…then this message is for you. I do not remember any time in the past that I have heard so many stories about abuse that angered me. My anger is not at the abusers this time however but for those who are being or have been abused. The idea that we are “survivors” is no longer acceptable to me. No one “survives” abuse. We are abuse “conquerors” and I intend to explain why I am so fired up.
I have heard from others and read so many stories
You are abuse conquerors who had the strength to overcome the abuse, to serve as examples to others that they can do the same and to inspire all of us to search for that spirit within to overcome any obstacle that comes our way.this week about those who have successfully removed themselves from their abusive situations and created for themselves a life that shows their strong spirit, drive and desire to have a life that is loving and purposeful for themselves and in many cases, their children as well. There is the woman whose spouse shot her two children in the head and went after her because she was trying to leave. She has created a new life for herself and her children who have recovered from their physical injuries. There is a woman who left her abuse situation and is living in her car because she has not been able to find the help that she needs just yet to begin her new life under better circumstances.
There is the story of the woman whose husband was threatening her with a gun who took a risk and called the police and when the police arrived, he turned the gun on them and he was shot and killed. And there is the woman who was abused repeatedly as a child and teen and who is fighting her way through putting it all behind her by addressing the issues in every way possible and on every varying level.
None of these women or any other person who has left an abusive situation is a survivor. None of these women or any other person who has faced abuse is weak or fragile. They may have felt as though they were weak or fragile or stupid for having gotten into such a situation in the first place but they were all smart enough to know that they couldn’t just leave and strong enough to endure until they found the answers that they needed in order to be able to escape.
For those of you who have successfully removed yourselves from any kind of an abusive situation please know that we understand that this is only the beginning of another whole fight. That fight does not just deal with finding a new life regarding home, work, raising children, etc. but also dealing with all of the psychological effects that the abuse created. Even decades later, with lots of hard work, there will still be triggers that take you back to the past, to reliving the abuse and hurting all over again.
So please know that I will no longer subscribe to the concept that you are “survivors”. You have had to fight battles that most people will never know or understand just to free yourselves. You have had to go inside to deal with the effects of that abuse to face how the abuse has changed you and have had the strength to take back your power and your life. You are abuse conquerors who had the strength to overcome the abuse, to serve as examples to others that they can do the same and to inspire all of us to search for that spirit within to overcome any obstacle that comes our way. That is not surviving; that’s conquering.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, you can seek help through the National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-SAFE (7233) – 1.800.787.3224 (TTY).
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Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.