Climbing Out of the Domestic Violence Hole

Published March 8, 2015 by lynn k scott

It’s taken me many years to get comfortable enough to say this to people or talk about it at all:  I am a domestic violence survivor.  I say survivor because I didn’t just get beaten.  My ex-husband tried to kill me twice (which he denies of course). He almost killed another women, years after I had left him, by beating her in the face with a brick; over $50.00.  I was once told be prepared to have a bag ready and to leave on a moments notice.  This came from a therapist after we attempted couple’s counseling.  Silly me, still thought it was my fault back then.

I finally realized I needed more help than I could work through on my own.  I wasn’t sure it was going to work, but I was able to receive group counseling through a program called STAND!  A domestic violence prevention program.  I didn’t participate a lot in the group, but it helped knowing I wasn’t alone.  There were times I felt I had no business being there when I heard some of the stories that were worse than mine; a lot worse.

One night, we were given this poem by Portia Nelson.  I held onto it for years.  I needed to keep reading it to remind myself to stop the bad behavior and stop making poor choices.  I’ve made some horrible choices because of being a battered wife.  I regret many of them to this day.  They were my choices and I didn’t do what I should have done.

“I walk down the street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I fall in.  I am lost…I am helpless.  It isn’t my fault.  It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I pretend I don’t see it.  I fall in again.  I can’t believe I am in the same place.  But, it isn’t my fault.  It still takes me a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I see it there.  I still fall in.  It’s a habit.  My eyes are open.  I know where I am.  It is my fault.  I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I walk around it.

I walk down another street.”

I am at the stage where I am walking down another street.  It has taken me over a decade to reach this stage.  I know I still have long way to go.  It’s hard to admit, I only have sporadic memories of my first marriage.  Sadly, I can hardly remember any good memories that took place as they are gone with the bad memories.  Years of my life have been erased from my mind.  I do have a Battered Women’s Syndrome diagnosis.  My ex will always be a mortal threat, no matter how strong I get in my recovery.  I do my best not to let him know that, because then he wins and I will not give him back that power. Sadly, I still have to deal with him on certain levels; just not face to face.

I have gotten stronger.  I take accountability for my actions and I expect others to do the same.  I feel it’s important to speak out as I now have a voice where many women still do not.  Silence is the iron fist of domestic violence. Strength in voices are its enemy.  It’s time to be heard.

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8 comments on “Climbing Out of the Domestic Violence Hole

  • This April will mark 10 years out of a physically abusive relationship. I did, I blamed myself for so long…and then I pitied him and the mental block he must suffer. Then I blamed him, I lived in fear after the relationship. His wife after me stalked me and threatened me on a nearly weekly basis, I watched him and his every move over social media, I was afraid to lose sight, afraid he could sneak up on me at any point of my day. Then either we moved so far away or enough time had passed that I was able to finally let go just recently this summer. Our journeys are long and strange ones. I am so sorry that you still have to deal with him. Must be so incredibly difficult to feel free.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think all survivors share some of the same feelings, emotions and struggles. Glad you’re free. I moved 3,000 miles away and for several years, I had a police officer friend checking my PO box. He actually followed me to CA, luckily not the same area as I fled in secrecy. I am have more freedom than I ever had. It’s sad knowing that I will only feel truly free when I read his obituary some day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And I think when it comes to “emotional abuse” the most difficult would be to “realize” you are even in it. Good for you to be where you are…scary I’m sure …maybe even terrifying but good for you my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The emotional abuse does take its toll. I remember when I first started dating my boyfriend (now husband), I would ask permission to go out with my friends and we weren’t even living together. I did that for years. He actually had to tell me it was ok not to ask permission and to do what I wanted to do. It’s hard to see the habits you fall into.

        Liked by 1 person

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