My dear thanks go out to Prego and the Loon for nominating me for her Prego Project – Voicing Violence Award.
This award was created in support of those affected by domestic violence. Victims are not only the people being abused; friends and family members of the abused suffer as well. This award was created to build unity among victims of domestic violence, to shed light on the truth behind closed doors, to give a voice to the pain so often locked in silence and hidden by isolation.
It is a bittersweet honor for me to accept this award. I never wanted to be seen as a victim of domestic violence. I stayed in denial for so long. After nearly eight years of pretending that I had the perfect marriage while my distance grew between family and friends, and the relationship of my dreams was draining me of all happiness and all hope, I broke the silence.
Speaking out about what happened to me kept me from hiding it from myself. It was so much easier to handle if no one knew. I could almost pretend that nothing had happened if I didn’t tell anyone. No one had to know of the names he called me, of the spit in my face, of being forced down the staircase with my neck in his grasp. But if I’d just stayed silent about it, nothing would’ve change.
Here’s to hope that my voice, my stories, and other victims’ bravery to tell of their experiences with domestic violence, will have a positive effect on the statistics of these incidents occurring.
PREGO PROJECT RULES
- Kindly thank the person who nominated you, and provide a link back to their blog.
- Attach the Prego Project Award presented by Prego and the Loon to your site.
- Provide a bit of hope and inspiration for those currently dealing with domestic violence.
- Nominate some other bloggers whom you feel deserve this award!
I am blogging with a candor that comes intrinsically, but I haven’t told you much about what happened to me. Telling you everything could jeopardize my safety and the legal proceedings revolving around The Big Incident.
I will say this much for now – my husband was indicted last week. The grand jury’s decision to charge him with a felony for what he did to me during The Big Incident came after nearly seven anxiety-filled months of me not knowing how my case would be handled. The waiting has been very hard for me. I have gone through every conceivable emotion regarding this case and someday I will explain more about the specifics of being a victim in a case such as this. I am still terrified that he is going to try to kill me, especially now that he may go to jail for decades if he is convicted. I still do not feel safe, even though he is supposedly living over 1000 miles away.
The restraining order has given me the façade of safety. For the first time out of the many that I attempted to leave him I have the freedom from hearing his voice compelling me to come back. He cannot sway me with his poetry, or guilt me with suicide attempts, or cry his way back into my arms. He cannot tell our children that “Mommy doesn’t want me in your life,” while hugging them and crying, strategically placing the children between our ability to thrive and our victimized lives. He cannot be around me; just feeling his energy and seeing his face make me want to say “to hell with the charges and the past, he is going to change. All he needs is my love. We can make it.”
I am too far past that to really believe it is true. I know now that no matter what I went through, no matter how much I loved him (and still do), no matter how many times I came back and gave him one more “one last chance,” I would have been abused. Every time I came back to him the abuse was more violent. Every time I chose to stay silent about it, the cycle continued.
Only after The Big Incident, after an event so scarring and debilitating, where I was stripped of every ounce of control, did I find the strength to start speaking out. I could no longer be in denial. Ignoring my situation was no longer an option; if I didn’t tell someone, if I didn’t go to the police, if I didn’t get a restraining order, if I didn’t find a support system, if I didn’t get away from him once and for all, it would be the end of me.
The thought of living the rest of my life being abused was too much for me. For eight years I’d held out hope, I’d nurtured the illusion of him reaching his potential with my assistance. I’d bowed down and worshiped his entirety. I wanted so badly for him to approve of me. I tried everything to earn his love. After The Big Incident, however, I’d had enough.
At 27 years old I finally stopped denying that the man I had loved since I was a teenager wasn’t ever going to change. He wasn’t ever going to be the man I needed him to be or love me the way I wanted to be loved. He wasn’t ever going to treat our children the way I felt they deserved to be treated. He wasn’t ever going to see me as anything other than his possession.
After The Big Incident I could no longer let it matter to me if he was abusing me on purpose or not; if he knew how badly he’d hurt me; if he acted this way because of his painful youth and negative upbringing; if he couldn’t love me because he couldn’t love himself; if he swore that he needed me, and that we needed one another. He would always abuse me. And I couldn’t keep quiet any longer.
This is only the beginning of my journey. His influence is still evident in my decision-making, in my views of myself, in my preparation for the future. I still worry about him daily and wonder what he is thinking about me. Our three children, one still growing in my belly, will forever remain a link between us. I will always wish there would’ve been something I could’ve done to have made my marriage work.
The legal proceedings may take years before things are completed, and I may never stop having nightmares. I will, however, continue to speak out about domestic violence. Too many abusers aren’t held accountable for the pain they cause, the fear they inflict, the lives they ruin. Too many victims are voiceless. Too often society imagines domestic violence as a problem of the past. Domestic violence has not gone away, it has adapted. Every victim’s story gives another the strength to speak out. I hope that in some way I have helped.
Bloggers I’m Nominating for the Prego Project Award (these bloggers have been affected by domestic violence in some way and/or are advocates for victim education and safety)
- Fighting for Autumn and Ivy
- Clementine Morrigan
- Should I Stay or Should I Leave Him
- Combat Babe
- Moved By Faith
- Bruised Woman’s Blog
- Go! Win! Fight! Fly Free!
No one deserves to be abused.