Healing the heart of Domestic Violence is to recognize who you’ve become growing up or are going into the situation. It’s our past and current experiences in life reflected outward through our actions and reactions.
Its personal choices we have made or will make in life and two people coming together who are downtrodden in spirit.
I’m a 20+ year survivor of Domestic Violence. It took years to heal in mind and spirit. I praise God he never left nor forsaken me. God’s love and strength have seen me thru the toughest of times.
Reflect Back – Hindsight is 20 20
To recover reflecting back into past events that occurred before, during and after three and one-half years of Domestic Abuse was necessary.
You can’t heal what you don’t acknowledge!
When you reflect back on circumstances afterward, you can see it more clearly. Hopefully, you will learn from the situation, grow and heal.
Reflecting Back: Childhood
Growing up in a dysfunctional family, home life was not great; we had little to no real guidance in life, suffered from neglect, some suffered abuse, often left to our own devices, and our parents were hardly ever home.
Parents are responsible for shaping their child’s future. My parents shaped me into a strong-minded person who became accustomed to seeing, dealing with and overcoming abuse. I was the protector, caretaker of younger siblings and always fighting for what is right.
Reflecting Back: Pre-Marriage
I was 17 when we started dating. Without parental guidance and supervision, we came, went and did as we pleased. He slapped me upside the head a short time after first being together.
Knowing he would be abusive, I didn’t want to continue seeing him. He continued visiting our house, bring flowers and said he wanted to date my younger sister.
He was abusive and used manipulation long before we were ever married. The red flags were there. I choose to ignore them and should have run away back then.
Reflecting Back: Marriage
After becoming pregnant, and three months after turning 18, we were married. Two weeks later the wedding plate, cups, and rings were broken.
My husband declared the marriage over. Then the abuse started. I was confused, scared and all alone. I would spend the next 3 1/2 years in an abusive situation. One that felt almost impossible to escape.
The acts of Domestic Violence is “not” the cause of Domestic Violence. With that said, I will touch on some of the abuse that occurred during this time.
He pulled a knife on me several times; my head was split open requiring over 20 stitches, threatened to kill me, threatened family members, imposed fear upon me, and didn’t allow me to bond with or to care for our children properly.
I was hit, slapped, belittled and isolated from others He abused drugs, didn’t want to work and spent six months in jail for domestic violence.
Asking the Why Questions
The questions that surround the words “Domestic Violence” or “Domestic Abuse” are often the same.
Did this happen?
Do you stay?
Don’t you just leave?
I was predisposed to abuse growing up in this environment and preconditioned for a life of turmoil and violence. The lack of supervision and parental guidance is incomprehensible now.
Good parents would have stopped this relationship. They would never have allowed a child who wasn’t even out of School to quit and get married. They would have sent him packing. ASAP!
Why do you stay?
Why don’t you just leave?
Had no hope, and my spirit was deeply afflicted. Didn’t have anyone to help or support me. I was all alone, no job skills, no car, and no parents.
After seeking help many times; from the courts, the local county offices and even from my mother. I left in absolute fear for my life and lost everything in the process.
Reflecting Back: After Marriage
Over 20 years later our paths would cross once more via the internet. My husband sent me a message “is that u Linda” twice.
I was shocked and scared at the same time. You can run, but you can’t hide forever. I decided to face my fears and answer his message “is that u Linda.”
I responded back saying,
Why must you ask when you know it’s your Wife? I have forgiven you in my heart. That is all I have to say.
He wrote back powerful words;
Just wanted to say I am VERY sorry for all I had done. I’m not that person anymore, not by far, only some punk ass kid would do the shit I did, I was devastated by Anthony’s illness, made me very angry, had a lot of issues prior, but my life has changed, I’m not trying to be a friend, get back, none of that just wanted to say sorry, hope life sheds a ton of happiness upon u and ur’s.
What makes those words so powerful? They speak the truth (I’m not that person anymore, not by far) from his heart.
The Heart of Domestic Violence
We were two people who came together with a downtrodden spirit. Our past and current experiences in life reflected outward through our actions and reactions. The choices we made had a profound effect on our and the lives of our children.
Healing and Forgiveness:
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 KJV
Those are the words I wrote back to him. Those words are even more powerful. Christ gave me His spirit and inner peace. He placed his love in my heart, renewed my mind, and made forgiveness possible.