Today I am sad. Today I am frustrated. Today I feel the weight of that which I don’t understand and I struggle with my own self-doubt. I do not like being in this place, and yet I find myself here again. My own words to support others seem to mock me from the back of my mind. I feel myself confused by my emotions and my thoughts. I find myself questioning my own sanity and struggling to hold onto the positive focus I preach about. I am human after, am I not? Is it ok to slide into a tumultuous thought process and try to sort it out from a perspective I still question.

Why do I fear the unknown so much? Why is it ok for others to follow their dreams, but irresponsible of me to do so? Why do people not care? This is the question I struggle with the most. I want to scream it from the rooftop and I fear that even by sharing my frustrations here, I am calling out those who are the closest to me. But this is where I am.

I promised to share my feelings, no matter what they are, in an effort to support those who are healing. I promised to be honest in the ups and downs of where I am as a survivor. I share my story so that others can know what it feels like to be a survivor of domestic violence. It is an effort to help those who are trying to make their way through the process of rediscovering their life after abuse, as well as a process to educate “outsiders” on what it is like to be that person.

What I find is that people do not want to hear about it. The people that we need to support us are the very ones who do not want to deal with the realities that are a part of this world. I see a society that will throw money at cancer research to the tune of billions a year, that will create a media uproar when a city bans panhandling, will spend hours arguing over politics and religion, and will look the other way when their neighbor is beaten by her husband. I see thousands of likes and shares on Facebook for sites encouraging the exploitation of women, and then I see those who ask that we not post pictures of victims of domestic violence. What makes one cause more important than another. Are we, those who suffered at the hands of those we loved the most, less important? Do you blame us or do you just not care?

On a personal level, I receive advice from those who refuse to read my story. Those who do not know where I’m coming from or why this cause is so important to me. They want to tell me why my outreach won’t work, why I need to be patient, why I should be happy I have a job I don’t belong in, and why I need to understand how uncomfortable people are with the topic of domestic violence. And, if they do not say as much in words, they do so in actions. When I speak my truth, there are few who want to listen, to show up, or to support. A simple like on a Facebook page, a moment to understand why I do what I do, a familiar face at a speaking engagement, telling others about an event I’m holding…all such powerful shows of support. Yet, this type of support is crazily few and far between.

This is my story. This is my truth. This has molded me into who I am and I am not alone. So many are affected by domestic violence and it is time that society stand up and listen. There are more women whose lives are derailed due to domestic violence than breast cancer. There are over 15 million children a year exposed to horrific experiences in the home. The reach is wide. Look around you, 1 in 3 of the women you know are harboring secrets and silently crying for help. You will not know how to help them if you refuse to acknowledge the problem. And, by hiding behind your fear, or lack of empathy, you are not supporting those who need you the most.

There are those who have supported me, backed me, and encouraged me. For them, I am grateful. But this week, I have felt the sting of crying out to an empty room. The loud whisper of those surrounding me saying that my cause does not matter…that it is unimportant. And, with that, I’ve questioned my own realities and was washed back to when I questioned my marriage.

I begin to wonder if it is me who is seeing the world backward, or if I’m just aware because I have lived something that is not fun to think about. I find myself questioning if how I feel is part of who I am or if it is due to the self-doubt brought on by my past. I want to be strong, and I want to carry on, but I struggle with the lack of understanding I seem to be surrounded by. I’m right back on my balcony, looking at the world below and questioning my perception of all that is. At that time, I was trapped by my marriage. Now, I feel that there is something wonderful that I can’t grasp because I am trapped by fear and societal pressure to be that which I am not. And, the coldness I feel radiating back at me is growing that insecurity.

Then I question again why I crave the support. Again, this is my story. This is my passion. Support or not, it is mine to take and run with. And that is what I will do.

2 thoughts on “Today

  1. Amy, I’m sorry I do not have anything but words to offer as of now. I have not faced domestic violence, but I’ve had my share of disappointments and craziness in my life that it made me dig a cave and stay there forever. I just recently crawled out of my own cave, but I will do what it is I’m capable of doing to support your cause. Just this week, one of my close friend was slapped numerous times, at 7 o’clock in the morning, after she was woken up by him screaming at her, then pushed against the wall, which created 2 huge bumps on her forehead. She managed to luckily dodge a phone, which is like a slab of stone, weighing 184 grams (6.49 ounces), hurled at her face which hit her arm, while blocking her face. When I spoke to her the next day, I realised, apart from the physical abuse, every single day she has had to go through mental torture. She is torn between convincing her mother to move out and dodging attacks from her uncle, who lives in the same house along with his wife and a 11 year old son. This might come as a culture shock, but it is how some of them live in the parts where I come from. Ironically, two days before she was assaulted, I made her read your blog. I don’t know what it is but crazy as it sounds, nobody, not even her own mother, who was out in her ancestral house when the psychopathic loser lost his mind, is ready to acknowledge that this needs to be reported. It needs to be reacted upon. The girl, shaken by the assault and fed up of the mental torture, had to go back to sleep, with the monster sleeping in the other room, after having issued her a threat that next time if she did not do as he asked, or made him angry, or if she leaves home to live somewhere else when assaulted, her legs would be chopped off! How pathetic can we get? How low can we stoop? Are we so immune to being like this that we do not care at all, or is it that the family honor, or whatever that’s left of it after the shameful stunt pulled off by a sick person, means much more than your own daughter’s lives? We might be from totally different time zones, but we are still the same. Nobody wants to acknowledge the epidemic. Nobody wants to do anything, even though a soul is broken, even though our own has been exploited. This is shame. This shame is on all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your support and words. It is for people like your friend that I write. I guess that we all get frustrated sometimes. Sigh. Thank you for sharing my blog with her and I hope that she finds her way to where she needs to be (for her safety and emotional well-being). It is up to all of us to keep working on the barriers that society has put up. I personally will try my hardest to focus on the good things that I see happening and those that are making progress in their journey. It means a lot that you are supporting this cause…and supporting my writing. Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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