Is your mind completely drained with the emotional trauma of domestic abuse?
You turn to your friends and they tell you sweet things. They call you a survivor, they call you brave. Rationally, you know that they’re honest. You know that you’ve been through things so messed up that normal people can’t imagine them. And yet… you still feel broken. Tired, and lost and worthless in the face of this new opportunity you got, the one you don’t always feel like you deserve.
Your suffering has been overlooked, excused, and covered up for so long that you’re no longer sure what’s real and what isn’t, you don’t know how to function in normal conditions. But darling here’s something that you need to know – it’s okay to unravel.
You’re going to be okay. You’re going to be okay even if you still cry yourself to sleep. Even if you can’t remember the last time you felt good, or confident, or beautiful. Although it’s only a small step to recovery, we’re here to offer some advice if you still feel lost and afraid.
Well if it was abusive, why didn’t you just leave? I don’t see any bruises on you, are you sure you’re not just crying for attention? These girls today, they don’t want nice guys, they only want jerks that beat them and mistreat them. Men can’t be abused, you’re just weak. Any of these sound familiar?
Related: Why Women Don’t Want a “Nice Guy”?
People judge what they don’t know, and if they haven’t faced the trauma of domestic abuse themselves, it’s easy to point fingers. You will face some negativity, but you need to know that these people are not the majority, and even if they were, they aren’t right. Most of them are well-meaning but confused, and they will all have opinions that should in no way demean your experience.
It can be very hard for mothers who leave their abusive husbands because they are perceived as bad parents who broke the family apart. Look, these people don’t know you, they haven’t been in your shoes, and they get no say. If they don’t want to be kind and understanding, then you have every right to ignore them.
Domestic abuse isn’t limited only to physical violence, and it happens to more people than you can imagine. Chad takes the first place as the country with the highest rates of domestic violence, but it also happens in a lot more developed countries like the US and Australia. In Australia however, the violence against Indigenous women is 40% higher than against non-Indigenous women.
The point is, this is a common problem and a lot of people are working hard to fix it. You need to protect yourself, and to do that, you need to find survivor support groups, surround yourself with friends and family, and make sure you have a good attorney in case you are trying to divorce your abuser. Good family lawyers are easy to reach, but the rest of Australia has a lot of professionals as well.
Most countries in Europe and the US have their own systems in place, and you can find shelters if you have nowhere to go, or find a lawyer who does pro bono cases and see if they can take you on.