Domestic Abuse | Are you a victim?
DOMESTIC ABUSE | DAY 1
It all started on my wedding day.
We had gotten married at the courthouse by a Justice of the Peace.
It feels so wrong to even write that. Peace. I had no idea what lay ahead of me.
I wore an inexpensive white dress. He was in his Air Force Blues.
It was a quick and simple ceremony. No witnesses. No reception. I had wanted it that way. He was at Tech School, and we didn’t really know anybody. I didn’t think I needed anyone but him.
We only had a few hours until he had to go back to the base. As a student, he had to stay at the dorm. To civilians that sounds strange, but the military is just . . . different.
We went swimming at my hotel. I enjoyed looking at my hand with the wedding ring on it. I just wanted time to stand still. But it doesn’t.
An argument started. I have no idea what it was about. Probably something insignificant. But then it happened.
NINE YEARS LATER
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I was sitting in the office of a Domestic Violence Advocate. She gave me a book. I wish I’d had it a decade earlier.
“Should I Stay or Should I Go?: A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can–and Should–be Saved”
This is a MUST READ if you think for even just one moment that you might be a Victim of Domestic Abuse. It has a step-by-step process of determining if you’re experiencing typical relationship issues, or if something much worse is going on. They discuss four common causes of unhealthy relationships: immaturity, addiction, mental health and abuse.
I made sure he couldn’t find my copy of “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”. Why? Because I was terrified of what he would do. That in and of itself told me everything I needed to know.
Honestly, I knew deep down that he was abusing me. Why didn’t I leave? Technically it doesn’t matter, but I’ll tell you anyway.
Are you doubting yourself? Do you think that it’s not really that bad? Maybe others HAVE endured “much worse”. But listen to me. He doesn’t have to hit you. Or choke you. Or even touch you. My husband’s Emotional, Mental and Spiritual Abuse was far worse than anything he had ever physically done to me.
I am just one woman telling her story. I’m not a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, attorney or police officer. I’m not an expert, and this is not legal advice. But I know that there’s help out there. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Call 911 if you need to. You deserve better than this.