When I was a victim of domestic abuse I felt extremely lonely.
The only time I was allowed on my own was when I went shopping because that was a woman’s job.
My body language spoke volumes but it was too silent for anyone to actually notice me. My shoulders were hunched over and tense, with the weight of the world dragging me down, my smile no longer existed, my eyes were always looking down at the ground and my head bowed. Never daring to make eye contact with anyone, even with people I had grown up with.
My appearance no longer mattered, my hair hardly ever saw a brush let alone shampoo or conditioner, water hardly ever touched my face or boy, I hardly ever sprayed my favourite perfume any more. I was hardly me anymore.
Walking down the streets like the back of my hand felt as though I was a stranger walking through a town I’d never known. People would pass me by, like we were strangers in the night even though we grew up together. Sometimes I would get the odd glance from them but nothing more.
It all felt very surreal as though I was there but I didn’t belong there as if I was a stranger in my own life. Nothing felt real any more, my own thoughts disappeared, the views I once had no longer existed and my opinions didn’t matter. The once bubbly and confident me had been replaced with a shell of who I once was.
It felt so odd how I spent years finding myself, building up my self confidence, my career, who I was and in a short space of time everything I once knew, completely disappeared and destroyed.
Of course, I’d had boyfriends before I’d met him but nothing as serious as moving out of home and into the flat two weeks after meeting him serious. I didn’t really have anything to compare this relationship too, I simply accepted this relationship as normal. I never questioned it. I accepted it.
One thing I do know is, I didn’t deserve any of what he did to me.
I often tell myself I fell in love with the wrong person as though that justifies me being in a relationship with an abuser.
But I now know I was never to blame for the abuse I endured. Over the years people have said, you must have said or done something for him to treat you that way, when in reality there is never an excuse to abuse.
It felt as though no one wanted to hear what really happened to me as though it was ok to gloss over that part. It wasn’t really important about what happened to me because it must have been fault any way.
Everything around me just crumbled away, everything I once new no longer existed, whilst I was just left to fend for myself.
People would avoid me as they were too scared to come near me, as if I had done something wrong. I felt as though I was the bad one as though everything was my ffault.
Even when I left the relationship, I was still extremely lonely.
No one had been through what I had been through so how could anyone understand or even begin to help me. I put all my focus into my daughter and you could say, I forgot about me. My barriers were down for so long helping me stay safe that sometimes I didn’t always remember to lift those barriers from around me.
Our personal healing journey is as unique and as individual as us.