Humans logo

Five Octobers

A Reflection on the Weight of Abuse

By Jennifer JoycePublished 6 years ago 3 min read

October marks five years since leaving my abuser. Five years since finding my value and my worth. Five years since saving my life. Time has worn down the pain and has taught me forgiveness, but the memories are still there. As I celebrate the anniversary of my freedom this month, and as I celebrate the love I've found with my lovely husband, I find myself faced with reminders of the words, of the bruises, of the fear. Most recently, I find myself weighed down with the public discourse around the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

I, myself, am a survivor of relationship violence. Between the ages of 16-19, I was abused physically, emotionally, and financially. I was hit, I was cornered, I was damaged. Like Christine Blasey Ford, I never reported the violence perpetrated against me to the police. I never told anyone.

Based on the public reaction to the Kavanaugh accusations, my experience wouldn’t matter. If Kavanaugh's accuser's experience doesn't matter because it was 30 years ago when he was only 17, what else can I think for my own experience? And while it has only been five years since I broke free from the violence, my abuser may one day be a famous writer, director, or public figure, and at that point in time, will the fact that I almost died at his hands no longer matter? I would never hope nor wish to destroy his life or ruin his career chances because of mistakes he made when my abuser was a teenager. However, if faced with him taking a position high in the government sphere, where his moral character is imperative, I would feel compelled to share my experience.

In saying all of this, I believe that the character we exhibit when we are teenagers matters. The way we behave during those formative years can show which way the moral compass lies. But while I believe this to be the case, I also acknowledge how difficult it can be for teenagers to handle the evolving and overwhelming emotions that develop in those years. My empathy and understanding of my abuser's vulnerable state have led me to forgive him for the violence and manipulation he exhibited towards me. And while I would not want to ever ruin his life, like he could have easily ruined mine, if he ever decided to run for office with moral power, I would feel compelled to let his character be known.

If that ever became the case, I hope for my sake that I would be taken seriously. Unlike many of my peers who have gone through a similar assault, I am lucky. I have had the opportunity to save proof that could one day give me the understanding and support that I deserve. That all victims deserve. I am grateful for the technology that allows me to record the words hurled at me, the receipts for the damaged fixed, the pictures of the bruises that still haunt me. I am lucky because I escaped and I can be here today to tell you about my experience, whether you believe me or not.

This October has already been, and will be more difficult than the last four Octobers. This year I will celebrate the years to come, that I wouldn't have had if it wasn't for my husband. But this year I will also reflect on the pain that was inflicted upon me, and the pain that is inflicted upon other young girls like me every day. I will continue to tell my story of how I survived and how I forgave. For them, and myself, I will persist.

breakups

About the Creator

Enjoyed the story?
Support the Creator.

Subscribe for free to receive all their stories in your feed. You could also pledge your support or give them a one-off tip, letting them know you appreciate their work.

Subscribe For Free

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

    JJWritten by Jennifer Joyce

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.