Every survivor of domestic abuse, whether it is physical, financial, sexual, or in my case, emotional and psychological, needs to maintain their friendships and relationships. I know well how hard this is, namely when it is that you are told all that you are told about how useless your partner thinks you are, namely when you are told (read “forced”)to have little, if any, contact with the people who you love the most – your family, and more than that, your friends.
Friends – the people who make up our Soul Families
It is not a secret that I Love all of my friends. It is also not a secret that they all know how much I Love them, and I Love them because when I was squarely in the middle of the drama that unfolded as my life, it was they who I turned to and it was they who always had a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, for real and proverbially. Were it not for April, Marsha, Dora and Larry, were it not for Waipuna, not for Napua, not for Patrick…were it not for a whole lot of people I might not have been able to come to the absolutely needed conclusion, the decision, really, to end this part of my life as I know it and have known it to be, and I would not have had the courage to make such a decision.
Our friends give us a different perspective of what our lives are all about, and in my case it was my group of friends – my Soul Family – who were all right there to tell me what they thought, not only about what I was going through or what they thought of my soon-to-be-former-spouse, but also of what they thought I would be able to do in my situation, and it all was the same. They wanted me to be safe, wanted me to be OK, wanted me to be able to live my life the way that I thought and still think I should, and most of all, they wanted me to know that above all else, they Loved me.
They Loved me, and that was enough for me to know for sure that I am a worthy person, that I am not screwed up because one person thinks I am or thought I was, that on my own I am fine but that with him I am so not. It took a long for me to accept this, that I am a good enough person to not have to deal with this, that I am not as stuck as I thought I was and that the big bad man is not really a big bad man but more like a paper tiger who is just as scared as I have been all these years, if not more than I am, and that the way that he shows me this fear is through his past acts of violence on my person, and his present words of attrition for me (“I only say those things when I am mad, Roxanne…” … yeah, and it seems that you are always mad, dude).
Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that he has an excuse or an out. I am saying that this is the way that he was shown, and this is the thing that he saw his mother and father go through, and because this is “normal”to him, he believed for a long time that he would make it normal for me, too, but it is not normal now and will never be normal, ever.
It is never normal that a person should have to live in isolation away from her family and friends because a person who has never been shown that having good relationships with people who we are not married to is a good thing – this will never be normal to a formerly themselves abused person, and certainly not one who believes that there is nothing wrong with them (but I promise you that there is something not quite right with them). It is never normal for us as human creatures to not have contact with other human creatures.
It is not normal for women to not turn the heads of men, namely not beautiful women, but in the eyes of an abusive mate it is not normal that another man would look at the betrothed of said abusive person, because once it is that you marry an abuser, or more than that, once it is that you have become betrothed to them, they believe that they are all you will ever need, and this is a lie.
I need my girlfriends there to tell me that they Love me, to be there when I cry, and to tell me that I am wrong in their ever-so-gently way. I need my cousins there to tell me that I am Loved no matter what, that just because he said that women people cannot be trusted, that they trust me with their very lives. I need my sibling people to tell me that I always have a place to go where it is safe for me to be, just in case, and of course, so that they, too, can tell me and remind me that they Love me, that I alone will be fine in life and that they will never leave my side, regardless if they are really there physically or not.
And I need my “guy”people to be there to tell me that no, I am not so ugly so as to make a man want to hurl, that the way that I look is NOT the reason that I got hit when I did, that I am called the ugly names that I have been (recently as last week even)out of his fear that I actually AM those things but with other men, that I am worthy of the Love of one good man who is NOT the man I married and that yes, there ARE other men on the planet and that of course- when I am through this very emotionally charged time in my life that yes, I can have my pick if I so choose to have said pick (and I already picked so there!)
There is nothing quite more wonderful than knowing that there is a set of people on the planet who loves us each – and there is nothing quite more lovely than knowing that in their eyes I am good enough just as I am…smart mouthed, snarky as hell, full of moxie, but more importantly, full of the Love that was placed there by them for me that has blossomed into what it was meant to be…
…unconditionally there and always there when I need it to be and vice-versa, and THAT is the reason why all human being type creatures NEED other people in our lives who are NOT only our abusive mates…and the truth is that we really do not need them – we have just been told and forced to believe that we do.
The Love that we receive from our friends is the most healing kind of all, because they see who we really are, and they value us because of all the things that we have been told as abuse survivors, and more, for the things that they know we are so, so not. Our Soul Family was meant to be there for us when we need them and we are meant to be there for them so as to reciprocate when they need us.
I am elated to tell you all that my Soul Family is, always has been right there for me, and I know for sure that they always will be!
I Love You All!!