It seems that lately so many people have been coming to me for advice, counsel, and information about domestic violence and I’ve realized that somewhere along the line I’ve become an inspiration to people. Ok, the only reason I’ve realized this is that all of these people keep telling me that I’m an inspiration.
This morning, a friend told me about a dream she’d had. She was walking in the dark and I was walking behind her, holding an awesome pair of shoes in one hand and a weapon in the other. She said she couldn’t see me but that she knew I was there and she felt comforted by my presence. She said that when she woke up she felt safe and that she views me as a guardian angel type with a lot to give. It totally humbled me and blew me away at the same time.
How did this happen? I didn’t set out to become the Poster Child for Abuse Victims. I didn’t set out to become the Pied Piper who will help lead others out of abuse. The only thing I set out to do was protect myself and my children from Bubba. I decided to document my journey for a group of close friends and for myself. I wanted to keep a journal of where I’d started and how far I’ve come. I wanted to document my struggles and my triumphs so that I could look back on it as I need it and see how strong I’ve become because of what I went through.
The decision to take it public, in the form of this blog, happened almost on a whim. The divorce was final, I was free, and I wanted others to know that there is hope and healing out there for victims. I wanted to share that, just like me, others don’t have to remain victims – they, too, can become survivors! I didn’t think too much about starting this blog. I was talking to Arcadia one day and said, “I think I want to take my story public. Bubba has won so much through this and I got screwed so royally by the family court, that I want my story to be heard.” We talked about it and started brainstorming to find a name and theme for my blog.
I look back now on my first introductory post for this blog and remember thinking, “No one is going to want to read this. But if I have one woman who is helped out of an abusive relationship, it will be worth it.”
Now I have friends and strangers alike telling me that I’m strong, I’m courageous, and that I’m an inspiration. I sit here and wonder, “How did this happen? How did I become the go-to person for people when they need help or advice? I’m just one person who escaped from my abuser. I’m just a normal person. I’m just me.”
And that is when I realized that I’m not just me. I’m Hope. I’m this person who went from being afraid of everything and being paralyzed by that fear to a person who moves forward despite the fear. I’m hope that there is healing. I’m hope that there is freedom. I’m hope that there is a real life awaiting anyone who takes that step of faith and gets out. I chose the name Hope because that is the only thing that got me through when I first left – hope that I was making a better life for myself and my children. For the first time in my entire life, I had hope for a bright future.
That hope somehow transferred to Hope. Somehow I morphed from just a regular girl who did something necessary into a powerful woman who is helping people. I’m struggling with this realization because it feels like I’m being conceited to acknowledge that people are looking up to me. It feels conceited to think, “Yes! I did something good and people now look to me for help because of who I am and what I’ve done.”
I hear the Family of Origin (FOO) voices telling me to get over myself, that I’m not an inspiration and I shouldn’t think that I am. Inside me, though, is a glimmer of pride that I am accomplishing something amazing and helping people. It is a role I didn’t seek out and it sometimes feels a heavy burden for these small shoulders to carry.
I am Hope. And the great news is that you can be Hope too!
- Posted in: As Life Continues - My Story Now ♦ First Year Divorced
- Tagged: abuse, abuser, abusive dynamic, abusive marriage, boundaries, children, divorce, emotional abuse, escape, family, Family of Origin, healing, Hope, insanity, inspirational, lies, marital rape, marriage, married, Power and Control Wheel, rape, responsibility, sexual abuse, strong, survival, survivor, verbal abuse