The Silver Lining – Words about Domestic Violence and Emotional Abuse

Being someone’s victim is never a good thing…

…like all else that I tend to put a silver lining around, I will also attempt the same thing here and now as well.

It is not a secret that for the majority of my adult life I was someone else’s victim. It is also not a secret that I have survived the maladies of the sickness of the Soul which is caused by being victimized by someone else. For longer than twenty years I was victimized by someone who was supposed to have my health, safety, dreams and longings held in his heart and soul. In reality, what he held was contempt at the very idea that I have dreams, hopes, that I am every bit as smart as I seem to be.

For a long time I was given suggestion after suggestion- “You should just leave him, Roxanne!” was what I heard a lot of, and I tried, and he always found me. When he found me, I always paid. And paid, and paid, not for sins that I had actually committed, but for the ones that he was afraid I might. There was always something that I did wrong, or something that I was not smart enough to figure out how to do, or something just not right about me, and always it was pointed out to me. Sometimes it would be pointed out to other people as well, and again I was forced to live through the shame of it all.

It is a shameful thing when someone in an intimate relationship brings violence or even the words in threat of violence to a situation, and more often than not, even as it is a man who will brutalize a woman, there is a population of women in our midst who seem to think that it is fine and dandy that they strike first so that they are not the victim first, and they are who make me the sickest of all. Yes, I Love them and have compassion for them, but there is no excuse for violence between two people. There is no reason to make people live down the sins from a past that the a person was not a part of. There is no reason to hurt someone first so that you do not have to hurt at all. That is backward thinking. That sort of thinking that you will “get him before gets” you, at least in the physical or in the verbally abusive sense, is not cool.

It is not cool to make someone else feel bad about themselves because you feel badly about yourself. I feel right in spouting like this, because lately, even as I am a product, was a victim and am now a survivor of an abusive situation, was victimized by someone of the gender opposite of mine, it does not mean that I have the right to assume that all men are bad, are abusive, are ugly on the inside. They are not. Men are not the enemy – our refusal to forgive our abuser is the enemy. Men are not more prone than we are. Women are not the ultimate victim. Both genders are equally prone to becoming victims.

When a person is victimized, immediately we are given to a heightened sense of awareness. We are more inclined to recognize things that, in the past, we might have not because the simple truth is that when we were not someone else’s victim we were more inclined to be satisfied with only our being able to sense and see what was there, sense and see what is physically in front of us, and never were we inclined to see more than what was there. Yet, when a person is victimized there are a lot of inner dealings that happen, a lot of things that we go through internally that previously we would not have and it is because we were not forced to pay attention to them.

When we are forced to pay more attention to our surroundings, we are also learning to be more aware, and this is the silver lining involved with ending up a victim but choosing to be a survivor. We end up with something ugly, or rather, start out, that is, being someone’s victim, and at the end of it all, after we choose to no longer be in pain, we are found to have better abilities, we find that our sixth sense is far stronger than it was not too long ago. While I will never say that being abused has the quality of being a blessing in disguise, I will say that because we end up having to figure out a way to survive and ultimately have the right to call ourselves a Survivor, becoming a survivor and the work that we have to do in order to survive in an emotional and a spiritual sense is the greatest workout that any person’s life will ever endure.

I wrote this today because while it remains that statistically, women are the most visible victims, men, also, are victimized in the same manner that we are in that they have so many “manly” expectations placed on them that to think for a moment that these are thinking, feeling creatures who are just like we are seems to make us all think that somehow, because they have feelings, this makes them less a man. I beg to differ. When a man can express himself, can truthfully express his own feelings and really know when he has been hurt and when said same man can seek out his own healing, namely when said healing and teachings come from a woman, it is that same man who, like the women in my midst, will rise above the ashes of his own life, like the Phoenix we women are likened to.

I also wrote this today in honor of the men in my life with whom I share a particular bond…it is because they are in my life that I now can see both sides of the street, both sides, in a gender sense, of what it feels like to be a victim who wants to survive and more, I have a greater sense of respect for them. I do not need to tell them who they are. They already know. There are not a lot of them, but still…they know who they are and I am grateful for their presence everyday of my life.

If you are or someone you Love is an abuse victim, be there for them. Listen to them, and most of all, don’t judge them.

They have already been through enough of that.


Reverend Roxanne Cottell is the Kumu Hula and Creator of the Spiritual Hula Program for Women and the Co-Founder of Na Hula O Ka Wahine ‘Ui. She is a blogger, book authorchoreographer and Spiritual Adviser. If you would like information about “ROCK your NUPTIALS” Weddings or simply just to contact Roxanne for information about the Spiritual Hula Program for Women or information regarding private hula or Spiritual Guidance sessions with her feel free to send her an email.
(c) 2012 Roxanne K. Cottell. All Rights Reserved



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