Teresa G. D’vall
The co-founder of Youshareproject.com invited me to share my story “How I Almost Became A Convicted Felon ” recently and of course I obliged, even though it meant editing the piece by half to fit submission guidelines. It publishes today, by chance, on the 2 year anniversary of the day I escaped my abusive marriage. Although I welcome any chance to help others in an abusive relationship; reading through the piece to adapt it brought back a flood of memories, all of them bad.
Most people think of black eyes and broken bones when they hear the term domestic violence. Few understand the scars left behind that you can’t see. Abuse is a family affair that hurts everyone. Like most affairs; domestic violence has a secret. If you’re being hit, and you leave, your problems go away. Emotional abuse is physical abuse’s uglier sister; and more insidious because it leaves with you.
Since 7/29/13, no one has called me lazy. Or hag. Or Crazy. No one has forced me to have sex when I didn’t want to. I haven’t worried once that an angry person would barge through my bedroom door and yell loud enough to wake my sleeping children. Or call me a whore in front of them. Yet, last month, when a magazine in Baltimore invited me to review their site, which focused on women’s issues; I had to stop reading an article after one paragraph because the story reminded me of my own.
If you’re reading this and have no idea what I’m talking about; good for you. For those who do; take solace knowing you are not alone. Bruises on the inside take longer to heal, but eventually they don’t hurt anymore.
Today is my Independence Day, and extra special this year because it’s the first one I’m celebrating divorced. I’ll spend it enjoying my kids, and later, at a concert in the village with the person who understands as much as me why July 29th is the day I found freedom. Happy Independence Day to Me! If you stumble upon my story at youshareproject.com today and find the courage to leave; Happy Independence Day to you too.
(Thank you Mr. Colman; you were a dishonest ‘friend’, a bad broker and most of your emails are misspelled; but that last one was correct: The best thing I ever did in my life was move on from my marriage. You saved my family. For that; I will always be grateful.)