My Survival Story of Domestic Violence
My Survival Story of Domestic Violence
I understand the depth of your confusion. As a survivor of Domestic Violence, I know what you are going through. I tried to make him happy and nothing worked. Some of you may think that domestic violence only consists of physical violence (i.e. hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, etc.). However, domestic violence can also consist of; sexual violence, manipulation, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and stalking.
I wanted to share my story as a survivor of domestic violence because I want other Black women to read this and know that they can survive and move forward with their lives. I hope they look at me and say, “ If she can do it, then I can do it too”. I remember how hard and isolating
Four Stages of Domestic Violence
THE BUILD UP OF TENSION
Life was sweet! I have one son and I just got married to a neighborhood friend. We were all happy and I felt like I have finally arrived. After 30 days of marriage, my world was turned upside down.
It began by being told that I dress too provocatively. I was being told, I spoke when I shouldn’t have. Then being asked “why are you looking that way” or “ you trying to get his attention”? Everything that I did was wrong to him and I never felt good enough. I was truly walking on proverbial eggshells.
THE INCIDENT OF ABUSE
I was the victim of verbal, emotional, educational, financial, and psychological abuse. I was called dumb, stupid, retarded, ugly, fat, (etc). Emotionally, I was shamed and neglected as a woman. The financial abuse, was evident by his desires to have a woman who stayed home and simply collected welfare. Psychologically, he conditioned me to believe there were better looking woman who wanted him. But, he was settling for me.
I believe psychological abuse is the hardest to heal from and it sticks with you the longest.
I needed to change my thought processes and who I wanted to be. Taking accountability for my part in this abusive marriage and reflecting on the part I played. I was the one who was being violated against and had to come to terms with what I had control over. Yes, we always play a part. My part was allowing this person to hurt me for so long.
There were many signs that this man was not for me. But, I chose to ignore those signs and believe that I could some how change this man with my love. Love will never be enough to make a man change, he has to want to change himself. Please understand that a person cannot do more to you than you allow them to do.
A helpful reflective questions to ask yourself is; Do I want to be that women who just wants or needs a man around to feel like a whole woman? I pray the answer is, Absolutely not!
Finally, I realized something had to change and I began my healing journey. I gained the understanding it was clearly a waste of time to try and change him. I took my power back and worked on myself.
Reconciliation. Also known as the “honeymoon” phase. This is the stage when he comes to you and state that he is so sorry for what he has done. You will receive flowers, gifts, kindness and the promise that this will never happen again. He loves you to much and he can not live with out your love. You are so important to him and may see some fake tears. The reconciliation stage is essential to the perpetrator. He needs you to continue to have faith in him and the love he promised.
THE PERIOD OF CALM
Collecting as much courage as I could. I decided to take my three boys and file for divorce, I had to ask myself, What do I do now? I have a minimal amount of education, no financial means, and living on what is known as section 8. I heard about a program called Women in Transition at Charter Oak State College. There I earned my associates and bachelor’s degrees from this educational institution. Having a true thirst for knowledge, I enrolled at Albertus Magnus College and earning my master’s degree in the field of Human Services. Realizing that I wanted to become a Licensed Clinical Therapist. I then enrolled at Seton Hall University for their clinical mental health and ed.d program.
Today, I work with my favorite population; people of color). It gives me a great sense of pride to be a part of a team who makes it their mission to ensure we are mentally and emotionally healthy.
I pray my story helps you or someone you know who is struggling to overcome Domestic Violence. It can be isolating and, you are not alone. Therapy can be safe space to process and let go of the pain. Please contact me at Info@QualityCounselingCT.com if you’re interested in working with a therapist who specializes in Domestic Violence.