Hi I’m [NAME REDACTED] I am a domestic violence survivor.
I am creating a blog as a way to process my experience and hopefully someone else can gain some insight by this whole thing. I am going to be ambiguous about a few specifics on purpose, I don’t want this blog to be all about me (haha I know that sounds silly). I want this blog to be one anonymous story. This could easily happen to your little sister, your daughter, your best friend, any woman you see or meet anywhere. I want readers to be able to put someone in these shoes because they’re not just my boots I was running for my life in. They were every girl everywhere who has run for her life, or even feared for her life in a domestic violence relationship.
I chose the name [NAME REDACTED] very purposefully, I was a victim. I have the legal right to anonymity, but I live in a small town so what a joke that’s been. Everyone knows who the girl in the police reports and news articles is, but my name is redacted. It gives me a sense of distance and security, someone later won’t google me for a job interview and find my trauma but it also made me feel like they were removing my identity from the crime. Some faceless girl; she had a broken face, a broken smile, one eye that didn’t open, but can you really see that if she doesn’t have a face to begin with? I also am still living in fear so….. I’m protecting my anonymity by using this name and removing some identifying details but I hope it lends some power to my story and experience overall.
So my story, the quick overview, I’m a college student (almost done with an engineering degree) so I’m educated which is not the normal picture the media portrays about victims. I am a single mom, I have a beautiful boy who I will refer to as [BABY] throughout my posts. [L] is my offender, obviously, and there will be a few other casts of characters broadly described throughout some of my posts.
I was in love with a man who tried to kill me, more than once. I went back, more than once. It took me a long time to extradite myself from this situation and I am left with lasting trauma bonds (basically the new term for Stockholm syndrome) and PTSD. My recovery comes in waves and I’m hoping to show that here with my posts. I’m going to try my best to not over edit and not over think and just share my process as organically as possible. This is all being written after he was sentenced for his crimes against me, so it is not in chronological order but I hope it will make sense and have some flow with the categories above. I’m not trying to write in chronological order though because that’s not how my brain is processing it’s still very much all over the place. I am using this as awareness for domestic violence but first and foremost I am hoping if I can start pouring all of my experiences and that part of my life into this blog maybe I an finally quit carrying the weight of it around with me.
The crimes (that he was formally charged with):
-Felony Assault with a weapon
-Temporary Restraining Order Violations (2)
-Partner Family Member Assault (2)
-Contempt of Court
This is not a place for judgement. I will explain how my decisions to stay were made. Domestic violence crosses all races, religions, socio-economic boundaries, and gender. I will be writing about my experience as a woman in this situation but I acknowledge and feel for the men too, I just don’t feel I could do their story justice within the scope of my experience. I will do my best to portray my experience in abuse and in recovery. I am flaying myself open here for others to see, but I can say I only could do my best. There are going to be times if you join me in this that you’re going to think “Oh my god, I never would have done things that way, what the f*** was she thinking” there are times when I look back and condemn my own actions, but I won’t do that here, I ask for grace. I will explain the mechanics as well as I can but I was doing the best I could, at whatever particular time I was in, with the experience and knowledge I had up until that point. The reason I won’t condemn my decisions to stay is two part. (1) Another woman reading through this might be reading what she is currently going through and I will never shame a woman for being right where ever she is at in this journey, she might still be with her offender and by condemning my own decisions (and her’s by proxy) we are only taking power and self-esteem away from her when she needs it most. (2) I am learning to love myself again. I am learning to have confidence and re-analyzing my past and the “shoulda-woulda-coulda’s” won’t change it. My recovery is a process that started before he ever hit me and I will not be ashamed for any step in that process because it brought me to where I am today; and that’s a person I’m learning to really admire and trying hard to love.