Oct. 19, 2017

Domestic Violence #MeToo

Domestic Violence is way too tolerated and far too ignored. I’ll not ever stop talking about this. It’s important that we continue to speak up and speak out.

Before I get into the back story, I want you all to know that God came through for me and my children. He will come through for you too.

I left my ex-husband in 1994, with three small children under the age of five. I had $300 to my name that I used for the deposit on our apartment.

Five months after we moved in, I was offered a job as manager of those apartments.

We were divorced close to a year and a half later.

Here's my story.

I have reached a point where I feel that God allows what we need in order to gain strength, maturity, and wisdom. I accepted a long time ago that I will always have some form of C-PTSD in part because of my childhood and because of experiences I have had with men.

This is why I won’t ever stop sharing my stories. Because by me sharing mine, I may save you, your daughters, nieces, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and friends from ever having to go through and share something similar.

God bless you all!

It was Mother's Day. May 1994.

He came home late at night drunk and high as became the norm. Accusing me of the things he himself was doing wrong. There was no argument. Just his accusations that weren't true. I had three small children and no car. We lived with his family. What was I doing wrong?


But he was doing plenty wrong. He was drunk and high. All his negative perceptions and hatred towards himself were transferred onto me.

He grabbed me. Baby boy was asleep in his cradle. Baby girls were asleep in the next room. He released me. Then grabbed the vacuum cleaner to throw at me. He dropped it when I screamed not to hurt the baby whose cradle I was standing in front of to protect him as he slept. This man grabbed me again, slapped me, and threw me on our bed. He wrapped his hand around my hair so tight, while he punched my body with the other. My neck was bending back further and further.

By the Grace of God, this man fell to the ground in a crack between our bed and the wall. I was able to swing my foot around and put my heel straight into his throat. I had him pinned. But his hand still had a vice grip on my hair. I decided to use it as a bargaining chip. He wanted me to get my foot out of his throat, and I wanted him to get his hand out of my hair. He finally let go. I get up, I grab my baby boy out of his cradle, he blocks the doorway, telling me he'll let me by if I promise not to call the police. And of course I said I wouldn't. But you better believe as soon I got through that doorway, I ran to the phone.

And just like most women who have battered women syndrome, I went back, and he went to jail one more time. Thankfully by December of that year, I had completely removed myself from the situation.

Let me backtrack though.

There is more. And as I said....This was not the only time, it wasn't even the second, third, or fourth time. It went on for years and got progressively worse.

On this night the police took pictures of all of the marks on my body, of my ripped clothes, and my bruised face. I had to go to the emergency room and be examined by a physician there who informed me that if this person had pulled my neck to even a centimeter more than he already had, I would not be here writing this today.
I was unable to lift my head straight up for a week.

Later on when I filed for divorce and custody of our children, the lawyer told me that in the last year of the abuse had I not been calling the police and creating a paper trail, this man would have gotten half custody of my children. Thankfully, I was awarded full physical custody.
He rarely visited them and there was barely any child support. After awhile, the visits stopped completely. I came to realize it was better that way.

To be clear here...
I am not a victim, I am a warrior.

Over the years I realized that because of his family of origin and things he dealt with as a child, he was messed up, bad.

As for me and my family of origin, a father who abandoned me as a child, a narcissistic mother who pretty much slapped me, threw things at me, and beat me every day for whatever reason she felt justified it from as far back as I can remember, a stepfather who not only physically and emotionally abused me, but sexually abused me as well. A mother who covered it up and blamed me for it... I won't even go there with the verbal assaults I had to deal with on a daily from them.

That pretty much explains why I would put up with somebody beating the crap out of me on the regular.

That is where extensive therapy comes in handy.

I have found that the only way to move on and really live and be joyful, is simply to forgive.

I'll never forget. But I have certainly forgiven. That's called God.

If you are in an abusive relationship, and the man you are with refuses to do anything about his problem or refuses to admit he even has a problem, or he justifies it because that's what he was taught in his family...

Get out now!

If you are with somebody who has a volatile temper, someone who has been abused as a child, comes from an alcoholic family, or witnessed abuse as a child, the only hope to salvage the relationship is for that person to get into therapy.

If he does not want to get into therapy, then you get every book known to man on the subjects of child abuse, being a child of an alcoholic, narcissism, and domestic violence as well. And you read them. Together!

Remember it's not your fault. And it's not your job to fix him. It's his. He has to choose to rehabilitate himself. And if your partner chooses to get better, and he really works on himself, there is hope.

You must set boundaries and rules and your significant other must follow and respect every one of them.

I repeat...
Get out now!

You matter. You are worthy.
You deserve better. You deserve to be loved, respected, and to feel safe.

Remember that!

- Lisa Alvarez