Tag Archive | verbal abuse

Goals

goals

It has been close to 30 years since I was first struck by the man who would become my husband. After numerous brutal beatings, three children, non-stop threats of murder if I dare leave, in addition to my own prayers for my life to end so I could be free of the abuse…somehow, I survived.

The depth of my fear, fueled by my hate, gave me a pinpointed focus to raise my children and upon the last turning 18… get the hell out! Well, that time is upon me.

I’ve been counting down the days for way longer than I can remember.  Once they became a realistic number, I thought to myself… this is about to get real.  FAST!  Then before I knew it, the days went from 365 to less than half of that number, to within the same calender year and now… mere weeks.  Now, mental preparation.

There is still so much to get done before I go.  Loose ends to tie up.  People I want to explain my inevitable absence to.  And then there is my family.  I allowed my sister and mother to enter into my secret life and read my blog.  When they had a full understanding of my life thus far they seemed genuinely distressed over what I had been through.  My parents had only known about one episode early on but I did a good enough job hiding the life I endured that they had no idea it continued, most especially not for 25+ years.

Since absorbing that I most definitely do intend to go through with my exit plan, my mother and sister seem (to me) to be more concerned about what they need to do to protect themselves than they are about anything I will be going though.  The words, “how can we help” have yet to be spoken.  As these last days are closing in, these words, or lack thereof, have shaken me.  Although I do have friends that have offered their help, I can’t help but feel very much alone.  I’ve been taken back to a mental state where I need to fend for myself, and fear has kicked in.  Worst of all, every specific I had planned for this exit, I now feel unsure about.  I’m second guessing, feeling anxious and deciding whether or not I need to make changes.

On another note, I work from home.  I guess that being helpful or hurtful is up for debate but the point is, I work.  And I do so for many hours a day.  Yet, like many, many others, I live from check to check.  I have been able to put some money to the side for this event.  However, I did not start doing so until the end date was too close for comfort realizing I was broke.  So yeah, my resolution…save something…anything!  I am very much aware that is not nearly enough.  This has added panic on to every other emotion I’m feeling.

How the hell, where the hell, what the hell…am I going to do?  I do not like borrowing.  I’ve had to in the past and it’s just so uneasy for me.  I know I’m not the only one that feels that way.  Unrelated to financial issues, when asking for help – on any level – I’ve been let down more often than not.  So even being here right now, asking, begging, is surreal.  This is so uncomfortable and I apologize for even attempting to have the audacity to think anyone….everyone… doesn’t have a million other things more important to donate money to than me.

I am not even close to a special case.  There are so many of us.  Abuse victims.  And although I haven’t felt like a “victim” for a long time – due to my abuser’s very painful rheumatoid arthritis (lucky me) – Now, I am just a victim of my own poor financial planning.  I don’t even know where to start in asking people to donate, or what an appropriate amount is to ask for.  All I can think of is that if I can afford to pay rent for at least six months, then maybe I can be less stressed about the initial “hiding” period.  My son will be with me and I am not going to be ready for either one of us to be out and about, at least not for the first month or so.  I need to make sure we are completely safe.

This is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever pulled off.  If there is just one aspect of it that I don’t have to worry over, I would be beyond appreciative.  Once I am fully free, paying it forward will be in using my voice and being as loud as possible for those of us that are still in hiding.  It has been 30 years since I was abused by someone who claimed to love me, and it is clear that this epidemic is far from over.  It’s not even close to ending with me; there are so many others out there.  Every anonymous account needs a voice.  A new fight I look forward to getting into head on.

For those of you who find it in your heart to donate anything to me… I thank you in advance and will be forever grateful.  If you are unable to donate, please share this on your social media.  XOXO

Click here to read my full story.

Meanwhile…

…back at the ranch.

This seems like as good a time as any to update y’all on what’s been going on.  Before you get too excited, my address hasn’t changed.  Rest assured, when that day arrives the accompanying blog post title will be straight to the point with something like…I’ve Moved or My New Address Is or more appropriately…It’s Finally Over! Nevertheless, there are a few things that have been happening in between all of the poetry sessions and lack of [this is my life] blogging.

