I give it to abuse…it’s a cruel demon; a highly sophisticated one. Fourteen years of physical and emotional abuse and I’m still finding new wounds. Since the age of six my life has been ruled by hate.
I hated the way my dad treated my mom.
I hated the way she stayed with him.
I hated the way my family did nothing to stop it.
I hated lying to protect them.
I hated the way my heart broke over and over even when I knew what to expect.
And a fresh one: I hate reading what the beautifully charismatic woman pictured next to me has gone through.
Domestic violence is a cycle. My parents’ childhoods couldn’t be more proof of this. They both became entangled in the net not knowing how to live their lives without this demon. And that’s heavy. How can I hate people who were simply trying to survive themselves?
That’s why I wake up every morning with the agenda of slaying this demon. The cycle will end at my feet. Not because of my strength, but God’s.
It’s been five years since I escaped the world that left my heart suffocating every day. And only in the past year have I begun to grow again. To find out who’s underneath all the false identities I’ve been given since childhood. If left to my own efforts I would still be laying shattered in a corner. But God has been working for me.
- He gave me hope when I couldn’t see past the night.
- He gave me mercy when I wanted to hate my mom for staying.
- He gave me forgiveness to walk up to my dad and show him the love he never could give.
- He gives me strength to see the blessings that come from living such a dark childhood.
- And finally, He guides me as I avoid situations that have the potential of starting another cycle.
The only victim here today is the demon of domestic violence. In this room is his final resting place; the survivors around me standing over him with unimaginable strength.
Domestic violence, you intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. [Gen. 50:20 NLT]
My past has given me a voice. And I will use it for every person who is fighting so tirelessly to survive.
From Her Fortress
The area agency in my county held a fundraising event to honor the story of a woman who lost her life earlier this year to domestic violence. Survivors were given a platform to share their stories alongside pictures taken by an area artist, Carrie Louise Wood. The above post was my entry, with featured photo by the artist mentioned above. Thank you to those who continue to bring awareness to the demon of domestic violence.