As the taxi entered the highway I started to shake. Knowing that one life was going to end finally and not knowing where my future was going to start at.
I was beginning the road to being a survivor instead of a victim.
And I was terrified.
When I walked through the doors of the shelter my heart was breaking. I had to admit defeat. I couldn’t change my abuser. I couldn’t help him sort out his anger anymore. My spirit had already been shattered from years of emotional and verbal abuse. I wore no scars, my body wasn’t bruised yet I was as damaged as anyone else residing in those hallowed walls.
We were the same.
It made no difference the colour of our skin, our age, our sexual preference. We were all struggling to understand why. Why we allowed someone else to take our power. Why we had stopped fighting back. And why did it take us so long to leave a bad situation.
Just as abusers resemble each other, so do the victims of abuse. Without some one to talk to, a place to go, a safety net many will never escape.
The good news though is with the safety net a victim can become a survivor. Learning that you don’t have to except abusive behaviours is a hard lesson. The hidden scars don’t leave, but they fade with time changing from a painful reminder to a victory patch. Surviving abuse and becoming stronger is how the circle begins to break away.
Abuse is one of the few circles that must be broken.