The Day You Raise Your Hand to Me

 

I never really considered myself a victim of domestic violence since I was only attacked once.  I learned a while later that once is all that it takes.  And although I was only attacked once, I was threatened several times and that was just as frightening.  I still don’t really consider myself a victim, I don’t like that word.  A lot of women don’t.  Was I victimized? Yes.  Am I a victim?  No.

And this isn’t a fist pumping “I-Shall-Rise” type of proclamation.  I’ve just seen what claiming victim-hood can look like at its worst.  It makes people Life’s bitch.  I’m not interested.

However, it did take me a good while to even admit all of what happened to even my closest family.  The first time I ever wrote about what happened to me on my old blog, I quickly deleted it.  I wasn’t ready.

“I don’t want anyone to think I am trying to destroy lives or bring up old stuff,” I confessed to my sisters. “I just want to tell my story.”

“Then tell your story,” they both said almost in unison.  Did I really want to tell this part of my life that left such a stain?  True, I have healed and moved on, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having flashbacks.  The amazing amount of rejection and desperation I felt during that time is still hard to believe.

Sometimes, I wonder if that moment in my life hardened me, made it more difficult for me to love.  Then I look at my boyfriend of close to three years and I remember that I learned how to love again.  Sometimes, I still feel afraid, I still can shut down, I still can project and over-analyze.  But I know that I am loved and I have learned to be patient and forgive myself, which is a constant process.

And weird as it seems, I don’t regret what happened to an extent.  I don’t regret the relationship.  If I have any regrets, it’s the time I wasted trying to save someone from themselves, the time I lost with my own dreams and goals.

I hope my story inspires others to seek help, learn how to protect themselves and more than anything know that love is never ever supposed to hurt.