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Domestic Violence Month

 

October is not only breast cancer awareness month, but it is also domestic violence awareness month.   As a child, I witnessed physical and verbal abuse as a result of my parents' dysfunctional relationship.  It was something I vowed I would never endure and it also led me to be strongly opposed of marriage but not relationships {let's just say I had a lot to work on which is why I didn't marry until age 39}.  You can imagine my surprise, or maybe you guessed it, I found myself in an abusive relationship.  My first serious boyfriend after high school was emotionally abusive. The challenge for me with the emotional abuse was the "disguise."  Physical abuse is very obvious, you have physical proof that you are being abused.  

 

For me, the emotional abuse was an assault I didn't realize was happening immediately.  Some of my friends and family around me noticed, but I did not - at least not the extent of it or the damage it was causing.  You see I was blinded by love, I had no good example, and frankly, the good times outweighed the bad.  When it was good, our relationship was so good, we laughed, went on dates, his family loved me, and I loved them.   Everyone thought we were the cutest couple.  Then there were the bad times - like the really bad times - screaming, him punching holes in the walls, me throwing things, the dog running for cover.  It's totally normal to say to one another,  it's a good thing we don't own a gun when the explosive fights break out.

 

When I would approach the subject of our "lively" discussions he would say everyone fights at times, it's normal.  He had a point our relationship was better than my parents.  By comparison, our relationship was great.  Over time I was left wondering and feeling that this wasn't healthy either and just as damaging as physical abuse.  Developing a talent for repairing holes in the walls wasn't exactly something I was aiming to achieve.  I would catch him in lies, he would go out and leave me home alone, he started using drugs.  Anytime I would confront any of his actions he would make me feel like I was the problem.  

 

This went on for a couple of years before I realized I really needed to leave, this relationship wasn't healthy for either of us.  There was a BIG event that put my leaving on hold {you can read about it here}.  Eventually, I did leave him, on a weekend when he wasn't home I packed up what would fit in my vehicle and left.   I was torn with emotion - I knew deep inside I had to go - I also knew he would be very upset and I couldn't help but think of the times our relationship was good.  Deep inside I knew I had no choice.  I was right in thinking he would be very upset when I left, he called me so many times and left messages ranging from I'll do anything to get you back to threatening harm.   The phone calls and crazy messages were actually just what I needed to make sure I didn't go back.

 

If you find yourself in any type of domestic violence situation, please take steps to leave, there are organizations out there that will help, it's not better to stay married for the kids, and while it may not be easy right away, it is better for your health to leave.  I have been a child enduring parents of domestic violence and victorious over domestic violence.  

 

You're worth it to leave!

 

 

Nicole Lynn

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