I’ve been silent for too long and want to use this as an opportunity to empower and let other women know that they are not alone…..
My incident began when I was in Grade 10 with my boyfriend who I knew from Grade 9. My downfall in the relationship was that I never took the time out to know him; who he was, his background and who his family was. Many times we don’t know the most important details.
I was stifled and beaten. After being beaten, I was brought before the mirror and further degraded by being told that I was ugly. It got so bad to the point in which I was extorted for money- my own boyfriend demanding money from me…..
There was one incident where I was beaten to the point in which my face was swollen. Few persons knew what had happened and others wanted to know what had happened to my face. I went to school and when I got there, some of the girls were jeering me. When I walked pass, one of them said:
“some a dem man a beat dem”.
My self esteem was depleted, I had to make up lies at times to not let people know what was going on with me when the signs were there- I was being abused. It got bad to the point where the police had to intervene and a restraining order was issued for him to leave me alone.
After the relationship I realized that his Dad was beating his mother.
A time to heal is not overnight…
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do but I want to make peace with myself. Confidential people are always hard to find. In my experience, persons would be all concerned wanting to know what was happening between me and him and as soon as they get the details; go right back to him and tell him everything.
I must say THANK YOU to my friends Fiona Grant and Andrea Irvine for being there for me in such a tough time. They offered their support and also got me to see the guidance counselor.
No one wants to get involved in domestic violence unless it is public. We see this happening many times even when law enforcement is involved. We should be using social media to lobby against violence against women rather than promote it. The social construct we are conditioned to believe is the perception of men and women. Ladies must be seen and not heard; they must be submissive if not, they are battered. Men want to express themselves but are looked down upon as weak.
It is OK to say that you are NOT OK. Be honest with yourself, if you are not able to you will have problems with others and the situations you’re facing. Empowerment becomes evident when we talk about the things we’ve been hiding- our experiences and what we’ve learnt from them. I chose LIFE over everything. I could have died in the process of being that man’s girlfriend.
This brings me to the issue of discrimination for persons based on their age. The common misconception of adults towards young adults and children is that we no have nuttin fi worry bout. Preconceived notions like that have caused for some children and even young adults to believe this. Some persons are going through real issues, some are able to find help while some are not fortunate enough to get it. So many thoughts and emotions are bottled up for many persons out there. The society we live in has taught us to pretend. Too many of us are pretending that things are OK when our world is falling apart.
We live in a world of pretense (patch work), where we fix some things to an extent so that we can ‘show face’. However there is a whole lot of unfinished business behind the facade.
I can Share, I can Inspire
In the same way that the mirror was used to damage I am using it to rebuild myself. Crying is not a sign of weakness but a sign of release. Life is like the seasons, and in order to gain a rebirth we have to loose some things. Just like a tree looses its leaves in autumn.