Don’t Cover it Up

Take a moment and watch the video embedded above.  Go ahead.  I’ll be right here when you’re done.

If you’ve lived through domestic abuse or you know someone who has, you recognize that look of panic on her face at the end.  I posted the the story of my relationship with my ex-husband for the same reason that this video was created.  I talked about my experiences for two reasons:

1. It was cathartic.  Talking about the entire situation was emotional and difficult, and I shed a lot of tears as I wrote.  I had to take breaks frequently because I allowed myself to re-experience the pain, the fear, and the confusion that I experienced over the relationship.  I examined the ways that I was sucked into this weird and scary world, where I lived in terror of saying or doing the wrong thing.  And after I posted, I felt better.

2. I wanted to be a voice for other women who are going through something similar.  Understanding the buildup and techniques that abusers use to isolate their victims, condition them to accept the abuse, and even actively participate in hiding the abuse is important.  Abusers never start off relationships by beating the crap out of their partners.  That’s not how it works.  In the case of mental and emotional abuse, the victim often doesn’t even realize that the “normal” dynamic in their relationship is abusive.  I certainly didn’t, until someone pointed it out.

For every person who speaks about their abuse publicly, there are so many more who live in shame.  Who don’t realize that there are resources out there to help.  Who don’t know that their family and friends are practically waiting by the phone, ready to drop everything and rescue them.

I’ve already had several people reach out to me, privately, after that post, and tell me that my words helped them or someone they love out of an abusive relationship.  This is why I will continue to share my story.

Posted on July 2, 2012, in Feminism, Personal Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I work with survivors of domestic violence/sexual assault and I’ve noticed that one of the best things is to share their stories with each other. Domestic violence is extremely isolating. Talking about it is one of the first steps towards breaking that barrier.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m just beginning to share mine. It feels so convoluted sometimes.

    • The best advice I can give on this is to take some time. Allow yourself to feel any emotions that occur as you are sharing your story. Your emotions are valid, and you should never feel shame for whatever situation you are in, or were in previously.

      Above all, be kind to yourself.

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