I was so strong before. I came from a long line of very intelligent, beautiful, confident women who taught me to value myself. However, I did not grow up with a man in the home to tell me what to not to look for in a man. I missed the “Daddy Lesson” about those men to stay away from. Those wolves in sheep’s clothing…
Charming, suave, bright smile, always knew the right thing to say...
To every wall I had built, this person had the perfect ways to get through around them. I was so hurt. So lonely. I was ultimately jus a girl waiting for something real to fill a void. After a break up, you face all of these feelings. Insecurity, vulnerability, and almost worthlessness.
Your reality becomes… distorted. Just like when you visit the grocery store while your stomach is growling, EVERYTHING looks good. But later, when you go to ring up all the shit you threw in the buggy, things don’t add up right.
I was so happy and excited that I found someone who could take my mind off of the rejection I had just experienced. But very early on, I felt WEIRD. Too happy too quickly. Too high too fast. Too secluded, too many questions unanswered. Too many things weren’t adding up. But I shoved them to the side because I was HAPPY somewhere, now. Kinda. Right?
Fast forward: I had been isolated and manipulated. I’d been verbally/physically/emotionally abused. I’d been terrified to leave my home, scared to go IN my home, fearful that actions (inactions) may cause me to be judged, lose my job or be alienated by my family. I fell into two, consecutive situations. While different men, the tactics were somehow aligned. There was no way someone could be so unlucky, I just knew I was the problem. Recently, I decided to speak with someone about my guilty feelings and learned the cycle of a narcissist which accurately highlighted the song and dance.
Everything in those moments seemed so “out of body“. Everything seemed so clear, but surreal. All of the sounds, emotions…the fear and panic are stifling. The thought of “How did I let it get here?” rushes through your mind like hot lava destroying any logical thought you could try to formulate. It’s like you are watching a scary movie and everyone else is screaming “GIRL, GET YOUR ASS UP AND RUN“. You turn to a friend to talk to them but nope, they’ll judge you. You turn to tell your family, they’ll ask why the hell you LET someone put their hands on you. You feel so guilty, so ashamed, so hideous. Every time, everything hurts. You get up but mentally you get thrown back down.
I was lucky. I was able to get out and get safe. I was able to see that I had an out, which some women don’t have. I knew that come hell or high water, I would never, and I mean NEVER let a man come remotely close to being able to disrespect, disregard, or defile me as a woman/mother/daughter again. So with all of that being said….I GNO because I was a victim of domestic violence and my daughters deserve to know what a happy, loving, healthy functioning mommy looks like.
I know I use dry humor in this article but that’s my coping mechanism. Domestic violence is real. VERY REAL. It doesn’t have a certain demographic attached to it either. It could be someone from church, a professional in your community, a neighbor or even a very close friend.
Abuse isn’t always physical. Check out social media hashtags #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou and
#WhenIWas to see how different types non physical domestic violence/abuse occurs.
Our local YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program does wonders for the community. YWCA Resolve also offers case management, court advocacy, counseling, support groups, safety planning, monitored parent-child visitation/exchange, parenting sessions, and programs for children, teen dating safety and batterers intervention/prevention. They also have a 24/7 crisis hotline to listen and help (800.681.8663). YWCA holds Girls Night Out as a fundraising event to provide monetary support and raise awareness on domestic violence. 100…one hundred, a “hunnid” percent of the proceeds go to the Family Abuse Program.
I personally, and so humbly, ask you to consider supporting a wonderful group of women and men who do a phenomenal job with facilitating and funding such a NECESSARY program. Hope to see you at the main event as we #PartyForThePurpose!!
This post originally appeared on Candy Love's Blog, Wild Wonderful Woman, before the 2016 Girls Night Out: Purple for the Purpose.