So. In the proper order, last month, my blog turned 2 years old. What?  How have I been blogging for two years?  How have I been talking about this Godforsaken subject for two years?  And how the hell have I still been here for two years?  I know.  Except what I see is… oh man, those two years FLEW by and I can smell the finish line!  I know it’s hard to really fathom how and why I’m still here but I’ve discussed that already.  And in all honesty, the violence is no longer there and there are minimal to no verbal outbursts at this point in time. So it’s really like sitting in a waiting room watching the clock with the stereotypical grumpy elderly folk we see on television who complain about everything.  In fact, funnily enough, while I’m doing the necessary legwork for my exit, he seems to be in a nesting phase for the future of “growing old together”.  It’s really pathetically entertaining because I already know how the show ends.

Something else new and exciting (NOT) that has happened is that I turned 45 this month.  I know, how joyous.  It’s all good because I still feel super young.  Probably younger than I should which must be a good thing, right?  For longevity and all that.  And even though I consider myself pretty keen already, I’m really starting to get into the endless possibilities that the future holds.  It’s not just about living my life, this life, free from drama.  Now it’s more like…what else is there?  What have I been holding myself back from that I may have not even realized.  Even the smallest nuance of change will be a big thing.  And with each little thing will be an ever evolving me.  A friend of mine always says he’s a work in progress. Now I get it.

Okay, now hold on to your seats because this one is a biggie.  If you’ve been following me since the beginning or have read my story in full or are just happening upon this blog for the first time…you’ll get it.  Look at the title of my blog.  I just turned 45.  This has been my life for the last 28 years. I knew the time was approaching.  I could feel it coming.  I wasn’t sure how the hell I was going to do it or what I was going to say but… I told my mother.

I know.  You’re like…she totally already knew.  Yes and no.  She knew of an incident that happened in the past.  She knew I left to go to the shelter a million years ago.  And she knew he was an a-hole.  But she had no idea to what extreme. And she sure didn’t know it’s been going on this long.  I was concerned about telling her because I didn’t know how she’d react to some of the things I discussed about my past.  People have a funny way of interpreting the written word.  I didn’t want anything I wrote to sound as if I was blaming anyone else, especially her, for my predicament.

The day after my birthday, I spoke to my mother on the phone.  I told her that I had a secret.  I reassured her that I was not ill and I figured I’d lighten the mood and told her not to worry that I wasn’t going to “become Bruce”.  With that, I explained how no one ever knew that I liked to write and that I’ve been writing since I was a teenager.  I told her that I started blogging a couple of years ago and that I felt like now was the appropriate time to share it with her.  I didn’t mention the topic.  I had shared the blog with my sister a few months ago and she was with my mother so she was there as a sort of buffer.  Then I waited three long days until she read it in it’s entirety.

My sister seemed optimistic when I told her I was ready to share it. She was glad I was ready.  I was nervous but hopeful.  After writing about it for the past two years, I feel somewhat detached from it now.  Like, this is more of a story to me than the reality of it being my life.  So when my mother called, I was almost more concerned about the writing critique than about the overall horror of this breaking news.  I knew it was going to impact her.  I kept checking with my sister to see if my mother was okay while she was reading it.  Being a mother myself, it’s almost more painful knowing after the fact that your child went through something so unimaginable and even though you were right there you had no idea of their despair.  So I knew her emotions would take her all over the place.

You can all breathe a sigh of relief.  I’m not really sure what negativity I anticipated but her response was anything but.  We live in different states so it’s hard to really discuss this openly  now without being interrupted by people on both ends walking in and out of the rooms we’re in.  I’m thinking a more in depth face to face conversation is in the near future.  All and all it was a positive response. Another huge bolder has been lifted off of my chest. Another person knows and I’m still breathing. Another person who knows ME knows.  The wall is getting lower.  That’s almost as scary as the actual departure!

