Don’t wait until tomorrow to live. You never know which day might be your last. You never know which moment might be the final opportunity to tell loved ones how you feel. Today might be the last time you see the sun rising or setting. It’s a scary thought because we can’t see death coming. We don’t know what day, time or manner that we may be called home. We don’t know who all will mourn us. We don’t know anything. The one constant and sure thing is that we all will eventually pass from the earth. How you choose to live is your choice and is within your control. I was reading a news report about a woman who posted on Facebook her final words to her children and it touched me in so many ways. It’s truly horrible to know that this lovely woman is no longer with her family. She died at the hands of her abuser. Such a horrible death that by all accounts should not have happened. She should be home raising her son and daughter. She should be growing old and waiting on grandchildren. But because of one disturbed individual she is gone.
What is so upsetting to me about this tragedy was the fact that although her death is a matter of media attention,in the U.S. an estimated 3 woman a day are murdered by their spouses or ex lovers. Normally not one to believe the extremes of statistics this was one I had no trouble believing. As a society we have become desensitized to violence against each other. We assume that things really are not as bad as the statistics and number tell us. We think that we are invincible or that we are all guaranteed another chance to get things right. We assume we have the chance to break out against the cycle of abuse without making any changes to do so.
We talked about looking to the past and trying to resolve the issues of our childhood. By doing this maybe we can find the cycle of abuse and destroy it before it starts to affect us. We know from experience and extreme study that cycles create more cycles. In other words an abused child is more inclined to be an abusive adult. Maybe that was the case with the man who did the horrible deed to the woman in the story above. If so what could have been done to change it? I don’t know and I am not a doctor so I can not step into his mind and find out why he did what he did with a clinical eye but I can’t help but be curious. I am curious because he is just one man but he is one of many.
Almost daily I am getting messages from different women in various abusive relationships and the numbers sometimes scare me. I have friends and relatives that go through the pain in silence because they feel ashamed to speak out. They are afraid of being judged. They may want to escape or they may even seek help from the police but they just can’t seem to get very far. Years ago I was in their shoes. I was that woman and I hated my life. I had my children to think of and it terrified me being on my own. I remember very clearly sitting in the courtroom and the lawyer telling me that I had no choice but to seek a restraining order. “If you back out now Mrs. Thomas I am not sure if the court will be so quick to help you in the future.” I was terrified of being alone but I was more terrified of what walking away meant. Some of you may have felt the same. Some of you may not know how to escape. I was able to break free and although it was NOT an easy road I was the VICTOR. Below are a few tips for those of you still going through. You are stronger than you know. Don’t wait until tomorrow to make a decision to save your life. You are really worth more than being a statistic. You are a true champion for yourself. Live like one. Sometimes fighting back can be as simple as standing up for yourself and removing yourself from a bad situation before it it gets as bad as you think.
- NEVER FEEL ASHAMED…. You are a survivor. A woman who has been abused has nothing to be ashamed of. If you stay in a relationship longer than most would like to assume we would leave in a heartbeat, then guess what maybe it wasn’t the time for you to do so. Your life is personal and YOU have to be the one to decide that ENOUGH is ENOUGH. Not me and no one else. Until you make the decision to leave then nothing I can say or do will make you stay away. Just don’t wait too long. You are not guaranteed tomorrow.
- IT’S NOT THAT BAD…. this phrase is a deadly lie. to continuously minimize the effects of abuse on yourself, your family and kids is only blinding you. My ex told me “If I beat you as bad as you say I did, you would be in the hospital.” That was his way of saying the things he did were not as bad as all that. And to some it wasn’t but to ME it was bad enough. I didn’t want to wait until it was even bad by their standards. I didn’t want to wait until it was as bad as all that.
- ABUSERS RARELY CHANGE…. Sure he/she may apologize and promise to change and never hurt you again. Some of them may really mean well but without counseling and help the chances are very slim. Some may have been abused as children and are repeating a cycle. Some may have simply witnessed abuse. (Think about that if you have children) Some may simply have other issues that cause them to be the way they are. Either way they have to want to find the source of their problem in order to heal themselves.
- DON’T WAIT!…. If you are being abused, get away as soon as you can. Start by packing a bag with copies of all important documents on you and your children. Include photos of yourselves including your abuser. Squirrel away as much money as you can if possible. If you don’t have access then ‘No worries’ you can still get away. Keep this number among your things or in your phone 1-877-988-5559 it is national hotline for domestic violence. One of Thousands. Change the name and put it in code name like ‘Dominic Violin’ only you know who it really is. Let friends as family know as much as possible but in extreme cases keep your plans a secret even from them. Sneak away to the store or on an errand with the kids or while they are away from the house and contact a local shelter for pick up. Take you and the kids to a safe place and be free.
Tomorrow is not promised to you. Don’t be a statistic. Its OK and normal to be afraid of the future but be more afraid of what might happen if you remain where you are. You are not alone. There are millions of VICTORS just like you and me out there and we can do this together. Don’t post on Facebook or any social media your last words. Your life is to precious for a like. You hold the power to change your situation. I will not lie and say it will be an easy road. It will be hard but it will be worth it.
- Do not let the … (ensembleofhearts.wordpress.com)
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- Sheila Harjo: the cycle of abuse stops now (larahentz.wordpress.com)
- Emotional Abuse: Identifying the Signs, Breaking the Cycle (socialjugg.com)
- The Cycle of Abuse is Very Real… (secretangelps911.wordpress.com)
- More Needs to Be Done to Tackle Domestic Violence (alternativenewsalert.com)
- Norfolk Says No domestic abuse campaign is launched in Norwich (edp24.co.uk)
- Break the cycle of abuse! (voicerealm.wordpress.com)
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