There’s something we all need to understand about domestic violence. We can see that a relationship is abusive but we can’t just walk up to someone and say, “Hey, your spouse is abusing you.”
Victims usually don’t recognize the abuse because their abuser has manipulated them into believing that whatever consequences they are suffering through are rightfully their fault.
It’s a difficult thing to comprehend when you haven’t lived it, I know, but if you talk with a former victim, we’ll all tell you the same thing: we were faulted for perceived wrong-doings and we shouldered the blame. We believed if we could just reach the standard that our abuser set forth, everything would be okay…we just needed to be better and do better.
After my seven hearts and I were free from the person who abused us, I heard so often from people that they knew something wasn’t right, or that he was abusive, but they couldn’t do anything.
There was one person who understood that although she couldn’t physically intercede on our behalf, she could plant a seed for the time that I was able to see the truth. So she did — in the form of a personal account of helping someone she loved leave a violent partner. As Cecelia told me the harrowing tale I did not see any correlation between the woman in her story and myself. I just felt heartbroken for the victim.
Much time passed between that day and the afternoon I was hit by the sudden, full-on reality of what was happening to my children and me. It was my Melody who helped me to see the light of day.
In the terrifying days that followed our escape, I felt as if I could trust no one but my children, but as we settled into a domestic violence shelter, Cecelia’s story played through my mind over and over and over. I knew then that she had been planting a seed — letting me know that she knew and that if ever I needed her, she’d be there.
People have come and gone in the five years since we left. We’ve reunited with family, made new friends, lost people who just couldn’t understand domestic violence and all that it entails.
But Cecelia? She has been firmly by our side every step of the way. I am glad to know she’s a constant in the tide of ever-changing people ebbing and flowing through my life.
Do you know someone living in an abusive situation? Do you feel helpless knowing there’s nothing you can do?
Plant a seed.
Be the one.