Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Does Abuse Ever Go Away?

To those of you (women) that have ever suffered abuse - whether it was from a stranger in the street, a casual aquaintance, a friend, or even a member of your own family: Let me assure you that you are not alone.

You may ask yourself, "Will I ever get over the pain of abuse?" The short answer is no. The pain will always be there. But, the fact is that getting over the pains of abuse are much more complicated than meets the eye. Over the years, I have dealt with every conceivable emotion regarding my abusive past - everything from hate to depression to confusion. Then, one day I realized that these emotions will always be there. There's nothing I can do to take away the pain from those memories. So, I learned that the best things to do are these:

1.) Cut off anyone or anything connected to your abusive past - especially the person that did the abusing.

2.) Whenever you get a flashback or nightmare, stop thinking about it and realize that this was in the past and you are ok now. Those memories cannot hurt you anymore. Also, hugs are nice when these things happen!

3.) Take self-defense classes or violence/abuse prevention classes to learn more about how you can avoid this type of treatment in the future (most victims of abuse unfortunately flock toward abusive people without realizing it). Taking these classes will empower you and give you the confidence you need to fight off anyone that would hurt you.

4.) Find a faith that works for you and that you sincerely believe in. Praying to God has always been an essential part of my life and my recovery. There were times I know that I would not be here if I had not relied on my faith and trusted in the mercy that I would be given.

5.) Don't think of yourself as a victim anymore. This pitiful behavior does not support recovery and continues to give your abuser power over your life. Instead, realize that your experiences made you the person that you are today. It shaped you into a strong and powerful woman - capable of doing anything!!

6.) Move forward. Moving forward and not dwelling on the past promotes a healthy attitude toward the abuse. Don't worry about latent memories that could come back to haunt you. Believe me, they will anyway without you wanting them to. But, the less you think about it and dwell on it, the less often they will happen.

7.) If certain situations or events make you uncomfortable, don't do it!! If something that your partner or friends want you to participate in, but you know it's going to trigger a flashback, don't do it! For me, watching horror movies or certain things on television will trigger these. So, I don't do it. I don't care if my friends think that I'm being irrational or silly. It's not silly to me, and that's all that matters.

8.) Remember: There's nothing wrong with you and none of this was your fault! Sometimes, people are just victims of circumstances that they cannot control. This is usually the case with abuse sufferers. In my case for example, I was a child that had no control of my situation. But, I still felt like that what happened was my fault. Guilt is a normal emotion for abusees to feel. But, you must accept that whoever this person was that abused you was just wrong! YOU were the one that was right!

9.) Recovery is a lifelong process. But, if you keep your head high and have faith, things will get better! Change is inevitable in a person's life. If you are in a situation now where you are being abused, there are so many ways out! There are many options that are available to you such as shelters and churches that will take you in at no charge. Once you realize that you are being abused, that is a huge step. The next one will be what you plan to do about it. You have to decide when you need a change in your life.Will you have the courage to take that step?

I have dedicated the rest of my life to helping other women that are victims of all kinds of abuse. This is how I believe God is healing me. My husband and I teach self-defense and domestic violence classes to women in our community. I want to make sure that as many women as possible have the knowledge to protect themselves from assailants and abusers alike - a knowledge I wish I would have had 20 years ago.

In my next post, I'll go over the Domestic Violence Abuse Wheel. It's a good check to make sure that you are not in an abusive relationship.


  1. Thank Goodness you do have faith in the one true God. For we can attest to His faithfulness, because it is indeed real. I have always wondered how do people overcome successfully who do not know Him. The struggle to overcome depression or any other battle you need to win is HARD anyway. With a little handful of grace and mercy, just breathing becomes the task at hand that helps give you pause for renewal that is coming faithfully from God. Well written! When is your book coming out?

  2. Hopefully, we can publish this spring or summer!