DVAM the acronym for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Hmm. Well I have come to age on this.
I used to get frustrated when people used the word, ‘awareness.’ I mean, we all know that bad things exist. We are aware.
As a writer, when I clear my mind and prepare to write with a particular topic or story in mind, I usually go off course and writing something really deep on something related. Now is one of those times. I was going to talk about healing. I went into my court folder (I am currently back in court with my ex because after 5 years, I decided to finally stop being intimidated and stand up for our little boy’s rights).
I was thinking the day of our separation, by virtue of his arrest, was October; but now recall that it was mid-November.
I came across my journal. And rip off that scab. Ouch.
Reading it, I remember exactly how I felt. But I must maintain composure, because I am NOT in that situation anymore. In fact, I can’t even believe how far I have come. Facing that rat in court this year was the most intensely fearful and anxious moment that I can recall. Since that separation in November 2007, since the move just 3 miles up the road 3 months later, since the night terrors which eventually subsided. Since his stalking habits were exposed, and since violating the court order of protection WAS reported, and not pardoned by me… since our last conversation was one that he said something snide and I hung up on him, never to speak on the phone with him again – but now I have to lay eyes on him in a court waiting room. I was near panic. I felt like Medusa was there, begging for me to lay eyes and then I would freeze and turn to stone. Don’t look. Don’t.
The feeling of knowing my 5 year order of protection had just expired I felt vulnerable. Not that I put a false sense of security into a sheet of paper serving as a bulletproof vest, but that at least a violation would be chargeable and enforceable… legal subsequences for trying to stalk and intimidate me again…
I felt like a dozen wrecking balls were whacking against my ribcage and chest trying to get out. I couldn’t overcome that pounding. Here is where I have to say thank you to my Facebook friends. I posted the fear and feelings, and tried to hold it all together by reminding myself of WHY I was there, I was there for our son, and to stand up for him and what’s right. When I went to the check-in window, I saw his reflection in the glass, I saw him looking me up and down. I felt like I was wrestling to keep spiders off me but kept a solid confidence gate. I saw he didn’t look in the glass at my face though, so I studied his expression and his demeanor. He didn’t seem so scary anymore. I mean, this is just a skinny man who forced his family to serve him. He beat us and told us how worthless we were. He insisted he would never allow our kids to be successful, have a driver’s license or a good job. He bellowed that he would make sure of it.
Why? That’s sick.
Well we needed to go to another floor for another matter, and I power-walked to the elevator. He eventually strode over as well. I knew he was there, I felt that ice cold waves coming off his concrete stone existence.
I stared at that elevator door pleading for it to hurry up and open, and be too full for both of us to fit in. Flash – remember why I’m here, for our son. Stay strong. Flash – remember ALL the people who are looking up to you to be strong for THEM. Flash – all those people supporting me on my Facebook wall, and mentally, even from halfway across this planet are sending positive vibes my way. Get strong, stand tall, don’t look. Don’t.
He stood at about 4:30 as I stood there staring at that elevator door as 12 o’clock. There was nobody else around. You could hear a pin drop. [stay strong!] I kept my back to him.
And then, it spoke. This maggot who interrogated his family and brutalized our spirit, spoke.
I thought, of allllllll the things in the whole world that he could have said at all…. I heard, in a weak man peanut butter voice, these words, in a snide, low, monotone delivery, verbatim, “I seen pictures of you all over the web with other guys. I haaaaave those pictures.”
And the elevator door opened. It was near emptly. I got in.
A strange, but huge wave of relief rinsed off the ugliness of his presence. I felt like Niagara Falls just washed me and I was pure again. I thought to myself, “WOW! Is that all you’ve got?!” At that moment, I felt a very physical and mental exchange of power there. I TOOK MY POWER BACK! I even wanted to say, “COOL!”
Why is that so great? I am a promoter, band photographer, event coordinator, I love to put myself in the center of some hunky guys and get pictures. Most of them are friends anyway. Had I been the type of person who goes out drinking routinely and poses with drinks and duckfaces, that would have been another story entirely. But I built my reputation on purpose and don’t have questionable content on the web that would embarrass my kids, or influence my clients in a negative way, so this meant absolutely nothing! It was AMAZING!
I said nothing back, I did not lay eyes on him directly, and felt I didn’t need to. I remembered how I teach others not to give in, don’t feed the demons, don’t react. Don’t give him anything. Don’t.
And in the courtroom, when asked our kids’ ages, he could not even answer.. he couldn’t remember. Their dad. No birthday gifts, no holiday cheer, only a self-serving lifestyle using others. If it doesn’t benefit him, he doesn’t care. I rolled my eyes but smiled to myself. I do have this. Friends and supporters were right. I help them and they help me. It’s karma. It’s my best friend.
Every time I speak out I have hundreds of people in my head as an audience. I can’t let them down. I stand taller, stronger, speak louder and prouder. I do have this. So can you. You will, too.
I made it, I survived, and you can too.
This is October, domestic violence awareness month. It’s also breast cancer awareness month. Wear purple and pink. If you are female, get your mammaries checked. Just like anything else, it’s always best to be proactive instead of reactive. Much love.
Suzanne Perry “Suzy”P available for keynote speaking and confidence training.
Please share for inspiration, empowerment, hope for your future if you are early in the stages of healing. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook at @SuzyPRocks.