Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley
For years you have lived in chaos. Daily beatings, screaming matches, dishes broken, not knowing from day to day or in some cases hour to hour what he is going to do next. The greatest relief you will ever feel is finally being free. Free of the screaming, the bruises, and most of all the fear that consumed every waking moment of your life. But one day, you wake up in your new found freedom and think what now?
The first 2 weeks after my abuser was put out of our house and in jail, night time was hard. Yes, I was in college and working at the college, yes I had my 2 kids and keeping up after them filled most of my time but I had a hard time adjusted to not having someone yelling at me every day or not having someone throwing things at me in a fit of rage. I knew I had to do something to get rid of my constant fear.
I found that one of the best things that helped me start to heal was letting my story be heard. The first time I let anyone know that I had been abused outside of my family was a young lady I befriended in my psychology class at college. We were studying about the effects of abuse on the brain. After class I went outside and she happened to be there. I sat with her and a casual conversation started about what we were learning. She eventually confessed to me about the way her boyfriend was starting to treat her. I saw myself in her place when my relationship started turning violent. I feared for her. I knew I had to do something. I poured out to her about the 2 ½ years I had just struggled through. Constant screaming, beating, depending on my parents, then being homeless with two young children. She understood where I was coming from and asked for advice.
Telling my story to her set me on the path to my own healing. A few months after, I started writing here at BellaOnline.com and my life changed. I started telling more and more of what I went through. I have connected with people all over the world through this website. I am finally able to proudly call myself a survivor instead of victim. I am no longer ashamed to let people know what I have been through. I let my story be heard in hopes of another woman or man will see that there is life after domestic violence and have the courage to stand up and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and get away. Dont be ashamed of being a survivor. Let your story be heard. If you are a victim, you can be a survivor. There is a way out, there is a way to away from him!