Hushed Voices, Secrets Untold

Giving women a voice, one day at a time

Archive for the month “August, 2012”


I wrote this post a long time ago, and I was going to save it until my story was complete, but I feel that now is the time to release it. This post explains a question I invariably receive when I tell people I am a domestic violence survivor.

People always ask, ” Have you forgiven him yet?”

Talk about the potential elephant in the room. This answer is always, emphatically, “YES.” What follows is a barrage of questions relating to how, why, when, etc…

Then  I begin to explain.

As a domestic violence survivor, we have to have time to heal, as any victim of any violent crime. Part of the healing process is facing our anger, working through our pain, healing and learning to forgive.

My journey of healing began 17 years ago. Now, as you can imagine, learning to forgive my ex-husband was one of the most complicated, difficult and immensely painful things I have ever done. You may ask how I could forgive a man that did all these horrible things to me.

The explanation is simple. As a minister once told me after my domestic violence ordeal, “If you do not forgive, he keeps winning. You must learn to forgive or the hurt will eat you alive and make you hateful and bitter. Do not let the hurt change you.”

Forgiving my abuser, was the absolute hardest thing I had to do, but it had to be done, to keep me from becoming an angry, and revengeful person. Forgiveness was also extremely painful. It was painful because, to forgive him, I had to be able to forgive him for all the pain and suffering he caused me. I begged and pleaded with God, to help me find another way, to not have to forgive him.

God then made me see, that he taught us to forgive, and we should do the same.

Forgiveness was also complicated. See, I had children that were angry and hurt, and had witnessed some of the abuse. They did not understand why I was going to forgive their father for hurting me. I explained to them that just because I forgave him did not mean I forgot.

I will never forget.

I forgave their father, because he was just that, their father, and one day they would want a relationship with him, one that could be destroyed by my hurt and hate.

So, I went through the paces with my faith, my domestic violence counselors, and God, and I learned to forgive.

Forgiveness, what a powerful word. So many things are wrapped up in that one word. No wonder God wanted us to learn that word.

As I am writing this, I remember how difficult and gut-wrenching that task was. Am I sorry I forgave him? No.

Like I said before, my healing journey began 17 years ago, but that was after 10 solid years of abuse. It has not been easy, and I struggle to maintain my recovery every day. I still have bad days and good days. Every domestic violence victim is always on the road to recovery. We are always working on self-motivation, self-preservation, self-discovery, self-esteem and all those things that lead us to a better place. It takes work everyday.

Abuse leads to a  victim being completely broken, exposed, completely vulnerable and leaves them open for a lifetime of  having episodes when these feelings are worse than others. Therefore, recovery is a lifelong process. It is imperative that every domestic violence victim keeps working towards their recovery everyday. Forgiveness is a part of that recovery.

If you are holding on to hate and hurt, you must let it go before it destroys the life you could have. I know forgiveness is hard, but trust in God and he will show you the way.



Living with Domestic Violence – Part III

We are now in Georgia, and I am working at a chain of movie rental stores as a Controller (accountant). My marriage has continued to deteriorate, and at this point I have started to fear for my life, and for my children.

The attacks of violence have become so frequent that I am so used to them now that the flowers and forgiveness routine have no effect on me. I am numb and I am walking through life with literally no emotion but fear.

The abuse is no encompassing the entire range, both physical and emotional.

My co-workers begin to notice the bruises on my neck, face, arms, cheeks, etc….

They tell me, “You don’t have to live like this.” Of course I tell them, “I know”, and I keep on with what whatever I was doing. Now, you have to undersand the cycle of abuse.

When you are living a life of domestic violence, there is a love/violence circle that goes on day after day, month after month, year after year. There will be days of peace, days of hurt, and pain.

The days that are filled with hurt and pain are followed by apologies, flowers, promises to never do it again, and filled with love. Those days can be long periods of time or short ones. You never know with domestic violence offenders, they have anger issues, they drink and they have very short fuses. You never know what will set them off. It could be something simple as a wrinkle in their favorite shirt, it could be their food is not heated properly, it doesn’t really matter the reason, it just happens.

The days that are filled with hurt and pain, you say to your self, “How can I stay?” and the days filled with peace you say, “Why should I leave?” This cycle continues until you just cannot stay anymore.

One night will live forever in my memory.

I made him his favorite meal, my beef stew. He says it was made him fall in love with me. I am busy setting he table. He comes home from work angry about something. I of course start my “walking on eggshells’ routine. Well that doesn’t work. Beef stew winds up everywhere. The rampage has begun. The screaming started first, then the hitting, but tonight was different, he was in a rage. He woke up my oldest son, with his yelling, and in his rage he picked up a box of books. He threw them at me, and well about the time he launched them at me, my son happened to step in the room.

I became outraged and went after him. In his anger, he picked me up and threw me against a wall, and I landed in a heap in the floor. I knew I was hurt badly so, I pretty much just stayed there huddled in the floor, with my child in my arms, until his rage subsided, and he passed out.

My son was in shock at what his father had done, at what he had witnessed. I managed to make it to work the next morning, only to be taken to the doctor, to be told I had some injuries which required care.

No, I did not divulge how they happened. I pulled the usual domestic violence victim routine.

I had fallen down the stairs.

These memories are not easy for me, but they must be told so that another victim can find the courage to get help, I did. In upcoming posts I will tak about how I got away and got help. If you are hurting and need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline Number  1−800−799−SAFE  (7233), there are people waiting there to help you. There are also resources on this blog under Get Help.

Make the call, it will change your life. You do not have to life this way.



Blog Anniversary

Well today is my two year blog anniversary! It seems appropriate considering that Blogher’12 was just completed yesterday in New York City. I have learned a great deal in these past two years.

I began blogging after the death of my mother to try and put the pieces together and to honor her work that she did with domestic violence survivors. My mother was an avid volunteer at a domestic violence shelter, and she also served on the board of one as well.

I began Ramblings of The Geek Wife as a mix of daily life stuff, and my domestic violence work. But, then after a while I realized that the domestic violence work was so important, that it needed its own space, and hence this blog Hushed Voices, Secrets Untold was born.

I have learned many things in the past two years, such as, not every one is going to agree with your opinion. However, they are just that, opinions.

I have also learned that I am not just writing for me. I am writing to help other people. I am writing to give those a voice that may not have one.

I am writing to lend a hand to those that need it the most.

This past weekend I did not go to New York City, I attended BlogHer At Home. This was a unique opportunity, for those of us that could not attend, to participate from home. I learned a great deal about using many web based features to increase site exposure.

BlogHer At Home also allowed me to participate in discussions, although from a distance, through the #BlogHer12 hashtag.

So, as I move into year three of blogging, I will take the tools I learned, put them to good use, and continue to network towards my cause of domestic violence.

I will continue to strive to help put an end to domestic violence, and bring attention to the victims, and give them a voice, one day at a time.

Here is to another productive year!


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