Am I a Just B*tch?

June 25, 2015

When I first started speaking about my experience as a victim of domestic violence, I thought my story was unique.

Most of my journey was spent believing that I was a bitch and I deserved the treatment I was getting.

Occasionally I’d wonder out loud to a friend or to Google “Is this domestic violence?” But I was never really convinced it was – I just thought we had a major communication problem.

emmakateOver the past 7 years, I’ve met other survivors, like my client, friend, and best-selling author, Emma Kate, and I’ve heard other stories and realized my story was more common than I ever expected.

Many people DO NOT know they are victims of domestic abuse. Many people, like me, blame themselves for what’s happening, and many cases can look more like high-conflict than DV, especially from the inside.

My husband and I had a whirlwind romance, so when he threw a full Brita pitcher at my head when I asked him to hurry up because we were running late for our engagement party, I was concerned, but excused it as a bad day.

When he threw my suitcase across the room and kicked a chair the night before our wedding, I took comfort in my wedding party’s theories of cold feet and wedding stress.

His actions were harder to dismiss when he threatened to tie me up and set the house on fire if I didn’t abort a theoretic fetus (I wasn’t even pregnant, I just said if I were, I wouldn’t have an abortion!)

iStock_000017818972_SmallMy excuses ran out when his rage led to a life threatening car ride in a snow storm, with our baby in the back and my husband shouting “our son’s safety isn’t what’s important here. What’s important is that you stop the car and let me drive.”

Still, I didn’t think it was domestic violence, I just thought it was a bad marriage where I was doomed to always walking on egg shells.

I looked for experts to help.

  • We completed a year of therapy together with an experienced LCSW specializing in relationships.
  • I read lots of self-help books.
  • And I got a personal trainer and started taking self-defense classes – just in case.

 

When I felt I’d tried my best, but the problem wasn’t getting ‘fixed’ and staying was not safe or healthy for me or my baby, I knew what to do – I moved out.

When it got MORE Violent – physically violent – after I moved out, I was shocked. Suddenly and for the first time, I DIDN’T know what to do. I never imagined moving out would make it worse. I thought that was going to fix things. Still, I’m educated and engaged, I sought legal and emotional support. My assumption was I could throw money at the problem and make it stop and I was fine with that.

I hired:

  • a $550/hr Bethesda-based attorney who suggested I invite him over, provoke him to hit me, and then call the police
  • a couples counselor – a phd – who suggested when I felt scared my husband might kill me, that I lock myself in the bathroom or take a walk around the block to let him calm down.
  • and when I asked my handsome, successful well-educated boss, our company’s CEO, what he would do; he suggested that since I was so much bigger than my husband, I try sitting on him the next time he tried to hurt me.

 

In short, I was ALONE. Really, truly, terrifyingly alone.

When I met Emma Kate for the first time and she told me her story and her clients, I think it was the first time I’d felt understood in a decade.

I really want you to understand I wasn’t some battered wife cowering in a corner. I had a gorgeous home, lots of friends, a job I loved that paid well, an adorable newborn, and a handsome husband. I didn’t even have a “secret” about a violent, hidden, truth – nope – my husband had no shame about his actions and hid nothing – why would he? It was clearly all my fault.

This story is exactly why I am collaborating with Emma Kate on a FREE Public Service Campaign. I will be hosting her for a free call on at 2:30pm ET on Monday June 29th.

Since the release of i can see no way Emma Kate has been inundated with requests to provide more information to help both women and men figure out whether they are ‘just’ going through a bad patch or if they are in a toxic or volatile relationship or whether the unthinkable is actually true and that they or someone they love is experiencing, and indeed enduring domestic violence.

This call is for you if:

  • You have wondered if a current or past relationship suffered domestic violence
  • You or someone you love is or may be in a violent relationship and you want to know how to proceed
  • You have a friend or family member you want to help but you think helping might only make things worse

 

I WISH I HAD THIS RESOURCE MYSELF. Googling “is this domestic violence?” never quite gave me the answers I needed.

Statistically the numbers of victims are very high – 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are victims of domestic violence. Which basically means everybody knows somebody who might benefit from this public service FREE call.

Technically and very sadly we all know someone!! If you are wondering how you can help someone who might be in trouble. This is the CALL for you.

Emma Kate is passionate about public service and wants to facilitate a call that answers the many questions that her book has raised.

PLEASE REGISTER HERE…. this information could save a life.

http://eggshells.eventbrite.com

P.S. When I read Emma’s book, I couldn’t stop crying and I couldn’t tear myself from the page. Sadly it reads like fiction even though it’s her true story. As a thank you for attending, there will be a free copy of her book to everyone who attends the FREE call. Please, if you know someone who could be helped by listening in, please share this message.

REGISTER HERE for the call on Monday, June 29 at 2:30pm ET.

http://eggshells.eventbrite.com

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