Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Last Straw---Support For Victims Of Domestic Violence

You will find the blog The Last Straw at http://thelaststraw.wordpress.com/ . My friend Deb from Deb_Inside sent me to this site a few days ago. Thanks Deb. The Last Straw is a site that says it is for "Support, Motivation, Tips and Warning Signs of Domestic Violence." It is also a site that allows survivors to speak out against Domestic Violence. Rebecca does a great service with her site by giving survivors a chance to share their experiences with other survivors.

Here is a comment that I wrote and left on The Last Straw site:

"Rebecca, your site is offering such a wonderful service in giving survivors a chance to speak out and share their stories. A friend found your site and sent me here since she knows that I am an incest survivor who blogs about my own experiences and recovery.

I never thought that I was a survivor of domestic violence too but I am. My dad was not physically violent except for a few occasions. Most of my abuse other than the incest was from emotional violence and the threat of physical violence. The threat was always in place if we didn't behave like we were supposed to. My mom didn't leave until years after all three of her children were grown and married ourselves. The only reason she left then was because she found out about the other woman.

I got the courage to leave when I was 19. Then I knew he couldn't make me come back. I was a year over the legal age of 18 and considered an adult by the courts. Having the courage to leave was the hardest thing that I have ever done. It took every bit of courage that I could muster to do it. I left without telling my dad. I was going to tell him the night before I left and my mom stopped me. I had just finished my second year at a small community college. A friend from college who was 10 years older than my parents offered me a place to stay for the summer and offered to help me get a job for the summer. I had been accepted into a four year college in the following September of 1971.

My mom waited two days before she told my dad the truth that I wasn't coming home. He came after me. My mom called his older brother who was a police detective. My uncle refereed the meeting between my dad and me. I went home for the weekend. My dad tried everything including threats of suicide if I left again. On Sunday afternoon, my friend picked me up where my mom dropped me off at the community college. I knew that if I had given in to my dad's demands that I would have lived the rest of my life under his control. I knew I would have died and become a shell of who I was if I returned home. That gave me the courage to refuse to be manipulated by my dad's demands and threats."

I had left a letter for my mom and sister so that someone knew where I was going and why. I know that living with the threat of violence is not the same as living with the actual violence. I also know that the damage to your emotions and mind can lead to the same results---feelings of low self-worth and the recreation of the same environment that you grew up in, among other things.

On an inspirational note, I am including a link to the blog of Lyman Reed who has a link to a video that is well worth watching. You will find the video on Lyman's site at http://creatingabetterlife.net/2008/02/17/the-last-lecture/ . Check it out. This is the best 12 minutes that I spent this week.

5 comments:

Deb Estep said...

Incest is indeed domestic violence !!!

Patricia, thanks to you and folks like Rebecca and every other person who blogs openly about these issues, people have the chance to see themselves.

Then take the steps to remove themselves and find the healing that can happen after domestic violence.

I noticed that Rebecca's site offers people the chance to share in an anonymous way. That is wonderful, because a person can share their story, have feedback and support, and not feel like they are opening themselves up to the entire world.

Again, I just can't commend you and others like you who share so openly enough. You bring HOPE !!!

I sound like a broken record... lol but it's SO TRUE.

Bless You ALL.
xo xo
Deb

Patricia Singleton said...

Deb, you don't sound like a broken record. You sound like a person who cares deeply. Love and blessings to you.

Vitor - The Fractal Forest said...

Patricia,


I didn't know about this part of your story...

Leaving in such a way, specially when your dad was doing everything in his power to hold you back, that takes real courage. It's amazing to see what each of us can accomplish when there is the will to change and the support of others who care. Blessings to you.


Vitor

Patricia Singleton said...

Vitor, you would not recognise the girl that I was at 19 with the woman that I have become. I was extremely shy and terrified of my own shadow and of other people back then. This story is about the first time that I went against the iron control that my dad exerted on my family. I was terrified but knew it was what I had to do if I was ever going to have a life of my own. I didn't know that courage was there until I called upon it to leave. God gave me my friend Althea who gave me a home for that summer until I could go off to my 3rd year of college in September. Until she came along, I didn't have a safe place to go to. Blessings back to you.

Patricia Singleton said...

Pat Ruppel has been generous, again, with her high praise of me and has provided a link below under Links To This Post where she has written her own article called "6 Ways To Overcome Adversity." She includes me in the company of 5 other inspirational people when she uses us as examples for each of her 6 tips. Thanks Pat for the praise and recognition and the link love in your article. She is also a courageous woman who is going through some challenges of her own.