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It took years and countless hours of therapy, changing my major to psychology and working in a domestic violence shelter to find myself again, and today and for many years before, I've remembered this time in my life with a mix of shock and awe. I still can't believe I treated myself so poorly and put my life at risk but I did and it's what I carry, and while it doesn't hurt any longer and hasn't for years it's served as a reminder of how fragile young girls are, how silence is deadly, and how I had to learn to love myself as an adult and for the first time.
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Thank you for visiting Violence UnSilenced, a speak-out platform for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. If you are a survivor and it is safe to do so, we encourage you to share your story here. If you are not a survivor but you want to support those who are, please click around this site and find out more about what you can do.
You're right. He was an asshole. But that doesn't mean what he did was okay or that you deserved it. Congratulations on breaking your silence.
Each time you blame yourself for staying, honor yourself for getting out. It's the hardest thing, honoring ourselves, but you deserve to be honored. Thank you for sharing your story.
I'm so glad you found that courage to get away from him, and that you have used your life to heal yourself and help others. You are amazing.
What a harrowing story. I'm so glad you found the strength to leave when you did. I hope you are doing well now.
Your experience has probably saved hundreds of people from going through the same. You've taken an awful situation and worked with it by learning more about what makes people tick and taking the therapy route, etc. You deserve a standing ovation for going back down those stairs because in that very moment, somewhere inside your broken spirit was a small voice saying, "You're worth so much more than this" and you LISTENED!
dear god Jen, I had no idea...
I'm grateful that you transformed into who you've become...I'm not saying that I would wish this on anyone, but I can't help but think that what type of woman would you be if it hadn't.
I love you for sharing this Jen...
I am so glad you found the inner strength and love for yourself to leave the abuse. Thank you for sharing
RT @ChiNurse RT @MaggieDammit: New domestic violence survivor story by @oneplustwo: http://tinyurl.com/d75jpy Please go show support & RT.
I don't know how to explain this, but your post put into words my teenage relationship, my first love (or I thought so at the time), so clearly that it was like you held a mirror up to my past.
"It started out as things always start. Full of excitement and anticipation, new experiences and a mad, mad love. And then one day and over a series of many days it grew dark until there was nothing left but a gaping hole filled with black.
It’s easy to simply say he was an asshole, but he was much more than that. He was controlling, violent, terribly cruel. It began slowly, verbally tearing me down during an argument, threatening to leave. As I grew more emotionally attached his behavior escalated, grabbing my wrist a bit too hard, screaming in my face. "
That's how it started, exactly how it started. I submitted my own story here, and I tried to explain that but I couldn't get it out right.
wow........so much of what I have written on this subject sounds so much like what you have written... we have walked a lot of the same dark path. thank you so much for sharing.
Thank you, Jen, for sharing such an emotional journey with us. Bless you & all of the men and women that you've helped while working at the domestic violence shelter.
Your description of the cumulative power of the destructive forces keeping the abused in a state of inertia is particularly powerful and moving. I was nodding in agreement throughout your statements.
Thank you for sharing, and for breaking free.
I learned something today that struck me as so important I came back here to mention it. There is power in team work. In sharing stories like yours, you bring together supporters to remind you that you are not alone.
We can be brought low by a mean world or we can fight the good fight, in good conscience. This story shows how you escaped a world where you were a victim and stepped out into the world as a victor!
"Rah! Rah! Rah!" Screams the crowd!
YOU LEFT!!! you were young, , insecure, but you loved yourself enough to leave. Who here hasn't done something stupid. Something they regret? You are a winner. You chose life. By your strength you are showing others like you that they are not alone. they too can find courage to leave. WHOO HOO!
silence IS deadly but you have taken away its power...you are truly a hero and i'm so glad you got out and are able to help others.
What you said about teenage girls being fragile...they are, we were and inexperience has led so many into dangerous relationships. But how do we
prepare a young woman for the pitfalls of nasty relationships. No one wants to be warned or listen to the wisdom of experience...everyone wants to believe that the man we love is special and would never hurt us. Betrayal comes in all forms but the worst has to be from someone let in close, loved and trusted.
Thank you for sharing your experiences and I'm so glad you have broken free of the trauma and pain, physical and emotional. All the best in your future.
I think your line "silence is deadly" is what this site is all about, isn't it? Thank you for sharing.
Someone not so long ago put it better than I've ever heard it put before, right here in one of these comment sections. "The question is not why the victims stay, it's why the abusers abuse. Asking 'Why do they stay?' is effectively blaming the victim for the abuse."
You may never understand your reasons for staying. But there wasn't any reason for him to treat you the way that he did. Or more accurately, there was no excuse.
Your story is helping more people than you'll ever know. Because you told it, because you added your voice to the others that have spoken -- and will speak -- here, someone is going to realize that she doesn't have to live this way, that it's not okay for him to hit her and most of all that she's not alone in the world.
Because of you and your story, one more woman will not become one more statistic. And for that we all owe you one. I wish it could have been easier for you, that you'd never had a story to tell. But since it didn't work that way, All I can say is thank you. For giving a voice to those without one.
thanks all, your thoughts reaffirm what I know - and also how many women struggle with this sort of situation at some point in their lives. i wish i knew then what i know now!
RT @MaggieDammit New domestic violence survivor story by @oneplustwo : http://tinyurl.com/d75jpy Please go show support and RT if u can.
New domestic violence survivor story by @oneplustwo : http://tinyurl.com/d75jpy Please go show support and RT if u can.
thank you for speaking about how you felt as though the abuse was a burden you had to carry. it resonated with me, it is the power of speaking out.
Thank you for sharing your story. I am happy you found your way out of it. I will be sharing this story with my teenage daughter in hopes she stays out of a relationship like this and if she one day finds herslf in one, she'll recognize it early, get out, and not keep it quiet. Thanks!
Talking about this is sometimes harder than having survived it. You’ve done both and that’s a windfall to others.
Not only by sharing your story, but by helping others in your daily work. Your bravery is a great example to others of what can – and does – come after.
I hate that you felt like you were at fault, that shame kept you from speaking out. I know it's a more common reaction than we think, that young girls and boys are incredibly vulnerable in their innocence. I'm proud of you for speaking out, and so glad you have learned to love yourself again.
I am so sorry you had to go through all of that, but even more, I am amazed at how you turned it around so that you could help others in the same situation. As rotten as things have been for me at times, I think that if I hadn't had those experiences, I would have become someone completely different. Someone who wouldn't have cared to become a nurse. Bad experiences teach us a lot about humanity, and I thank you so much for using yours to help others.
Thank you for sharing something so intimate with us. I have recently come to love myself after years of loathing myself every day. I have been given new confidence. Sharing is hard still, as it means I have to relive the past, but it is the strength I have gained from others knowing I am helping them. Again, thank you for sharing, you never know who you are reaching and touching for the better.
thanks for sharing its a brave and hard thing to do, I so can relate to alot of what you said, its so hard to gain back your self confidence when someone has pushed you down so low, the one thing I have learned is WE don't understand why we stayed but WE always feel like we need to expalin, if a person has never been there, there is no excalmation, we did what we did because at the time its all we knew. Thans for sharing your story I am glad you got out alive.