My abuser kept me vulnerable; physically , emotionally and financially for 7 years. And not once did he hit me. He didn’t have to.
He’s an expert in intimidation and controlling behaviour — these are the weapons you don’t see and are hardest to prove to authorities (more on AVO and DVO to come).
I have scars that don’t form on the outside but fester and sometimes still cause infinite amounts of pain and suffering.
Until recently l felt intense shame and embarrassment if I spoke up or even admitted it to myself.
What changed; well it’s not how I wanted to define my relationship or my life moving forward. I didn’t ask for this – EVER.
It takes all my effort with a trained professional ,to undo the toxic thought processes he has rewired my brain over the years and to feel capable and to trust in myself again.
I constantly feel exhausted in my continual efforts to rise above and keep myself from reacting to the triggers and falling back down where he lies in wait for me.
Every step back feels like I’m not getting anywhere, but I’ve since learned its just a “wobble.” He made it so hard for me to leave and break this cycle of abuse ,I felt it was easier to stay in it.
BUT I DID LEAVE.
I KNOW IT IS POSSIBLE.
I had this great idea to write as a blog 30 Day guide, Surviving DV one step at a time.
The first steps in my process and can I reiterate I DID NOT MAKE THESE IN 30 DAYS!
Actually sometimes I repeat these steps , a few times over if I need to (still now years later). No one is saying I took the right steps or steps in the right order. But making the first one is exactly what i’d thought it would be the hardest.
AND I did not make that first step on my own – that is WFSI can help guide you.
I won’t lie to you and say it’s easy. I have come a very long way since I left my abuser. Despite all the struggle to arrive and stay in recovery mode, I am still better off.
I couldn’t see the abuse escalating in severity , I was too affected emotionally and physically. I was kept so busy trying to make it work, trying to keep him happy that I didn’t even remember who I was, let alone what day it was or year we were in.
“A puppet on a string “ comes to mind.
What I was living in before I left was taking the same toll on my health and well being, the big difference now is I can see the effect it has had on me , on my children , on my friendships and my whole family.
I was raised to keep your marriage and relationship between the two of you.
No should not interfere,” its none of their business.”
Domestic violence today is too prevalent to ignore ,and too dangerous to sit back and know your friend or family member is suffering in silence.
I felt too ashamed and guilty for all the times I went along with his demands unchallenged.
I was scared of how women and mothers would judge me for the choices I was forced to make.
I believed I would be vilified by my friends and community if I spoke up and told them the truth .
I had no idea when or how I was going to leave , or if I’d be ok. I just knew I was done with him.
I think we all need to be part of addressing this epidemic, whatever you have experienced directly or indirectly as a result of family violence at any stage in life.
Violence does not discriminate any known boundaries; age, gender, social, economical.
Have you experienced something similar?
Have you something you want to add to this open discussion?
I’d like to hear from you, wherever you are in your journey,
Let us help you,
What is “Finding Me”?
The “Finding Me” support group is a facilitated recovery based program. Our upcoming program will be running for 12 weeks. “Finding Me” aims to support women to recover from domestic violence by providing a safe, non-judgmental and inclusive environment where women can access information, support and connection.
What does “Free to be Me” aim to achieve?
- A therapeutic environment in which survivors of domestic and family violence work through a 12 week program led by supportive facilitators.
- Mutual support and respect amongst the group.
- An awareness and knowledge of women’s basic rights.
- Self-education that provides knowledge to reduce the risk of engaging in future toxic relationships.
- A safe and supportive space that encourages participants to share their personal experiences.
- A sense of connection to others who have had similar domestic/family experiences.
- An opportunity to have existing beliefs about relationships challenged and reframed.
- Increase in self-esteem, self-determination and empowerment of participants.
To find out more about our Recovery programs, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also phone us 0468 445 820.