Home. What comes to your mind when you think of the word home? Should this not be a place where you can get away from it all? Leave the cares of the world behind and retreat to that special place? Does a warm feeling come over you when you travel towards home – excited that you are going to a place that you love? Does home represent a place where you can finally be yourself, after putting on a front for co-workers all week? Is it a place where you are accepted, and free to express yourself? Is your home governed by the Will of God, or the depths of hell?
For too many, the latter is the case – hell is unleashed in their homes – daily. If you have ever wondered what it is like to experience hell on earth, ask a person trapped by domestic violence and abuse. Better yet, ask me – been there. It is a feeling like no other – being afraid to go home. I have experienced the dread both as a child and as an adult. School, playing outside, and visiting family was my escape as a child. Church services, employment, and visiting friends helped me to stomach going home as an adult. As a child I feared coming home to a dead mother. As an adult, I feared going to jail, as I vowed not to live my mother’s life – alcoholism, violence and abuse.
When my verbally abusive, ex-husband was not at home – super! Life was somewhat normal for my children and I, except for the constant knot in my stomach. I am sure the kids felt their own sense of anxiety; mostly they just tried to be kids. When it was time for my ex to arrive home, the knot in my stomach worsened, and I would always feel like I was going to vomit. Everyone was always on alert for criticism, and braced for the yelling when something was found amiss. It was tough for imperfect people to try to live perfect lives just to please a tyrant. No matter the effort, it was always in vain.
I can only imagine the intensified, hellish environment endured when there are no outside interests. I would have lost my mind if I didn’t have a job to go to, or other activities outside of the home to divert my attention. Even if the trade-off is financial security, I cannot see any woman allowing herself to be beaten so that she can maintain a certain lifestyle – it happens though – frequently.
Out of the five years of marriage, the last four were my reasons for seeking a divorce. I didn’t want to go to jail, and have my kids taken away from me. Mind you, I am not a violent person, however, I am aware of that “something” deep inside of me that may cause me to snap. I can’t put a name to it, but I know it is there. Some may label it PTSD, I imagine that is possible, especially after all that I have endured. After witnessing my mother and so many women being beat down to nothing, I made up my mind as a child that I was not going to live that way. If it meant that I would have no man in my life at all, so be it! The one year anniversary was the beginning of things going downhill quickly. I knew I had to leave, soon.
I want to share a fictional story with you. Reason being, it depicts the lives of many abused women who are trapped. The story is so real it touched my heart. It is my hope that those who cannot understand why a woman would stay in a hellish situation will also read the story. There is a part one, and part two, as well as mature audience subject matter. After reading this story of a once strong woman stripped of her self-worth, please share your comments on this post. There may be other women who can benefit from your experiences.
Home should be a safe haven for all people. It is a sad day when love is no longer found at home.
Here is another article worth reading:
“Mary never knew what would trigger her husband’s rages. One evening he spotted rotting lettuce in the refrigerator. Furious, the Charlotte, N.C., bank executive threw her to the floor and jammed her head into the vegetable bin. Tami first found out about the dark side of her husband, a young California minister, when she placed a cassette into the tape player backward. Suddenly livid, he grabbed her by the hair and threw her against the wall. Recalls Sue Ellen, whose college-professor lover left her with broken bones in her face, hand and foot: “I was like a wounded animal. I crawled into a hole. It was so horrible I couldn’t believe it.”
THE SHADE TREE – Sheltering women, their children and pets.
- Domestic violence women’s cross to bear? (4) (vanguardngr.com)
- Domestic Abuse Survivor Wins Asylum Case (immigration.change.org)
- Understanding the Effects of Domestic Violence on Children (child-abuse.suite101.com)
- Mothers abused by partners see decline in mental health even after relationship ends (eurekalert.org)
- Surviving Domestic Abuse (psychcentral.com)
No portion of this web site may be copied, edited, or used in any form without prior permission.
© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009
All rights reserved.