From Trauma to Triumph over Domestic Violence - Portraits of the Jersey Shore

From Trauma to Triumph over Domestic Violence

 “I was a victim of domestic violence for three years with my ex-fiancé. He was an alcoholic and I tried to save him from his demons. He tried to kill me so many times I’d lost count. I always thought I was staying with such an abusive man out of conviction, but I didn’t know the evil of the snake that bit me. I thought I was strong to stay and I thought it was strong to fight for my life. Domestic abuse is insidious and it never starts that way.

“I got out of that relationship a month before you and I had met. He had woken me up in the middle of the night strangling me and the next day I had a black eye and bruises around my neck and I just knew that was the last time. I allowed my eye to heal before I went to my parents and asked for my room back. I had been gone for seven years. In a few days, they had cleared the room and I moved back home.

“Life is too short and love is too fleeting to settle for any form of abuse. The strongest thing you could ever do is admit there is a problem and to get help and find safety. The strongest thing you could ever do is use your voice and share your story. It turns a victim into a victor. I’m owning this chapter because my story isn’t over.

“I’m so blessed to be where I am. Starting over wasn’t so bad. I’d be lying if I said there were no bad days or times where I’d curse the sky and wonder why. But I’ve gotten lucky. I have the greatest friends in the world. They’ve listened. We’ve laughed, my God, we’ve laughed. The best remedy I’ve found for curing those bad days is to create new days, new memories. I’ve learned how to take care of myself and how to grow as a person. I’d go through all the bad days in every single lifetime if it leads me to this version of myself. I’ve learned to truly love myself and to love life. No one will ever take the sparkle from my eyes or the light from my heart.”

~ Manasquan

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