Independence Day

Posted: September 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

At some point during the day, the Martina McBride song “Independence Day” popped into my head.  For those who don’t know, it’s a song about a woman who gets out of an abusive relationship in a very dramatic and final sort of way.  It got me thinking about my own experience with domestic violence.

Fourteen years ago, I entered into a relationship with a guy I didn’t know well (let’s call him Joe).  Joe lived on the other side of Texas, and we met while he was in my part of the world.  We spent a lot of time talking on the phone and the internet.  I went to visit him for a few days.  And then I packed up my car and moved across the state to live with him.

From very early on, I was unhappy.  I felt isolated and ignored, like I’d been lured away from home on false pretenses.  Things got worse from there, with him hurling unfounded jealous and suspicion at me along with insults and other harsh words.  He never raised a hand to me, so I didn’t realize how bad of a situation I had landed myself in.

I wish I could say I wised up and walked away with my head high, but that didn’t happen.  He cheated on me.  We broke up and got back together and broke up again.  He destroyed my self-esteem.  And still I didn’t understand until long after we’d broken up for the last time that abuse doesn’t have to involve fists.

Late last year I started writing a book, a novel, about my experiences with emotional abuse.  It was a story that I felt needed to be told.  So far, it’s less than half done; writing it is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever undertaken because I have dredge up so many bad memories I’d rather leave buried.  But if only one woman reads that book one day and realizes that she’s in a situation that she needs to get out of, it’ll be worth every tear and sleepless night.

This Independence Day, I’m grateful not only to be living in a country where I have freedoms that many in other parts of the world do not, but also to be free of that abusive relationship and of most of the damage it caused.

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