This is your warning to stop reading now if anything too honest or detailed may upset you. I don’t want to offend anybody; it’s my story and my point of view
Why I Decided to Write & Publish ‘I’m not a Victim. I’m a Survivor!
This post is very personal and I wasn’t sure if I was going to write and publish it. I was worried if anyone read it around where I live, or regarding my business that people would judge me. Shame was retaking its hold of me, but, deep down I know I don’t need to worry as the shame belongs 100% to the people who did it to me. I wish when I was in this situation I could have read something like this. A lot of the time, people don’t speak up because of the crippling shame they have, that never be the case! I’m sharing this as this subject shouldn’t still be a Taboo!
Sadly, I was sexual, physically and emotionally abused as a child and an adult. I’ll never see my self as a victim. I see myself as a survivor! I had to deal with a lot of bad things that happened around me and to me till I was 23 years old…
When I was going through this I never felt sorry for myself, I never actually felt like a victim. Emotional abuse, for me, was worth than anything I endured physically because the emotional abuse made me think that it was my fault. It made me feel that something was wrong with me and made me think that somehow I made people do bad things to me. It made me feel worthless. In turn, made me feel guilt and shame. Guilt & Shame were such a heavy burden for me to carry, it weighed me down on a daily. But even with all this I never thought it was anything different than what every other person in the world felt. I honestly didn’t know it wasn’t happening to everyone. I just thought it was part of normal – everyday life.
The Turning Point
When my son was born, I was eighteen years old. It was my turning point. My BIG Epiphany… Looking at my son’s face and feeling this compelling emotion – Love. It woke me up and made me realise that I’d never hurt a hair on his head. I’d never let a single person on the planet hurt him. This was the most powerful moment of my life. In an instant, I realised I would never hurt or allow him to be hurt. Sadly, my new epiphany had only passed onto my thoughts about my child but not myself. So I stayed with my abusive ex. It’s just now (years later) that I realise that all this trauma had severally affected my self-esteem, confidence and self-worth. Somehow I knew I’d never treat my child that way, but I still felt it normal for people to do it to me.
In 2010 I was twenty-three years old and by now I had two children who were 5 and three years old with my partner who I’d been with since I was 16 years old. I’d suffered seven years of abuse from my partner at this point. I felt trapped! My partner would apologise profusely about his mistakes and promise to change, but, he wasn’t changing at all if anything he was getting worse.
Then, my children witnessed their dad knock me unconscious and this was my turning point. I honestly still don’t think I left for myself. I left because it was now very visibly affecting my children.
This changed Our Lives
Not long after this significant moment in my life, I ran away from my boyfriend with my two children and got my own place. We were safe and for the first time in my life, I felt free. It was an amazing feeling! All the fear I’d been carrying around with me that weighed my shoulders down all those years just vanished. I quickly become to the realisation that my life could get better and I could be happy. I didn’t have to live a miserable – terrifying life.
Some people get exactly what I’m talking about and some don’t. I get it… It can be confusing to understand why someone would stay in a relationship like that. My situation was inevitable in my point of view to a certain extent because I’d been through so much as a child so when bad things started happening in my relationship, I just assumed it was normal.
Our Happy New Beginning
I’m so lucky that I got away and could start fresh with my two children. I’m so lucky that I met an amazing, loving and supporting man and we’ve had a child together. My partner helped show me how a woman should be treated and that’s been amazing. I feel like I was wrongfully imprisoned for 23 years of my life and then I was released and free to find out how people should treat each other.
It’s not been an easy journey and I’m still healing. It took me a long time to get help, I went to therapy and it’s helped me realise how my past trauma has shaped me. This felt silly at first as I’d spent years saying ‘I’m fine’ so many times that on the surface even I started to believe it. I have OCD, PSTD, Binge Eating Disorder, Survivors Guilt & Body Dysmorphia, (Wow, that’s a lot of mental health issues for a woman who thought she was ‘fine’). I still have a very long journey, but I’m willing to put the work in.
If You Need Help!
If you need help and support it’s perfectly normal, as trauma affects everyone differently. Sometimes it’s hard to see it how it affects you without the help and the support you deserve. If you’re going through something similar, you need to believe in yourself and know that you do deserve better and ask for help.
I want others to understand that it’s never your fault when others hurt you. It does not make you weak to be in a situation like this. You shouldn’t have shame for what others do to you. It shows how strong you are! You don’t have to let others treat you this way and you should have the right to get away and be safe. You deserve to have a hopeful and happy future.