Sunday, 31 August 2014

I am a survivor not a victim

I always thought until very recently I was a victim of domestic violence. I learnt not long ago I am not a victim, I am a survivor and since that light bulb moment I have felt stronger and ready to start moving on.

The things I experienced with my ex (my 9 year olds father) I would not wish upon anybody. Although I said earlier than I am ready to move on I have been having a lot flashbacks lately,8 years later. Being out of the relationship doesn't always make you free. I have lived in fear for so long and that is about to change. I have nothing to fear now.

My ex went as far as to attempt to kill my daughter and I, at this point I was too scared to tell police what really happened and he got numerous other domestic violence related charges and I wish now I hadn't have downplayed what he did. Do you know why I did it? It was out of fear, shame, embarrassment even guilt, guilt that I stayed that long to the point I could have lost my daughter.

One thing that really annoys me when it comes to domestic violence is how naive people can be. I heard so many times "why don't you just leave?" Or most commonly because I never really spoke up when I was in the relationship "why didn't you just leave?" When somebody controls you so much and you fear them that much you can't, you can't eat without being told you're allowed, can't listen to music if they don't want you to, shower when you're told. How are you meant to leave? The abuser knows this, control is their main weapon. I was not allowed anywhere by myself and if I was he had people follow me. 

As I said before domestic violence has long lasting effects on the person on the receiving ends. I may not have physical scars but I do have bones that were broken that get sore at night or in the cold, I do have a lump on my nose from where it was broken, I do have the lasting memories. Remembering being pulled aside at a neighbour's house to ask about the bruises around my neck, excuse after excuse to housing about another wall or door I "fell through" 
In my current relationship I am very defensive for example if my husband can't find his keys I instantly jump on the defense "I didn't touch them, it wasn't me" 

It is my time to stand back up. It is my time to be strong, be happy, live the life I deserve.
Domestic violence hasn't only effected me, my daughter has some long lasting effects too including severe anxiety and social disorders. 

The above picture is a tattoo I will be getting in the near future, the purple ribbon is the domestic violence awareness ribbon and I love butterflies. Thinking back now if it wasn't for a good friend of mine who is as good as a sister to me for calling the police one night when my ex was in a rage and police intercepting the car I really believe I would have died that night. 

I have to go do the school pick up now but may write more on this tonight.

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