Surviving The Shadows
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month…so it seems only fitting that we would bring this conversation to My Rays of Light Radio.
But I would be remiss in talking about Domestic Violence and the violence that brings…without being completely honest about why this subject strikes a chord within me.
I can remember the very first time he hit me. I remember the cologne he was wearing…the way his cold calloused hand felt across my soft…smooth  cheek. I can vividly remember the shock and how my mind was trying to wrap around the fact that he had hit me. What could I have done to deserve such a response?
What I would soon learn is that I would have not needed to do anything. Maybe he was just having a bad day…or possibly the clothes I was wearing may have been unsuitable for his mood. All I knew was that…never in my life had I ever experienced anything as physical and psychologically traumatic…as what was coming.
The abuse seemed to go on forever…I started making journal entries in red ink…every time he abused me. It wound up being right around 80 times…in a few months. He had slapped, punched, kicked and choked me. He had forced me to have sex with him…he tortured me physically and mentally. The worst part was the sick laughter that would surely follow…once he realized that he had basically won the round. To this day…laughter makes me feel a little queezy.
I will never forget the day he grabbed my neck and just choked me…until I passed out. He was in control and he knew it…but just in case he had also managed to get a gun.
He would break into my house and into my bedroom….where he would watch me sleep…until he was ready to rape or beat me.
I was constantly praying that God would allow me to fall asleep forever…but every day I woke up…in this HELL…in this pure evil existence.
No one could seem to help me…and those who may have been willing to help…would have been putting themselves in danger too…and I didn’t want to be responsible for their safety. I figured that if I couldn’t keep myself safe…how could I help anyone else?
The police wouldn’t do much…and I had him arrested almost every week…and after 24 hours….he would be released…just to beat down my door again. I had an order or protection…but the chief of police told me…it’s really just paper…and there was very little that they could do. I was then advised to keep having him arrested…and the judge would get sick of seeing him after 30 or so arrests. I couldn’t believe my ears…my heart felt broken…me whole life felt like it was shattered and no one seemed worried.
I couldn’t really blame my family or friends…since I hid so much from them…out of shame and humiliation. Still, I saw no light at the end of this tunnel. And it was definitely the longest and darkest tunnel I had ever encountered in my life. He was constantly blaming me for the abuse…if I hadn’t said this or that, if I hadn’t spoken so sharply, if I had dressed differently, …if only I could stop playing and become exactly who he needed me to be…the beatings would stop. But by this time…I knew it was a lie…nothing I did would change who he was resigned to be.
He held my life prisoner. I couldn’t determine which was more frightening…to be battered and abused…or the fear that I would run far away and have him catch me. What I realized was that…I was also imprisoning myself…out of fear of the unknown.
I don’t know what caused it or how my mind had developed the clear thought that I had to leave…I just know that once I had decided that I needed to go…there was nothing that was going to change my mind about it.
I realized it was him or me…
Convinced that he would not be happy until he stole my last breath…I had to survive this.
All these years later, it still turns my stomach to think about him and who I was back then. I remember the fear, apprehension, the bitterness and the sadness I lived with every day. While I am forever thankful for the life I have now…life will not allow me to forget the torture that plagued my body, mind and soul…back then.
Why is it important to rehash all of these past memories? Because there is someone out there listening tonight…who much like me…can’t grasp the ideas or thoughts that there is something brighter lying ahead for them. I choose to share this story here, tonight, with each one of you…because certain fears condition us…
There are no social media selfies…no videos of family festivities…my life is lived cautiously. I would wish this on no one.
For those of you listening who may be in a similar situation…or you suspect someone is living like this…please reach out to someone. Let them know that they are not alone…rise up and embrace them. She is afraid…she knows fear like most people only see in movies…be her happy ending.
Let’s be her light at the end of the tunnel…

Advertisements