Posts Tagged ‘spousal abuse’

Survivor or victim?

Words are important.

When a person is abused and victimized, their life is shattered. There are lifelong effects of the abuse. The person can remain a victim in their eyes and in the eyes of others, always feeling “less than” because of the actions of another.


They can survive the abuse. Surviving involves moving past the abuse and living a full life in spite of it. Surviving means being the person you were meant to be before the abuse; in fact, being a better person because of it. Surviving means taking your past and incorporating it into your life to become stronger and, often, to help others get past the victim stage and to the survival stage.

I guess that makes me a survivor. I wasn’t always comfortable with that title but now I am. I’ve picked up the pieces. I’ve learned more about abuse. I am trying to help others become aware of abuse. I’m trying to help others that have been in my position.

It’s a tough thing to write about. You have to experience it to understand but if that means you have to be abused, then I would rather you did not understand because I don’t wish abuse, of any sort, on anyone.

For more posts on abuse, click here.

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Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome happens when a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event such as an accident, a death, a physical or sexual assault, war, famine, etc., that causes terror, fear, or feelings of helplessness and loss of control. These feelings interfere with the normal every day life of the person and can last months, years, or entire lifetimes.

How does this fit in with abuse? Abuse is a traumatic event, whether experienced as a victim or as an observer. Incidences of abuse can cause post traumatic stress syndrome in which the person feels anger, nervousness, helplessness, anxiety and other feelings that can recur, keeping them from living a normal, productive life. The person will often relive the events surrounding the trauma. They just cannot get past it.

Treatment can include medication or counseling, and often includes both components in an effort to relieve the person of the physical and emotional symptoms to get back to their normal life.

From my research, it appears that the PTSD caused by physical, emotional, or sexual abuse (or witnessing it) is the most difficult to treat. The events that caused the PTSD were in most cases, ongoing, long-lasting, and very damaging.

For more posts on the topic of Abuse, click here.

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My mom and dad are fighting again. Well, at least my dad is fighting with my mom. I can’t hear her saying anything but I can hear my dad yelling at her and saying some of the words we aren’t supposed to say because they’re bad words.

It happens all the time but more when my dad doesn’t have to go to work the next day. He starts out happy but then he ends up angry and yells at all of us. My mom sends us to the other room or to bed if it’s night time. He keeps yelling at her and sometimes I can hear him slap her or hit her. Sometimes I can hear him push her down on the floor or against the wall.

This time it was because my dad yelled at my brother and got up to hit him and my mom got in between them so he couldn’t hit my brother. Instead, she sent him to bed along with the rest of us and when we left he started yelling at her and calling her names then he hit her.

It happened last night, too. And a few days ago. My birthday was last week and it happened then too, after everyone went home. He always starts when everyone is gone. He’s nice to everyone until the company leaves then he starts hitting us and yelling at us. He has a whip. It’s made out of a long extension cord. He folds it in half and whips us with it. Then my mom comes and tries to get him to stop and he starts whipping her, too.

It happens all the time. Over and over again. All the time.

For my other 2016 A to Z Challenge posts, click here.

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Meet Gloria. She’s 27 years old and lives with Sam who is 36. They have a little boy together, he’s 3. Gloria is also expecting their second child. She works swing shift at the front desk of a hotel in town. Sam stays home with their little one.

One night, Gloria got home from work at 11:30, as usual. She went into the living room to see her little boy who was still up. Sam was in the kitchen. Then Gloria heard loud bangs in the kitchen and went to see what was going on. Sam was throwing stuff around in the kitchen. She asked, “What’s going on?” Sam turned around with a fierce look on his face and without saying a word, he punched her in the head and she went down to the floor, hitting her belly and her head on the way down. Sam left her there on the floor. He kept throwing stuff and he punched his fist through the window, breaking it. Gloria got herself up and grabbed her phone, calling a friend who lived two blocks away. Her friend told her to grab the baby and she would be there to pick them up in two minutes.

Gloria’s friend took her to the hospital to get checked out. In the E.R. Gloria was asked what happened. She said she fell. Then her friend told her she had to tell the truth and so Gloria told the doctor what had happened. Police were called to the hospital to take a report and within an hour, the Sheriff had gone to the house, handcuffed Sam and taken him to jail where he was charged with felony domestic violence because of the unborn baby and the three year old. Because there were children present, it made it a felony. That started a whole snowball of events.

Three years later, they are still together. Sam is still on probation, having served only a few days in jail then pleading guilty to enter an anger management program and a long relationship with the probation department.

He doesn’t hit her anymore. Now he tells her every single day that she is a poor excuse for a human and that she is a rotten mother and that she doesn’t deserve to have any children. All this he tells her while standing and swaying because of all the wine he has had. She’s depressed. She doesn’t tell anyone until months and months later when she breaks down and tells her mother. She doesn’t want to leave him because their little boys love him so much. There are other reasons she doesn’t want to leave, mostly they come from fearing the stigma of being a single, unwed mother. She knows how she has felt about “that kind” of women and she is afraid that others will think badly of her. She did try to leave a few times but Sam always found out and stopped her.

She’s stuck. She is often depressed. I think that she will eventually leave him. I hope she will escape. He doesn’t hit her anymore but he’s “grumpy” more often than not. Even their kids know to stay away from Daddy when he’s grumpy.

Gloria is just one. There are thousands of Glorias out there. Thousands who stay in bad relationships for the kids; so that others won’t think badly about her; so she won’t be a statistic. She already is.

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