This blog entry is not about domestic violence awareness but about what it is like for me as a survivor today. I have been out of my situation 7 years now and just writing that I had to take a deep breath. Seven years seems like a long time and yet it also seems just like yesterday. People think that just because I'm not in that relationship any longer that it is over for me. I'm here to tell you that it is not. As long as he is out there walking the streets it will never be over for me. Let's be clear I do not live my life in fear. I can't allow myself to do that. I have children that need to have a sense of security and normalcy. I have way more good days then I do bad ones but even though I am not focused on this issue it is always in the back of my mind and some days it just floods my every thought.......like last night.
What I'm about to tell you might come across a little morbid but these are the thoughts that go through my mind. I think a lot about the "What ifs". What if he decides he wants to come back and take the girls. What if he hurts the girls to hurt me. What if he wants me to know what it feels like to not have them anymore. What if............!!!!!!
I like to believe that he is not capable of hurting them but how many times have we heard that in the news.....how many victims have said "I didn't think he would ever do that!" How many stories have I read where the abuser kills the kids to get back at the mothers. There are to many headlines for me NOT to think that this is a possibility. As I lay in bed last night I started to think of what I would do if he were to break in. What if he came with a gun. What would I be able to do to stop him. Dial 911? Grab a knife? It could all be over in a matter of minutes and I could do nothing about it! Nothing. So yes it is at times like that I want to buy a gun. I feel like I need protection not just for myself but for my children. Then when it all settles down I am worried about having a gun in my house. So there I am. I am still undecided on this issue but more and more everyday I think of getting one.
I have kept track as much as possible as to the whereabouts of my abuser and thanks to the Internet I have been able to do so. He continues to be in trouble with the law and I am well aware that he has not changed. This fact makes me even more afraid for our lives. When he would go on a binder and use there was no telling what he would do. So yes here I am 7 years.......7 years and I am not free. Everyday for the rest of my life I have to look over my shoulder. Every little noise I hear as I lay in bed at night captures my full attention. People wonder why I use sleep aids? I need to be able to sleep soundly otherwise I am on alert all night. That is what it is like for me today and will be like to me tomorrow. I try as much as I can to not live in this reality but it's there. As long he is free I am not.
These are just a couple links to stories that flood our headlines everyday. This is my reality.