A person can say anything…

My dad will be a year older on Monday. 79, in fact.

It’s Friday afternoon, I’m sitting here thinking about wrapping his presents and what to say in his card.

Trying to fit everything I think and feel into his card is always a challenge. I know I wouldn’t need to say anything – and he’d still know how I felt about him.

I usually end up going for one of our “in-jokes” because I know it will make him laugh.

Growing up with my dad working nights wasn’t easy. I never really thought about it until I got older. But he is a provider, he shows his love and affection through his actions. I cannot begin to count the number of times in my life he has shown me his genuine love through every single thing he has done to help and support me in my life.

And he is loyal beyond words.

I think one of the most valuable life lessons my dad ever taught me was “don’t tell me, show me.”

This is something I have carried with me over the years and honestly, it is one of the truest sayings I have ever heard.

We can all talk the talk I’m sure. But when words and actions don’t marry up – what then?

In domestically abusive relationships, the perpetrator will shower words of adoration and affection onto the victim, making the victim feel special and wanted. These words flow from the perpetrator’s mouth with the greatest of ease. So naturally in fact, that the victim believes it all to be true.

Slowly, the arguments start and those words that were like sweet honey from the perpetrator’s mouth, begin to turn sour.

But it’s OK. Because they are sorry. They’ve been under a lot of stress and the victim hasn’t helped matters.

Sweet words return and yet, there’s a niggling feeling the victim can’t shake until (in many cases) years have passed and the victim can barely recognise themselves anymore.

This is an all too common picture we see when supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Somewhere along the way, they lose sight of themselves, of all the things they wanted to do and the dreams they had when they were little are gone.

The reason I wanted to start You Don’t Own Me and DIP in and out with Lucy, was to let people know one simple thing. That they are not alone.

When we support victims and survivors, we’re letting them know that their life isn’t over. There is the chance to live a full and happy life. It will take time, especially if the individual is navigating the worries and pressures of post-separation abuse.

But there can be an end to it. Life can move forward.

If I could give a piece of advice to any victim or survivor of domestic abuse it would be this.

A person can say anything. But it’s their actions that will tell you everything you need to know.

I will forever be grateful to my dad for showing me by his actions, his love and affection for me and my family.

It’s the best gift anyone could receive.

If this blog resonates with you or someone you know, you can visit my Resources Page for useful links and support.

DIP in and out with Lucy | Podcast on Spotify




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