As I Am Today

The signs of domestic violence are not always outward.

Sometimes, instead of mysterious bruises or inexplicable fractures, abuse looks more like an opinionated writer slowly shifting to radio silence.

I learned last week of yet another person who met me through my then-husband, and who was convinced — because of how reserved and distant I always seemed — that I disliked her immensely. And I’ve noticed that when Facebook shows me “memories” of what I posted in past years, any comments I made prior to 2011 are rarely a full sentence in length…and often so vague even I can’t tell what I was trying to say.

FB screenshots from 2009
I mean, c’mon. What are you even talking about, Isak.

Now, I can’t say for certain (and feel free to correct me, if you think I’ve got this wrong!), but I doubt most people who have met me post-divorce — or who knew me pre-marriage — or who’ve made my acquaintance through this blog — think of me primarily as silent, unfriendly, or disagreeable.

Seven years of progressive entombment in my ex’s reality simply made me appear that way.

I know that I yak on Facebook a lot. (ALOT.) And I have a blogger’s tendency to overshare every detail and thought in my head. I know that I wade into conversations uninvited and have the new-friend-making tact of an over-excited puppy. I know that I sometimes speak out before I have all my facts straight or all the nuances of a situation understood.

But y’all.

Y’ALL.

Believe me when I tell you: me as I am today — even at my most loud, bossy, nosey, wordy, angry, opinionated, and intrusively friendly — is so. much. damn. better.

(At least it is for me!)

Happy domestic violence awareness month, folks.

Be good to one another out there, and to yourselves.

dv info 2

41 thoughts on “As I Am Today

  1. Domestic abuse can change people a lot, knowingly or unknowingly. “abuse looks more like an opinionated writer slowly shifting to radio silence”- a very significant line this one. Glad that you have come out of the silence and now we can hear you, loud and clear 🙂

    Visiting your blog for the first time and happy to land here from Georgia’s reblogging post… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great blog post! I would love to include it in the book I am putting together about narcissistic abuse called, I Am Free. It’s a collection of stories and poems about people’s experiences with narcissistic abuse. My mission is to spread awareness and healing. It’s a book for survivors written by survivors. Contributors may include a short bio and links/URLS to their blog or previously published work. If you are interested and I hope you are 😊 please go to http://www.iamfreestory.com or my blog at http://www.relationshipedia.me for more details.
    xx~ Best, Bree

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  3. I’d like to reblog this, but don’t see the “button” that we used to be able to click to do so. If you know what to do please let me know. If you don’t know what to do, is there any chance that I could repost this and link back to you?

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  4. This paragraph really struck me:

    “Sometimes, instead of mysterious bruises or inexplicable fractures, abuse looks more like an opinionated writer slowly shifting to radio silence.”

    Thanks so much for sharing about that and putting the effects of abuse in those words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I don’t know if you realize, but you were one of the first readers of this blog (other than a handful of very close friends) when I first made it “public” a year ago — and one of only two from those early days still around. I clearly remember the first comment you left (it was on a post that had felt *very* significant to write).

      So I wanted to thank you — for your care; your comments and support; your presence throughout this (life-altering, for me!) year. It has meant a great deal, and I am so appreciative.

      best, alice

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  5. Thanks for sharing this so accurate chart. I can relate to how one can get so conditioned to the environment of domestic violence that it can take awhile to even notice that radio silence has taken over. So glad that you’ve emerged and that we can now all hear you loud and clear.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the share. Awareness and recognition begin with the person who suffers the abuse, but sometimes, it can be so insidious, a person might question or doubt that they are a victim. I’ve never been put in this situation, and I’m grateful that’s the case. But it is good for every person to recognize the signs so we can help anyone who might not see it for themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right: it can take a long time for many (most?) people subjected to abuse to come to terms with the fact that there WAS abuse. And then to work past all the minimizing thoughts. (My own thoughts churned for a long time with “well…it may have been ‘abuse,’ sure — but it wasn’t *that* bad. I mean, it wasn’t ABUSE-abuse. Not like what *real* victims go through.”)

      After the divorce, someone very close to me (family member, actually) told me she had noticed how quiet I has become, years before. But she never said anything, because she thought, “I guess that’s just who Alice is now.” It was a painful conversation for both of us. If I can shed any light for others, I am very glad.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. There was. She never spoke in public (at least not when he was around). She kept making herself smaller, only to learn it was still not small enough. Eventually she broke her mind into pieces that scattered like marbles across the floor.

      I am glad I was able to put her pieces back together again. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. One of my favorite phrases comes from subtitles from a very, very early Jet Li film in which he plays a newspaper reporter. No martial arts. But he does have a love interest. And the subtitles, as they were expressing their mutual affection, read: I cares you! I cares you, too! It’s become a favorite of mine. I might have made a keychain….

    I cares you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I believe abuse can change you, you may not realise it but others can see it. I know I have changed, especially over the past couple of years, I try not to show it with close people but I know some can see straight through me. They don’t know what is happening but I can’t tell them.
    Always try and stay true to yourself.

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    1. I am sorry to hear you are in a bad situation. Even more so that you feel you can’t tell anyone about it. Please believe me when I say: you deserve more than this. You deserve yourself, too.

      I will be holding a space for you open in my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. 13 “years of progressive entombment in my ex’s reality simply made me appear that way.”

    Oh yeah. I can relate. I have people tell me all the time, for the last 12 years, that they always thought I was a totally different person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you are out. I am glad you are now you.

      I’m curious: when did you yourself realize how far away from being “yourself” you had gotten? I didn’t really recognize or start to grapple with that fact for a loooong time. And it’s only been in the past couple months, as I take these last steps towards healing, that I am realizing just how lost I was, during those years. Everything in my head right now feels both very familiar and very strange, all at the same time.

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    1. Isn’t it?? I’m always struck too, when people talk about physical abuse vs. emotional/psychological abuse, by how largely semantic that distinction really is — at least when one starts to look at the lingering effects and consequences. The way enduring such elevated stress for so long can permanently alter the cardiovascular system, the psychological impact that continues long after bruises are healed…

      The only social media platform that gives me trouble now is LinkedIn. Frickin’ “you might know!” spammy emails keep suggesting my ex as someone I might want to connect with, complete with recent picture and other info. gah!!

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