My Healing From Domestic Abuse Started when I Decided to Call it as Such
Healing from Domestic Abuse: Finding the Strength in What Remains
Dear all, this heading is very similar to that of the first chapter of my soon to be published memoir. There is the cover and on it you see a glowing face right? I sure look sublime and even this morning, after a regular checkup, my doctor complimented my weight. Uh huh, a 76 kg down from a round 115 kg five years ago. Wow! It’s been one freaking journey of healing from both actions and omissions. And yet, I can only sincerely state that my healing started when I decided to give what had happened a name, and call it loud as such.
Lets dare 2 talk about Domestic Abuse
I am a Cameroonian, and in my country as in several others, women especially are expected not to “wash dirty linen in public”. It sure doesn’t matter if you aren’t the one who dirtied it in the face place. I mean, is domestic abuse not part of the risk of the “job” of “ Wifehood”? Didn’t my momma and her momma before that not go through worse and yet “bowel” it all up for their “children’s sake”?
My Friend Nancy Salamone who survived domestic abuse for 20 good years before saving herself, said in her Sicilian culture, the code was Omertà. This is literally translated as a code of silence. Nancy was a wall street executive, while I was a lawyer. She honored me by writing a foreword to my memoir, which I shared on my blog here.
You see, dear readers, when there is some image to guard, when there is some ‘family honour’ to preserve, you don’t want any of that jeopardised. Yet, when your life gets so threatened by what is going on in your own domestic environment – your relationship – those codes become doubtful. In my case, I decided to leave and to speak out loud.
Domestic Abuse by both of us, though to different degrees
I have been lauded for not playing the victim all the time. Yes, I don’t want to shy away from my own responsibilities, whatever the reason. It happened that in my own foyer, the man I had coaxed into marrying me, taught me something about domestic abuse. Ah yes, the marriage I had hurriedly gotten into because I sought and saw it as a refuge from my own mother’s house and my inner turmoil, turned out to be the breeding ground of different shades and sounds of domestic abuse. I was battered, and I was forced over and again to fulfill so called ‘sexual duties’. Indeed, even the ‘silent treatment’ was employed for a chunk of our years together. I did what I could too, to fight back and hurt him as best as possible.
One day I couldn’t take it no more
It got to a point where I started having extra marital affairs, although I was never caught in adultery. No one threw a stone at me, but I felt so bad. The tension at home was getting unbearable and I decided to leave so I could live. My self-confidence, self-esteem and even my faith in God took a very heavy toll.
Leaving and loving myself saved me
I finally made the decision to leave in order to live. I couldn’t take it no more. I was in such a mess and I seriously thought of death to the extent of attempting suicide. I left my marriage and my three boys behind, and I left my country altogether. I went from one country to the other, one job or course to the other. It’s taken four years. I am not healed, but the healing journey has a better and brighter horizon as much as I can see. I realized that all along, I had largely neglected Me. I embarked on a big Self-Awareness, Self-Acceptance, Self-Love and Self-Management road. Then my Faith in God recently witnessed a wonderful, personal and deeply spiritual epiphany. All is well, and this to me is a good sign for the healing journey still ahead.
Marie Abanga is a mother of 3 boys, her musketeers whom she for all sorts of genuine and not so genuine reasons and motives, left behind in her native Cameroon while fleeing for her own ‘sanity’. She is every other woman, a mother, daughter, sister, lover and friend. Marie is a lawyer by profession, a dynamic and passionate advocate of Women’s rights, a mental health advocate, a motivational speaker and a well-being coach to some. She is a multiple award-winning blogger, a nationally acclaimed memoir writer and simply put, a woman of Faith.
Marie’s website is: http://marieabanga.com/
Her main Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/marieangeleAbanga
Thank you for sharing your story Marie. You are one of the strongest and bravest women I know. I look forward to reading your memoir. Domestic abuse is a silent killer. Even if it doesn’t kill you physically, it kills something inside of you. And unless you take action and reclaim your life, you will continue to be a victim. Your abuser will make sure of that.
Have you been a victim of domestic abuse? Or are you still a victim of domestic abuse? Would you like to share your story on this blog? If you would, please send me an email. I won’t publish your name if you would like to be anonymous. There are many people who would benefit from hearing how you cope with domestic abuse. 🙂