Thursday, November 10, 2011

Surviving Domestic Violence

I have had much opportunity over the past six months to face again various emotional wounds that I sustained in my marriage. It seems that every facet of my life is offering the chance to test the limits of my healing. I have been disappointed with my inability to easily shake off the frustration and the fear that these challenges bring. I'm perfectly fine 99% of the time, but then something comes up that triggers all the old muck, and I feel like I've made no progress at all.

But as I have prayed about this and discussed it with two friends patient enough to listen to me, the Lord has shown me that I AM over it. I AM healed. I'm just going through the physical therapy part of my recovery. When something happens to stir up the muck at the bottom of my clear and placid pool, I realize that the muck is less and less each time. It settles more quickly. The twinges of pain from my healing emotional bones are becoming less, and they fade much more swiftly.

That is something to celebrate!

When I first began to recover from the nightmare I had been living, I vowed to myself, my children, and my God that I would NOT allow another dysfunctional relationship to take root in my life. I knew then as much as I know now that I have a responsibility to provide a safe haven for my daughters.

But I also vowed that I would not shut the door on relationships altogether. It is important to show my daughters how relationships SHOULD be, that it is not healthy for a person to rapid-fire from one relationship to another. That relationships should take time to grow, not be a whirlwind of infatuation spun by deceit or ignorance. That love is patience, consideration and caring, not attraction, hormones and a desperate need to be loved.

Do I need to be loved any less? Of course not. But I refuse to allow that to run my life.

Opening myself up to relationships (whether romantic or otherwise) is guaranteed to force me to face the pain of my past relationship wounds. I am guaranteed to make mistakes, to push the healing bones a little too hard. But it is not only okay, it is necessary to allow my heart and soul the time it needs to recover. Otherwise, I will just continue re-wounding myself.

While others might look at my slow pace and my grunts of pain with a critical eye, calling me hardened or overemotional, I don't need people who have never gone through what I am going through to tell me how I should be.

If they don't care about the depth of my wounds, if they are uncomfortable by the unpleasant aspects of my healing, that is not my concern. My concern is to be careful, rely on my Lord and God for support in the upcoming battles, and to do what I can to share what I feel and think so that others who live it can know they are not alone.

Someday, because of the Atonement of Christ, I expect I will wake up and realize that the pain is gone, and my recovery is complete.


  1. I can relate to this, having gone through several experiences that had to be lived to be understood. It took time for the wounds to heal, and that was sometimes frustrating, but the pain got less and less, and I have made a full-ish recovery from the hurts received.

    God bless, Silver Rain.

    1. I can also fully relate to this, I am disabled due to domestic violence for over 2 years now but only left 9 months ago because life with him was so unsafe for my kids and I. I am shattered physically and mentally it was only 3 years of abuse but it feels like a lifetime, my life is full of debilitating pain, I am no longer working because of my injury and am turning to my art for solace I love my children and we have grown from this horrendous experience.
      One day I will get there. I was with this person 14 years ago and left when I was pregnant 9 1/2 years ago, we made a reconciliation 3 1/2 years ago and got married the nightmare begun and didn't end till I walked out on all my belongings with the kids.
      Never again

  2. For me, as I approached finding new relationships, there would be the great fear that I would step into the same kind of relationship I left. It took time and some thankfully clear messages (thanks to being right spiritually) for those fears to subside. I dearly hope I'll never have to do it again.

    I do hope you and your daughters will continue to find peace, SR. You are most certainly a case of being stronger after the break.

  3. Perhaps you never expected this post to affect someone like me: a mother of five in a strong marriage--and yet it has. I realized in reading this that sometimes I put my need for love above my duty to BE a loving wife and mother and that hurts my family. Because of the Lord's sacrifice, I can function without having that need filled perfectly by my imperfect husband. The Savior can fill in the gaps. If I hold out for my husband to love me perfectly, I'm giving up both an opportunity to accept the imperfect love he is offering, and the perfect love my Savior is offering. Thank you for helping me come to this beautiful insight. I wish you success in your relationships.

  4. Thank you for sharing your journey. And you're right, one day, you'll just wake up and the pain will be gone. We all heal at our own pace... pushing too hard makes it worse... Not pushing enough we don't grow. And only we (as in each of us individually) know how much is just the right amount.

  5. Hello,

    I am Belinda Geiger. I am a blogger encouraging survivors of domestic violence toward self-love and recovery at

    I am also Moderator of the Domestic Violence forum at In this capacity I have begun to draft a Declaration for Domestic Peace

    The goal is to have a grass-roots movement inviting/encouraging changes in laws, rules, and policies, etc., which would improve the protection and treatment of the battered and their children; encourage communities to create more safe houses and safe schools for victims; and generally raise awareness so that bystanders and neighbors can report domestic violence without fear of retribution.

    We expect to deliver it to Legislators, Senators, Congresspersons, Community leaders, and on line communities and news sites.

    If you are interested in adding your comments or suggestions, please check out the article at: or my personal blog, www.bagladychat, please feel free to do so.


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