Even though decades have past since I left Derrick I still remember at a visceral level how alone I felt back then. The one thing I can say without hesitation to anyone suffering in an abusive relationship is this—you are not alone.
Not only are you not alone, you are stronger than you feel.
And guess what…that is exactly what the abuser wants, for you to be disconnected from your strength because when you feel weak…he or she feels strong.
I remember wondering when I would actually feel what I understood.
I understood it wasn’t right to be emotionally, physically and sexually abused—what I felt back then was a sense of worthlessness. I was ashamed, scared and felt very trapped and none of those emotions were empowering. But until the thought of staying grew more frightening then the prospect of leaving I was emotionally paralyzed. He threatened to kill me, kill my family, kill himself and our dog…all those threats were very real.
Leaving is hard. It hurts. And it will hurt for a while…but there will come a day when it won’t.
Look into your own eyes, center yourself…the fact that you are enduring, surviving and reaching out across the Internet looking for examples of people who have made their way out from the hooks of an abusive relationship is a clear demonstration of strength—your strength.
There are very few things we are entitled to in this life…but your emotional and physical safety? You are entitled to both.
Feel your strength, you are not alone.
The Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Make sure you employ a safety plan before leaving an abusive relationship. Although the decision to leave is yours there are resources and people who can help you take those steps with an eye on keeping you safe.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month