6 years and 1 day ago I was still anonymous.
I was still some random person on the internet going on about whatever my heart desired.
And then on a whim I decided to talk to a newspaper reporter about local domestic violence, our court systems, and our local agencies. It appeared that the news finally wanted to sit down and talk about how the systems had failed someone for a lifetime...and now wanted to revamp and help our community.
6 years ago I went public.
Just months after my father died.
I showed it all.
My disaster of a life at the time, the pieces I was still trying to pick up.
I did it for two reasons.
1. NO ONE should feel like shit for being in a domestic violence situation. No one. I don't care who you are, what the situation is...YOU SHOULD NEVER FEEL REVICTIMIZED WHEN YOU SEEK HELP. You are allowed to talk about your abuse, you are allowed to be injured by it. The beginning of my story saw a lot of hiding...I didn't want to come forward because no one ever helped me. Or they claimed to...and then they argued. People judged. People told me to STOP talking about it. It apparently wasn't my place to talk about the abuse and manipulation I suffered from for years. Somehow...the power to be in control of my life was stripped from me a second time.
2. I was done hiding personally. For 5+ years I hid from my father because I didn't know for sure where he was, what he would do, or how he would react. At the end he was in prison...but then I had reporters on my doorstep. Society REALLY likes drama...especially when they get to watch people's lives falling apart on TV. I hid from the reporters. I hid from my father. I hid from his friends and family. But that article gave me the chance to stop hiding. He was gone...it was old news...and the article gave me the chance to not only talk about it for my healing...but also to encourage change in our community.
So 6 years later here's what I will say.
-The fame has died down, and for that I am thankful. It was hard to answer awkward public questions. It was hard to go to the gas station or the grocery store without questions.
-The point remains the same. Domestic violence is EVERYWHERE. It is your neighbor, your coworker, your child's preschool teacher.
-YOU ARE ALLOWED TO GRIEVE. If you are a victim, you get to feel like hell. You get to be angry. You get to feel however the fuck you want to feel in these situations.
-YOU ARE ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT IT. Yell it from the rooftops. "Overshare" to a coworker. Tell your neighbor, the guy you just started dating, the girl you met in class. Whatever. TALK ABOUT IT. Stop letting the world stifle you because it's "awkward."
This is your life.
You get to talk about it however you damn well please.
And anyone that tells you differently is a coward and an enabler to abuse.
It's. That. Simple.
This is your chance to go from scared, silenced, and jailed...
Choose free <3