I had a whole post written to celebrate my decade of freedom, but by the time I got to the end of it, all I could feel was grief.
Allow me to explain.
Today marks the ten year anniversary of being out of domestic violence. And, while I am incredibly grateful to God that the kids and I are no longer subject to daily abuse, it comes with a heaviness...
This is not an anniversary anyone should ever have to celebrate.
This is not the way it was designed to be.
Abuse and violence should never have to be experienced.
And, yet, it is. With every minute of every day, someone is being violated.
Our child's friend.
Abuse happens to people of all ages, all races, all colours, and all religions.
It is a horrific way to live.
And, yet, millions and millions of people live that way. Or, have lived that way. Or, have been a victim of some type of violence at one time or another.
The worst part about abuse is not physical harm.
It's not even emotional harm.
It's the silent suffering.
It's having no one to talk to and being terrified of the ramifications that will inevitably happen if you do talk.
It's the unknown.
Living in the abuse becomes all that is known. It feels safer to live with what is known than to leave and be faced with the unknown.
It's easier to keep him calm when you're there.
You can read him when you're there.
The day I went to the Police and reported the way the kids and I were being treated, was the most difficult day of my life since the day he entered it.
In the hour between me making the report and him being arrested, I was completely numb.
Instead of going home, I took refuge at the Pastor's house.
And, he almost caught me there.
That would have been explosive.
Finally, I got word from the Police that he was arrested.
We had escaped.
But, not everyone does.
That is what today really celebrates - the day I chose to no longer suffer in silence.
I didn't do it alone, and it was only by the grace of God.
You don't have to stay silent.
Talk to someone.
Call a Help Line.
Call the Crisis Centre.
If you are in immediate danger, call the Police.
Break Your Silence.