So here i am. An 'abuse' survivor. When people say 'abuse' it conjures images & reenactments of disturbing popular movies I've seen. They all have a context, relevant dialogue that all makes sense as to why somebody may behave so badly, they have a purposeful & 'life lesson learned' ending.But that's not my story. That's not my experience. That's not my abuse.
I never knew the cycle of abuse started for me pre-birth. I'm an 'inter-generational' victim. My Mother is emotionally void & instilled in me the greatest sense of people-pleasing she possibly could. My Father gave me wonderful gifts of believing i am UN-worthy of anything good, i must be submissive at all times to a patriarchal society and, above all, i must not talk back. I must never have a voice unless i am saying 'please' or 'thank-you' or more importantly, 'sorry.'
There were times of trouble during my childhood when i wasn't silent when the news was on, or on Saturday morning i was a bit too loud, or even times of not being thankful for the church i was supposed to be controlled by and the men sexually abusing me within it.
As time passed it was ingrained in me to just keep silent and put up with what you get. Which i did, and landed myself a husband that enjoyed making my life hell. Not only did he bruise me with tv remotes, his shoes (gee, he loved throwing those things!) one time a hair gel container... anything in his reach really. But he also specialized in the 'words' that all abusers use.... "you're just lucky i'm here. nobody else would stay around"; "you should be grateful i tell you how to improve yourself"; "nobody will ever love you as much as i do"; "you're a liar- that never happened"; "you've got a bloody good imagination... always making things up"; "well if you didn't do that i wouldn't have reacted like that"; "it's because of you that i act like this.. you make me so mad".
I also endured the relentless hawk's eye... i couldn't go to the toilet without him saying "where are you going"; the phone rings "who is it?.... okay you can talk to your sister but only for 5 minutes, but she's not coming over".
I also had the relentless task of oral stimulation & hideously painful 3 minute penetration to relieve this man of his 'natural urges' and always being told "it doesn't matter where i get my appetite- as long as i eat at home" at the end.
domestic violence doesn't make sense. It can be small and quiet. It can be a look, a deep sigh, a turn of the head, it can be loud smashing noises, booming voices, fists thrown, heads bashed.
I finally left his grasp when he punched me in the middle of a city street when i revealed the news that i was having our second child, a girl. I was 4 months already..... he physically hurt me so deliberately to end this pregnancy and he walked away when he was satisfied he had completed his mission. He left me in the street, empty..... emptied.
I still have to see him on sporadic times because he threatens legal action if i don't permit access to our first child. These are small amounts of supervised times in public places in which he still argues with me about how crazy i am, how unfair i am being, how unwarranted it is to supervise him because he would never hurt our son- it was me that was the problem in our marriage.
I've been to the police, I've been to healing centers, I've secured ADVO's, i've been to psychologists, i know the language, I know the literature, i know the process of the cycle of DV.
I too can say the words that i believe in love, i believe that one day i might find somebody worthy that treats me well and will help me heal small pieces of my soul.
But at the moment, it's all words.
I want my daughter. I wanted a good husband & partner in life. I didn't want to be hit. I don't want to shudder if there is a loud bang in a shopping mall; i don't want to feel scared if my voice is too loud or i laugh out loud and people might hear me. I don't want my memories to be 'oh that's the place he hit me one time because...' or, ' he killed my baby there....'
Nobody has ever looked at me and told me they know me and love me, every part of me, and I'm not in trouble for any part of it.
I want new words in my life. Words that mean something real to me. I don't want to hear "one day he'll get what's coming to him" or "that's sad... you're so brave. have you found a new love in your life yet? you have to move on and stop living in the past", "why did you stay with him? i would have left the second he did anything".
I am so damaged from these events. I am so broken from these events. I am so much stronger from these events. But why is everybody talking at me? Words..... just words. When will they mean something? When will they help me feel valued & loved?
To me, that's DV.... it hasn't ended just because i suddenly understand the words.