When you hear the words “Domestic Violence” what do you think? Most people think it means violence between a husband and wife, girlfriend or boyfriend. But it can also mean roommates, siblings, and parents with children. I lived most of my life in domestic violence. From a child, I experienced it with my parents. I remember them arguing all the time. I can remember being kept up all night some night because my parents were arguing.
I ended up in one abusive relationship after another. I eventually married a man that not only physically abused me, but sexually, emotionally, mentally, and verbally abused me as well. I will not go too far into the details of the abuse, I am saving that for the book I am writing, but I will share that I almost lost my life and my sanity several times and I am extremely grateful that I survived and got out!
One in three women and one in four men will experience violence from an intimate partner. That number is alarming and devastating. That is over 12 million people in a year! And one in ten high school students experienced violence in the last year alone. You can read more about these statistics here. If you, or someone you know is experiencing mental abuse, emotional abuse, sexual, or physical abuse, please send me an email to VictoriaOTC@gmail.com, call 1-800-799-7233 anonymously, click here, or reach out to someone you trust and get help, but please, get out.
For years, I had no idea who I was. I had been searching for an identity by watching other people. I was lost. Everything I liked, the clothes, music, games, toys, hair style, was critiqued and criticized by those closest to me, I shied away from everything that made me, me. Even when I married my husband, it was not because we were madly in love and I knew we would be a great team and he would protect me and care for me. Looking back, I stayed with him because it seemed like so many women wanted him, I was winning by being with him. Silly me. I dealt with a lot of infidelity before and during my marriage. All of the women that I found out about, ended up being competition in my head and so I acted out. I created drama and argued back and forth with them, and basically marked my territory. My ex husband continued messing around with some. Others, went on about their way. But, for some strange reason, when I found out about other women, it made me want to compete with them and prove to him that I was more loyal, I was the ride or die, and I would literally put up with anything he served me. And I did just that.
I remember him telling me about many of the other women he had been with, comparing me to them in many different ways, and telling me why and how they were better. I remember him fussing at me telling me how terrible of a person I was for 13 hours one time. Non stop. He followed me from room to room in the house. When I left out for a walk, he text me and called my phone continuing with the abuse. When i returned home, it continued. It’s crazy when I used to think back about the things he did to me and said to me, wondering why he stayed with me. I left him and went back to him numerous times over the course of a decade. But, it did not dawn on me until months after my divorce, over a year after I left him, that he talked negatively about me every day for a decade, but stayed. Why didn’t he leave? Why didn’t he let me go and let someone love me how I deserved?
I will never know. Nor do I care to wonder about it anymore. What I do know, is that I survived. I managed to not end up in a mental institution, I’m not an alcoholic, I’m not strung out on drugs, I did not give up on love, I’m not bitter and hateful towards all men, and still know that my love is out there for me. Well, I will share with you how I survived. I will also share with you how I am healing from a life of abuse and trauma. Stay tuned for part two, next week.
Please, do not stay in abusive relationships. if you or someone you know, is being abused physically or otherwise, please call 1-800-799-7233, or click HERE for advocacy and help.