Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Abuse hurts. Everyone — November is Family Violence Prevention Month

12 Comments

cdvcI believe in Love. I believe in the power, the majesty of this energy that wraps our world in so much beauty it takes our breath away.

Once upon a time… I believed in Fairytales.

I believed Prince Charming would come calling…and he did… but he didn’t ride up on a white charger, He drove up in a Red Ferrari and it was sleek and fast and he swept me off my feet and we drove off on the road to happily ever after, and I was in love like never before.

And then, he started to lie – but I couldn’t see the lies – my eyes were clouded in the rosy glow of my dreams come true. I was lost in Love.

‘Cause here’s the thing – when you’re falling in love, the last thing you’re looking for is lies and deceit. In love, all you see and feel and hear, is what you believe to be true — his love reflected back at you. Until the first time you suspect, and then you wonder, but he (or she) doesn’t admit to the lies, he (or she) admits only to love. So you breathe a sigh of relief and fall back into that place where love is all you need to believe in him.

And then, it happens again. You wonder and he denies and while you think maybe you’re wrong, you don’t actually let yourself think he’s lying. Because to do that would be to question all the things he’s told you about who you are and what you’re capable of that you want so desperately to be true.

And so, you fall.

And he continues to smother you in your heart’s desire until it’s too late to see that while his right hand was holding out love, his left was getting ready to cast a mighty blow of fear and terror as it spun a dark, deep web of lies and deceit all around you. by the time you see the blow coming, it’s too late. You’re already lost in the mists of abuse. You’re already lost.

When I was in love with the man who abused me, I learned to tolerate abuse in small, imperceptible ways until abuse became the norm. I kept struggling to keep the vision of my Prince charming alive as he kept spinning his web of confusion, lies, deceit, fear, terror and shame.

Eventually, shame consumed me. I was so ashamed of what had become of my life, I could not tell the truth, I could not tell anyone. and I was too proud to even believe I could be wearing a label called, Abused Woman.

In my shame, Silence consumed me. Silence is a powerful co-conspirator of abuse.

In my silence, I let go of everything I ever was, and everyone I loved – because I believed I didn’t deserve Love – I believed I deserved only what he gave me, only what he told me I could have — and that was his lies.

And then, one day, he told me we had to leave. He was fleeing the police. I wanted to get him away from those I loved. They deserved life free of him. I didn’t.

And so we disappeared and for almost four months my daughters waited for the police to come and tell them they had found my body. And I waited to die.

Every morning I would stand by the river that ran in front of the place where we were hiding out and I would imagine that I could unhook gravity’s hold upon my body and of its own volition it would fall forward into the river and be washed out to sea. And in that act, all memory of my having been here on earth would be erased and my daughters would be free of remembering I had ever existed.

but I couldn’t do it, the only truth I had left was the fact I love my daughters, and I couldn’t make a lie of that truth by taking my own life.

And so I turned away from the river and as I did,  a miracle drove up in a blue and white police car

and I was set free

I was lost, frightened, alone, broken and broke. I had lost my home, my job, my life savings, my belongings, my relationship with my daughters and my self-esteem and self worth. I had 72 cents in my pocket, a few clothes and my golden retriever.

I had no choice — I had to reach out for help

I had to trust that when I did, help would reach back. And it did and I was given the gift of rebuilding, reclaiming my life.

Falling in love should never wind up on the road to hell – but it happens. It happened to me.

It’s not something I asked for, invited, expected or wanted. It’s not something I planned for or desired

We don’t go searching for abuse. we go looking for love. And that’s the thing, an abusive relationship is never about love – it is always about abuse.

Healing from abuse is not about healing from a love affair gone bad – it’s about healing from abuse. Because when someone lies and deceives and manipulates and hurts others to get what they want we need to call it what it is — Abuse.

Abuse is wrong. Abuse hurts. Abuse destroys. Abuse kills.

It is possible to heal from abuse. I have and in my healing I know, ending abuse – is possible.

I learned a lot of things on that journey through hell– I learned to forgive, to breathe and to trust in Love not abuse. I learned that Miracles happen and in their happening, anything is possible.

and here’s the thing — it doesn’t take a miracle to end abuse. It takes us, all of us, working together, committed to creating a world free of abuse to make it happen.

We can do it. We must because abuse hurts. Everyone.

Once upon a time, I was an abused woman.

Today, I am free and I am grateful. Because I know no matter how hard someone else wanted me to keep believing in fairytales — I believe in Love. Love is and always will be the answer.

******************************************

November is Family Violence Prevention Month. I am speaking at the launch today and the above is taken from my speech.

 

Advertisements

Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

12 thoughts on “Abuse hurts. Everyone — November is Family Violence Prevention Month

  1. LG,

    your stories on this subject are completely and always compelling

    your messages on getting free, staying free and living free from abuse are strong messages

    but …

    but every time I read them, every time I see programs about ‘prevention’ of abuse in its many forms it seems directed at women – most often the victims – and so little attention directed at ‘prevention’ of abusers ….

    this is portrayed too often I think as a woman’s issue

    it isn’t

    it’s a mens issue

    how we raise boys, how we influence them to behave so they become men who treasure women rather than abuse them – that’s where the action is, that’s where change can take place

    how?

