On Domestic Violence (part 2 of 2)

Read part 1 of 2 here.

Snitches are b*tches that end up in ditches with stitches.”

I had to think quickly…And I did.

I remembered the phone line connected to my computer (back in the olden days of dial up). It was intact! I picked the phone off the floor, plugged in that cord, and I got a dial tone. 

Then I paused. 

My soon to be ex-boyfriend was on probation. If I called the police, he would go to jail. No doubt about it. I knew that making this call would transgress the unwritten rule of the outlaw culture I was living on the fringes of… I would make a good number of enemies. There might even be retribution.

 But what if he came back?! 

If I refrained from calling the police, he most certainly would come back. Maybe he was already on his way… I had nothing to defend myself with. And no where to go….

I dialed 9-1-1.

The Sherriff’s Deputy that arrived shortly took my statement, gathered photos of my injuries and trashed apartment.  He was so kind to me. There was no judgment there. I hadn’t expected that. 

The Sheriff’s department was able to apprehend my Ex within 15 minutes. From what I heard, he did not go peaceably… 

I felt utterly guilty. I thought I had ruined the next few years of his life by making that call. If it hadn’t been for the No Contact order imposed on account of the pending Domestic Violence charges, I probably would have apologized to him.

My Mom told me, “what a shame… He was on his way to his parents’ house when he got arrested. He was only a mile away… Too bad he didn’t make it there.”

My heart sunk. At that moment, my own mother identified more with the guy sitting in jail than she did with her daughter. And I get it– I was constantly in a state of hyperarousal (or in the neurochemical depression that follows prolonged states of hyperarousal). She didn’t understand why I was so angry and/or sad during those years… Neither did I. I was constantly running from that storm raging inside of me. I tried to escape through substance use, rocky romantic relationships… And I put my mom through hell, as well as myself. 

It still stung though. Especially when mutual friends chose to side against me too.

I moved on. 

I started a new job, forged new friendships, and eventually started dating again. I was able to recover a little bit more of the Self I had lost. But I still had so much farther to go…

I never dated another physically abusive man. 

It would take another year or so, another failed relationship, and reconciliation with my mother before I found my way back to following Christ. The version of Christianity I grew up within was synonymous with punishment and denying my sense of personhood. I would have to regain much more of my sense of self before I could risk returning to my religious roots.

But Christ never left me.

I can say with the utmost confidence, that while it appeared I was lost, I was actually on the path to becoming truly found. While I felt utterly alone and bewildered, I was not in fact alone. Through all of it, God knew me. And He knew that I wouldn’t continue in self-destructive patterns for long.

My experience of Domestic Violence taught this to me: I have a right to be treated with respect by my partner. I have a right to live in peace. But unless I fight for my own human right to be treated with dignity, I will never escape the cycle of abuse. I’ll be doomed to repeat it.

That’s the escape I now wanted to accomplish. No longer an escape from myself, but from those that would insist upon controlling me. Clearly, God allowed me the freedom of choice… It is that important to Him. To allow us to hurt ourselves and others. Because Love is the antidote to all the shame and pain of abuse. And Love requires freedom too.

Go to my follow-up post HERE.


12 thoughts on “On Domestic Violence (part 2 of 2)

  1. Great, powerful post. Also, an important conclusion. It’s frustrating that Christians so often associate the gospel and the teachings of Jesus with abuse and the denigration of women. Thanks for your openness and willingness to share such a difficult story.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ve encountered far too many folks who grew up in a version of Christianity that emphasizes punishment and denigration of personhood. Makes me wonder how we miss the point so badly. Also, thanks for responding.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When I eventually summoned the courage to pick up my Bible again, I was shocked and amazed at the words of Jesus. I read for hours and hours, and saw it all in a new light. One that brought hope instead of the condemnation I expected to find.
        I also wonder how so many can get it so wrong…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That was powerful, but it must have been very hard losing your friends and people blaming you for something that clearly wasn’t your fault. I know you found Christ in the end, but this lack of support for a young woman in that scenario is astoundly atrocious.
    I’m sorry, but were your old friends waiting for you to die, before they could empathise? I can see the Lord had his hand on your life, or the situation could have been much worse.
    Please, I don’t want to sound like I’m condemning anyone, but at the same time we must protect and empathise with those most vulnerable around us. I know what you meant about the repercussions also, but you didn’t mention if there were any. Were there any?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very good question.
      And I think I will write more about that in a post sometime…
      But I will write a bit here too;)

      He had blacked out that night (or so I heard). I tend to believe it. He was a hardcore alcoholic for several years, and experienced blackouts frequently.
      I was in court the day he went before the judge to enter his plea. (I hadn’t lost ALL of my friends, and one of my girlfriends went with me.)
      He didn’t contest the DVO. And his lawyer was able to swing a pretty sweet deal for him as he was facing obstruction of justice, and a DUI as well. They dropped the charge to disorderly conduct with a Domestic Violence modifier. I had spoken with the DA about the event beforehand, and gave him my honest assessment– my Ex was very drunk that night. He could have hurt me far worse than he did, but didn’t, and he left on his own. I had pity for him. I knew he truly cared about me, but he had so much hatred for himself that he couldn’t treat me as I think he wished to. He used to talk big talk about how he would never hit a woman… And technically, he didn’t strike me. He just did everything else in an effort to physically intimidate, attack and control me, lol!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I didn’t mean to hit reply yet, oops…

      I lived in constant fear the months after his arrest leading up to the end of our apartment lease, where I could finally move and prevent him from finding me. By the time he got out of jail, I had a new boyfriend. One fairly larger than he was, a co-worker that knew my ex and what was going on. While I wasn’t punished further for reporting the abuse, my new boyfriend at the time was punished for dating me–he had his car broken into and vandalized, his system stolen. Both guys had ties to the same circles, and a message was sent I guess.
      All of this seems like it happened in a last life, lol!
      I’m married to a Law Enforcement Officer, and we’ve been together for over 9 years. We have four kids and live in a different state. Today, no one would ever guess that someone having it ‘all together’ by all appearances, would suspect I lived through this. I think that’s why I thought it important to share my story. Thank you for your comments, and taking the time to respond to my post:)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My goodness what an awesome and marvelous story. It shows that sometimes you can’t see the end but when you accept christ your journey and fate has been altered for the better, but you still have to work hard to get there. Thank you so much

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Absolutely!
        I am a cradle Christian– baptized as an infant into the Catholic Church, baptized by immersion ( 5 years before this happened) as a declaration of my faith. I taught 5-day clubs, went on missions trips, and was very active in my church youth group. Which is why my story is complicated…. It doesn’t follow the typical conversion narrative. Because I was Spiritually, physically and sexually abused by ‘men of God’ throughout my faith formative years.
        Can someone lose their Salvation through their own reactive lifestyle? I don’t think so. I think God patiently waited for me to untangle what was of Him and what others said was of Him. I learned from my own misguided experience how important relationship is to God. He didn’t desert me. He never left. And I’m not sure that I left Him either, I just stopped trying to please Him through my actions. It was complicated between us for many years…

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