At some point, we will all come to a stage where we feel like we have talked about our abuse, abusers, and pain enough. Some may consider no longer writing, and still some others may drop the topic all together. A change has come, bursting from somewhere deep within me, and I feel I have reached a point where I no longer am compelled to spew out my grocery list of injuries, physical or emotional, in every post. Nor do I have the desire to continue to give the negativity I lived for so many years any further room to permeate these pages. I want to be done with it all both in thought and word. I want to shed if off, the old, dead skin that it is, and be reborn into the woman I am meant to be: unburdened, content, at peace, happy, and loving — not only toward others, but more importantly to myself.
While I will still occasionally speak on these events and emotions from time to time — an unavoidable part of any human life — I am shifting my focus from rehashing and sifting through the muck and mire of the pain I sloshed around in to one I feel that will be of benefit to those who find their way to these pages. I want you all to feel the encouragement of realizing there is life after domestic violence, that it can be a beautiful, warm, loving new chapter in your life. For those of you who are still trapped or just coming out of the devastation and are cleaning up the wreckage lying in its wake, I want you to see there is a light called peace working its way to light up your darkness and alleviate your fears. I want you to see there will be security and comfort, ease and gentleness, trust, openness, compassion, dignity, and hope again. There will be love. Smiles. Laughter.
I ache for you to know that your abuser may be able to strip you of every worldly possession as mine did, leave you with physical injuries and scars, and even some emotional anguish that may never fully heal, but they can never take away your heart. The very core of you that is able above all pain, all sadness, fear, anger, hopelessness, to not only survive the devastation but thrive, wherever you may land when your entire world falls out from behind you and your bottom comes. I yearn for you to know that although you feel as though you are trapped in an abyss, forgotten and locked away from the rest of humanity, the millions of us are there in spirit beside you, standing shoulder to shoulder, extending our hands out and waiting for you to reach yours back. We are here with you, praying for you, feeling our old pains and insecurities that lurk in the shadows with every tear you shed. We pray with you every time you are on your knees pleading for your life, begging for it end, entreating Him for peace. We are with you in spirit, and we beseech you to take that deep breath and walk away. We will not leave you behind. Come forward with us and know there is a way out, that there are people who love you, people who care about you, even if they don’t know you, and they are ready to help you heal. Unload your burden, and come up for air.
For those of you who have been away from abuse for some time but continue to struggle, I hope you are able to find some inspiration tucked in between the rhythmically arranged letters stretching across these pages. Above all, my deepest hope for you is that you have been able to drop the weight of guilt that has been chained to you all this time and finally accept in your heart that you are not to blame for what was done to you against your will, that you bear no fault, and your only “trespass” was that you loved honestly and were deceived and manipulated in return. I implore you to not let what happened steal away your capacity to love and be loved. There is someone out there who is worthy of being charged with your vulnerability, and they will protect and cherish it with everything they are.
Those of you who have found your way here because you fear that someone you love is being harmed by their partner, please do not leave them alone in this world. Fight the urge to throw your hands up in defeat. Ignore the disgust you get when you have had it up to here with something you don’t even understand… and please just stand by them. Do not allow them to become totally isolated from everything they care about in this world. The truth is, you may be their only lifeline, their only security, and if you remove yourself from them, the result could be devastating. Let them know you see them struggling and extend to them an invitation to open up about their pain. Do not be confrontational with them about it, but you need to let them know you can be there if they need help with anything. They have been tossed about and battered in the one place they should have felt complete security… they have been battered about more than you can ever know. Be their hope until they see they can achieve it themselves. Do not judge them or blame them, for this they do enough many times over. They will need a harbor from the storm. I am asking you, from my heart, to please provide them some shelter. Please give them some peace.
And for my closure, I laid bare a few of the bruises I am ready to cast away from heart and reclaim the rest of myself. You have not damaged me. You have not defeated me. You have only helped me become who I am supposed to be. And you will not occupy my mind and taint my thoughts, peck away at my progress or my milestones. In one week, it will be six months out, and I look forward to my future and everything that it holds. I can be loved and trust someone with my vulnerability. I have faith that it will be okay. I will not be your prisoner or trapped by you anymore. You are only a memory.