Losing a Parent to Domestic Violence - A Story of Resilience (Click to see more)
Every person is put on earth for a purpose, or at least that’s what I like to believe. I think that everyone is given different variations of the same obstacles to accomplish in completely unlike ways. I’m not sharing my story for sympathy, in fact I have been avoiding that for almost 20 years. I never wanted anyone to look at me differently after knowing what I had been through, because truthfully I always just wanted to be the same as everyone else. That’s the best way I can describe my fear of speaking my truth for all this time. Fear that I wouldn’t be accepted. Fear of making it known that I am different. That what had happened to me was different. I now know that even though I was/am/will always be different, I am not alone. No matter how small the percentage may be, this has happened to someone else. Another little girl, or boy has felt my pain and for that I felt it was finally time to explain how I persevered. If not a way to bring awareness to such a barely discussed topic, but to encourage others who are still suffering in pain that it can get better if YOU want it to.
The month before I turned 7 years old (April 1999 to make me feel super ancient) my whole entire world was turned upside-down forever in the blink of an eye. I say blink of an eye because that’s how quickly everything happened, but in hindsight we should have all seen the foreshadowing years in advance. Metaphorically speaking, I grew up in a very dark household filled with severe domestic violence, so much to the point that most of it is blacked out from my brain. Looking back, I guess I unknowingly did this as a coping mechanism to avoid the pain and sorrow from remembering it all. One thing I will never forget though and still don’t to this day is my mother’s love and internal light of good that forever shined through. On April 8, 1999 that light transferred to the other side when my father murdered my mother while I was downstairs. That sounds absolutely absurd to write and my heart is basically palpitating out of my chest as I type this, but that is what happened. As much as I tried to hide my story, that is my truth. Although I had absolutely nothing to do with this unimaginable life altering event, I couldn’t help but feel ashamed. Ashamed that I was now different than everyone else. Even to this day, while I have met others who have also lost a parent at a young age, I still have yet to cross paths with anyone that has in the same way I have.
Losing a parent to domestic violence is like losing two parents at once. In an instant they both become physically gone in different ways. It’s something that happens in such a little amount of time but comes with years of pain afterwards. Of course it obviously hurts when it first happens. What hurts more though is the time that follows. Years and years afterwards you still feel the pain and ripple effects from it, in fact sometimes it even feels worse. It never actually goes away, and you continue to live your life knowing that. BUT this is where you have two choices… to let the emotional distress and trauma own you, or for you to own it.
Aside from having this horribly unimaginable thing happen to me when I was younger, the rest of my life turned out pretty great. I like to think that my mom has been looking over me the whole time and making things go my way, but I know I owe a lot of the credit to myself. I persevered, I continue to persevere every single day of my life, and I know others can too. Everyone is in control of their own destiny and whatever has happened to you in life does NOT dictate your story. You can write your own. In fact, I truly believe that the universe responds better when you show it what you got! So, for anyone who has lost someone close to them I am your living proof that it CAN get better if YOU want it to.