Out of the Darkness: The Torment of Domestic Violence
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For some of us at Rejuvenations, that means the air often lingers with reminders of our own struggles. The following is an excerpt from a blog written in October of 2018 by our own Sase Fleenor, recounting her journey out of a physically, verbally, and mentally abusive relationship.
If you or a loved one feel trapped in an abusive relationship, know that Rejuvenations offers an open door and a safe space. We will listen to you, we will cry with you, and we will help you find a way out. If you are unable to make it to us to seek refuge, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Once upon a time, I believed I was worthless. I believed there was nothing important about me. I believed I had no quality within my soul. I believed I had nothing to give. Through insecurities and self-doubt, I became a shadow of who I was made to be. In the process, I walked hand in hand with a man who slapped me, choked me, bit me; a man who threatened me was always just a foot step away. I was tormented physically, verbally, financially, and mentally. I grew afraid to shower, afraid to be naked in my own home. I was afraid to buy groceries. I was afraid to get in a car. I was afraid to be around people.
In great moments of deep-forgotten strength, I would speak out, only to pay for it behind the french doors of my bedroom, confined by my own front door.
I was told to try harder. I was told that I was the problem. I was told that marriage was hard. I was told to pray. I was told to quit focusing on the bad. I was told my mouth was the problem.
It was my family that was our problem. It was his job that was at fault. I said the wrong things. I embarrassed him. From believing I was smart to knowing I was stupid, I stood in a mess that I thought I made. I left, only to go back, time and time again.
I was not believed.
Nine years. Over 3000 days. I had fear as my first emotion. I had anxiety as my second. I could not catch my breath. I could not sleep. I could not eat. I was a dim light of a little girl. I became frozen and confused. I could not live one more second.
Until I could.
Nothing you ever say justifies abuse. Nothing you ever do justifies abuse. You do not deserve anything that creates fear. It will never be okay, but, you will be. I promise, your heart will be more strong. Your mind will be more clear. Your soul will sing.
You are not alone.
You are worthy.
You have value.