Love Is Not Abuse

It’s “Time To Talk Day 2011” at Violence Unsilenced

This is copied from the site:

This Thursday, December 8, 2011, is the 7th annual It’s Time to Talk Day, a day that is, in the words of Violence UnSilenced board member Stacy Morrison, “dedicated to just this one goal: to start and continue conversations about relationship abuse, domestic violence, and emotional abuse, to join together in making an effort to raise awareness and reverse the humbling statistics:

1 in 3 women will be in an abusive relationship in her lifetime.
On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States.
Teenage girls are reporting dating abuse at rates higher than women, which makes them the most at-risk group for abuse in America.
One in five tweens—ages 11 to 14—say their friends are victims of emotional, physical or verbal dating violence.”

These are sobering stats, but we here at Violence UnSilenced are ever-reverent of the power of simply talking about abuse, of bringing it up out of the shadows of secrecy and shame and giving voice to what was once unspeakable. We do it all year long.

______________

I read the headlines and almost threw up.

“Dad killed 4 kids, injured wife”

A woman (just like me) fled an abusive marriage (just like me) tried to keep her children safe (just like me) and he hunted them down and shot his four children, injured his wife (thank God not like me) then turned the gun on himself (just like him)

My children and I? We are statistics. We are victims. We are SURVIVORS.

Many murmured that at least he was the only victim of his crime.

He wasn’t the only victim. I had been his victim for 12 years. His children had been his victims all their lives. I had been paralyzed by the control he had over me and the promise if I ever left; he would kill me. I had no reason to doubt him. I did not want to involve others. For many years I believed that I just needed to be a better wife. If only I could be everything he wanted me to be; it would stop. I pushed the children to walk the line with me. Be perfect. Perfect was never enough.

He took me down to a level of self-esteem that I didn’t believe I deserved better. I covered for him. I told lies to others who saw the marks. I sat in an Emergency room with a broken arm, rib and hair pulled out and although the doctors knew the truth; I told the lie. It’s just what you do. The promise of being protected is never believed. Your abuser is the only one with strength. You just believe it.

When I looked at my 5 year old daughter’s battered face, I didn’t believe it anymore. Her hurt eyes finally shattered the illusion he had created. A child didn’t deserve this. I began finally reaching out to people. A moment of weakness or strength; my heart battled on that one. As friends and family gathered around me; I found my strength to leave. By unsilencing the violence; I found my strength. Not a day passed that I didn’t believe he would kill me. Yet, I refused to let my children believe that we deserved to stay in that life. They needed to believe no matter the cost that we were entitled a life without the fear of physical, emotional and verbal abuse. No matter the cost. It was something I was willing to die for.

That news story? In the time it takes for a bullet to leave a gun, could have been us. Mental illness knows no rational.

Here on my blog I have told our story. I finally decided to cover for him no longer. The violence needed to be unsilenced. There was a time he had been a good man. There was a time he believed in God. He snapped and never came back. There were 5 victims in this story. Him, our 3 daughters and I. Fortunately there was only one causality.

If you are a victim of domestic violence; it’s not YOUR fault. There is a NEVER an excuse. There are places you can go, people who care and a life for you to live. Make the choice today to begin living again.

Visit LOVE IS NOT ABUSE for help finding resource, identify warning signs and get help.

 

 



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11 replies

  1. Alycia, thank you for raising your voice on this day. The story you lived–that you SURVIVED–is so powerful and so important, and yes, so very tragic, for everybody involved. Because of the strength and honesty of women like you–women share the truth that bravery and fear walk hand in hand–more women will find their way out of love that hurts. I will be sharing your link in a post on BlogHer.com later today that celebrates all these voices. Thank you.

  2. What an important post. Thank you for sharing. I have started reading the post you link to here. I am in chapter ten but I had to take a moment to comment and send you love and huge hugs. I am so sorry that you experienced so much. There are no words, but you are amazing and strong and your family is truly lucky and your children are so blessed to have someone as amazing as you for their mom. XOX

  3. Oh, my dear sweet friend, I am sitting here heartbroken and in tears. Like your real life friends, I had suspected, but I didn’t know until now. Alycia, I’m sorry for being so wrapped up in my own life and not reaching out to you more. Please know I am sorry and absolutely in awe at your strength and courage. I’ve loved you since our first chat, but my heart has just been opened and filled with an even deeper love for you and your sweet girls.

  4. I always hate to read a story like this but at the same time I love to because it is only by putting a face on domestic violence that anything can be done about it. I have often recommended several sites which provide help and shelter to abused women but I think it takes voices like yours to assure women that they are not the only ones who are being abused and shows that there can be life afterwards.

  5. This is so powerful. Thank you so much for speaking out!

  6. I’m so so sorry you endured this. Mine comes out slowly in pieces over time based on prompts here and there. So many have had it much worse, and I’m glad there are places where they (and I) can go to raise our voices and break the silence. Thank you for sharing your story. You are brave and beautiful.

  7. Your story moved me to tears. I’ve been praying for you for weeks now. I remember that young, innocent girl and my heart breaks for the woman you had to become to survive. Jennifer was in an abusive marriage for about a year and a half and was fortunate enough to get out. It’s also hard on the parents, watching what is going on, but powerless to step in to defend without permission. I am so happy for you now and that you have learned so much about yourself and are willing to share your story. There is no telling how God is going to use your courage to open up and show the world your scars. BTW, I really appreciate your humor….you are someone I would want to be friends with. Irreverent humor and scarcasm are right up my alley, too. Much love.

  8. I’m humbled by your strength and courage. Your children are lucky to have you. ((hugs))

  9. I remember the day you called like it was yesterday. If I could have, I would have flown down and got you out myself. But I trusted that others would be there for you, and that you and the girls would be safe. I don’t say this often enough, but thanks be to God for hearing that prayer and taking such good care of you. Lola and I were very happy.

  10. I left an abusive relationship in 1991 and fled for my life and my daughter’s life. I can only imagine how much harder that would have been had the child been his. I just wanted to give you a giant virtual hug & high five, for being one of the GOOD statistics, one of a woman who conquered her fear out of love for her kids. I am not sure what the stats are for headlines like the one mentioned here, but I have firm faith that there are way more women who escape and survive than ones who don’t. I wish for fast and complete healing for you and your precious girls, and thank you for sharing your story.

  11. Thank you for telling your own story, for sharing on behalf of Violence Unsilenced, and for writing so powerfully. sending you much love.

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