Postscript

Postscript:

As you all may or may not know, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In October of 2008, I shared my own personal story as a forward in memory and honor the occasion.

I did it principally because it was time for me to stop living in a world of secrets and lies and because honestly I didn’t and don’t want anyone else to ever have to spend their lives in silence and fear because of abuse. 

It wasn’t the first time I had written about the topic as I covered it in several fictional stories and was met with words of comfort, understanding and encouragement from total strangers. There were even those who chose to share their own stories with me.

But when I sent this non-fiction account to those on my family email list in hopes that they would forward on a message that could help save someone’s life as they seem to forward on every other inane and pointless forward that seems to float around in cyberspace, I was met with hostility, anger and bitterness. With alacrity instead of understanding. With being told I just needed to grow up and get over it. With the question what month is APPRECIATE THINGS WE HAVE HAD?

As you can imagine, that was not the response I was expecting. Or one I can honestly even understand. 

For today, it is permissible, even laudable, to be proud of being someone like a breast cancer survivor (as well one should). You get to wear pink ribbons and t-shirts and ball caps proudly. People walk and run and stand in solidarity with you.

You don’t have to be worried about being ashamed. No one will tell you that Some people live their lives being the victim. That your life is what you make of it and take me off your forward list when you finally gather up enough courage to tell your story.

When I wrote then about October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I never said I was just a victim.

I am survivor, too.

I survived verbal, mental and physical abuse. I survived two attempts on my life. I survived the years where no one could touch me. I survived the years where there was nothing but silence.

I survived.

And yes, I have my scars, too. Perhaps they may not all be the ones you can see, but they are there. And I will have them for the rest of my life. 

But I survived.

But I sure as hell didn’t fight to survive to hear the people I thought were suppose to love and care for me tell me to just shut up and get over it

So I will wear my purple ribbon proudly. And the white one, too – for all of those for whom violence and fear have silenced forever.  

And for those of you without kindness or compassion, I leave these two messages. 

I’m Not Sorry that I’m Not Sorry

I do not regret what I have done.

I will not be ashamed, when I did nothing wrong.

I am guilty of no crime. 

I am not apologizing for the telling the truth.

I am not sorry if I offended your sensibilities.

 

I do not repent my words, 

Only that it took so long for me to say them.

 

I have a right to use my own voice.

I have a right to speak the truth.

 

No one can take that away from me. 

 

Not you. Not anyone.

 

No one has that right, that power.

 

And I, I will no longer be silenced.

 

 *******

 

A Prayer 

 

I pray you never have to know the horror and the shame 

that comes along with having been a victim of domestic violence.

 

I pray you never have to dwell in a world of silence and fear.

 

I pray that you will never have to know the pain 

of having everyone you knew and loved 

and thought loved you in return, turn their back on you.

 

That you will never find yourself absolutely and utterly alone

through no fault or action of your own, 

but only because you finally dared to speak the truth.

 

Yes, I do pray you never have to know these things.

 

And I pray the ones you love and cherish never do either. 

 

But if you — or they do —

 

I pray, most of all, that this world and the people that you, or they meet 

will treat them with the all kindness, compassion, concern and love 

that you would not grant to me.

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