An Open Letter to Domestic Violence

So, if you were any doubt where I get my ability to write from – look no further. I am really proud of my Mum for writing this. This is such a personal thing for the both of us to talk about.

I started writing my open letter posts, firstly, for how much it helped me writing them but secondly, because I wanted to use my voice. Whilst the life I once had was by no means pleasant, by sharing these things, and speaking up, I feel empowered. I obviously can’t speak for my Mum in why she wanted to share her version of events, but what I do know is that I am SO proud and grateful that she was willing to do so. THIS is what it is about. THIS is domestic violence.

If you enjoy this post, please leave a comment for my Mum. I don’t often ask this, but I know how much it has taken for my Mum to allow me to share this. I would love to show her the amount of support that there is out here.

Domestic Violence

So domestic violence, its been a long time since you’ve been around me. You used to be around every day, tapping me on the shoulder like unwanted rain on your wedding day. Reminding me of the misery and shame, that shame of humiliation, distress and feeling a fool. No one talks about you. It’s not the sort of usual daily conversation is it? The kind of thoughts that enter my head, then, and even now, right now, “lovely weather we’re having isn’t it, oh by the way has your partner abused you?” Oh domestic violence you might have gone physically but why can’t you just leave me alone for good?

You know what domestic violence, you make people hide away, lose confidence and feel shame, yes that word again, shame. Shame because ‘ it’s not the sort of thing that happens’. Well it does, and quite often. Domestic violence you have a lot to answer to.

The Shame

I don’t know how many times I’d thought about contacting someone for help, only to stop because you made me worry about the repercussions and the fear of opening up and to never being able to stop crying. Plus there’s always the fear that no one will believe you or take you seriously.

Well the last time I was faced with you was about 6 years ago, as usual it was after an argument and copious amounts of alcohol ( not on my part). Just because someone couldn’t have what they wanted! I tried desperately to get you and your ‘owner’ to leave the house, but it just wasn’t happening. So the only option was to leave myself, in the hope that you, domestic violence, would follow along with your ‘owner’. My aim for doing that, was simply to get you out and gone. I wasn’t thinking clearly, I thought it would be the best thing. Even this split second act backfired on me and that’s what you do domestic violence, you made me feel like it was my fault that you were there, as if I was the one causing that nightmare.

The Self Blame

What I didn’t realise at the time was that you, domestic violence, decided to involve my beautiful girls. You didn’t need to do that and even now I carry the guilt of what I caused. (Yet I know that it wasn’t me at fault.) The guilt of causing them harm, the guilt for not sorting you out earlier and the guilt for allowing you to be in our lives for far too long. I simply didn’t feel I had the strength to fight you head on, always feeling the underdog, the nervous, frightened one, so you see domestic violence, you always won.

Thankfully you are not in my life anymore, but you still keep popping up in my head to remind me of the events that took place. You haunt me in my sleep, you haunt me in my everyday life particularly, when I hear of a domestic violence case and it all floods back. It plays with my psyche, it plays with my mental health, and to be honest I don’t think you’ll ever go away but I have to let you go and sit in some dark corner and fade away.

The Guilt

I have to let go of the guilt. I know I’m now safe and not in danger because even though you are still in my psyche your owner has departed from this world, himself haunted by his own psyche.

I’ve had counselling, domestic violence and I know now that it’s not my fault, I’m not to feel shamed, humiliated or distressed. It’s certainly a subject that needs to be talked about, and laid out in the open for others to see. I’ve had time to reflect and found that living with a domestic violence dominator made me feel that way, it was their attempt to cover up their own misgivings.

I’m not the loser here domestic violence, you are.

You changed my life domestic violence, you changed it forever. But somehow, I know it has made me stronger.

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13 Comments

  1. August 20, 2018 / 8:37 pm

    This is so moving, Soph I can see where you get your strength and writing talent from! Both you and your mum are so brave, thank you for sharing this x

  2. August 20, 2018 / 8:55 pm

    This is so beautifully written. It’s so raw, powerful and moving. I shed a few tears myself reading it. The courage and strength it has taken to come forward and speak of your experience with domestic violence deserves nothing but the utmost respect and praise. You’re right, none of that was your fault and I’m truly glad you see that now. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. This is inspiring and sadly, many will be able to relate.

    My love to you both,
    Luce xo | lucyrambles.com

  3. August 20, 2018 / 11:06 pm

    Both of you are so brave and strong for sharing this. What happened wasn’t your fault but unfortunately when you’ve been manipulated it can be hard to believe. These are the kinds of stories that need to be shared, so thank you for starting a conversation.
    I went to a domestic abuse work shop in college and was horrified that when they were talking about emotional abuse that it literally described the situation I had just gotten out of, it’s been two years and I just want my life back – it still effects me mentally and my current relationship suffers at times over it but also when someone can no longer control you they try control how others see you so that’s what I’ve been dealing with. I haven’t even come forward yet and people already don’t believe me, but I believe you.

  4. August 20, 2018 / 11:27 pm

    Such a strong and inspiring woman. Well done x

  5. John
    August 20, 2018 / 11:47 pm

    A very difficult subject, and rather uncomfortable reading; but I’m amazed at the strength in writing and publishing this for the world to see. DV is a beast that nobody should have to face, and I hope that your strength in not only seeking your own help but in sharing your feelings on this dark subject will help to give somebody else the strength they need to seek their own help.
    Thank you.

  6. August 21, 2018 / 7:19 am

    Domestic violence dominator, such a powerful statement that really conveys how difficult it is to “just leave” these situations. I’m so thankful you are all safer and finding ways to heal from this awful period of your lives. And thank you for talking about your reality and experience, it can only help others. X

  7. August 21, 2018 / 7:57 am

    I’m really impressed by the courage and strenghts of your mom for sharing this. I have a huge respect for you. I’m also glad you’re safer now and wish you the best for a happier future. Lots of love.

    Ps: great writting skills! It was really moving and full of emotions.

  8. August 21, 2018 / 11:41 am

    This is beautiful. Thank you and your mom for sharing this. I know firsthand how damaging domestic violence can be even after the physical threat is gone. I’m so happy that you both are in a better place and moving forward, and so happy that you have each other to draw strength from.

  9. August 21, 2018 / 12:19 pm

    You are so brave for sharing this. Myself and my mum went through domestic violence and she escaped, we escaped. It hasn’t won.
    Thank you for sharing your story. x

  10. August 21, 2018 / 6:11 pm

    This is so moving and such a brave thing to share. I wish you and your mum all the happiness for your future as you certainly deserve it.
    Thank you for sharing your story. Xx

  11. August 21, 2018 / 6:32 pm

    Thank you both so much for sharing. I am currently sitting at my desk at my office, moved to tears by this piece. I can’t imagine what you both went through, I am just so very happy you are able to share it with us. I am pretty much speechless. All I can say is Thank You!

  12. August 21, 2018 / 7:05 pm

    This is so powerful and moving, thank you so much to you both for sharing. It’s so important to speak up about these horrible issues, but I can only imagine how difficult it must have been. Wishing you both all of the luck for the future and happier times ahead. xx

    Megan | pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com xo

  13. August 22, 2018 / 9:29 pm

    This is such a powerful write up. So deep and moving. For someone who has been in a domestic violence relationship before all I can say is that your mum is so brave.
    Coincidentally, I wrote something today that resonate, titled. WHY WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIGHT.
    I don’t want to drop d link here because I don’t know if that is allowed. But I would love to share it with u n ur mum. Lot of love to u n ur mum.

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