dv survivor

New Year, Better Me.

Everyone starts off the new year with a “New Year, New Me” attitude. I want to challenge you, no matter what stage of your Domestic Violence journey you are in… to just work on being a better version of yourself. More of a “Know better..do better.” I hope this blog is not all over the place, and I can organize it well to make it easier for you all to read and to follow. PLEASE know, this is not me being cruel or harsh. This me being REAL, and saying what you NEED to hear and not what you want to hear. I want to be 100% honest without sugar coating about this content because I feel wholeheartedly that you all, no matter your situation, need to hear this. Anyone you know who has been in a DV relationship, is currently in one, or in a relationship that you feel is toxic needs to read this. Please share the blog post on facebook, or in private.

I took a little time off from my website because I was struggling. I know, 7 years safe for me, and I still struggle. This time of the year is the hardest for me. This time of year is when I come home from work at 1 am, grabbed two laundry baskets full of dirty clothes of my kids’ and dumped them in two trash bags. I chose the dirty clothes because I knew they were clothes my children could fit into, and they were a good mixture of all four kids clothes without me having to take the time to go room to room.  I am going to back up a little and tell you about that day. It was by far one of the worst days of my life yet. At one point during that day- I thought I was going to die. For whatever reason, he chose to let me live. I said it… HE CHOSE that I got to live. For that, I will be forever thankful. With that said, I decided at that point he was not going to choose if I live or die, anymore. I left that evening roughly around 1:40AM.

I am in contact with a lot of victims at any given time during my every day life. To give you an idea, I will put a number to it… roughly 7,200 victims of domestic violence have complete access to my one on one guidance every single day, if they choose to reach out to me. (those numbers come from the 2 support groups, and my advocacy page + I took off 1,000 for those who may be in more than one.) This is not counting the victims that I personally know, or know their families or friends who reach out to me. The thing I hear most from those victims trying to leave an abusive relationship is…. “I can’t…because _______________”  you fill in the blank and I have heard it. “I can’t because it’s my house.”, “I can’t because my family will disown me.” “I can’t because of my dog/cat/ferret/snake”, “I can’t because I don’t have a car/job/family” “I can’t because my kids will be heartbroken” etc…. I get it, I really do. I stayed for so long because he convinced me I would ruin my kids if I left him. He told me he would kill my dog. He told me none of my family liked me anyway, and they would say I could stay but they wouldn’t be able to handle being around me, and wouldn’t want to deal with my kids… so, that is what I believed and when people told me to leave I would repeat his words as my own.

Here is where I have to be honest, and tell you without sugar coating…

You CAN because you HAVE TO. If you want the life you desire.. you HAVE TO get out despite how hard it is. You WILL face hardships, and you may have to think outside the box to escape the hold your abuser has on you, but you CAN.

Leaving a dv relationship is not easy. In fact, it is one of the hardest things I have done. Not because of love, but because of the control and manipulation I had to break free from. Abusers make it the most inconvenient thing EVER. That is part of their control and manipulation tactic. If they make it absolutely the most difficult way out, and you stay because its too hard, they have succeeded.

I promise you that you CAN do it, and deep down under all of that fear, helplessness, and hold your abuser as on you…there is a strong willed person who’s fire burns brighter than all that. If you are in an abusive relationship and need help finding a safe way out, please message me on http://www.facebook.com/amdvadvocate

 

Thank you for listening to me. Sorry it’s been a bit since I’ve posted. I had a lot to work through in my mind, but I am back and better than ever. I want you to take something out of this post.. whether it be my advice, my advocacy page information, or the phrase “new year, better me.” find something from last year that you could do better at next year. Mine is gong to be better organization, and less phone screen time. Here’s to a new year… and a better us.

 

2 Comments

  • Tammy Crawford

    So very true! I left with nothing but the clothes on my back over a decade ago.
    Thank you for being an advocate. Please remember to take care of yourself first though. You can’t help others while neglecting your needs (spoken from experience).

    • Ashley Mccowan

      Thank you so much for that. I actually have been spending the last year taking care of myself, and have taken a little bit of a break. I have been seeing a wonderful therapist who has helped tremendously. I am BACK, and ready to continue on spreading awareness and making a difference. thank you for being here, and for your comment. 🙂

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