Domestic Violence: Rebuilding - page 2

Years ago - decades, actually - I found myself at the side of a road, neck bruised from my then-husband's attempts to strangle me and with nothing but the clothes I was wearing and my dog. I was... Read More

  1. by   Lev <3
    I really appreciate this series of articles. It gives me perspective on something that is unfortunately all too familiar to women across the country. I am so happy that you "got out." A message to women in DV situations everywhere: you deserve better!
  2. by   asystole00
    Quote from pecas
    After being told for so long that everything is your fault, you start to believe it. Your judgement skewed. Everything you do turns to crap because nothing you do is good enough. They've isolated you until there's no one left on your side. You look for the good in the abuser, because if you see them for who they truly are, you have to accept the fact that you have completely ruined your life in a futile attempt to make them happy. I was also afraid of saying anything bad about him, or agreeing with anyone else because, if it got back to him, there'd be hell to pay. It was easier to defend him to other people than to defend myself against him. They didn't have to go home with me. Also, if I confirmed what a horrible person he was, the next question, without fail, was "Why don't you just leave?" Even after I left, it took two more years and moving to another state to truly be free of him.

    I'll actually never be truly free. My close friends know not to hug me without warning me first. My husband knows that, no matter how angry he might be, "stupid" is a word that will forever be off limits. Everyone that knows me well knows that I have to be in control, because for so long, I controlled absolutely nothing. The controlling part bothers me, because I don't ever want to become like him.
    Thank you for sharing this, pecas. Your post hits too close to home for me. It took me seven years to open up and share my story with someone. It felt liberating to get it off my chest. Now, I am finally able to walk down the road of recovery. It gets better with time.
  3. by   akellisrn
    You're a courageous, wonderful soul. Thank you for sharing.
  4. by   Kitiger
    Quote from LadyFree28
    I found this article at a timely fashion.

    ...

    I had plans to pack my bags and leave him-all because of thoughts and reliving traumatic events, the psychological abuse that my ex-abuser, six feet in the ground and god knows where, and just being left with an angry space that ratchets up from the fall to January.

    To be honest, my saving grace was there was a small price that knew he wouldn't do that to me; I was torn by this huge anger and trauma, reminding me that the other person that has done it to me, what makes him different?

    I haven't spoken to my therapist about it, but it will be a topic for the next session; I was doing very well, until this incident; I always believe that I will get better and then anxiety will cripple me (it has happened in the past during my first acute care position as an RN) and now I'm past anxiety and at a place of anger, however I think it's still from that same space.
    ...

    I don't have a solution; the nursing/critical thinking and judgement part of me always have been about solutions and action plans and doing something about it, doing work to solve an issue or a problem. I've done everything to get myself to a point where I can cope; I just realized that there is no timeline to rebuilding and I am literally having an argument with myself because the rational side of me is like "it's been seven years..." and has put a timeline in place to compartmentalize, and being receptive to the positive aspects that I have been able to accomplish dispute living with trauma; I realize and understand and comprehend that I won't be able to compartmentalize everything and I have to accept that in order for me to continue to rebuild, and that's ok, that doesn't make me weak or incompetent or incomplete.
    I have never been physically abused, but I wonder. Is recovery from this something like the trauma of grief? When someone you love dies, the grief is fresh and raw at first, gradually lessening as you move on. (I don't think the grief gets less, it's just that my experiences keep me growing, so that the loss is no longer as huge a part of my life as it was.)

    With grief, I can be doing well, and then something suddenly reminds me ... and I'm back to square one! I don't stay there, of course; I'm healing.

    But the fact that it comes back to bite me does not mean that I'm not recovering.

    It sounds to me like you are recovering. Oh, how I wish it could happen on a timeline, as you put it so well.
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    It's Domestic Violence Awareness month again. Giving this thread a bump.
  6. by   vintagemother
    Quote from Kitiger
    I have never been physically abused, but I wonder. Is recovery from this something like the trauma of grief?...

    With grief, I can be doing well, and then something suddenly reminds me ...
    I think that the stages of grief mirrored my feelings while separating from my abusive husband.

    Indeed, I stayed in denial a great while. Anger lasted a long time. I tried bargaining, and eventually acceptance and grief.

    Recognizing that my feelings were "normal" because they fit the stages of grief helped me to accept my feelings about the situation.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from vintagemother
    I think that the stages of grief mirrored my feelings while separating from my abusive husband.

    Indeed, I stayed in denial a great while. Anger lasted a long time. I tried bargaining, and eventually acceptance and grief.

    Recognizing that my feelings were "normal" because they fit the stages of grief helped me to accept my feelings about the situation.
    I agree. For a long time, I would think I was doing well, and then BAM! Something would bounce me right back into the anger phase. I stayed in denial for a long time while I was IN the relationship, but anger motivated me to get out, and I never went back into denial. But anger -- I'd think I had resolved it and then WHAM, something would trigger me and I'd be angry for weeks or even months. It's been 20 years (almost) and I still bounce back to anger now and again.

    Grief -- mourning of the relationship I thought we could have -- came and went early on, but it's been a long time since I grieved the loss of that man or that relationship.

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