October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
I am a survivor.
Years ago, I was abused physically, mentally and emotionally. I fell silent for a long time. While the outer signs weren’t the black eyes or broken limbs, I encountered name-calling, cuts, hits, a broken spirit and inner turmoil.
I changed on the outside; I often changed my clothes, hairstyles, and I wore fake smiles, but I could not change the pain on the inside.
Once I realized my true value and worth, I was able to move beyond my pain and help others overcome theirs.
Seasons of Change Explained
Leaves can’t speak and neither can houses but they both have a story to tell.
When we consider the leaves on the trees, we think of them going and growing through various seasons. In the spring they bud and sprout new signs of life. As the summer season approaches, they turn the greenest of greens with the markings similar to veins that help hold the leaf covering together.
As the fall season approaches, the leaves begin to change colors, fall from the trees and become dry and brittle.
When old woman winter arrives, the signs of leaves that still remain on trees are very few unless they are one of the winter bushes, such as evergreens.
Houses can be brand new from the ground up, or historic with antique fixtures and moldings that are oftentimes worth more than modern-day houses.
With newer houses, everything is new and there are new beginnings and stories to unfold as they become occupied. With older houses there are still signs of age such as memories of occupants, foundation shifting, or having to replace/refurbish walls, floors, windows and/or doors.
But the one thing that usually overshadows it all is the fact that the older house often has more value when assessed carefully.
Why am I talking about houses and leaves telling unspoken stories? Because much like seasons of change, there are also seasons of pain.
Victims often fall deeply silent in the wells of their pain, that they literally think there is no way out or are afraid of what lies on the other side of the door that leads to Change.
Those who encounter domestic abuse don’t always wave a flag and you don’t see physical signs of their abuse because abuse doesn’t always have physical scars, but it often lies beneath the surface with mental anguish and oftentimes, suicidal thoughts to end the pain.
I know this because I have been there.
Sometimes all it takes is someone to carefully assess the smiles, conversations or lack thereof, environment and/or how the person changes their behavior patterns, to determine if they need help.
There is a positive way out of the suffering and there are so many people that care about you.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, please remember these things:
- Don’t be afraid to let someone know about your pain.
- You have a voice speak from the depths of your pain and discover the power of your voice. It is beautiful; you just need to use it.
- Lift your head and know that you ARE worthy of self-love, of being loved, and of having a peace of mind. You are beautiful.
If you need help, use your voice; if you know someone that needs help, help them to find theirs, work to end the silent suffering.