October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month… Domestic Violence AWARENESS…
I have been sitting here for a few hours pondering on this subject…I was in an abusive marriage for 17 years…. I listen quietly as I hear the words Domestic Violence…AWARENESS.
I am so very thankful for the (dot)org’s out there that provide service and shelter for battered women and their children… for the education and the help they provide.
Looking back at my own abusive situation, the word awareness has an odd place in that puzzle. It is often best that I am curious with myself and gentle and that I put my foot down and not allow myself or OTHERS to place judgment on the decisions and choices I made during that time.
When did I become aware that my partner was abusive… ? I suppose if I look at that in the light of truth, I would say immediately. I immediately looked at him as someone to try to “convince” that I was worthy, good, nice, beautiful ect…. At that time in my life I was filled with self doubt and insecurities. I suppose I must have realized how stubborn and hard headed I am, and thought it maybe easier to convince the world I was “worthy” rather than to make an attempt to believe that myself. This where my awareness has kicked in of my part in the relationship. Afterall, I did CHOSE an abusive relationship.
I was aware each time my husband hit me, I was aware each time he called me ugly, fat, stupid, or bitch. I was aware each time he stayed gone for hours and hours romancing other women, only to tell me it was none of my business where he was. I was AWARE….
What I was NOT aware of was my strength, my power, my feelings, my courage and my willpower. I was not aware of my OWN SELF WORTH.
It was over 4 years ago that I moved from that place, from being stuck in my own self pity. I was certainly stuck, believing I deserved what I was getting… I ask myself now, what in my life made me feel that I deserved that bad treatment? Did I deserve to be treated that way because I weighed too much? Because I did not get straight A’s in school? Because I was not rich enough perhaps? What?? What was my reasoning for believing those lies?
You see, I am finally at the point that I have forgiven me.. for making these choices.. and some people say don’t think about it or you will get stuck again.. but I say, I lived through that, and now that I have forgiven I would like to re look at my life and those choices and learn all the lessons I can gather from the experience. I certainly want to gain that wisdom so that I do not repeat that pattern.
*I thought I could *love* him enough to change him. One day I woke up and realized the only person I can love enough to change is me.
*I thought I did not deserve any more than what I had chosen, that my choice had sealed my destiny. One day I woke up and realized God gives me a fresh slate each day to create my own life, my own destiny is controlled by my choices and my free will.
*I thought I was stuck because I had two children, no money, and no resources. One day I woke up and realized with God anything is possible and God has placed on this earth many of his Angels to help us get from one place to another.
*I thought he would change eventually…..
One day I woke up…. one day I changed my THOUGHTS.
My thoughts had become my words and my words had become my actions… and it was time to wake up.
Today, I wake up each morning with attitude of gratitude. I have all I need in life to not only survive, but to thrive…
I have learned to STOP the silence and to speak out… To ask for what I need… to say the truth…
I would to say that as far as Domestic Violence goes… the person being abused is usually AWARE they are in an abusive relationship with their partner… it is the abusive relationship they have with themself that they are unaware of.
Go easy on judging others for being in abusive relationships. Sometimes the abused woman is the person that is standing next to us in the grocery isle, or it may be the cashier, our child’s fifth grade teacher, the nurse who stands so lovingly at our bedside and nourishes us when we are sick, it could be your daughter, your mother, your sister, it could even be… US…
What will you do to break the silence of abuse today? How can we be more caring and less judgmental of those in abusive relationships? How can we judge ourselves less and love more?
Questions to ponder….
With much love … Teresa