    I’m no expert, but it seems to me that teaching teachers to model different behaviours is important, as is the role of parents (especially when either parent comes from a family where abuse is/was present) … that’s where change can happen

    one boy at a time

    one home at a time

    one school at a time

    that, I am sure is where change has to take place. Sure, it needs to take place in TV production, video game images and a host of other things, but what can one person do about that? Not much. But every mom, every dad, can exert influence every day with their own kids, every week with school teachers and administrators

    violence, mostly, is perpetrated by men

    violence prevention, then, needs to be a boys issue

    how are we helping our boys grow up to be men who treat women differently

    I believe, that’s where the answer is.

    Cheers,

    Mark

    Like

    • Hi Mark — SAdly it’s true — women are most often the victims — and men the perpetrators.

      And what you write is true too — which is why today’s event speaks to all people getting engaged, everyone getting involved — and that includes the abusers.

      We teach people how to treat us — and teaching boys to grow into men who treat women differently means we have to teach them … how to treat us.

      And teaching girls to grow up and not accept abuse, to not be dictated too by advertising and teen pin-ups who would have them believe to be beautiful they must lose weight, dye their hair, wear the latest fashion means teaching them how to treat themselves as worthy, deserving, beautiful — just the way they are.

      Violence is an issue for everyone — it’s not just a woman’s issue — it’s all our issue — which is why, I believe there’s a role for all of us to play.

      Change has to take place everywhere — last night C.C. watched War of the World Z — I started and stopped. I couldn’t watch it. I dislike violence and couldn’t stand to be subjected to it for 2 hours.

      Instead, I came and worked on my speech some more. Because what I want people to know is — it happens. Family violence. Abuse.

      and to stop it — we have to stop doing the things we do to take it and create it.

      And to do that, I must speak up with what is true for me — and give voice to what is possible. Ending abuse. In my life and the world around me. Because… the answer is in all of it. Not just one side. It’s in everything we do to create a world free of abuse.

      Hugs,

      L

      Like

  2. I am so glad you were speaking out here and elsewhere, Louise. Thank you.

    Like

  3. Thank you for letting me know about the month! Somehow I gravitate to your blog daily. I connect with you. I guess I share the same platform. I am not sure I suffered the same abuse as you. Some may say that I got out in time. But I don’t think that you ever get over being abused. I am right there with your wanting to spread the news to other women who are stuck where we once were. Even though it was just a 3 year realationship for me. I was only engaged… something inside of me was left, strong enough to know that if I married him, I’d be lost forever. I think my biggest shame was not ever wanting anyone to know he’d spit on me in one of his earlier rages. It is funny… he came back… into my life, two years ago. I am not sure what made me answer his friend request… I wasn’t even sure if he was still alive. I hated him. But I did end up forgiving him. He allowed me to talk about the spitting, he knows I am writing a book… I told him he was my template for my own daughter, an example of how to run like the wind when you see the slightest sign of a tempter in a guy. It was affirming and he revealed a lot of his own abuse in his childhood. But he really interrupted my life. He had a sense of entitlement to me because he was my “first” so in the end… I realized that he hadn’t changed. The manipulation was still prevalent. I was the one who’d changed. I had a choice and a voice and it felt good. But the thing I want somehow to shout from the mountain tops is… I always had a choice and a voice… always. I was in control, I just didn’t know how to use my power back then.
    Thank you Louise for being a voice to young girls and even middle aged women… we need to let them know they have a choice!

    Like

    • Hello lovely Di — Abuse is abuse. there is no — oh well that was worse or mine was better. Abuse hurts. No matter what. I think it affects all of us differently — depending upon where we’re at, our age, our past, our circumstances — but no matter those factors — it hurts and it’s wrong and we must do whatever it takes to stop it in our lives.

      Forgiveness is one of the most powerful tools of ending abuse — and you have expressed it so incredibly well, and are living it so beautifully every day.

      And yes, we do. Need to let our daughters, our sisters, our people know… we have a choice. to live with abuse in our lives. Or not. And beyond that, we also need to let everyone know — we have the power to stop it. Now.

      Blessings to you my friend. May your day be filled with wonder and awe. May the beauty of your day take your breath away!

      Hugs

      Like

  4. I am full of admiration for you Louisexxx

    Like

    • It’s mutual Julie — Sometimes, when I’m feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to do I go and visit your blog and read your stories of love and compassion and communion with another, and I look at your photos of your peacocks and I smile and am reminded to breathe into the wonder and beauty all around.

      I am full of admiration for you too Julie. Hugs.

      Like

  5. Inspiring and inspired as always…hugs for you x

    Like

This conversation needs your brilliance to shine. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s