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Quite recently, via a Facebook message, I was asked:

“Maybe a little paranoid, but wondered if your abusers might see this post & somehow try to harm you/your child again. God bless you!”

1. I had no idea who this message was from (not on my FB friends list). 

2. What post was this person in reference?

I responded to the sender:

What post are you in reference to?

I figured that was simple enough.  If that person responds, I’ll go from there.

The individual responded quickly informing me which FB page I placed a comment.  My reply:

 To answer your first question. #1 – I have no control over what my past abusers may or may not read. #2 – My post was to hopefully educate others and give hope/support for anyone that may be in a similar situation #3 – I will not live in fear of the past. I am an advocate and publically speak of my story.

I am grateful for this message in my inbox.

I asked people the same question years ago, and I probably received a similar response I sent to this individual.  Years ago when I received such an answer, I probably – no – I know I was in ‘awe’ of that answer.  I thought, “How could someone just blatantly put out such information?”

Oh, what I have learned since I first questioned.

The message  led me to thoughts of just how far I have traveled.  The word ‘paranoid’ in the message kept ringing in my ear.  Victims of abuse have the right to feel anything they want.  But they should not have to live in fear.

When I moved back to Florida it was actually terrifying to me.   My last abuser still lived there.  He actually lived in the neighboring city.

I hid that fear from most people.  The best I could.  I never told anyone where ‘he’ lived.  Not even any of my family members, except my husband.

When the house was empty – kids in school – hubby at work – any noise of course was my ex trying to get me – so I thought.  When I would go to the store  – ‘he’ was following me – so I thought.   When my hubby and I would walk hand-in-hand down the street or in the mall, ‘he’ would be watching – so I thought

Life as I knew it was counseling, hard work, determination, and support from my husband.   Oh yeah – and being a mom, (new) wife, stepmom to four awesome kids, having a full-time job, taking care of the house.  And everything else in between.  Like the peanut butter & jelly inside the bread.  You know.  It has to be spread just right. 

Straightening up and peeling off the duct tape.

Then my son and I started volunteering together at Women in Distress.  We started telling our story in public for the first time.  We gained the power over ‘him’.  We took the power back.  We were named “Speakers of the Year”!

My opinion is any abuse survivor should speak about their story if they are comfortable in doing so, and only if it is safe for them and their family.

If you have read my past entries, you already know more of my story. 

I am grateful for that message in my inbox.  It caused me to reflect on this path of life, once again.  

Thank you .   As this post would not have occurred if it weren’t for your e-mail.

The path which guides me to help others.  I never want to take it for granted.

 And by the way, the comment I had made on FB?  It was in response to a Domestic Abuse article.  Please take a few moments to read this article

And here is my comment I posted on the FB page of the Mary Kay Foundation:

Thank you for publishing this article. I left my ex-husband and stayed gone. My ex-fiance I left 3 times before I stayed gone; but the last time he had also abused my child. That was my last straw. I broke the cycle of abuse by leaving my ex, but it wasn’t until I learned what a Healthy Relationship looked like (and lived it) that I could pass onto my child and break the cycle of abuse totally, so we would not be in an abusive situation again; nor would my child learn those behaviors in our home.
photo credits:  Idea Go, RAwich, Salvatore Vuono

 

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