Hope for Domestic Violence Survivors
Updated: Jan 2, 2020
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month - a cause that is near and dear to my heart as a domestic violence survivor. This month I went public through my social media announcing a special fundraiser through items purchased in my shop. For each order, I will be donating a portion of the proceeds to Safe Haven - Tarrant County, an organization that provides free assistance to those in need.
For years, many have never known my encounters with domestic violence. It’s not something I let define me.
It took me a long time - maybe longer than I’d like to admit to see that there was a problem. Years ago, I let someone treat me in the worst way imaginable and sadly, I let it happen over and over again. I though we could discuss, or work on our problems, but that’s only productive if the other persons invested too. That was all until one day I woke up and thought differently.
It was the year I finally started to make friends in my job, as a Kindergarten teacher, and I had a class of students that I truly loved and cared about. We had moved across the country and with all of the stress I had lost touch with most of my former friends. Maybe it was this new found support system that caused me to realize that I had an out, that I didn’t need for this to continue. There was a sweet student in my class that year that grabbed my hand and noticed a bruise I somehow didn’t notice. He asked me sweetly what I did to myself, and in that moment I realized I didn’t do that to myself… I had allowed someone else to do that to me. It took everything to hold the tears back and continue on with my day.
That night I couldn’t the look on that sweet boys face out of my mind and thought about the family I wanted to have and my horrifying marriage. How could I bring a child into a world with such turmoil and hate? How would he magically have patience with a child when he had no patience with me? And somehow through all the fear I picked myself up and promised myself it wouldn’t happen anymore.
I confided in my new friends, searched for apartments in secret, and within a week due to help from my amazing family and new friends I was out on my own in my own place starting my life all over again. (I felt silly for not confiding in those who loved me, and would do anything for me sooner, but I was so afraid to disappoint them.) It was absolutely terrifying, but that didn’t last forever. I found hope in my solitude - I read, I hoped, I dreamed, and meditated. I invested my heart and soul into my kindergarten class. Sometimes I’m not sure what my life would have been without that sweet group of kids.
After some of the wounds began to heal I signed up for online dating, fully prepared to look out for warning signs or just walk away from any relationship that didn’t serve me. And while I looked for the one, I finally figured out who I was… I took an art class, started working on my first novel, embarked on a journey in yoga, read the best books, and meet so many incredible people along the way. It wasn’t an instant success story and while I ventured to find out who I was and who I was meant to be I had a lot of set backs. Yet eventually, I met the true love of my life and new it was all worth it.
Now as I look at my life, I am so grateful I got the courage to take this leap that led me to a life I love. In February my husband and I will be welcoming our first baby. It fills me with such happiness that she can grow up in a happy home and witness a loving relationship based on respect.
While I am truly blessed to have this loving home and wonderful beginning to the next amazing chapter of my life, there are still so many who struggle out there. You never know what someone else’s story is. I’m forever grateful to all of those I encountered during that time of my life who showed nothing but love and compassion. If you’re the one experiencing it - reach out to others for help or look for local organizations that can provide support.
Let’s all spread some light and love this October. If you wish to purchase an item from my small shop and support a local organization please visit: www.chroniclesofapixie.etsy.com or access the shop through the tab at the top of this blog page.