I just realized that National Child Protection week is nearly upon us again, which led me to realize that it’s been two years since I Said It Out Loud.
Wow, has it really been that long? It’s been a crazy two years. I look back on how I was in 2014, when I was figuratively sweating buckets at the prospect of telling my husband, my friends, my cadets… everyone important to me… that I had been in an abusive relationship as a young teen, and wow… How things have changed.
Now I can talk about it all (or write about it 😉 ) without fear of what people must think of me. I can talk frankly, maybe too frankly in some cases, about the abuse and how it affected my life. I can do this without shivering or tearing up….or flat out bawling. I can do this without feeling a weight form in the pit of my stomach.
I can talk frankly with men in my life without initially expecting the worst outcome in my head.
I feel like the pressure on my chest has been lifted and I find it hard to believe I used to function the way I did for so long.
Sixteen years was much too long to hold onto and hide that shame… I can’t believe now that I let it go on that long.
But that’s what they do to us. Abusers make you feel ashamed, like their behavior was your fault. Then there is the added stigma of being in an abusive relationship, and the perception – and even sadly the reality sometimes – that you won’t be believed or helped even if you do step up and admit it.
Trust me now when I say this: It’s worth it. It’s a struggle, it really is… and these two years haven’t been smooth sailing… But it’s better everyday, and I am so glad I Said It Out Loud.