Surviving Domestic Violence And Learning To Love Again

Surviving Domestic Violence And Learning To Love Again

Never tell a survivor that it is "easy" to bounce back from their lowest point.

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*I personally have NOT been through any of the events described here, nor am I a domestic violence survivor. I write this with the help of sources and personal stories/experiences.*

When you are a victim of domestic violence, you don't want to tell anyone. You fear that no one would believe you.

When you are a victim of domestic violence, your guard only gets higher and higher. You are afraid of letting anyone in.

You are afraid to speak up, even when you always could. You are terrified of fighting back.

What if it hurts more this time?

You don't think you will survive. You don't think you will make it.

You will.

Survivors and current victims still have difficulty trying to get back out again, to feel normal. Once something horrible happens to them the first time, they are hesitant and super sensitive for a really long time, possibly for the rest of their lives.

Domestic violence is defined as a type of harm, and this harm can be physical or mental. Did you know that it does not have to be from someone who is in a relationship with you? Domestic violence accounts for anyone who lives with you in the same home, whether it is your boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father, or sibling.

That is a common misconception we tend to find with DV. Abusers do not have to be dating you. You just have to live under the same roof with this person in order for it to qualify as domestic violence.

Most often, females are typically the main targets. Males are typically the suspects. 85% of domestic violence victims are women, and women are most often victimized by someone they know.

BUT men can be victimized, too. More than 1 in 4 men have experienced some type of domestic violence by an intimate partner or someone they familiarize themselves with.

These numbers do not lie, and it is so very unfortunate and sad. It keeps happening and happening.

Warning signs for domestic violence include controlling behaviors (not allowed to hang out with friends or family; money handler); threatening to hurt you, your children, or your pets; showing extreme jealousy of everything you do; constantly putting you down; preventing you from making your own decisions, etc.

All of it is scary, but one of the scariest things to get back into is loving someone again. As a survivor, you tend to feel like you will never find a good relationship again or be able to build your life back up. You are unable to trust or let your guard down. You think every relationship will end up in the gutter.

This is not always true. There is always hope, and there is help for that.

You are able to love again, and there are guidance options if you have any questions or fears.

Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence is a non-profit organization that helps victims AND survivors with any problems, issues, or fears they may currently have. This group provides a nationwide network of resources and support for survivors and families affected by domestic violence.

If you need guidance, help, or just someone to talk to, contact them! You can find all of their information on their website or Facebook page.

If you or someone you know is a victim/survivor of domestic violence and is still currently struggling for help, please call these phone numbers or go to these websites.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence: 1-855-287-1777

https://www.thehotline.org/ (The Hotline)

https://www.breakthesilencedv.org/ (Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence)

Any kind of help matters and you are not alone, ever.

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My First Kiss Was Less Fireworks And More Braces Clashing

Yes, that is a photo of me the night of the magical event.

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It all started with my polka-dot bedazzled iPhone 4 sending a group text to my best friend at the time and two boys. One was a friend and one was a crush. They came as a pair as most middle schoolers do. My friend and I invited the boys to come to a movie with us.

Obviously, my mom would drop us off. We could walk in alone... we were 13... pretty many adults.

The night started with my friend and I getting all dolled up. I had the under part of my hair hot pink and feather extensions paired with side bangs. My outfit chosen to woo my crush was a tie-dye tank top, light wash shorts with diamonds on the pockets, and black fringe sandals. You already know I was wearing Victoria's Secret push-up bra to make sure my A cups were looking just right.

My face was caked with the foundation to cover my acne, a winged liner, lots of lipgloss, and my purple braces. For accessories, I brought my Vera Bradley wristlet attached to a lanyard because I thought it made me look older (I don't understand my thought process either just go with it). In my wristlet, I had my student ID in the clear part to make it look like a real ID. As if anyone thought I was of the age to have a real ID. I must say all together it was truly a look.

To start off my magical evening my friend and I were dropped off downtown Franklin where we at chicken fingers at McCreary's Irish Pub. We then walked to Sweet CeCe's because my mom was a little late picking us up. We then drove to the movie theater.

My mom dropped us off and we went in looking so fly. We bought our tickets and met the boys in the arcade. It was super romantic, duh. We went into the movie and things didn't go as planned. The guy I had a crush on saw some other girls he knew and... he went to sit with them.

Obviously, I was devastated.

First kiss boy, no offense, but you weren't the first choice for the movie date. So, I and first kiss boy sat next to each other. The arm went around my shoulders, he put his hat on me, and that was truly the done deal. I know my ladies swooned at a guy putting his sweaty flat bill on you in middle school. Don't even try to deny it. Anyways, he kissed me. It was gross, lots of lip gloss and lots of braces. I'm pretty sure it lasted about five seconds.

And that was it. The magical moment I had dreamed of after watching every chick flick and Disney movie turned out to be kinda gross and no fireworks went off. Definitely didn't have a Princess Mia foot pop.

Even though it wasn't a fairytale I wouldn't change a thing. First kisses are funny and are meant to be kinda icky. Shout out to you first kiss boy. Thanks for a super weird experience.

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4 'What Ifs' That Can Scare Your First Date Away

Don't let the fear of the "what ifs" keep you from exploring a relationship that could be amazing.

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Let's talk about first dates. Sometimes they're great, sometimes they're not, but sometimes they're amazing. Navigating the dating world can be scary, and navigating the dating world after a major break up can be even scarier. It's hard to put yourself back out there after a long time of focusing on yourself. The nerves are crazy. The excitement is unreal. Sometimes the pre-date jitters heighten all those emotions and can cause you to ask yourself some ridiculous questions. Well, you are not alone because I am guilty of having all the "what ifs" constantly in my head.

1. What if I do/say the wrong thing?

dinner date

This is a major thing that I struggle with. I always want to make a great first impression and can lose sight of myself. What I have learned, though, is just be you! It can be hard to be undeniably yourself in front of someone you're just starting to date, but always remember being you is your superpower. Sure, there are some things that you want to hold back at first but pay attention to who you are around that person and if you like yourself around them. If you can't be yourself around them, is it even worth it? Life is too short to waste your time being anything but you because YOU are amazing. The person you're with should see that too.

2. What if he isn't as excited as I am for this date?

door opening

He is. End of story. Yes, boys can be hard to read, but they are human, too! More than likely, they are just as nervous/excited as you are (if not more). Girl, you are awesome and if he isn't just as excited as you, boy bye. You are a rock star and deserve someone who is going to get excited to see you the first, second, third, and 1,000th time.

3. What if I'm not the only one he's interested in?

rose petals

"Oh, he probably likes someone else, too." Sound familiar? I think that this is the most frequent question I wonder about before a first date and even at the start of something new. It's hard to not think so after being burned from a past relationship. Don't let the fear of the past break something good before it's even started. My advice is to trust that you are the only person in your date's life. Trust is a huge factor in a relationship. If you're already having a hard time trusting him from the beginning, what are you even doing?

4. What if this is the one?

hannah montana

The MOST pressure filled question around dating. Going out on a first date can be scary for many reasons, and I think that this is one of the scariest things. I would love to get married one day, but this question before a first date makes my heart race and not the good kind because that is a pressure-packed thing. Sometimes, I wish that I wouldn't ask myself this because then that puts so much pressure on someone and they don't even know it. Also, how the heck do you even know? Or, do you even know by the first date? In my mind, finding "the one" will be like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but is it really?

These are all questions that I want to know by the time I go on a first date, but patience is key. Try to let everything happen and that'll take some of the pressure off! Most importantly, have a good time, and if you don't you'll have a new story to tell "the one" when you do meet them.

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