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Thank you brave heart for sharing your story. Last week, I was one of 35 women that partook in Airdrie’s first Vagina Monologues production, which helped to raise money for Community Links and Victims Assistance. These programs are called on far too many times with the stats on the rise in our own communities. I was nervous, anxious, scared, honoured, happy, shakey, and then, quite frankly, taken out at the knees by this one lady’s story about domestic violence in her home. Dabbing a tear from my eye and remembering a few others that are close to me with similar stories, I mustered the courage to take that stage and stand up for those that have fought, are fighting, or worse yet, are unable to fight anymore.
A Letter to my Abuser
by: M. Porter
You came into my life like a knight in shining armour. But you knew didn’t you? You knew I was a vulnerable target. Someone you knew who would love you with everything they had but knowing that you would never be able to give the same back.
I loved you unconditionally and yet your goal was to destroy me little by little. I didn’t even see what you were doing to me. They say love is blind, now I see that’s true. I remember the first time you punched a hole in the wall. My first thought was, “That’s okay, you didn’t hit me.”
And that’s where it began. I started to justify your actions. You justified your actions. When I would ask you, “Why do you get so angry?” you would say, “It’s your fault.” How easily I believed you.
You would say to me, “If you hadn’t done that, or behaved like that, I wouldn’t have needed to do it.”
So I tried to change. Then you turned your anger to me. I justified that too, as did you. I really believed I was the problem. Maybe I was for awhile.
Why couldn’t you love me for who I was? I gave you my soul. Why couldn’t I see what was happening?
Then you turned your anger towards our precious children. I would stand by and watch you hurt them. What a failure I had become, not only as a wife but as a mom.
And yet, I still didn’t see that I was enabling your behaviour. I was so blind. What was it going to take to make me see what was happening?
Then the night you tried to take my life. You had your arms around my neck - choking me, unable to move, breathe or scream. Lying on the floor in my confused state going over in my head, “He’s killing me, I’m dying, he’s killing me!”
Had it not been for our beautiful daughter coming into the room screaming at you, desperately trying to push you off me, would I still be here today? I don’t know.
Yet, after you were arrested and charged, you continued to tell me it was my fault and I still believed you. How screwed up I had become in my own mind! I still tried to protect you. I see that came at a cost now. Not just to me, but to our children.
Now you are trying to bully and intimidate me through the court system. Anybody who sees through you, you try to bully and intimidate.
I am the one who lives with the legacy you have left this family with, as do our children. To see their tears, their fears, their reasonings as to why did this happen to us?
They never deserved this. You still make them suffer with your current actions but at least the people who are around them now, love them and will not hurt them. Even though you are still trying so hard to destroy me, I will never allow that anymore. There are days when I don’t even know how to put one foot in front of the other but I do.
3.5 years away from you and I would never go back to that.
I have slowly and painfully learned that I am strong, courageous, loyal, compassionate, have integrity, and still have the ability to love. I will never allow anyone to take those things from me again.
I can stand here today and say THERE IS HOPE. That when the truth of what was happening to my family came out, people believed, people cared and still do. When the shame and guilt is there, you need to put your arm out for help.That was hard for me because that meant I had to face what was happening and had happened to my family.
Thank you to Community Links (Ph: 403-945-3900), Airdrie Victims Assistance Society (www.airdrievictimassistance.com), Homefront, and to all the wonderful people my family have met on this journey. Don’t ever underestimate the difference you make and continue to make in people’s lives. Thank you.