DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE HOLIDAYS

Thanksgiving with the in-laws is a good thing!

I have a lot to be thankful for, and I surely do not take that for granted. But I also know, firsthand, how difficult the holiday season is for victims of domestic/intimate partner violence. My personal experience was that there would most likely be a “flare up” of violence and/or abusiveness taking place on practically every major holiday. Birthdays would come and go with no notice whatsoever, and that was okay. The drinking binges, the verbal assaults and eventually the physical attacks occurred often, but especially on holidays. For me and my children, it was usually Easter and Thanksgiving.

It came to a point the former husband simply refused to participate in either of those holidays. He’d rather stay home, get drunk and wait it out. We’d arrive back home, walking on eggshells, fully expecting a tirade to be waiting on the other side of the door. We were rarely wrong.

He participated in Christmas because he always looked forward to the presents he expected to receive. If it was not something he liked, we’d hear about that, too.

Pop and a happy granddaughter

Well, Thanksgiving is here. My life has changed completely. I am now ecstatically married to a man who respects and admires me. He encourages and supports me. He loves my children and is a great “Pop” to my granddaughters. I made it through April and a mini-stroke with nearly no adverse residual effects. I am very blessed, and very thankful. Time after time opportunities arose to reach out to domestic/intimate partner violence victims and survivors alike. If you are one, whether I know about you or not, you have blessed my life by giving me the chance to serve my purpose and possibly give you some help, hope and inspiration.

To those who are still in the throes of domestic violence during this Thanksgiving, please know this: I give thanks for you. You are valuable and of great worth. And I will spend my holiday thinking of you, for I know how tough it was for me, and am sure it is for you. God bless you! There is a future, there is a hope. Keep the faith!

Carolyn is an advocate for sexual/domestic violence and assault awareness, also focusing on child sexual abuse. She is a Life Direction & Empowerment Coach, working with victims and survivors of molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence or spousal abuse, and bringing training to organizations seeking to help victims. Hennecy spent much time during October 2011, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, with media doing radio and television interviews. See Carolyn’s interview with Gayle Guyardo of NBC Channel 8 News Today Early Morning Show and her featured segment on the ABC Action News Emmy Award winning “Taking Action Against Domestic Violence” at orangeblossomwishes.com.

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