How the ‘domestic violence’ label changed my life
What ‘labels’ do you ascribe to yourself?
Many people don’t consider how they see themselves or their situation. But, if you begin to unpick the layers of labels what’s left? How do you decide to define who you are or what your situation is?
Many years ago, I had an ‘epiphany’, it was one of a number of ‘light-bulb’ moments I’ve since had in my life. The light was very clearly shining on what I now realise to be my moment of clarity. It was the point in my life when I fully realised that what I was happening to me was totally unacceptable and wrong, it was the realisation that I was experiencing domestic violence.
For those of you who’ve also lived through a controlling relationship to this degree and come through the other side, perhaps you also had your ‘light-bulb’ moment.
The epiphany that occurred was the glaring , cold, stark truth that I was living a life of pain; emotional, physical and mental torment. My sense of self had eroded to zilch and this was a shocking revelation. But, one that perhaps saved my life.
The label of ‘domestic violence’ helped me, as it gave me the impetus and hope that I needed to escape. Before that point, I’d been living a hollowed-out version of myself, what I label a ‘shadow-self’.
The label of ‘domestic violence’, also gave me the language that I needed to explain my situation to others. But, I soon discovered that there exists a set of ‘sub-labels’.
These labels within labels, are in fact, people’s prejudices or ignorance or even just plain nastiness. What I mean is, people would use different labels, some described me as ‘a domestic violence victim’ to others I was ‘a survivor’. The list of labels that I’ve been given from others is endless! But, I am not my labels….
In giving ourselves labels we identify with whatever it is. At that time of my life, the label of ‘domestic violence’ was a doorway through which I could escape to freedom.
Now, many years later I bring to people’s attention, not only how living in an abusive relationship is completely soul destroying, but how their perception of these situations can either compound or help ‘survivors’ to rebuild their lives.
Today my label’s change intermittently. I like to call myself whatever I’m drawn to each day; soulpreneur, divine feminine empowerer, soul path facilitator.
I identify what I do through the use of these labels, not of who I am. Who I am has been revealed through the many years of peeling back the layers of labels. Who I am is, I am.
For anybody reading this article who has experienced domestic violence or is living in an abusive relationship there is help available.
Contact your nearest Women’s Aid or police. Get the help you need. You don’t have to suffer alone! If you’re living in the UK the number to ring is; Women’s Aid National helpline: 0808 2000 247 Freephone 24 Hr National Domestic Violence Helpline http://www.womensaid.org.uk
(Be strong and get the help you need.. You can change your life for the better. Your life can be beautiful again. Your heart will heal.. love and blessings, Joanne)
(Image obtained under Creative Commons CCO Pixabay JohnHain)