I'm sitting here in the back seat, on hour number 3 of our 5 hour road trip home from Arizona, and I'm just in complete and utter disbelief at how many of my friends and woman that I know who have at some point been victims of domestic violence, myself included. My heart aches for them because I know how it feels to be crumpled on the floor, crying so hard, begging god "WHEN WILL THIS END!?" after one of his "episodes".
But I never really realized how simple the answer to that question was..all I had to do in that moment was put my foot down and say I've had enough and make the choice to walk away.. BUT that was always a lot easier and simpler than it sounds. Especially when he's the father of your child.
But I just want to make it known, that it is possible to walk away from abuse and I am living proof. I am NOT a victim any longer, I am a survivor, but I'm a survivor because I made that choice for not only myself, but my daughter too. She doesn't deserve to grow up in a home where there is constant verbal and physical abuse going on around her. She deserves to see both of her parents happy and she deserves tobe surrounded by love.
I don't want her to grow up and believe that it's okay for a man to control every aspect of her life from what she wears to the way she does her hair or to who she's allowed to talk to and what She's allowed to do. I Dont want my daughter to think it's EVER okay to lay her hands on someone in a violent way or for someone to put their hands on her..and I really just don't want her to grow up thinking it's okay to be belittle, treated disrespectfully and called names either..
I want to raise my daughter to know her worth and know that she deserves to be praised and told she's beautiful. And that right there, that gave me the strength to leave. I left for mackenzees sake (and mine too of course)..I left to ensure that I could surround her with love and not hate.
Now Dont get me wrong, her father is a great father to her. He has always loved his daughter and I would never doubt his love for her. And she loves him. He would never hurt her. He and I just didn't have a great relationship.
A lot of people tend to forget that abuse is not always physical, in fact it usually begins with verbal abuse and mental abuse. It begins with the constant jealousy, and the constant put downs. If your partner is constantly calling you fat or ugly, chances are, they are NOT the "one" for you. If your partner has to hit you and humiliate you, changes are they are NOT the one..even if you have a child/children with this person. God did not put you on this earth to be abused. But you have to be strong enough to recognize that.
It took me almost a year after initially ending the relationship with my daughters father to realize that maybe we were never meant to be. At this point I truly believe that he was brought into my life to help me create my beautiful daughter, and that's it. God really challenged me to see that, and when I finally did realize that it completely changed me. I was finally able to let go of all he had done to me, I was able to gain respect for him as her father and not just my ex who violated me. I was able to find myself and the mother I wanted to become.. I was able to just breathe and be free again. It took every single ounce of strength in my body to force myself to walk away for good. But I am so beyond thankful that I didn't get what I thought I deserved from him..I'm beyond thankful to god for the strength and knowledge he helped me gain from this entire experience.
So I guess the whole point in this post is that if you are a victim of domestic abuse, please please please Dont believe that you deserve that. There is better out there for you, i promise.. all you have to do is go out and fight for it. I definitely Dont recommend leaving a situation when you're not ready though, because like most victims who are pressured to leave, I was pressured and i went back multiple times before I realize that I was worth more than that. Leave when you are ready, but of course if you and/or your children are in danger then leave as soon as possible..my best suggestions for if you're not ready to leave yet but you want to eventually plan to leave would be to start getting yourself prepared.
Make copied of all your important documents and ask a trusted friend to hold them for you along with a packed bag filled with a change of clothes, and some extra cash or medications you or your children need..write down any important phone numbers you may need on several different pieces of paper and stick them under the foam inserts of your shoes, in jacket pockets ect.. Sit down and create a safety plan with a trusted friend and plan out where you will meet in case of emergency, and create a code word so this person knows if there is a true emergency. Also, keep on hand the number to your nearest woman's shelter so you're able to seek refuge if needed.
Now if you're not living with your partner, than you'll still have to prepare yourself for when you chose to end the relationship. Try not to go out in public by yourself, especially at night. Try to always be alert and aware. Its also a good idea to sit down with someone and create a safety plan in case you are attacked or anything like that.
one of the most the most helpful tips I can offer to you though, is to get help.. Most domestic violence shelters offer counseling and classea to victims without having to stay at the shelter or anything and free of cost. I can tell you the smartest move I ever made when I decided to leave was to get counseling and I continued counseling for two years after we broke up.
Some people might think these tips are silly, but Domestic violence situations can easily escalate from 10 to 100 in a matter of seconds and all it takes is one time to change the rest of your life.
***THIS POST IS IN NO WAY MEANT TO BASH MY CHILDS FATHER. I FULLY RESPECT THE RELATIONSHIP MY CHILD HAS WITH HER FATHER. THIS POST IS TO BRING HOPE TO VICTIMS AND TO BREAK THE SILENCE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.