domestic violence

Another First

Something a little more positive tonight. The first time I realized I wasn’t alone. After I left, I was seeing a counselor at the local women’s shelter. Fortunately, I did not need to stay there, my family was there for me. Many women don’t have family to turn to though, and women’s shelters provide a place to live for them. For those of us who had a roof, they provide other services though, counseling, support, help with childcare, finding a job, etc.

They helped the kids and I with counseling services. All four of us received individual counseling, as well as a support group that I participated in as well. One night, one of the counselors who was facilitating the group opened up by reading the first part of a book, “I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Woman” by Michele Weldon. Before the speaker was finished, I was in tears. This woman, she was telling my story, what she said, what she felt, what her batterer said and did, it was my life. I was stunned. I thought up until that point that I was alone. I believed him when he had told me that it was my fault, that I was to blame. Yet, how could that be, when here was another woman, in the same situation, telling the same story. Who believed the same lies that it was her fault, that somehow, she could hang on and eventually it would get better?

How many others are out there? How many other women are believing those lies? Are lying in bed, nursing a black eye, bruised jaw, crushed spirit, or any of the hundreds of physical injuries? With crushed spirits and empty hearts, just trying to survive, believing that if they can only do just this one thing right, then it will all be better? I am not alone, I have sisters out there, in this *sorority* of sorts, we didn’t choose it, who would? We didn’t ask for it, we didn’t enjoy it, we didn’t do anything to bring it on ourselves, but each day, struggle to make sense of the life we have found ourselves in, and hold onto anything that can bring just one shred of hope. That maybe, just maybe this time it won’t be so bad. It doesn’t get any better. Each instance is worse than the last, it escalates that way. There is a pattern, a cycle of abuse, how does the cycle end, when does the cycle end??? I don’t know, but I do know now that I am not alone, I never was. There are other women out there, just like me. I am NOT alone, and I never was…

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