I am shaking this morning. My heart is racing. I had insomnia all night and found myself curled up in a fetal position. I have seen too many women beaten up by their husbands. I have watched too many children beaten up by their parents. I have watched children terrified as their fathers took out their anger and rage on their mothers. I was a child. I was helpless. No one listened to me. I could do nothing to help. It killed me inside.
Then I became a victim of domestic violence and rape, and I have PTSD.
I wanted very badly for this blog to be upbeat and inspirational. But there is nothing upbeat or inspirational about having someone lay their hands on you and the helplessness you feel when you can’t escape.
Last night, I saw a video on an award show that I typically watch every year. A man whose name I will not repeat here because I don’t want the Google hits from his name. A man I respected because he did a lot of work on himself, a lot of self-reflection, and he brought those lessons into his marriage and had the honor of raising children.
But last night this man got up and hit another man because he was angry. I thought it was part of a skit, so I watched it again, and again trying to prove it was a sick joke.
It kept me up all night. Because in my world, if you’re willing to hit somebody and let your anger rage, then what’s to stop you from hitting a woman and a child?
All these years later, I still feel vulnerable. I still have nightmares. I still feel unsafe at times, and it is only by getting help and building a support system of trustworthy people that I am able to heal and move forward with the life that I am meant to live.
A trigger is a trigger, and although it might be somebody else’s story, every time a woman is hit, it’s our story. Every time a woman is made to feel ashamed, it’s our story. Every time a woman is devalued and stripped of her dignity, strength, and self-worth, it is our story!
For a very long time, I remained silent. I didn’t want my name synonymous with “domestic violence survivor.” I didn’t want to hear “survivor of rape.” I had enough. I wanted to build a new life, get healthy, leave the demons in the past, and I wanted to stop caring.
Yes, it is possible to heal. We can create happier and safer lives with people we trust, but the demons linger because you get it, you’ve lived it, and as much as you want to try, you never stop caring. What happens to one, happens to all of us!
To be clear, I have no love for the insensitive comedian who verbally attacked this man’s wife. Words hurt. Words degrade. Words devalue. This so-called human being was making fun of a woman’s health issues to make a joke and he showed the world who he really is. He chose his words carefully. He chose to bully and insult her on national television. A man, bullying a woman on national television. Let that sink in. That too is a form of abuse my friends. If he will do that for a “laugh” what else will he do to strip a woman of her dignity?
I believe violence of any kind whether it be physical, mental, or emotional against anyone, including man, woman, non-binary, LGBTQIAS+, Trans, etc., needs to be prosecuted!
I heard the person’s speech. He said he was being “called to protect.” I understand his feeling of wanting to protect his wife. I know a few men in my life who would do all they could to protect me as well. But there are ways to protect somebody without laying your hands on another person! He did this out of honor for his wife, and some people find that commendable; I believe there are other ways to honor her and protect her.
Last night, he showed all the little boys and girls who look up to him that it’s okay to hurt another person if you’re protecting someone else and this so-called comedian showed his young followers that cruelty is acceptable as long as you are on television.
I have plenty of anger and rage in me, trust me, but it takes one moment to make the wrong decision. We are in control of our emotions and actions. We are in control of the words that come out of our mouths and how we respond to somebody. Nobody should ever get off for inflicting violence on somebody because “they were angry,” or because “they lost it,” or they “were in a trance.”
Take responsibility for your actions!
Keep your hands to yourself and quit making excuses!
At the top of this blog, I have a page titled Helping Hands. There are helpful links on that page.
But I am listing two very important numbers here for those who need support.
These are numbers and link to the National Domestic Violence Hotline and RAINN, the nation’s largest sexual assault hotline.
Please call the numbers below if you are scared, if someone is hurting you, and if you have no one to turn to.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: confidential support 24/7/365.