Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving 2011 is merely days away.  Tomorrow also happens to mark the 11th month anniversary of gaining my independence and freedom from Prince Charming.  Earlier this month I turned 48 years old. So it's been a month of reflections. 

I am thankful to be able to share my experience with other women, letting them see that they too can become a survivor and not be just a victim.  If I can build the confidence and self esteem of one other woman, giving her the strength to see that she too is not alone.  For her to know that she is believed.  She is not crazy.  She is valued.  She is loved.  For her to know that her feelings are indeed valid.

During this season of giving, look around you and know that the woman standing in line next to you, perhaps your co-worker, your sister, or your daughter, could very well be being abused by the man that she loves.  Domestic violence doesn't discriminate.  Victims come from all walks of life, all different socio economic backgrounds. No one would have imagined that I was being abused. I didn't realize it myself.  I made excuses and blamed myself, something I still do today. But I'm healing.  It's a slow and steady process and for this I give thanks.

I give thanks to the hero who took my call that day last November and understood I was in crisis, even though I didn't realize it.  His words of encouragement and support when I was going through a difficult time meant the world to me. He truly is like a brother to me. 

I am thankful for all the law enforcement professionals who helped me as well. All in a day's work for them, but they don't understand how much it means to victims to be understood, believed, validated.  They are all heros and they know who they are.  I am extremely lucky and thankful to live in a community with such an outstanding police department.

Special thanks to Eva and Paula who helped me believe in myself.  I give thanks to all the woman I have met who too are survivors.  I have learned something from every single one of them. We share a common bond. I give thanks to my friend Kate, who I have known for over 25 years.  She knew I was being abused even before I did.  She has held my hand on so many occasions.  She doesn't know she is an inspiration to me.  She believed me.  She knew I was not crazy.  Her endless support  through all of my dark days, and her own inner strength, inspires me.

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