Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Day 10

Today I am blogging for World Mental Health Day. It is also Day 10 of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Remember if you or know someone in need of help and resources, call 1-800-799-7233,  1.800.787.3224 (TTY) or visit the website

Judging from the feedback I have been receiving from this blog and facebook page, I am thrilled to know this message is getting out there. I will attempt to answer any questions you may have, or be an "ear" should you need someone to "talk" to. All I ask in return, that you keep sharing this blog and facebook page with others as you never know the life (lives) it saves.

The most popular question so far has been, why are you so passionate?

Short answer: 

Besides feeling fortunate that I lived to tell about my experience, I feel I did so I can tell my story so others aren't feeling alone or ashamed. Feelings that were real and how I was made to feel by those I reached out to for help. I also created the page and blog to allow others in an abusive situation know there is help out there, need not to feel alone, and how sharing one's story helps in healing the hurt.

When I first tried to leave my abuser, the first people I turned to were my family. Namely my mother and sister. We had been dubbed The "Three Musketeers" as we bonded over our love for the New York Mets, baseball team. I found the doors locked. Their response to me was that I had "made your bed, now lie in it." 

Granted I was 19 years and a grown woman, I should have been able to sustain myself, but the truth is that I couldn't. Or maybe I was disempowerd not to be able to. My mother and my sister were equally abusive in their own ways that presented themselves in the man I married. While my sister was physically abusive, my mother permitted it to continue despite my cries. My mother was emotionally and financially abusive. Any money I earned from part jobs had to be turned over to her despite her receiving child support and earnings of her own. She always called me lazy  and said I "could do better." Mind you, I was already publishing articles and winning essay contests well before I graduated high school.

I was not encouraged or supported to see my goals and ambitions of becoming a journalist by this woman who I feel should have been. It was only natural that I would marry a man who was equally, if not more abusive. He succeeded in isolating me from my family and much of the outside world too. For instance, when our youngest son died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ( 
I was not allowed to attend a support group for newly bereaved parents. Yet he demanded I return back to work in two weeks as we needed to pay the rent and put food on the table.

Years later I have become much more empowered to know the life I was living is not the one I wanted to continue living in. I have taken steps to travel the path these people put me on. I do no regret these experiences as they have opened my eyes and ears to the plights others have.Some die without ever being able to get out, while others live and get out. I was one of the fortunate ones. I may not have visible scars, but I do have emotional ones that from time to time reveal themselves. Instead of hiding or crying about how they look, I share my story with others to let them know they are not alone and there is help available. It's not a one size fits all kind of thing in that is up to you to find what works and stick to it.  But as you travel that path, know that I am here for you.

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