What I learnt from my domestic violence and abuse experience

If you’re reading this, it’s too late.

My experience with domestic violence, although difficult and mentally exhausting, made me a stronger person. It’s only a matter of fact. It’s made me who I am and I am not ashamed to show it. As a beast that is swept under the rug more often than not, domestic violence needs to be spoken about. That much I know. The untold stories need to be heard so that someone out there, seeking help, will find it and break through.

I’ve learnt a few things throughout the course of my domestic violence experience and even more so during my time of healing. I hope that these points below – whether you’re experiencing domestic violence yourself or know someone experiencing it – will bring you closer to an understanding of the beast that abuse is. Hopefully these points will act as the catalyst for change in your life, an eye opener of sorts.

You can’t fix someone

And if you think you can… well it’s not your job to and you don’t owe this person anything. You’re forgetting the crucial concept that humans are flawed by nature. The only person that can fix them, is themselves. The simple truth is that you can’t help someone that won’t help themselves.

What that really means is that, you can’t convince someone that there’s something wrong with them. They’ve got no idea or are in denial of their current state of mind. And until the notion that something is actually awry is realised, your efforts are futile. Just imagine someone approaching you at this very moment and claimed that you were clinically crazy? Understandably, you’d just tell them to piss off. They’re the ones that are crazy right? By all means, be there and support them but just remember that you do not hold the solution in your hands. Your hands were not made to bear this burden. Don’t be so hard on yourself for not being able to put all the pieces together.

Mental illnesses are here to stay.

As aforementioned, you can’t just ‘fix’ someone’s weaknesses. You can certainly help them become a stronger person, more resilient if anything, but the essential truth is that mental illnesses are here to stay. You can manage them to the point where meltdowns/episodes are kept to a consistent minimum but they’re always lurking and always there.

It’s okay to feel the way you feel.

A really good friend of mine said ‘if you want to go back to him, go. Don’t listen to what anyone else says, as long as it’s what you want’. And although walking straight back into a toxic relationship and expecting an immediate change is the definition of insanity, those were the exact words that I needed to hear. That if I wanted to return, then I should because that’s what I want and if things were to hit the fan again, I’d expect my friends and family will be there to catch me. It’s important to remember that everyone learns their life lessons in different ways and on different timelines. For some, it may take a single¬† incident to leave said toxic relationship, for others it could take years. Let them be, and let them learn from the process themselves. Your resistance in the form of ‘no don’t go back to them’, won’t help but could potentially just knock them straight back into old habits. Share your concerns with them but know that this is what they need to learn themselves.

Happiness is found within yourself

Someone else can’t make you happy. You know that, so switch that mindset around. You’ve played the cards you’ve been dealt all your life and have done so in a way to arrive where you are now – at your own happiness. You don’t owe anyone anything. You only owe yourself this happiness. You own it, so it’s yours to keep.

You can’t keep blaming your past

Think of life as a bank. As we grow older, we collect more experience and add it into our life account. This account shapes your character and defines the person you are today (your present-self).

With each experience that you obtain, your account grows and the overall value of your account changes, right? What this means is that with each life experience you go through, you grow into a completely different person. So essentially, it doesn’t make sense when someone blames their past for something that their current-self has done. You can’t let them do that. It’s not a valid argument. You are a completely different person then, and you are a completely different person now. Be accountable and realise that your actions are yours and not anyone else’s, including your past-self.

Don’t live for anyone else.

Don’t let anyone stand in the way of what you want to achieve in life. You are the only gatekeeper to your needs, wants, desires and goals.¬† If you want to have that cookie, have the goddamn cookie. Block your ears from the nay-saysers and live your life the way you want it. With my domestic violence experience, what my partner said, went. There was an instance where I wanted to get a coach and compete in my first bikini competition. He didn’t let me. And for some strange reason I listened and that ladies and gentlemen, was an opportunity missed. My advice? Pull the trigger and ask questions later. It’s your life and no one has the right to tell you what to do with it.

Don’t lose sight of who you are

Relationships can be consuming, you’re SO in love – I get it. But ask yourself, who would you be without this person in your life? Are you still you? If you can’t give me a straight answer, it’s time to get back to the drawing board and reevaluate where you stand in your own life.

shutterstock_544723942.jpgI’m writing these points because when I experienced domestic violence, I became so easily lost; in my thoughts, in my decisions, in my actions – everything. But if someone had told me that it’s okay to feel the way I feel and that there is a light beyond this darkness, even if I only took it with a grain of salt, a seed of thought would have been planted. And that would have been enough. And with time, clarity would’ve came and I would’ve broken free faster… but who really knows?

To every victim of abuse and violence, lets have a toast. As a wise man once said ‘Let’s have a toast for the douche-bags. Let’s have a toast for the assholes. Let’s have a toast for scumbags – every one of that you know’, because without their incompetencies that have managed to cause you pain and suffering, you’re the one that came out the other end stronger – with your shoulders held back and head up high. You’re you and no one can take that away. Not anymore.

Thanks for reading and until next time…

Keep exploring WA.

Your gal,

Maz

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