There are moments in life that change you forever; define you, indefinitely. Sure, wounds heal, but just as the old saying goes, “The scars remain.”
For some, the most definitive moment that has forever altered life’s reality is when the person they loved and trusted most unleashed their aggression and hit them. This life changing event is so horrible it turns air into acid, burning a hole in your chest. With each breath, the agony pierces and twists deeper until it devours you.
Survivors of violence can attest to how difficult it truly is to keep going after an incidence with their significant other. Your life is turned upside down and becomes chaotic. Feelings betray you, or at least that’s what you deem true. You start to second guess every decision you’ve ever made including the simple ones like dinner.
A mad rush of guilt veils and losses are mourned. The loss of your partner, your lover, your best friend, your self-esteem, and your sanity. Anxiety and at times, depression take hold and can paralyze. Loneliness consumes creating this frightened and fragile person.
Life is now a charade of a fake painted on smiles and counterfeit pleasantries that drain every ounce of energy you have. By the end of the day there is no strength left to fight off the demons that now own you. So the darkness is allowed to engulf the mind and leaves you desperate to find an escape, if only for a brief period.
You don’t dare cry out for help and certainly won’t let anyone learn the truth. Human connections are irrefutably out of the question. Your too damaged. Emotionally, mentally, and sometimes physically. Shame destroys any confidence as the value of your self-worth rapidly declines extinguishing any hope of recovery.
As time goes on, identity is lost as you are now defined as, “That person.”
The inevitability of seclusion becomes a life-preserver and you cling to it with relentless desperation. Solitude befriends in such weird and strange ways, yet offers no comfort or satisfaction, only thoughts of loss and despair.
It’s unknown how much time passes before the healing is acknowledged. The downward spiral is sporadic and irrational. Sometimes the screaming in your head drowns out the restoration, forbidding you to find peace. But it is there, somewhere. You must keep searching.
There are good days. You take them when the occasion allows it. At times, to your utmost surprise, genuine laughter escapes the lungs and bestows the air with the joyous sound you believed lost forever.
There are bad days. And they are just that, bad. Foolish choices will be made, baseless accusations will overflow, and unfounded self-torture will brand. These new wounds will create more scars. Try to use them as camouflage, hiding the carcasses of the demons that you battled.
Defined by an act based off someone else’s behavior is unjust and certainly not fare. Yet, there it is. However, accepting failure and giving up simply isn’t an option. Take the good with bad. Learn from it and trudge on. The choices made by others that have affected your way of life are challenging to overcome. Just remember to breathe through the pain. Eventually, everything is going to be alright.
October is National Domestic Violence Month and I apologize for this being late. The month is dedicated to educate and help those who are facing the unimaginable. If you or someone you know is a victim, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.