• Dara Kountz

My Family And My Abuse

So I haven’t posted in awhile and I noticed I never talked about my family as much as my in-laws. However, my family is amazing and I adore them.

I mentioned before that I was with my abusive ex husband for 18 years. During that time, my family had to watch me be destroyed and go do absolutely nothing.

I’m not saying they didn’t offer help and I’m not saying they ignored it or me. I’m saying that they understood that they couldn’t get me out of the situation until I was ready to say ‘I’m done’. They just made sure to do whatever they had to do to keep the lines of communication open and to try to let me know – they were there for me. When I finally was ready to leave, they were right there to get me out of there and then gave me the support and room I needed to heal in a non-judgmental environment.

That was important.

Victims coming out of abuse are ashamed and even well meaning comments of “Why did you stay?” or “How could you get yourself into that situation?” can be hurtful and intimidating to a recovering victim. We already hate ourselves and have no self esteem thanks to our abusers. We really don’t need the rest of the world validating what the abuser did and said by blaming us for it, by saying we were stupid to be caring, loving individuals who didn’t realize we needed to protect ourselves from the one person we should be able to rely on and trust.

My parents and my brother and his family didn’t do that. They let me cry and retreat when I needed to. They let me talk and just listened when I needed that. They only judgement or opinion they expressed about anything I said was to keep telling me, “It wasn’t your fault.” They told me I was strong because I had survived it and gotten out. They told me they understood that my good qualities held me there and they were just sorry my ex-husband wasn’t worthy of my good qualities. They let me heal at my own pace and praised every step I made toward wellness and never chided me about my reversals.

I think that is what helped me heal so well and so fast is the nonjudgmental and accepting support I received from a family who never stopped believing in me and supporting me.

I really do enjoy my family and I don’t hesitate to brag about how wonderful they are. I just hope I never take them for granted.

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