Abuse thrives in secret, and fear traps you in despair. That’s why abusers say, “don’t tell anyone.” When you tell your story, the intimidation and control decrease, you become strong and outspoken—the first step in overcoming abuse.
I’ve learned the problem with telling your story of abuse is getting someone to listen and believe you. I remember one attempt to escape in the late eighties; a minister drove me to the county office building. I rushed upstairs to family court and pleaded for help; no one listened.
Then downstairs, straight into the social worker’s office. I begged, “please help me; he’s coming soon; you have to help me now.” No one believed me, although a prior order of protection was on file. The woman said, “you need to go sit in the waiting room.”
Shortly after, he arrived, and hours later, they sent us to a Motel in the middle of nowhere. No one listened to my story, but I tried again months later when a gentleman asked, “would you like to come to my parent’s house and go for a walk or something.”
He and my boss at the bar out front thought my husband was gone. I jumped at the chance to get away and said,” YES!” When he brought his car around back, and I jumped in. As he drove away, I hit the floor, saying, “please help me; he’s still in the room and going to kill me.”
We drove to his parent’s house, and they fed me dinner, let me shower, and gave me clean clothes to wear. He slept on the couch and gave me his bed for the night. The following day he drove me to a battered Woman’s Shelter 50 miles away.
The powerful truth is; You keep telling your story until someone listens, believes you, and you overcome the cycle of abuse. The longer you stay silent, the more you give in to fear and intimidation, the longer you remain trapped in a cycle of defeat. If you keep pushing forward and recounting your story, eventually, someone will listen and believe you.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” — Maya Angelou.
You overcome the agony of abuse by telling your story, not keeping it a secret. That requires you to be strong in faith and determination not to give up the fight. You can escape oppression or live in a cycle of defeat. The choice is yours. Don’t let the fear of abuse make you think differently.
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