A picture of the word Shame to depicte Domestic Violence

I May Not Be There Yet, But I’m Closer Than I Was Yesterday

Picture of the Lincoln NE Capital Building
I can only take one day at a time; sometimes, I can only take one minute at a time.

I am a survivor of domestic violence. I was married to a man for 17 years who abused me in every possible way. I have been through counseling along with my son, and I can state the above quote, “I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.” I have been away from him for almost six years now but to do so, I had to move 1500 miles away from my home to find peace, happiness, and safety for my son and me. I do not regret any of the trials I had to overcome; they just made me a better person, a better mother, a better friend, a better colleague, a better student, and most importantly, a better human being.

I wanted to share some information with you because, in my experience, there is a stigma in that when someone hears the word “abuse” immediately physical abuse comes to mind. That happened to me as well, but I would rather have been beaten up any day of the week than to deal with the emotional abuse. I now suffered from PTSD and GAD.

A picture of a person being emotionally abused.
Emotional abuse is so underrated in what damage it causes to your mind, body, and soul.

This information is from a newsletter published by the Network for Women’s Lives and describes emotional abuse succinctly.

There are hidden injuries of domestic violence, emotional abuse being one of them. Until I read this article, I thought I was the only one who felt this way. But, sadly, I am not alone. Amnesty International published a “Report on Torture”  and discusses how coercive control or brainwashing falls into five distinct behaviors. This list will explain how they react and how it makes us, as their victims at that time, feel or react.

  1. Isolation – they deprive us of all social support – all of my friends were taken from me as well as my family. They all are still separated from me. They will break down your inner spirit, and any motivation you may have is quickly squashed with the snake like tongues. This weakens us to have the ability to resist. My ex-husband did not allow me to go anywhere without him, took all control over the cars and money, leaving me at his mercy.
  2. Monopolization of Perception – my ex-husband was great at this. He would create such confusion in my head that I doubted everything and anything I ever tried to accomplish during those years. Anytime I would try to bring up a conversation about the trouble I felt; he always turned the attention back to himself. He made me feel that I was always wrong, always to blame, and took any bit of confidence I had left quickly away if he thought  I was trying to make a move to leave.
  3. Humiliation – Oh, the worst. He would create and encourage me to be ashamed of my feelings, my thoughts, my body, my mind, etc. He forced me to go against every right and standard I ever believed in and reduced me to survival mode. It, at times, was easier just to give in than to try and fight back. The name calling, damage to my self-esteem, and embarrassing me in public was hard to bear.
  4. The Superiority of Power, Omnipotence – my ex-husband used money, sex, and power to control me. For me to suggest any resistance was futile. His demands only made me feel inferior, vulnerable, or that he may punish or kill me.
  5. Enforcement of Trivial Demands – his capacious and petty rules encouraged regression and fear forcing me to comply, and he was very clear on the disproportion of who had the power in the relationship. Evidently, you just wear down, come to accept that this was your life until death, and you take it. What is the use in fighting back?
Picture of domestic violence
You learn to pacify him in order to stay a little bit safer.

I think that is enough for now. I am trying to raise awareness against domestic violence and to encourage everyone to stand up against it. Many people around me knew what was going on and did nothing to help me. Don’t be that person to your sister, mother, friend, cousin, whomever; just please don’t stand by and do nothing. Trust me, WE ALL WANT HELP! We are just so afraid of the consequences if he finds out. Every year during the month of October, I work even harder to raise money and awareness to domestic violence. It was the nonprofit organizations that helped me get out. It sure was not my family and I had no friends.This is one of the main reasons I have a very soft heart for nonprofit organizations of any kind. They help people like me and most of the time never finds out how things turned out.

Well, things turned out pretty good for me. I have obtained not only a Bachelor’s in Business Administration majoring in Internet Marketing but just finished my Master’s degree in Management majoring in Leadership. My son is happy and healthy and never has to see that man again nor does he want to. Please do not interpret my story as that I am only speaking about females being abused. I know plenty of men who are abused on a daily basis as well and I think it is even harder for them to get help.

I will leave you with one of the many videos I have made about domestic violence and I hope that you will share my story with others. If I can give one person an ounce of hope then me being so open  and honest is worth it 100 percent. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

Regards,

~ Holley

 

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