I did something this morning I’ve never done before…..
I went to collect my first pair of glasses.
I’ve always been very fortunate to have good vision and it’s only as I’ve hit my mid forties that I have found myself in this position. Everything was getting a “bit blurry.” I’m not complaining in the slightest, I’m lucky to have gone this long!
But sitting waiting for my glasses, it made me think about the parallels with domestic abuse.
Bear with me on this!
I saw a video on a social platform recently that showed an individual wearing “rose-coloured spectacles” and when they took them off, they saw the perpetrator for what they really were.
It doesn’t really grasp the magnitude of living with a perpetrator nor does it convey the love bombing that begins from the very start of the relationship. The slow, subtle way the perpetrator embeds themselves into the life of the victim. And the post-separation that can ensue.
The victim, over time, slowly loses sight of what they want out of life. Their own dreams and aspirations become a distant memory. Because everything becomes about what the perpetrators wants. And for the victim, everything becomes that little bit fuzzier and blurry.
It is very easy from the outside to say, “I’d have seen them coming a mile off!” But you’re not the victim/survivor.
Society is very quick to judge others but as a very dear friend once said to me, “when you point the finger, don’t forget there are three pointing back at you.” Nobody is ever in a position to judge someone else.
The reason I’m so determined to raise awareness about post-separation abuse and indeed, all aspects of domestic abuse is because it sits among us. On the bus, on the tram, when we’re at work, school or college. Wherever you go at any point in time, you will be in close proximity to someone who is either a victim, survivor or perpetrator. You may have experienced abuse yourself. Or maybe you don’t realise it’s happening right now.
Take a minute to think about that. And now tell me it isn’t something we should all be talking about.
So is there a glimmer of hope?
There most certainly is.
When I put the glasses on this morning at the Opticians and looked at myself in the mirror. I knew there was hope.
I can see so much more clearly now and I feel better in myself.
How does this relate to domestic abuse and indeed, post-separation abuse?
Because when we seek the right support, your life can open up and change beyond belief. It can take time to adjust to your new situation but however long it takes. It will be worth it.
When you take that first step to speak to someone about what you’re experiencing, I’m not going to lie, it will be one of the most daunting steps you will ever take. But what comes afterwards is the chance at a life you deserve. It may take time to realise that it’s abuse because this is the way the perpetrator has always behaved, it’s become your “norm.” But trained professionals know this and they can support you in so many ways.
If you think you may be experiencing post-separation abuse, there is help and support. You may feel like nobody else can understand because you’re no longer with the perpetrator, so things are supposed to get better.
But believe me, support services know that a perpetrator does not always stop because you managed to leave. In fact, they will most likely up the attempts at exerting power and control.
Whether through withholding financial support to using harassment and intimidation, putting the children in the middle of it all or abuse of social and legal systems to attempt to frighten you into doing what they want.
You may feel as though you are completely alone and nobody can possibly understand. But we do.
We see you
And we hear you.
And honestly, if you think everything you have experienced sounds “out there” or “insane” just remember, as they say, truth is stranger than fiction!
Now you have found support. You have taken the first step. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
And slowly, over time. Your life will come back into focus.
And it will be better than you ever could have imagined!
If this blog resonates with you or someone you know, visit my Resources Page for useful links and support.