and told him I wanted a divorce.  It didn’t go over well.  He cried, begged me to give him another chance.  I was done.  I tried for YEARS to get him help.  I don’t think he thought I would ever actually leave.

Our divorce was a long, drawn-out ordeal.  Cops were called, motions were filed.  I got to the point where I just wanted it to be over.  I wanted to be able to move on.  I wanted to get started on my new life.  I agreed to things I probably shouldn’t have, but I don’t regret it.  I got him to sign the documents.  I stood in front of a judge with my right hand raised and swore my marriage was ‘irreconcilable’.  When the judge signed under our names, I almost did a cart-wheel down the aisle.  I was FREE.

I have to say that I did have a brief moment of sadness.  I felt guilty about celebrating the end of what was supposed to be forever.  Then I realized he gave up forever when he called me a cunt-in front of my kids.  When he hit me.  When he pushed me into a wall while I held my then baby boy.  And all feelings of sadness disappeared.  Even my worst day without him is better than my best day with him.

I made sure to get help for myself.  My biggest fear is getting back into a relationship like that.  I went to a domestic violence support group, where I met so many wonderful women-just like me.  I started going back to church.  I talked about the abuse with friends and other caring individuals.  Each time I discussed it I became stronger.  Embracing the abuse made me confront the abuse.  Once I fully understood what I went through, I was able to heal.

I am not looking to forget my past.  Not looking to completely recover from it even.  I don’t think you can.  It is a part of who I am.  I am not ashamed of it.  It hurts my heart when I hear other stories of abuse.  It isn’t a sisterhood anyone should be a part of.  But, unfortunately, there are many of us out there.

Love, Esme


One Response to “On A Serious Note”

  1. KaPau! August 8, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    Oh nooo:( I’m so sorry….and I’m so glad you’re writing of it…get it out …express those feelings! Abuse sucks out our spirit and that’s necessary for them to have the power to continue on and what makes us stay for so long…
    yayyyyy you for getting out..and I love the cartwheel thought! hehe;-p

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