The deeper a victim falls into the pit of domestic violence, the greater the battle against hopelessness becomes. You do not feel free to discuss it, for that most assuredly holds repercussions of increased abuse, whether emotional, verbal or physical. Further down into hopelessness you sink, feeling all alone in your vicious cycle.
Sometimes I have to reach deep into my memory bank to recall just how bad it can get in the throes of domestic violence. My first book, ORANGE BLOSSOM WISHES, took me there. The memories became fresh and raw as I put into words and onto paper the trauma and abuse of earlier years. I am working on my second book, which is more focused on understanding domestic violence, breaking the chains of bondage it sets upon its victim, and finding a place of safety, freedom and empowerment over the abuse. But rest assured—the memories are still there in the data bank of my soul.
There were the endless years of hearing words like fat, stupid, ignorant, ugly, useless, undesirable, along with other expletives that will go unwritten, but yet, a victim won’t have to see them here. They already know what they are—they hear them regularly.
My hopelessness brought an unkempt young mother to the forefront. I never dressed up, rarely put on makeup, and basically became the person I had been told for so long that I was. When I looked into the mirror, I despised the woman looking back at me, yet I also felt very sorry for her. She was sad or angry all the time. She had no goals or visions. She surely did not believe in herself. She barely existed. She wanted to die, and tried to make it happen.
A hopeless victim also frets as to whether or not she is keeping her secrets hidden from the outside world. Do they know the names she is being called? Do they have an idea of the times she is grabbed by the arm, or hair, and threatened? We must keep it hidden. We can’t let them find out. That’s the usual mentality, wrong as it may be.
That former woman of mighty faith begins to doubt that God loves her, I mean, truly loves her. I was convinced I was perhaps God’s only mistake, and he probably wanted a do-over with me. Well, my dear sisters, what he gave me was a MAKE-over, both mentally and spiritually. It became clear He did love me; he did have plans for me, and just because words were spoken to me and over me did not mean their content was true. I began to remember the young, naïve blonde girl from high school—the one who had envisioned herself standing on a stage, holding a microphone and speaking (or singing) to large crowds, motivating them to believe life was great. I began to carry a card that had “God does not make junk” written on it. It became almost a mantra for me. If God made me, and I definitely knew him as Creator, then I could not be junk. God is not in the junk business. He is in the restoration business. So, this Cadillac of a woman was not destined for the junk yard, but was finally on her way to the body shop of life. As I began to believe, I began to see the former me coming back, better than before—more valuable, more presentable and more in demand than ever to share my story of hope and restoration.
So, to the precious ones who are reading this, seeking their own place of restored faith and hope, let me reassure you of this—I have walked that path. Please consider me a fellow traveler who totally gets you, a sister whose hand is extended to help you, right where you are.
If you need help, reach out and get it. Contact a counselor, visit the Victim Support page on my website. Send me a message, and let me help you connect with an agency or organization that can best assist you. But, do not give up on your hope, faith or dreams. You are not junk yard material, either. Who knows, there just may be a Rolls Royce waiting to come forward from you?
- Domestic Violence (socyberty.com)
- The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (psychsplash.com)
- Things Victims and Survivors of Abuse Do Not Need to Hear (cshennecy.wordpress.com)