.: CAUTION :.
Before reading this entry please take note:
The attached photographs (below)
depict injuries sustained from
If you struggle with such images
.: I URGE YOU TO SKIP THIS ENTIRE ENTRY :.
With that said, if you choose to continue reading this particular chapter of my life, please don't be afraid to share, tweet, link, e-mail, +1, etc if you feel compelled to do so. This is part of my story, that I choose to share in the hopes that it will not only raise overall awareness, but also foster courage within those who may find themselves in a similar situation, but have yet to find their voices.
Abuse is real, & more common than anyone would think. It has been just over one year since these photos (shown below) were taken. Over a span of roughly the 12 weeks it took for most of the bruising to fade, although the damage done to the bone below was still recovering. I still have a hard time believing that the woman in the photos are of ME. A strong independent woman who is always ready to stand up for what is right, & yet I had become just a scared little girl cowering in a corner in merely seconds.
Never in a million years would I have thought that I would end up a "statistic." A battered woman without a voice. As I sat in the hospital, the reality of my situation fully sank in. I was battered & broken, hospitalized by the man that I thought loved me. The same man who had promised to [
love & cherish] [in sickness & health] had just drunkenly knocked me unconscious causing enough injury to require an emergency room visit. I guess we had a difference in opinion regarding "Til Death Do Us Part."
(--- bad time for a joke, but in all seriousness, if ever I am asked for my hand again I should respond with 'Closed fist or open palm?')
Sure, at first I didn't want to talk to police, or anyone for that matter. I didn't make any excuses as I told the doctors I had been hit in the face... but I stubbornly refused to give up names, because I wasn't going to be a "snitch." Thanks to my wonderful & supportive friends (Specifically, Zach, who dared to call my Mom).
Even though I was livid that he had gone behind my back, I was secretly relieved that the "hard decision" was no longer in my hands. Feeling slightly betrayed, but more-so ashamed at my own reluctance to come forward, I finally found my voice. As tears streamed down my face, I painstakingly made a statement to the Police. I wasn't even sure of what the outcome would be as I told them how both of us had been drinking when the arguing started, & following that, I had mere flashes in my memory of the evening followed by blackness, and thankfully, I woke up in an empty apartment.
I told of how I had groggily shuffled to the bathroom thinking "Dammit, if I have pink eye, I'll be pissed!" only to realize that pink eye was the least of my worries. To say I was startled upon looking into the mirror would be an understatement as it dawned on me that the reflection was indeed my own. My eye was swollen shut, & rapidly developing attributes similar to that of a plum. Not just in color, but in shape, & size as well. I watched their faces as I continued to relay to them my fragmented recollections of the night before. I expected to see pity or even disgust as I admitted that I had struck him in return before my memory lapsed into darkness. Instead I saw what I can only describe as shock & awe etched into their features. It was then that my uncertainty faded completely. The calculated words that I had barely been able to force from my lips, were now steadily flowing, keeping pace with tears I had long since given up trying to withhold. I felt the loving support from my friends. I am so glad that I took that leap of faith & faced the fear head on. I am a stronger woman today, & I keep growing & learning as each day passes.
Below is a slide show depicting the physical damage caused to me in November 2010 in order from the day after the event (following my ER visit) up until the bruising was almost gone around 12 weeks later (taken at my work). A follow up entry will be in the near-ish future. Promise.
(Edited 04/16/2012: Photo links were broken but now repaired, & I added a paragraph at the top, & very bottom before the slide show, and inserted more details. Meh, I'm not a writer, I'm just a girl with gumption. kb)