Getting Ready to Leave
- Keep any evidence you can of physical abuse. Make sure to keep this evidence in a safe place that your abuser will not find. This might include:
- Any pictures you have of bruises or other injuries. If you're taking pictures of your injuries, try to have these pictures dated.
- Any torn clothing
- Any household objects that your abuser tore or broke.
- Any pictures that show your home is destroyed or messed up after violence happened.
- Any records that you have from doctors or the police that document the abuse.
- Keeping a journal about the abuse. Write down how he abused you, any way that he threatened you, and when these things happened.
- Anything else you think could help show that you've been abused.
The above information was taken from a web site that also deals with helping those that are in abusive relationships. From time to time, I will post other information that is in response to the questions I receive from many of you. Many ask the same questions. This lets me know that most of you feel totally alone, and with no one to talk to.
The feelings of isolation, fear and shame...I am well acquainted with. These were my constant companions for over two decades. Never, did I really believe things would ever change for me. How could they? I was the one that people came to with their problems. I was a leader, teacher, public speaker, fund raiser...successful and well respected. Yet, the shame and isolation I felt at home was overwhelming. Domestic abuse is an equal opportunity crime. It goes across all racial, ethnic, socio-economical and religious/atheist backgrounds.
I still marvel at the level I was able to function in the midst of almost 25 years of abuse. The only thing I can attribute this to is the hand of the Lord was surely upon me. There is simply no other explanation. Plus, all the traveling abroad for well over a decade. These projects were very successful. The nations and people I got to meet over so many years...are a part of the very fabric of my soul. This is a love that was not born of my own efforts...it was a "gift" for which I am extremely grateful.
If there had to be only one thing I could say I learned it would be this...in spite of your own pain, we can still be a channel of love and blessing to others. I remember a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He said "Undeserved suffering is always redemptive". This I have found though life experience is a fact. Another thing Dr. King said is "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere".
Domestic violence is "undeserved suffering" and also "injustice". We need to be reminded that we are not alone like we think we are. There are many that ache to be of help. Recently, I received a comment from a physician. You can read it on the "comment" section of the post "My Mind Was Screaming "FIRE!" This physician said "the silence ties our hands". Read his comment...he was letting us know that above all else we must tell someone.
So many of you don't feel safe enough for me to return your emails. The grief I share with you over this is deep. This is the reason I've added the hot line links for you. I wish I could just reach out to all of you that have such a wounded heart...and give you a (((hug))).
Some of you have asked if "everything has smoothed out" in my own life. No, it has not. Although I am remarried to a marvelous man, my former abuser is still in "contempt of court". He did not do as the judge ordered during the divorce proceeding. This has put a heavy burden on me. There is nothing I can do at the time. There are also several significant health issues I'm dealing with...some the direct result of the years of abuse.
Another thing several of you asked was if I was "still sad". No, I'm not sad. I prefer not to waste time being sad or depressed. There are too many others that need a "hand up" to get out of the abusive situations they find themselves. I've had my feet planted on both sides of that fence. Being on "this side of the fence" is much better. Yet, you all know that I didn't get here by myself. There was an army of individuals along the way that helped.
The one thing that surprised me was that my help did NOT come from where I thought it would. Like my church...I was part of leadership for two decades. I won't go into detail again, as I revealed much of this in earlier posts. My help came from unexpected sources. While I was teaching one of the things I was always saying "The Lord has His people placed in strategic places"...however, I had no clue that I was teaching that to myself...first.
Due to the lateness of the hour, I will say good night for now. Yet, be confident that there are so many praying for those of you in crisis situation...including myself. I get emails from friends & colleagues that read your comments. These have found a place of lodging within the hearts of many. Don't feel alone...as your Helper is by your side.