Friday, November 18, 2011

Speak out


This morning as I came downstairs from getting dressed I noticed that my phone had a missed call. I picked it up and dialed my voicemail. I knew it was FoTB's grandpa, I know he was probably saying thank you for sending Zack's pictures. I did not expect the message I heard.

He was sobbing. Not just crying, sobbing so hard he could not talk telling me how grateful he was that I thought of him and sent pictures and how hard this has all been on him to see FoTB fail again. To try to support him and to be screwed over once again.

Today, on Speak Out against Domestic Violence day I don't want to talk about me. I did that already, you can go and read it here and here and see pictures here if you want. Instead today I want to give a voice to the people who are forgotten. The rest of the people who were not "direct victims" of the violence but yet their lives will never be the same.

Like his grandpa and his mom, who live each day thinking that I may not let them see Zack because I in some way reflect FoTB's actions onto them. Who are sad, and scared and ashamed that they supported him and believed his lies. Who just want to see their grandson/great-grandson and don't know what to say or how to say enough times how sorry they are that they believed him.

I want to give a voice to Zack, a little boy who struggles with what he did wrong. Was I bad? Is that why daddy is so angry? Did he not want a big boy? Maybe he just wanted a baby and I got too big? Who right now is hurting and can't explain why. Who is TERRIFIED of his biological father yet is wanting him to change all at the same time. I miss him. What do you miss? I don't know. I didn't like it when he was mad and he yelled.

And so it is, the abused defending and loving the abuser, even when they know with every logical part of their brain that they shouldn't.

And to J, who wanted nothing more than a real dad, and S who wanted nothing more than a husband. They both wanted someone to care for them and they both paid the price for it. J is only 8 and yet he was hit and berated and belittled. And even after it was all done he wasn't sure he wanted to tell because he didn't want to get FoTB in trouble. And then when he decided to tell he was afraid he would come and hurt him again. He lived every single day in fear, every night having nightmares that he would come back and hurt them again.

Domestic violence has changed my life and my perspective in ways I couldn't even begin to explain. Comforts that people take for granted, I may never be able to do. But when I talk about my story I don't want to forget that there are others. That there are lots of people hurting. Family, friends, etc. People who hurt because I hurt or who hurt because they hurt, even if they weren't abused they are collateral damage.

So today, send up a prayer for every man, woman and child who has been affected by domestic violence. Every person who is struggling to feel whole and alright again that they may one day find the peace and love we all deserve.


Lady Daa Doo said...

What a lovey post. It's so true, domestic violence affects many and there are lots of guilty thoughts and feelings of shame.
I enjoyed reading your perspective. Thankyou for sharing xx

B said...

My Zac always wonders why he doesn't get to have a Dad, when the other kids in the neighborhood do. He told his first grade teacher that his Dad died when he was 3 because that was easier to explain than, "I've never met my Dad and he refuses to come and see me".

It's just hard. You sound like you are doing well, bit by bit.

Wanderlust said...

Hi Heather,

Thank you so much for adding your voice to the Speak out campaign. I read your post (and the earlier ones you linked to) the other day when I was reading all the speak out posts, but couldn't comment then. I found reading so many accounts of DV to be triggering so backed off for a few days.

Your story is powerful and reminds me in many ways of my own. I, too, know what it is to cower in a bathroom while it's being destroyed by fists from the other side. I'm so glad you spoke up, moved on and embraced a much healthier life for you and your son. That shows great strengh.

Thanks again for sharing your story. x

Tat said...

The effect it has on children is heartbreaking. Even as adults it's hard to make sense out of it. Thank you for sharing your story, all the best to you and Zack

OHN said...

In the past I have eluded to the fact that my father was much like Zacks. It is truly amazing how much of your childhood shapes who you are as an adult.

Also like me, Zack is very lucky that he has a mom that is wise enough to know what he needs and doesn't need.