No matter the language, it means the same thing.
We all have fears. As an abuse survivor, fear can be a part of your daily life. Afraid to stay. Afraid to leave. Afraid to speak up and break the silence. Afraid of what people will think of you if the truth comes out. Afraid that you’ll fail. Afraid that what your abuser says is true.
I remember knowing with certainty that if I spoke up, if I tried to make it stop, it would be the end of the world. I knew that everything would change, that my life would fall apart, and it would all be my fault. After all, if I just kept quiet and dealt with it that everything would stay the same, and our family would stay in tact. It is amazing the lies we allow the enemy to embed in our heads. But that’s exactly what I did. I believed those lies and I kept quiet. I thought I was being strong. Strong for my family, for myself, and even for my abuser.
But strength? True strength? True strength is looking all of those fears straight in the eye, stepping over those lies and asking for help, even when you feel like a shattered vase. It took exactly that for me to be able to move forward. I had to stand strong and speak up through the hurt, through the tears, through the fear. Those were the hardest words I’ve ever had to say in my life, those words I spoke that day, but honestly, that was the hardest part, getting the words out for the first time. And it did turn my world upside down for a while, but it didn’t fall apart. If anything, I’m in a much better place now than I’ve ever been in my life.
Was it easy? No. Did it mean that immediately everything was better and the past never haunted me again? Absolutely not. But every time I say those words, it gets a little easier to say them.
And finally, I’m free.
If you are in an abusive situation, whether it be physical, emotional or sexual abuse, whether it be by a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a neighbor, whomever, please, please get help. The best part about standing strong is that you don’t have to do it alone. When you think you can’t do it anymore, someone will be there to hold you up. All you have to do is speak up.
Look on our find a shelter page to find a domestic violence shelter near you, or if you’re suffering from sexual assault/abuse you can call RAINN’s hotline at 1800-656-Hope and they also have an online hotline. If you’re a child being abused you can call the Child Help National Abuse hotline at 1-800-4-a-child. There are so many other resources out there too. No matter where you go to get help, please get help.
Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there.-Marcus Antoninus