This blog entry has been a long time coming, but it took a while of thinking about what to share. This subject is very different from the usual happy-go-lucky blogs I write and I don't want it to be a downer or just a rant--though it could have easily digressed to that--but I do want to get the message out.
If you didn't read Erin's post about her experience surviving Domestic Violence, you should. Erin has a strength that I admire and a fortitude that's inspirational. Erin is a fighter. Erin is courageous.
Erin is a survivor.
The anger I feel over what happened to her in the past is palpable. The chronic pain she's in from the abuse at the hands of her ex is so beyond unjust it's off the charts. Fortunately, we've recently found someone that is helping her deal with the physical pain--pain that dogs her constantly--but even in the healing, I keep coming back to how incredibly unjust it is.
Anyone that knows her knows that Erin is the kindest, most tender-hearted person to have ever walked the Earth. She's giving to a fault and will fiercely fight for those she loves. But those that live with or have lived with an abuser will know the cost of being giving. An abuser will take and take and take and only return misery. They steal a giver's precious time, love, and willingness to do anything for them and twist it around to fill their own depravities. They will use whatever you say, whatever you believe, your own feeling and thoughts, even scripture taken out of context to control you. Nothing is off limits.
It's narcissism in its ugliest form.
Erin and I have talked about her past. She has shared with me all that was done, and it makes me nauseated and furious. Her friends and family told me they knew something was wrong and they were scared for her. But no one knew what really happened, they could only suspect, and no one knew how to help.
I think about those times she suffered, and I want to wrap my arms around my tender-hearted bride. I want to hold her forever. Shelter her from the pain and protect her from anything that might hurt her. Yes, she's strong. Yes, she's a fighter. Yes, she got herself out of the situation. But the instinct to protect this beautiful woman is sometimes overwhelming.
So, for those of you stuck in a similar situation, you need to know that there is help. There are people that will listen and help you get away from him. They will protect you and help you deal with financial uncertainty. It is possible.
You don't have to live like that.
Erin posted these links in her blog, but I think they bear repeating:
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: http://www.ncadv.org/
National Domestic Violence Hotline: http://www.thehotline.org/
Battered Women's Justice Project: http://www.bwjp.org/
Futures Without Violence: https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/
National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence: http://www.ncdsv.org/
Remember: You don't have to stay. There is help available.
I'm so glad that this gentle, intelligent, stunning woman chose to trust again. And I'm honored that she chose me to trust. She didn't have to--she could have rejected all men--but she didn't. Just another example of her remarkable strength. Erin is my best friend. I never knew that such an amazing person even existed, and now I couldn't imagine my life without her.
'Til next time,