I am speaking out against abuse on Friday at the launch of Family Violence Prevention Month 2013.
I am nervous.
I am grateful.
I am excited.
And I remember. All these emotions are present in my being present. They do not make me who I am. They are a measure of what I am feeling, in the moment. They are not me.
It was something I learned in my healing journey away from abuse. Anger is present. I am not anger. Sadness is present. I am not sadness. Regret is present. I am not regret.
Just as happiness, joy, gratitude are present. And in their presence I choose what I want more of in my life by choosing to breathe into those things that feed me, nurture, love and heal me. I choose where I shine my light.
Once upon a time I called myself an abused woman. It was not me. I did not own the abuse. I was not the abuse. I was a woman who was abused. It is not mine to hold onto, to claim, to own.
What is mine to hold onto, to claim, to own, is freedom. Freedom from abuse. Freedom from allowing another human being to determine my worth, to dictate my being free, to control my expression of me.
And in that expression I choose how my emotions control me. I choose how I control my emotions. I choose to set myself free.
in freedom, I accept and acknowledge and celebrate the fact that I create, permit or allow 100% of what is going on in my life. I am not a piece of flotsam tossed about by the waves of life, out of control, rudderless, directionless, powerless.
I am powerful beyond my wildest imaginings.
I am talented beyond my greatest dreams.
I have the capacity to make my own dreams come true and the ability to create the life I envision.
Isn’t that amazing? If I have that much power, if I am the one directing this ship, then I am capable of steering away from rough waters, and, weathering any storm. I am able to chart my course, change my path, adapt and shift my direction — as and when I choose.
No one has me locked down or dialled into the coordinates of my life. I do. it’s my choice to not change direction and to change direction. It’s my decision to take A to B or Y to Z.
It’s my life.
When I was in that relationship that was killing me, it didn’t feel like that. Like I had the power, because I didn’t. I had given it up. Allowed myself to fall so far into the distress and dis-ease of his abuse that I could no longer see or feel or even hear my voice of reason, my voice of knowing, my voice of power calling me to rise up and throw off the yoke of his abuse. I had become so blinded by the power of my fear of breaking free, I could not stand up and step free.
And so I fell.
It didn’t feel like a willing fall. It wasn’t that I wanted it to hurt so bad I couldn’t make it stop. It was that I had lost all sense of who I was, where I was, what I was doing and going and being. I was lost.
That’s the thing about abuse. In its grip, you lose all sense of direction, all sense of self, all sense.
Abuse is insidious.
Hopes. Dreams. Spirit. Lives.
It robs us of our will to live. It steals away our heart’s-desire to create, to conceive, to be free. It destroys self-worth, tears apart families, rips apart homes.
Abuse is wrong.
And if you can’t stop it, then get help. Reach out for support. Call someone. Talk to someone. Find someone, something to hold onto that will shine a light on the darkness of where you’re at so that you can find yourself swimming free of the dark and dangerous waters pulling you under.
Abused or abuser, abuse hurts.
Abused or abuser, there is help. Out there, beyond the dark, dank depths of the shame and fear and horror of what is happening in your life.
When I was in that relationship, I believed there was nowhere else for me to be, nowhere I could run to get away. I believed I was all alone.
I wasn’t alone. And there was lots that could be done to stop it. But I was too lost, too scared, too ashamed to see, it had to start with me. I had to choose to change directions, stop my drift and reset my course away from what was killing me.
I couldn’t do it alone. I didn’t have to.
I needed help and support to stop the abuse in my life. And in stopping it in my life, in you stopping it in yours, we create a ripple that begins to move out into the world inspiring change all over the place.
And that’s the thing about abuse — for it to be present, anywhere in the world, we must all in some way collude in its presence. For it to end, anywhere in the world, It takes all of us co-creating a world free of abuse to make it stop.