15 comments on “The Hope in Before and After

  1. wow – powerful stuff – I can’t believe how selfish some people are – you went through Hell and THEY are annoyed? See ya, losers.
    Hope you are finding some peace in your life. You are loved, yes even by strangers.

    • I think part of the problem (that definitely doesn’t excuse it in anyway) is that it’s an uncomfortable, painful thing to have to look at someone you cared so much about and have to acknowledge that they were brutalized and violated. Since it’s so hard and uncomfortable, they would rather not talk about it, because avoiding it makes it better, easier FOR THEM. Then it means it didn’t happen. This is exactly the problem with violence in intimate partner relationships.. the silence. OF the abuser who you (unless he/she is so cocky and arrogant as Kevin) know isn’t going to reveal their true nature to anyone else so they can be punished and then be alone. Of the victim who does so out of fear or retaliation (even death) and shame and humiliation that they’ve “allowed” this (because this is what society tells them). Of the family of the abuser who may know but feels fear to be silent to avoid reprisal (as long as the victim is getting the abusive behavior they aren’t). Of the family and friends of the victim who think it’s private business and shouldn’t be aired publicly (keep your degradation to yourself no on needs to know). Of strangers who may see it and turn away because it isn’t any of their business (don’t do that out in public, keep it at home). Even of some law enforcement who try to tell the victim they were just having an argument.

      At what point does this cycle ever stop? If I go the way of those I cut off, I would be miserable and definitely in not such a good place emotionally right now. I opt not be silent, and if this makes anyone uncomfortable, so be it. The world is not all fluffy kitties and wispy white clouds and sunshine. It just isn’t. And thinking that camel is going to stop kicking you in the butt with your head in the sand is going to go away isn’t either. Because I’m the camel kicking.

      I ask sometimes how should I handle the what have you been up to questions instead of my honesty…. Tell them I took up boxing but couldn’t handle the duck-and-bob concept? It’s hard to please someone who insists they don’t want to be lied to and takes offense when you can’t tell them truth of what really happened, but when you do tell them, they say many of the things I included in the post. And worse. Because they want to avoid the discomfort and hurt and having to realize that even someone “like me” — intelligent, talented, someone who doesn’t get bullied easily, strong, steady, responsible… Even someone like me CAN and HAS BEEN abused. I wish they would instead wake up and change their focus, because the CAN change their focus… and put it on the fact that while this DID happen to me, I also GOT OUT. If I were to see that happen with someone I cared about, I would be too worried about their well-being, if they needed anything, and how I could help comfort them and make things easier for them instead of my own comfort.

      But I have to remind myself that the world, even those closest to me, don’t always like the views in Amy-land. I live here 24/7 and from my point-of-view, things look pretty darn good. I get encouraged to hear stories (even if it does hurt) of what someone endured and HOW they got out. I endure the discomfort because sometimes life just goes horribly wrong. It’s how you handle it and what you choose to do with it that counts. So silent, me? Never, ever again.

      Ironically, with all the bad that happened over the four years and five months I was being abused, the past fourteen months I have been away from, though filled with an enormous mountain of debt, being homeless and having to live with family, just now getting a car over a year later (because it was a GIFT) that isn’t on the road because I have to budget it out, to the PTSD I still struggle with, the triggers, the things I wish I could forget, and pretty much having to start over from zero… It’s been the best ever.

      Thank you for your comment.

  2. I wish you could have those responses printed out on business cards and pass them out when asked or stated. Perfect description of dealing with others in the aftermath of DV. Thank you for posting this. If you figure out a way to print it on cards let me know, I need to order some. It’ll save air and precious time.

    • Yeah, but you’d have to carry around a suitcase all the time… but what’s one more when you already have so much baggage! LOL

      I generally try to be respectful at all times no matter how someone is speaking to me, but I have found if I get continually pushed in any way that might remind me of how Kevin used to act… The poor person on the receiving end gets a sarcastic, rude response. I have said some of those things to others in response to them, and even though many would say it was deserved, I definitely don’t feel they are my better moments. There are more intelligent ways to reply. Usually I can muster the control to give them, but sometimes….

      For the most part, I have weeded out my circle fairly well. None of those I CHOOSE (yes they must meet my approval requirements LOL) to have around me would ever dare to say those things to me because they just don’t think that way. I have had to cut off people I have known since childhood. Some think it’s sad, but I think that not everyone can handle the strength of a survivor. And the rest just don’t care. If you can’t be kind, you have no place in my life and my circle just isn’t for you.


  3. As difficult as this is to read, it must have been so much harder for you to write. I can only imagine how long it took you (and no, I’m not referring to the word count). You raised some deep issues, not the least of which is this: DV survivors change. You have to. There is no way you can be the same person you were before, and it’s unfair for us to expect that of you, or for you to expect it of yourself. So I’m glad you embrace the fact of your difference, and use that as the foundation upon which to build relationships anew, particularly with people you knew before Kevin (or as you say, “Pre-K.”

