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.
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.
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.
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.