Now that I am older and wiser (not THAT much older – or wiser), I can see a lot of the err of my ways.  The biggest is… I chose to stay silent.  If you don’t act as if you need help, how can anyone know it should be offered?  I was a pro at covering up mental and physical warfare.  So for anyone that may have known of even one incident or suspected any future incidents, I tried my hardest to keep it hidden so that I would never be confronted by anyone. Either for fear of having to admit it and be embarrassed that it was happening or for fear that they’d try to help me leave and then all hell would break loose.  The same hell that I had been trying to keep from happening since day one.  So I slowly removed the possibility of anyone finding out by just removing mostly everyone from my life.  I kept it down to the bare minimal and the further the better.

Friends and family at arms length worked best for me.  Over the phone relationships were even better.  That way, I was able to breathe.  No sudden pop ins.  No expected dinner and drinks at my house.  In living that way for so long it became normal.  So much so that people would joke with me that they were going to pull a drop in.  I would laugh.  It was all funny ha ha but I would be physically panicking.  What if they were serous?  For years my abuser wouldn’t care about arguing in front of other people.  of course nothing insane.  Just him having an a-hole opinion about one thing or another to show how he was a big mouth.  So to avoid the possibility of that, I would just shut it all down.  Lights out.  Television off.  Everyone in one room.  No one goes near the door.  Don’t even open the refrigerator so the light doesn’t go on.

Nowadays, I think about how it will be living on my own.  Mostly, I look forward to the silence and in all honesty, being alone.  I’ll probably be like that for a while.  However, once the dust settles, I think it will be easy to merge back into “society” so to speak.  Life on the other side of 45, seems to be bright and shiny.  I’ve got a lot of catching up to do…God help society.  🙂

Human Shield

Memories pop in and out of my head all the time.  As if playing a game of tag with my consciousness.  Sometimes they fade as quickly as they come in.  Other times they linger and make me ponder and replay scenarios over and over.  Of course, this never happens at a convenient time.  Either I’m in the middle of working and need to concentrate, but my brain has other plans and decides to hijack my thoughts, or I’m exhausted from the day and just want to sleep but can’t because now I’m thinking.

This is what happened last night. So bizarre how our brains work. It’s a never ending game of word association…or actually, thought association.  Layer after layer of one thought linking to another.  All I wanted to do was sleep when I started thinking about what I have going on this weekend and boom, I’m back there.  Not sure why.  When they say everything happens for a reason, does it also mean your thoughts too?  Is this a post I was supposed to write? In all honesty, I have been meaning to write about this.

As part of my self-healing process, I had began meditating a while ago. Almost immediately, I started becoming very aware of things. Things from the past. Unexpectedly, meditation was cleaning the dirty windows in my mind and I was able to get a good look inside. And here I thought it was going to be all about peace and tranquility. Ha!  I remember all of a sudden understanding why I made certain decisions that I did.  Just like that, clarity.

In the early days of my situation, while I was still dating my abuser, there had been incidents that happened outside.  He usually didn’t do anything in front of a crowd, since obviously his behavior was a secret.  Although, that doesn’t necessarily mean people didn’t see what was happening.  Could they have been walking by and thought we were just rolling around in the grass lovingly?  I guess.  Although, being punched and strangled doesn’t fall into the same category, maybe they blinked during the more aggressive and less loving moments.  Regardless, I’m sure some people saw and knew just what was happening.  Even more so than I did at the time.

I remember telling my Ex once, that if he ever saw anything going on NOT to approach the situation.  My abuser always, carried a knife on him.  And he was never afraid to use it.  In fact, I think using it turned him on just a little.  Maybe even a lot.  My fear was deep and I was scared to death that if anyone I knew approached him in the heat of battle he would use it on them. Most especially because when he was in a rage, he was no longer there.  It was something else within him that took over. Almost like he was fighting his own demons. So imagine being in some blackout state and someone approaches you telling you to stop? No.  I was not having him possibly hurt someone I cared about.  Not gonna happen.  Continue hitting.  I got this.

