I attended a couple of hours of training today. Domestic violence or DV, as they say at work. I figured it was good information that I could use to help the people I see daily. Little did I know, it was information that would help me.
I have been around the DV block a time or two. I didn’t know that a guy hitting a girl wasn’t normal. I didn’t know that controlling behaviors were considered abuse. Extreme and unexpected mood swings to get his way… abuse. All of it.
I remember when I got divorced. My father apologetically told him, “I don’t know why she does the things she does.” He took it as confirmation that I was in the wrong. My father never knew. You don’t talk about that stuff, especially when your father is a pastor.
Now, many years later, I don’t flinch when a man raises his arms. I don’t get anxious when I buy groceries… because it’s just me now. I don’t worry when I make mistakes because I’ve learned that I don’t need to live up to anyone’s overrated expectations. I live life. I love my life. I love me.
Puzzle pieces were falling into place as DV information tumbled out with the click of each PowerPoint slide. I was able to look into my past as if I was a stranger looking through a window.
“Ahhhh… that’s why he said that.”
“That’s why he behaved irrationally.”
“Why wasn’t I strong enough to leave?” That question was answered, as well.
I am a beautiful mess. No, I take that back. I am beautiful. I am only a mess if I compare myself to the facade that others flaunt about as if they are perfectly normal. We are all flawed. We are all amazingly beautiful.
I am a different person now. The puzzle pieces are fitting together nicely. Some more quickly than others and some are being saved for later.
I guess the bottom line for this day: purposefully hurting another person in anyway, fashion, or form is wrong. The damage caused may take years to heal and some people will never heal. Human life is extremely valuable. Embrace and respect differences. Love like today is your last day on earth.
“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
Romans 12:10 NLT