Since I’ve started the “SHARE YOU VOICE” forum; that is a movement where people can share their stories of abuse without giving a name or face, many has poured in. Today marks the first day of our first official release of these stories. We hope that it blesses your heart and reaches out to you, so that if you are presently being abused, you receive hope, knowing that is definitely a way out, other than death.
Abuse is a monstrous attribute underestimated by many. I believe it is an over exercising of one’s authority, it is intimidating and forceful! An abuser’s intent is to have their victim in total submission to their every command, whims and fancies.
From a very early age my life was filled with turmoil and confusion! In earlier years the word abuse was almost non-existent so my confusion was always ‘why I didn’t have a voice’. I was beaten by almost every adult under whose care I was. I was beaten by my mom and grandmother just because I resembled my dad, at least that’s the opinion I formed, almost every time I was beaten I was told ‘you are just like your dad’ other times because they thought I was ‘too rude’. As a child I openly questioned everything that was done to me, I wanted to know why everyone else had certain privilege that I didn’t, why I was beaten after every neighbor or my siblings complained against me, did I not have a side to my story? So for simply questioning I was labeled rude! I was given away so many times I wondered if I was a step child.
I was ridiculed and called names by person’s whose sentiments were considered pertinent! The voice of my parents, teachers and then husband registered as truth simply because they all called me the same names. Names like stupid, ass, jack-ass, ugly were the ones most familiar, it took me more years than I care to remember to disbelieve that I really wasn’t that way. Many days I was forced to sleep beneath mango trees after an act of disobedience, beaten with guava wood, bitten till my skin bore all because I wanted to have a say. As a child I was forced to drink pills by a relative because I said ‘I will kill myself’ I was kicked from the gallery for losing money, yes my punishments were very severe.
After a difficult childhood I met and fell in love with my then husband, one can only imagine how ecstatic I was. From a life void of love I was now experiencing what I thought was ‘real love’ until familiarity started rearing its ugly head again! I was in for a shock of my life. The man to whom I entrusted my life was now added to the list of people that seemingly took pleasure in abusing me. This abusive situation started as early as the first six months and lasted 23 years, yes 23 years. It started with infidelity, from one woman to the next. Every relationship was publicly displayed so one can only imagine the shame I endured. I fought tooth and nail to get his attention but only to be greeted with disdain. I know what it is to lay in bed with my husband and hear him say how much he love his other women, yes his indiscretion sore added to which I was called the most heinous names, beaten on several occasions. It’s funny how deep the pangs of verbal abuse are, many days I would be home alone or traveling in a vehicle and still hear the voices of my abusers, sometimes I actually flinched at the audibility of their voices in their absence! Their voices lived freely in the deep recesses of my mind!
Some of the beatings were so horrible I actually freaked out while being beaten, I was kicked repeatedly in my stomach, knife and Chinese chopper was placed in my throat, I was “planassed” (beaten with a machete), dislocated several fingers while trying to prevent him from hitting me in my face with the cutlass. I grew so fearful of him that I never slept once he was in the house, if he lifted his hands I jumped involuntarily because I always thought he was going to hit me. After many years of threatening me and I believing him I was forced to make a decision, one that I know many of you are also fearful of making. I had to call the police and have a restraining order issued against him. You may ask ‘why didn’t I just leave’ I have asked myself the same question and the only answered was found listening to Iyanla Vasant interview with Oprah Winfrey, when asked why she stayed she said ‘bad treatment felt like home’ I felt like it was what I was used to, that’s how my life was destined to be, if my family treated me that way, then no one else is obligated to differ. A LIE FROM THE PIT OF HELL!
From that day I was determined to change how I feel about my life. I was about to look at my journey from a different perspective. I knew that life experience could turn out beautiful if we know what to embrace and what to desist from. Another thing that influenced my decisions was CHANGE! As a child I CHANGED many homes, CHANGED many people and locations but always ended up being abused by them all, in my mind change of persons or location doesn’t dictate a change in your circumstance! After many years, 3 damaged children and numerous death threats, insomnia, nervous disorder, alcohol abuse, sleeping pills overdose and 5 years of counseling I decided that I needed to take charge of my life. The first fact I needed to establish is that NOTHING could be worse than the predicament I was faced with. At that point the death threats became insignificant because my soul was definitely dead!
I began trusting God to take me out, I prayed night and day, at one point I even prayed for God to take my life! I am so thankful He didn’t answer that prayer simply because I would not be able to say to you my readers ‘things will get better’ but the onus is on you. You have to get involved in the change you desire. Don’t feel that one day your situation will miraculously change without your involvement, NO it requires your full participation! Abuse is a progressive attribute which simply means it gets worse once encouraged! You the abused unconsciously gave up your rights to a healthy and mentally stable life, you compromise your peace, joy and stability, yes you are very guilty of giving your life over to your abuser, unconsciously so!
TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE by saying NO TO ABUSE! At some point you have to put fear to death because that is responsible for your allowing abuse! Make God the center of your escape! He will take you out safely! But it is dependent on your Faith in His ability to do so! Coming out of an abusive situation requires awareness! You have to also acknowledge you NEED help. Do not be ashamed to divulge your story to the relevant resources. Counseling is paramount to your healing! Abuse is a vicious cycle, we regrettably allow our children to inherit abusive traits when we stay in an abusive situation. Let us allow our children an opportunity to live by the example we set! SAY NO TO ABUSE! One thing I don’t want you to underestimate is the mental, physical, psychological damage that is done to you via abuse and worse the effect it has on the children in the home.
What are you fearful of today? Are you fearful of leaving, then don’t be I am more peaceful than I have ever been in my life because I am free from mine abusers, their voices no longer resides in me, I can sleep at night knowing that they can’t harm me! Are you wondering where your next meal, rent or bill payment is coming from, well trust me I have never gone hungry one day, neither will you! Once you make the first step in the right direction everything else falls into place, I am a living proof! When I left the home I had no clue where I was going, but I watched God make provision in a way I never thought possible. His Faithfulness, Mercy and Grace are unquestionable and it’s also available to each and every one of you who needs it! Let’s collectively say NO TO ABUSE so that we can have a safer and healthier nation holistically! I am the voice of an abused women saying PLEASE free yourself from the monster call abuse so you can live triumphantly!.
God is more than able to see you through. If you need prayer or wish to share your story with us, you can do so by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be more than happy for you to SHARE YOUR VOICE and also keep you in prayer. ARISE