As time went on, after we were married, his threats became more specific.  He now was threatening me with harming family members if I ever attempted to leave.  Once, he made a threat towards my family members who lived out of state. I laughed. What an idiot. He doesn’t even know where they live or how to get there. Really? He clued me in to the map I had hidden in my drawer that he took and made a copy of, which was now safely tucked in his work locker. So yes, now I believed him.  He could get there if he truly wanted to. They never even met him.  Why would I contemplate leaving and possibly have him think I was hiding out of state and go there and hurt my innocent family?  Not gonna happen.  Continue hitting.  I got this.

Easier targets were my immediate family that lived locally. He knew were they all lived.  He made his threats. Always vicious. Always during a heated battle. Always believable. There was never a reason to brush off what he said as -all talk no action- because he was indeed THAT GUY. He only calmed down from what he was known to be once our first child was born.  It’s laughably sad that this life I was living with him, was him…calm. Calmer than what?  Hannibal Lecter?  Hitler?  All I know is, I didn’t want to know.  No need to hoist psychotic threats towards my family because no one is leaving.  Not gonna happen.  Continue hitting.  I got this.

Unaware of my own actions at the time, I had started distancing myself from people.  My friends, my family.  Anyone who he would have the chance to use against me.  Plus, in keeping a distance, I could also keep my secret.  After all these years, only now have I come to realize that I had made myself into a human shield.  In order to protect those I loved, I blocked the threat.  Even if they were only words, I believed him.  So I did what I thought was necessary.  I was young and had never heard someone spew such hateful and vindictive words.  Especially to a person who they claimed to love.  All I knew was, I could handle it.  I could take the pain.  Just leave everyone else alone.

I guess…well, actually, I can’t guess what his tactics were. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, his threats worked. I stayed put. He got his punching bag and dinner on the table too. Eventually though, the verbal threats got closer to home. It now stayed within the home.  He always threatened to kill me. That was a given. The easy go to.  However, on a few occasions, he threatened to kill me and the kids. And of course himself.  But who cares about that if we’re all already dead, right?  Here’s the strange thing.  Although I believed he was capable of these new and improved threats, a mother can’t distance herself from her children.  Now that I’m writing about this…this may actually be the turning point in where I became the one he now fears.

I see your threat and I raise you a…go right the fuck ahead.

Reverse psychology.  It seriously works.  Especially with the weak minded.  This guy is out of his ever loving mind if he thinks he’s going to continue this game. So I one up’d him. Guess what loser, if you kill us no one has to hear your mouth ever again! Helloo…bonus!  Bet you didn’t think of that one.  So I played that card.  At this point in time, he was definitely running out of steam.  He was getting older.  His rheumatoid arthritis was setting in.  And I was halfway to the finish line.  His words no longer frightened me like they once did.  It’s not that he lacked intensity or imagination with what he tossed my way but I was tired of it.

Never did I hold back from speaking my mind over the course of the marriage because it might result in bodily harm.  My armor was strengthened with each blow.  The more that came my way, the more I survived, the more I could take.  Holding my tongue was never an option.  In fact, that may be the one thing that has truly kept me alive all of these years.  Verbal abuse would now work both ways.  It may not be the right thing to do but it got done.  An idiot flinging wild threats every which way eventually bounces off of this human shield.  Being a knowledgeable and calculating user of words has it’s benefits.  Mind games.

Present day. He fears me more than I fear him. My inner Italian Mobster is present daily and he never knows what I’m capable of. I’m partial to the phrase, what goes around comes around and karma is coming to collect.  I enjoy the confused look on his face. He has been playing very nice for a while now as I remind him of the choices he made. For example, he might say to me, I love you. And I’ll say, I’m sorry to hear you have that problem. He’ll say how that hurts his feelings and I’ll say, aww it did…now imagine I said that as I punch you in the head with my knuckles.  He then puts his head down and walks away.

