I Am A Grateful Domestic Violence Victim (Survivor)
Life Goes On
It has been three years, nine months, two weeks and five days since the last time a hand has been raised to me in anger. It has been equally as long as the last time I have ever felt fear of physical harm at the hands of any man. It was that long ago since I allowed the officers to take my husband as I packed my things to await my mother’s arrival to come get us and move us away. You might think I should get a pin for that; three years unbeaten.
There has not been one single hour since then that I have ever had any moments of doubt or weakness in regretting leaving him. He made sure that he ruined every opportunity I gave him to do the right thing by me and our children. For six long years I stayed with him and put up with his anger, his drug use, his blatant disregard for me, and his immaturity in refusing to be responsible, at least, to his children. Sure, I wish I would have left him sooner, actually, I did once but I was not ready to give up. The sanctity of marriage means a lot to me and I meant every word of my vows.
Unfortunately they were just words to him and I suffered a terrible reality shock as I was thrown around, beaten, bruised, and passed around as he saw fit. The one thing that meant more to me than being the best wife I could be was being the best mother I could be and when it became clear that I had to give up on one to achieve the other, I chose my children. Being aware of the undeniable fact that I knew I had done everything in my power to do to help him gave me an inner strength to make the scary decision to become a single mother to four very young children.
There have been too many coincidences in my life for me not to believe that there is some form of Karmic force that affects our daily lives in ways that we are unable to understand. After years of struggling with the concept of religion I finally came to the conclusion that it is my belief in that higher power that is important and not the name of the church that one sits in. That being said I prayed that I would be granted a year, one year to straighten my life around as I saw fit then I would once again relinquish the reigns to my life to the powers that be.
In precisely six months I had literally done more for my kids than their father had done in the last six years. It felt great to be empowered by that concrete proof that I had made the right decision. I had also decided that I was not interested in dating at all despite my mother’s insistence. She eventually got the idea that I need more time than she had needed and let me be. That is until she met her new motorcycle mechanic. He was newly single with a pre-teenage son. He had been coming by my work and being nice but not pushy but I was not ready. She kept telling me that he was a good man and that I shouldn’t let this opportunity pass. I was skeptical. Then he began working where I did. Now he was a coworker and that was doubly taboo. He pursued, gently but persistently, my mother encouraged, and I gave in on Christmas Eve. It had been just days shy of a year since I had made that prayer.
Since then we have gotten married and he has been exceedingly patient with me when I have my bad days, usually after arguing with the ex for one reason or another, and I have decided that I rather like the idea of being pampered. It was an entirely new concept for me, I had not previously been treated with respect by any man I had dated so I wasn’t exactly sure how to simply accept being put on a pedestal. I wobbled at first and tried to get down more than once but my dear husband loves me thoroughly and has banished me to this pedestal. Truly, he is an awful man! I know, I mean absolutely know, that no matter my financial standings or social status or anything else superficial, I have been granted the precious opportunity of living a very good life. I would like to think that I am being rewarded for making the right decision to choose my children over myself and my marriage and maybe that is it.
Whatever it is, though, I am not too proud or blind to not see how fortunate I am. The credit goes to my mother and her husband for doing everything in their power to help me, my friends, male and female, for showing me that they support me always and to my wonderful husband for believing in me and teaching me to see that I deserve to be respected and loved. I would like to figuratively raise a toast to those survivors who have found their way to the other, brighter side like I have and say a prayer that those women who are still struggling will see that they are worth more than that abusive man tells her she is.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I challenge all of you to find a way to reach out and help women in need. Volunteer at a shelter, man phones for a crisis center, drive a victim to the hospital, clinic, police department, wherever she needs to go, baby-sit her children so she can find a job, keep an eye on her place, talk to victims, be an advocate, spread the word! We can fight back and it is worth it.