In response to- Weekly Writing Challenge: 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