The good news is, he is fully aware that I’m leaving.  I’ve thrown it out there in random conversations almost in a way that seemed as if I misspoke.  He too has brought it up in a matter-of-fact sort of way, saying he knows what I have planned.  In a very non-aggressive manner.  As of late, the bulk of my days have been non-aggressive, thankfully.  So I’m leaning toward the belief that this will be a peaceful exit.  At least until he realizes there will be no return.

Not gonna happen.  Not this time.  I got this.

Healing Wounds

Today’s prompt words made me think of the phrase “Not all wounds are visible.”  Along with my own personal story, there are many others that have been through the same situation.  There are some out there that think because there is not physical violence that they are not in an abusive situation.

This haiku is for all of us.

Haiku Challenge #56

Prompts: Luck & Hope
Time will heal all wounds,
Hopefully that phrase is true,
If so, we’re lucky.

Unraveling

As per the official definition, it would seem, on any given day I am prone to becoming unraveled.  Typically, in the preferable term which would be to free from complication or difficulty.  This is actually on most days.  That’s a good thing.  I have found that by telling my story, not only out in cyberspace, but also with each – real life person – that knows me outside of this box, I am becoming disengaged and untangled from this web of lies that had become my life for so many years.

Then there are days where I become mentally unraveled.  They are few and far between but they pop up every once in a while.  For so many years, I disconnected from the people I cared about and probably needed to be around more than anyone else but because of the life I was living I hid away and secluded myself from all.  Now that I am so close to being truly out there about all of this [once I’m out of here I’m OUT to everyone] and no matter how much of a relief that day will be, I think part of me wants to retreat and take it all back. Hide it all away so no one knows why I left.  Just leave and be free and happy and not have to explain all of the crap that has manifested into becoming this grandiose escape plan.

So I cry, lash out, and cry some more.  Try to explain and not blame and then wish it all back into my mouth so that none of the words were ever said out loud.  Delete the account and voila no proof I actually spewed out all of the atrocities of my life.  So that it would all boil down to one day I just got up and left.  No explanation.  There she goes…moving on.  People could chalk it up to a mid life crisis or what have you.  It wouldn’t matter because I wouldn’t owe anyone an explanation.

But then what?  All of this junk would still be inside of me.  I can’t even imagine having all of this nonsense still bottled up.  I can barely remember what it feels like when no one knew.  It seems like that was a lifetime ago.  Part of a different person’s story.  Something I read about halfheartedly because I couldn’t connect with the storyteller. Ha. If only. Truly though, those fleeting moments when I wish my secrets were still my own happen as if an out of body experience.  I’m not even really sure what triggers those thoughts.  Maybe just in knowing how close I am to being on the other side of the mirror my subconscious plays games with me.

The real deal of the matter is that…it’s so freaking close I can almost touch it.  It’s simultaneously awesome and scary as hell.  The day I’ve been waiting for, for what seems like an eternity, is at hand. Literally – at my fingertips.  The closer it gets the more hungry for it I am.  Salivating at the images my mind paints of what it will be like when I am sitting here writing about how it all went down, smooth as can be.  Background noises of my choosing – or blissful silence.

In the past year and a half, I have allowed six people that know me in the outside world to read my blog.  People I was comfortable with knowing the real situation.  For a while now, I’ve been contemplating whether or not to let my sister and mother in.  I wasn’t sure how well that would go.  I was unsure whether or not it was the right time just yet.  Would I even know when the right time would be?  Should I wait until I’m closer to stepping out of the door?  What if telling certain people at certain times of my journey is exactly what I’m supposed to do?

Last month, I found a letter.  It was a letter my sister wrote to me when I was leaving to go to the battered women’s shelter – way back when I was 21 years old.  Mostly, she had written the lyrics to Mariah Carey’s song “Make It Happen”.  The rest was telling me she loved me and knew I could do this, and how when this passes I will start a new life.  That I would never forget what I had been through but it will be in my past and all of it will make me a stronger person. My sister was only 16 when she wrote this letter to me.  I thought, how sad that my 16 year old sister had to write this to me.  Even sadder was that I was 21 years old and on my way to a shelter for battered women.

