Over the last 10 months many people have approached me and asked why I want to do this domestic violence campaign because they couldn’t understand why anyone would set themselves up for emotional heartache. For quite some time I really didn’t have the words to describe the feeling I had, however, once the decision was made in getting our own charity registered, I knew I had to dig very deep into my emotional state to understand what the driving force for all this was.
With the help of some amazing friends, I was able to articulate the feelings I had and how my vision for DV Free was. During this process I am sure that I have challenged those friends on many occasions, as it was frustrating for myself, but luckily on the end we got there.
DV Free was created because I wanted to make my experience mean something. I didn’t want this to be a sad story of mine or defining me. I rather have my work in helping others define on who I am because when I am ready to die I like to know that I left a legacy behind for others to follow.
Some of you that are reading my blog right now may not know what kind of experience I had or still have with domestic violence, and I know my experience is nothing compare to what others have experienced. However, it was enough for me and my family, so if I haven’t lost you yet I would love to explain this a bit future.
In 2009, I left my 17-year marriage as life for myself and my children was just unbearable.
For many years I didn’t know that I was in an abuse relationship. The verbal and emotional abuse I experienced didn’t happen every day, it started out occasionally and very subtle. Often, I didn’t even think that anything was wrong the way he spoke to me or what words he used, until much later into our relationship. The last two years were the worst of our marriage, the threats of suicide and the emotional and verbal abuse were a daily norm. The final straw came when I discovered that he started a relationship with one woman that he met whilst being online.
The sad part in this whole experience was, that I never saw myself as a victim or that I was abused. I had the understand of what domestic violence was, but I never put domestic violence or abuse with my experience together, it wasn’t one plus one equals two. I always thought that domestic violence was when someone got hurt physically or got killed, but it never came into my mind that emotional and verbal abuse is domestic violence too.
After I left my marriage I discovered the world of personal development and psychology. I had to learn what part I played in my marriage, as I truly believe that it takes two to tango. An abuser doesn’t exist without a victim and a victim doesn’t exist without an abuser. Both parties get something out of this relationship and I know I wasn’t an angel in my marriage either. Learning Neuro Linguist Programming and the Psychology gave me an understanding on what was happening and to be honest I really think it saved my life. There where many occasions that I just wanted to run away or stick my head into the sand but all of my learnings and connections with the right people gave me the ability to become resilient and determine not to give up.
In mid-2017 I made the decision to speak up on my experience, as not many people knew what was going on behind closed doors. People always saw me as the bubbly, happy and strong person, but I guess a person can only deal with so much and I had enough of being dragged through another court hearing. DV Free isn’t about getting back to what my ex did or didn’t do. DV Free is about my own journey of healing, to help others and to leave a legacy in making a difference in the domestic violence field.