The Kindness of Strangers

 

“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you have come, remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.” — Unknown

Every once in a while I will look back on posts I have written, usually when I notice a random page has been accessed, and when I read the comment section I’m always taken aback.  When I started this blog, I had no idea what to expect.  I think I leaned more towards the belief that no one would see it or read it and honestly, that was just fine with me.  That belief was my safety blanket in telling my story.  I figured if no one read it, I could pour it all out.  Get out every last drop that was pushed way down deep inside.  All of the things I kept hidden, things I never told a soul, things I pretended didn’t happen because I had to keep going.

And then…it happened…

Someone read one of my posts.  I panicked.  I remember seeing the notification and kind of just freezing up like…oh no, someone read this.  Now what?  Who are they?  What do they think of me?  I went through the emotions of feeling embarrassed and humiliated.  I felt so small and ashamed.  Of course, I followed the link back to their blog and tried to see if I could figure out where they were from.  What are the odds of someone I know happening upon my blog, let alone the first person?  Probably one in a zillion.  Eventually, I took a breath and calmed down.  Realizing…they didn’t know me and I didn’t know them.

Eventually, more people read and after about two weeks, someone made a comment.  Kind and compassionate words that made me realize…wait a minute, I’m not alone.  Being as I was brand new to blogging, I was still in my own little bubble.  I wasn’t really venturing out into the WordPress society and looking for other blogs.  As people liked and followed me, I would in turn check out and read their blogs and in no time I found a slew of others writing about the same horrific experiences.  I was stunned.  Honestly.  I just couldn’t believe people were talking about…abuse.  I started reading other stories and I felt like I just walked into a place where everyone knew my secret and no one cared because they all had the same exact secret.

As more people started to comment on what I was writing about it made me feel … I don’t even know, it’s indescribable.  There was a calmness about it.  Just in knowing that other people totally understood and didn’t judge me.  One such comment was from my girl Abbbz from The Left Side, who said the following:

I will stand with you throughout. There is no judgment here. I understand that it is not an easy time you are going through and I understand that it is not always easy to up and leave. Be as safe as you can be. I look forward to the time when you will be a survivor as well. It will happen. Just remember. No matter what he says, You are strong. You are important. You are beautiful. You matter. Be safe. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Simple words like that from someone I didn’t even know were such an amazing gift.  Especially in the beginning.  Not knowing what to expect or how to react to people now reading and reaching out to me, showing such empathy.  Another comment came from The Power of Wisdom and really hit home, making me feel like I was definitely doing the right thing in telling my story.  She said:

I read your post and just had to comment. You don’t deserve anything you are going through, period. I am an abuse survivor but I will be the first to admit that my level of fear was no where near what you must be dealing with. I was threatened, but deep inside I knew I was with a coward who would never follow through with such violence. When I read your posts…God I just wanted to hug you. You are hands down one of the strongest women I know. His threats are horrifying and you are still able to keep your head up for the sake of your children. You are an amazing woman. I recently started a blog to help women escape abuse by working on themselves first. Although I believe it’s still possible for all of us to take our lives back, with a situation like yours you can’t just stand up to him and leave – he has no conscience or remorse and this is a dangerous combination. I completely, 100% agree with you that the only reason to stay with someone like this has nothing to do with self-worth, self-esteem, etc. It truly does come down to fear – it would for me as well. I am going to follow your posts because I want to see you make it out. You are too tough, too inspiring, too amazing not to make it out. There has to be a way and continuing to blog will connect you with other amazing, kick-a** women that overcome monsters like these. Hang in there. Starting tonight, you will be in my nightly prayers – I promise. I’m rooting for you. :)”

I noticed the more that I heard from others – mostly survivors – the more I felt, possibly for the first time, that I am truly capable of doing this.  I’ve come a long way and have been through way too much to succumb to it all.  I didn’t really notice at first the confidence and strength I was feeling because of the kindness of strangers.  It just sort of snuck up on me as I continued to write.  As people voiced their views on my abilities, it made me feel inspired.  Wary, Contrary & No Virgin Mary told me:

What you are doing is intelligent. It’s also possibly going to save your life.  When you leave, you need to go somewhere with other people who can physically protect you.  If your husband has no idea this is coming, his reaction is going to be terrifying. He may not be violent right now, but he has been in the past it seems, and losing control of you to this extent is going to send him off his rocker.  You are incredible. You are strong and brave and intuitive. You are going to be okay.  And that really makes me happy. I don’t think you’re in danger of continuing in the abuse cycle the way I did, because you’re aware of what was done to you and that it was wrong.  I am excited for your future.

With all that I have read on other blogs from people who have been through this, found the courage to leave and survived to tell about it gave me the courage to start letting people I know in to my world.  I found the strength to let people in one at a time and Aussa, of Hacker.Ninja.Hooker.Spy, said to me:

It is so scary when you finally confide a dark secret to a close friend… especially when it is one that you have kept for a long time. But it can also feel amazing. I’m glad that you are taking so many steps in the direction towards “Happily Ever After.” 2014 is barely here and you’re already winning at it!

With each friend that I have let in to my world (5 at the moment), I have felt overwhelming strength in my heart letting me know I am doing the right thing and I am on the right path.  As Michael of The I Am said to me:

You have the perfect attitude to manifest everything good that’s coming to you. It’s truly perfect! :)”

And I can feel that he is right.  However, all of this may not have come so quickly and effortlessly without the kindness of strangers, who are not really strangers anymore.  Never would I have thought I’d ever tell my story, admit to the abuse, admit to the fear but in the middle of doing it and because of doing it, I evolved.  As Omtatjuan once said to me:

It took everything you went thru to get you to this exact moment in time… I am glad you are right here… Right now.

I’m glad too.  With every page written, a layer of shame, guilt, and burden has been peeled off of my soul and with every kind and supportive word I know I’ve come so far.  And as the picture above says, whenever I find myself doubting how far I can go, I just remember how far I have come…and that is because of you.  So, thank you for reading.  Thank you for following my story.  Thank you for your ridiculously kind words.  It has all been beyond helpful.  I am looking forward to getting to the part of blogging my happily ever after story to all of you…once strangers, now friends.

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To read from the beginning… my story starts here.

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11 thoughts on “The Kindness of Strangers

  1. YOU gave me chills…I am so excited for your happily ever after. I have a feeling we are close in proximity and you have an open invite to all bbqs this summer!

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  2. When I first started blogging here, I never thought anyone would read what I had written. I am glad that there are others out there who are brave like you are and are telling their stories of domestic violence and abuse as well. I’m also glad that you have found them and they you and you have a support network on here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I felt the same, I didn’t think anyone would read what I wrote. I’m not even sure I wanted anyone to read it. Luckily, what I found was everything I never knew I needed. The support from others on here is beyond amazing. I’m so lucky to have crossed paths with everyone I have. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome to telling my story. Thank YOU so much for taking time to read it all. I appreciate the time you took to do so. 🙂

      Like

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