Silence can kill.

In response to- Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/the-sound-of-silence/

Silence is much more powerful than words. It can be negative or positive. I don’t share this with many people but, the times that I have, it’s helped quite a bit to talk about it. So, here’s my story.
I got married when I was 18 to a man whom I thought was perfect. He was intelligent, sweet and cute The whole time we dated. I saw a few red flags here and there with the way he acted and spoke but, I thought I loved him so, I shrugged them off. After we got married things went sour fast. The abuse started out verbal, calling me names, embarrassing me in public, making me feel terrible about myself. Then, it escalated into physical abuse.
Every time he would physically assault me, I would remain silent as far as yelling, crying and fighting back. I didn’t want him to see any weakness in me. I also didn’t tell anyone about what was going on. I was too afraid he would severely hurt me or my family. My family still doesn’t know the extent of the abuse I went through. It just isn’t something I tell people. We are divorced now, and I’ve moved on. My current husband is incredible and would never hurt me in any way.
I know I shouldn’t blame myself or think about all the ‘What-ifs’ but, I think that if I broke my silence and told someone about what he was doing, things would have improved much quicker. I hear everyone say in response to the subject of domestic abuse, “well, why doesn’t she just leave? Why doesn’t she TELL someone?” It’s not that simple. You don’t just leave someone who says if you try and leave, they’ll kill you. It takes a lot. In my case, it took a stranger who heard him screaming at me and hitting me, to call the police and give me the strength and motivation I needed to get away from him. He was arrested and I got a 3-year restraining order and I moved far away.

Silence is powerful. It can hold you back and ruin everything OR it can free you and improve your life. My story shows the impact of silence both in a negative and positive light.

If anyone reading this is in a relationship even remotely similar to how mine was, get out. I know it’s hard, but call someone you trust, leave him or her. Please.

Or contact the National Domestic Abuse Hotline online at http://www.thehotline.org or call them at 1-800-799-7233

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14 thoughts on “Silence can kill.”

  1. I haven’t experienced abuse, but I hear those questions all the time. Why doesn’t she leave? Why doesn’t she move on? Why would she let herself be abused? Why would she even put herself in that situation?

    There are so many things that people on the outside, like myself, are not aware of. No one chooses to be abused and hurt by the ones they love. Women and men in this situation should not be criticized for their circumstances. Imagine what we could achieve, as humans, if we stopped victim blaming and realized that the issue of abuse is more than the victim, and abuser; it’s an issue of society.

    1. Exactly. Nobody things about how dangerous and terrifying it is to try and leave someone so threatening and hateful. It’s scary. Especially when you have more people to worry about the safety of other than just yourself.

      Also, extremely abusive people rarely start off that way. It escalates over time. In my situation, it got bad after we got married. He knew I was stuck. He convinced me to move away from my family into a situation where I had no quick way out. It’s not simple.

      1. Why just perpetuates the cycle of violence. Instead, we should be asking victims how. How can I help?

        I’m happy that you got out of that situation and are doing well now. Thank you for sharing your story, I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you. You’ve affirmed my belief that sometimes nothing good can come from questioning.

      2. Agreed. Instead of criticizing others, we as a society should try helping each other. Too bad that doesn’t happen too often.

        Thank you. It’s nice to have people benefit somehow from my experience.

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