2 comments on “I Remember

  1. I’ve had real difficulties trying to type what I mean, but I think I’ve finally got it through the tears streaming down my face. As I read this, I was lost that I was reading about you. It felt like I was reading about my own experience. I’m convinced that although all experiences may not be exactly the same, they sure are similar by abusers. Saddened by your experience, I can only tell you how sorry I am that you experienced what you did by him. Knowing what you mean about the help you’ve received from others, I’ve had so much help from those around me, from the Domestic Violence Centre I attend, to a church ensuring I had some money to buy my now 13 month old child food and clothes. My mother and sisters have helped a lot. My son and I literally only had the clothes on ours backs and at the time, he was only 12 weeks old when I managed to get away from his abusive father. He’d call me ugly and tell me no man will ever want me, plus more. I wish I was there to hug you and to hold your hand. I feel helpless. But, I’m so glad you have found the strength to move on and I hope you know that you are beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.

    • It’s a strangely overwhelming feeling when you read something you could almost swear was written about you, even as you read this writing from across the miles. The ability to identify with complete strangers is unnerving at times, but I hold much appreciation for it at the same time, because I need that affirmation that I am not alone. Sometimes that old lie the abusers tell — that no one would believe us, that we caused this, that WE are the broken ones — comes back to haunt day, weeks, months, or even years later. I believe that feeling this intense connection is a gift, because it keeps us grounded and remembering where we’ve been so we don’t lose sight of the need for appreciation and gratitude. Thank you for sharing that connection with me.

      Abusers typically use the same general methods to strip us of our power and value and to forcibly take control and dominate us, some more monstrously than others. Therefore, once you have been victimized by one, you will know just by looking. I don’t know if you have had this happen yet or not, but the first time you look at a couple and you know in your gut that he/she is being abused, that they will go home later and out of public view one becomes the violated and the other the perpetrator… The emotional reaction you have to this will be strong. Depending on how emotional you can get, it could be overwhelming. I have an insanely overpowering wave of despair and intense anger that just washes over me. You don’t forget that once you’ve lived it. Ever.

      If it weren’t for my father, I would have had nowhere to go. There are no DV shelters in the county where I live… and ones in other counties that we called the day I left were full. Too many friends have young children, and I would never subject them to the danger. If it weren’t for the kindness of the brothers and sisters in my congregation and a few family members, I wouldn’t have had clothes in the first few weeks. Kevin had used the last paycheck I had with him on drugs. I walked out the door truly penniless, but I didn’t care. All I knew I needed to do that morning was live. That was the only thing I could think about. The things I don’t miss, as they are replaceable. I am not. I have struggled a lot the past year, and just am getting a car… through an act of kindness and compassion. I still live with family and so want to be on my own. But the money isn’t there. Immense mountain of debt. Still I am richly blessed, because I have my life and those around me who have supported me.

      The lies abusers tell their victims…. the worst of all. How do they look at us and say these things and then turn around and talk nonsense about love? How do they do this? The vile things they say stick with us for years afterward, some never find their way out from the pain. Kerwyn — as you read my blog you will hear me gush about him from time to time like a schoolgirl — has had to stop me in the middle of rants where I turn on myself and start spewing the insults Kevin planted in my head… Things that I know are lies but when I’m stressed out and being triggered, I apparently still think they are true.

      I am happy that you found that strength to get away from this evil person with your life. I hope that once your son gets older, you tell him of your bravery and courage, of your love for him as a young mother, and let him know how wonderful he is. I do not have children, so I can only imagine the fear you had inside as you fled with that little life in your arms. But I love you for not letting it turn you aside from taking back your life. You let him know how strong his mommy is. You are beautiful inside as well as out, but when he hears that, you will automatically become the most beautiful person on the earth. And someone will come along who will see that beaming off you, and they will appreciate it and treat with you with the love and kindness and compassion you deserve.

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