Being a victim of domestic violence isn’t something that just happens to a person, it isn’t just a characteristic of their past, like, “I was a victim of addiction, but I don’t use anymore.” It also can’t be described as something that happened to you, or that you experienced. Rather, it feels like it becomes a part of who you are, in some way stealing your true identity and replacing it with a shell of what used to be you, but inside is filled with anxiety, fear, anger, doubt, resentment, and a constant longing for it all to be over. A longing for the pain to be a memory of what you had to endure, instead of the constant reminder, behind the daily struggle of morning time nausea that you’ve just gotten used to, the same way you got used to your empty bed.
The single biggest challenge for me has been my anger. I had anger management issues when I was an adolescent, and I spent a lot of time focused on bettering that part of myself, and through reflection and behavioral changes, I was quite successful. I struggled with alcoholism, and through the help of my family and friends, I am sober, and quite proud of that success as well. But, I’ve learned that just when you’re feeling good about yourself, something or someone will float your way, like a nasty, dark, little rain cloud to ruin any warm, sunny feelings you might have.
That’s what bothers me the most, knowing that this person, the one I trusted and loved more than anyone, could take the power of my happiness from me. The person I fought for, that I defended to my family, friends, and my own better judgement, would take joy in my pain, both emotional and physical. This man, who was supposed to protect me, instead, calls the police on ME and lies about my actions and character. The man that I put before everyone, including myself, could take advantage of me and whatever little I had, and still felt the right to evict me from my own home.
I’ve never witnessed abuse in my home as a child, so, naturally I was confused and ashamed. I knew that I had to call my mother, but I was scared now of her disapproval, her disappointment, and most of all, the pain it would cause her. I was afraid she would see me as weak person, to allow myself to be victimized, choosing a man that she didn’t believe was up to my standards or in any way a good or decent person. But even she gave him a chance, so how could she blame me? I believed in love, I believed in a happily ever after, I believed in second chances and the power of good influence to change a person. Then again, I also once believed in the tooth fairy.