    I’m always amazed at your ability to deal with the aftermath of your experiences. You’re both stronger than you were and more vulnerable at the same time. That paradox makes life interesting, to say the least – but enjoyable all the same. I’m proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • First I love that you made a joke about my tendency to be verbose in my posts on the sly. That was smooth. I like that! LOL

      A few months ago, that “V” word would have made me cringe. Vulnerable to me before was a word I’d use only to describe what I saw as weakness within me. But along with so many other things I misunderstood about myself, vulnerability is not a bad thing. During my Pre-K days, I mistakenly thought I was stronger if I managed to keep everything inside and still function without too many people being able to pick up on the fact that something was amiss. Don’t misunderstand.. I never thought that way of anyone else. I had an odd quirk with my personality that thought of myself talking about very personal things and letting others see my pain as weak. And all the while, when I saw others doing that very thing, sharing their most personal experiences with others, made them incredibly brave and strong.

      I have learned that I was always cruel to myself, in a way. Now, I have somehow managed to re-work a few crossed wires in my head so I also apply that thought to myself. It takes tremendous amounts of faith and trust and confidence, and strength to be able to open up and let others see the things that maybe aren’t so pretty, polite, or pleasant. That you have suffered and have emotions and very real consequences to living through those circumstances — both positive and negative. I have learned that not only am I human, I have a right to be, and I deserve to treat myself with the same compassion, kindness, love, and forgiveness that I have always given to everyone else. It’s a shame I learned it the way I did, but I wouldn’t change any of it if I were given the opportunity. It’s a part of me, and I have come to love myself.

      Sometimes out of love for not only yourself but others, it is necessary and often times urgent to display that vulnerability so publicly to others. And I think the strength you see actually comes from the vulnerability, not the way around. I think first before you can be strong you have to allow yourself to be feel and share your scars with the world. They are a true mark of beauty, as they show you have risen above and healed. And in seeing others’ scars, we get hope, and this is what causes us to be bold enough to stand. This is where we get our strength. From each other.

  4. I also love your humor. It drives me crazy when people say things like “Why didn’t she just leave?” or “How could you let him treat you like that? “. Next time, I will try to remember your line, “Well, you know, I figured being treated in a loving way wasnโ€™t what I really wanted in my life. I thought long and hard about it, and I just made up my mind one morning to just push him until he snapped and threw my ungrateful, nasty, selfish body against the wall and choked me. Itโ€™s every girlโ€™s dream.” People who have never experienced DV really have no idea what they are talking about when they ask questions like this. I don’t fault them, they aren’t trying to be mean, they are really just ignorant of the subject. I like your post because it educates in a humorous way. Great job!

    • I keep forgetting that when I am here, even over and above the fact that this is my blog, I can say things the way I mean them and still have people understand that this is what I am trying to do… put some humor in to lighten up the darkness of what we are talking about. Quite a few people have raised objection to my use of humor about the abuse I endured, and they get so frustrated that I don’t see it as a weight to forever carry on my shoulders. Unless they missed the memo that everyone else in the office has read, I carried that for over four years. Until I was weighed down so heavily by it that I just wished I would die or he would kill me so that it would be over. I can’t go back to that ever again. And if I didn’t have that twisted little sense of humor, I’d be miserable.

      I think some of them have the misguided notion that I am doing it out of disrespect. But really… I just so prefer laughing and smiling over moping and dragging myself through my life. So I make off-color jokes here and there about Sammy Sosa and Mike Tyson, having a trainer, etc…. and it will happen… It’s my way of saying I made it through, and I am happy so move on.

      The questions…. I mean you can only answer them seriously so many times before your eyes start rolling around in your head like marbles. Especially when it’s the same person saying it. It’s like they forget that I have been asked all those questions like ten thousand times a piece by now… and more. The self control definitely gets hard to keep in line…. and then when I am asked “Didn’t you think you deserved more for yourself?” And I look at them all bewildered, desperately trying not to the let the “I thought you knew it was every girl’s dream to have her head slammed into the doorframe six times as her proper ‘Good morning’ greeting….” or “There’s just something about a guy who shoves bullets in my face that I find incredibly sexy.”

      *sigh* I guess it’s a thing only those of us who have been through it can understand. Thank you so much for your comment and your understanding. It’s a relief. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Reblogged this on Ladywithatruck's Blog and commented:
    I think many of you can relate to this post by Sweetmarie so I am sharing. If you haven’t been to her site before, it is well worth sticking around and reading some of her other posts. You can’t help but be inspired by her fortitude and determination to not let abuse destroy her and her strength to share her experiences in an effort to help others. I really admire this lady and have immense respect for her; I think you will too.

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