When I came across the letter I thought, maybe now is the time I should share this, my story, with her.  After all, I am beyond the embarrassment part of my story.  I think I’ve come a long way in how I’ve told my story and what I’ve learned from my story.  As I started to tell my sister there was something I wanted her to read, I found myself saying…I’m proud of what I’ve written.  I’m proud that I have shared my story and I’m proud of where I am now as opposed to where I was the first day I sat down to write my very first blog entry.  And as I’ve done with everyone else I’ve shared my story with, I sent her the link – and ran. Lol.

After she read it in it’s entirety, she told me how even though she knew some of it, she really didn’t know how deep it was and how long it was going on.  She said how, now, it all made more sense.  The person I am, the way I am – makes sense.  She also said…what a great author I am (still debatable) and that she was proud of me. Aww.  I’m not really sure I’ve ever heard those words – for real. I’m sure they’ve been said. At some point. Over time. By someone. Parents, relatives. Who can recall?  It’s all just fleeting words in a fading memory. This is now.  It’s real.

Above all else, I am proud of myself – as I continue to unravel myself from the past and move that much closer to the future I was meant to have.

________________________________________

To read from the beginning… my story starts here.

Prevent Domestic Violence ~ Power Punch Words by Kendra Lynn

This is the only way I feel I can properly thank Kendra for writing such an amazing piece.

As exciting as it is for those of us who have been a victim of Domestic Violence to see the PSA commercials air on television or actors/actresses and public figures speak up about their own stories or use their fame in ads to say this behavior will no longer be tolerated – we’re left wondering… What happens when the camera is no longer rolling?  Is the thrill gone?  That rush of thinking – this is it – this topic is now mainstream – is kind of lackluster.

I’ve said it numerous times before, the fact that there are so many women sharing their Domestic Violence story truly amazes me.  From those who have made it out and those who are still in, the numbers and stories are staggering.  And as she discusses, the word courageous gets thrown around a lot.  Courageous for enduring it, escaping it, and speaking about it.  The real courage is surviving the aftermath once you’re out.

Kendra describes her own feelings about the approach Hollywood has taken, as well as her brush with the judicial system in her own battle with her abusive ex.  And damn, if it doesn’t strike a chord.  Although she is out of her relationship for 5 years and I’m on my way out – every word she writes I can feel deeply and agree with wholeheartedly.  There is something about being in this “club” that unites us in a way no one should be united.  I don’t want to know how it feels to be beaten but it’s too late for that.  The deed is done.  Now all I want is to know is how the hell are we going to stop it from happening to my sister…or your daughter…or your best friend?

Here’s what Kendra Lynn has to say about it:

Hush.

Now the Public Service Announcement (PSA) commercials on domestic violence (DV) have gone silent.

The award show has ended and most people no longer think about the speech against domestic abuse. Janay Palmer-Rice and Patricia Driscoll (Kurt Busch’s ex-girlfriend) are silent. There’s still no word on the progress of either Ray Rice or Kurt Busch.

What stays the same? The statistics of DV do:

  • A woman is beaten every 9 seconds in the U.S.
  • 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence.
  • 3 women in the U.S. are murdered by their partner every day.
  • 15 million children are exposed to domestic violence each year.
  • The median age for a female to become exposed to an abusive relationship is between 18 – 29.

Real numbers gathered every year by the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Nice to know there’s at least a task force.

While social media and Hollywood are great ways to reach a multitude of people, I fear the message is lost. I fear the actresses speaking out against domestic violence aren’t taken seriously because they typically portray a fantasy. In the mind of the median aged target group (females between the ages of 18 – 29), the actress is a glamorous fantasy. Why are the statistics remaining the same? Perhaps because we have unknowingly glamourized the idea of being a survivor of this terrible thing.

