My Past Doesn't Define Me

Survivor Stories

I would like to start my story-first and foremost with my present-because the past does not define me. I live, breathe, thrive and am alive today. Today, I am strong, smart, kind and worthy of love and success. I am presently safe, respected and in a place to share my story. I realize that many are not. I am grateful for my present and respect my journey from the past. But I no longer live there.

Recalling (some of) My Youth

I recall several instances in my youth. One very specific event with my mother being thrown down the stairs. I didn’t understand what was going on at the time, but I know the man was mad and I know there was substance use involved. I know that never should have escalated to violence, but I didn't know that then. I remember the cops coming, my mother leaving, and me just watching it all. I remember staying in that house with a man I saw do this to her. Thankfully, I was left alone. Physically safe, but emotionally, it all was wrong. In some weird way it was almost reinforcing what I saw was right. Then and now, I know it wasn’t.

"She knew that making the decision to leave someone who has mentally traumatized you doesn't hurt for just one second"

Later in Life

As a young woman myself, I remember a relationship which quickly escalated with words. Yelling. SCREAMING. A few times pushing. One time where I fought back. There was a time where a knife was thrown-luckily at the floor. There was that time.

A friend I am forever thankful for-helped me to get out of my abusive relationship. She reminded me I am worthy of so much more and encouraged me along the way because she knew that making the decision to leave someone who has mentally traumatized you doesn't hurt for just one second. She assured me that my future ahead held whatever greatness I was willing to work for. Then, I ended it. He moved out and life went on, to much bigger and better things.

Being a Friend During Domestic Violence

A recent friend, mother of four, experiencing so much mental, emotional and financial abuse. Him-in a constant need of control. A man viewed as a leader in the community. Me-reminding her she is worthy of so much more. Watching her bravely leave, gaining her self esteem and confidence, but battling so much with the financials and logistics of it.
None of these things are acceptable and never should they be tolerable. You have value. You have worth. You matter and deserve happiness, safety and respect.
You are loved, you are worth it, and you are meant for so much more.
Someone will listen. Please reach out to a family member or trusted friend so you can begin the healing process too. It's a tough road to take, but it'll be worth it in the end.
The National Domestic Abuse Hotline-1-800-799-7233.
Do it for your safety. For your loved ones. For your life.