If you look at the family history of any domestic abuse survivor, you will find a family tree riddled with various forms of dysfunctional family dynamics and abuse. The 18 year old female precariously hanging from this thin limb sees the notoriety; the center stage presence of the actress courageously speaking out against domestic abuse. A low self-esteem and poor outlook on her future – the young victim of domestic violence perhaps sees only the glory in the story. The roaring applause at an award show and the gleaming lights and the perfectly coiffured actress; a chance for a survivor to be honorably mentioned in front of millions of people. I fear the stage lights are blinding the crux of the words and message of the actresses providing the speeches to end DV.

We all know the reality of any one survivor telling her story on center stage is rare. The real survivors of domestic abuse are sitting at home – still too afraid to speak out and up against domestic violence because of the stigma, the shame, the horror, and the hell that still echoes in our mind. The real survivors speak of our story with a catch in our throat, stuttering words, and tears that spill of their own volition as the story hits the core of our soul.

I am a survivor of DV of almost 5 years and I still cry at odd times while telling my story to those who genuinely care to know. I’ll tell you right now, being a survivor is not glamorous in any sense of rational thinking. It’s taken me nearly all my time of being a survivor to *not* look at all men as abusers.

I remember insomnia clutching my hand with a fearful grip. I remember going through motions; pretending to have it all together but inside feeling like an absolute failure. I remember the heavy sledge hammer memories invoking my first real symptoms of PTSD. I remember finding my voice – a voice that growled and screamed and yelled and cussed vehemently for the simple joy of being able to finally do so (but inadvertently pushing people away).

I remember the cringe I felt when someone hugged me for the first time after leaving my abuser; the foreign feeling that surrounded me in waves of nausea. It’s taken me nearly 5 years to finally learn to love myself and forgive myself for my past choices.

I become silent when someone calls me courageous. It’s at that exact moment I hear my screeching hell hounds – remembering as they chased me during my escape from my hell. I think of the countless victims too afraid and beaten down to leave their abusive partner. To me, that is the heart of every survivor of DV. We don’t categorize ourselves as courageous. We learned very early that labels have a not so funny way of causing a deep bruise. We are our own existence – renaming ourselves outside of our riddled and decaying family tree and relational history. Glamorous? Honey, it’s far from it. It’s its own hell being a survivor.

So what’s my point? Hollywood needs to stop its current form of PSA against domestic violence. It’s not working. The world needs to see more real survivors speaking out against it. The world needs to see a petite girl being punched in the face. The world needs to see real blood, real bruises, real tears, and real fear. It needs to be a power-packed PSA that rocks the core of everyone daring to watch. If I’m going to see a commercial about ending domestic abuse, I need to see a real survivor – someone I and every other survivor can relate to.

Birds of a feather flock together and more survivors will speak up. Everyone watching such a commercial should have tears rolling down their cheeks – much the same thing that happens whenever I decide to speak the harsh truth of my story to someone that wants to really know. The voice of a survivor is a hushed, cracking voice welling up in tears that the listener has to lean into to hear clearly. She’s not dressed up in her finery standing proud. Her voice continues to tell her story but she winces, thinking of any backlash that might occur in doing so. When the world can read past her shame and feel her fear maybe we will begin to make progress in ending domestic violence and Hollywood will become a strategic partner in this fight.

It’s worth your time – please continue to read the rest of her article here: Prevent Domestic Violence ~ Power Punch Words by Kendra Lynn | VoElla

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The Battle

New #MadVerse for 2/11 no.237
Issued by: Lady of the Storms on Twitter
Prompt: “My darkness bleeds”

The Battle

My darkness bleeds into corners,
where the desire of reciprocation hides.

Justifying a violent aftermath,
more specifically, an eye for an eye.

Venom incessantly spewed, in hopes
to subdue your opponent for a win.

Instead of keeping them paralyzed,
it vigorously nourished every cell within.

Now the light has taken over, and
the future is where I will thrive.

Despite your many efforts, it seems,
only the strong will survive.

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