It Happened

My acceptance of domestic violence.

It Happened

It happened. When I look back, I feel as if it was a different person, a different me, a different life, that it was not a chapter of this life that I am living now. But it did happen. No, it does not define me and no, I do not carry it around with me anymore, I have chosen to accept it because acceptance breeds peace and I deserve peace.

When the person you "love" is screaming at you, throwing you across the room, depriving air from your lungs with his hands, you are unable to recognize that it is really happening. Maybe others feel differently (not that I hope for other people to know because they have been there). I wonder today, how did I get to that point? What events led to me creating the reality that was domestic abuse and waking up every day wondering if I would die later? I knew I was destined for greater things. Despite all the negative self talk we adopt from our childhood and despite what was visually playing out in front of my eyes, I knew that this was not my story and this is not my final chapter.

Knowing what I know now, after spiritually awakening and learning how to create my outer world via my inner world, I ask myself how did I create that violent chapter? I believe it started with the violence I experienced growing up with my parents. It feels weird to say that because society is not trained to suspect that abuse is expected from an affluent white family, so I almost feel dramatic expressing the things that happened to me as child. But, IT HAPPENED. My parents had a handful of episodes getting physical with each other and then covering up the holes in the walls. And when my dad finally moved out, the violence in my mother had to be expressed somehow and I was the next best thing. She screamed, belittled, manipulated, and threw me around, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

As a child, we are raised to know that our parents are our safety, our home, and always have our best interest, even when it upsets us. So when they physically hurt us, we are confused because it would go against our innate desire to unconditionally love our parent, and uncovering their fault in hitting us would feel wrong. So, I did not heal from this. I tried and tried and tried to forgive her, but I really did not know how.

Fast forward a year or so, and in walks a man who is a vibrational match for my pain body (google pain body, totally worth it I promise). There were red flags of course, but what abused 19 year old can maturely identify red flags and put on the brakes? I thought I inspired him to be better; I thought I was a saint for seeing the good in people; I thought I was compassionate for accepting him as hurting just as much as I am and that love could help us; I thought this is just how love is because my parents were the only example I had to learn from (and look how that turned out). So I married him, because that's just what you do, right? Wrong.

The night that the switch flipped was the night that my life would never be the same. What started the argument? Who knows. Abusers rarely need a reason, at least he never did. The first time he put his hands on me was the first fear I have ever felt in my so far 20 years on Earth. There is everyday fear, then there is 'my life is in danger' fear, and I pray that no one ever have to experience that differentiation.

In fear, our bodies go into fight or flight. This is why in the moment I did not have thoughts. I was unable to be present and recognize the 'now' of the moment. I was unable to critically think through the situation, why is he acting this way? what is the root of this argument? why am I still here? Instead, I go into survival mode, fighting back, pushing furniture in between the two of us, running down the back alley of our house to who knows where, a bear or a homeless person is a better alternative to staying with a monster. But because of this lack of awareness, I was unable to realize that I had never done anything wrong and that I have never in my life done anything to deserve seeing a knife pulled on me in my living room. So when I share this story with another human and they tell me it is my fault for existing in the situation, and "why not just walk out the door", "why not just kill him", it feels like driving the knife of trauma deeper into the wound. Please, please learn to identify when you are in a situation of limited perception, and to not tell a trembling victim of domestic abuse that they 'should have just walked out the door'. I could write for days on how scary that could be for so many people in my situation.

And that is my objective now, to be a beacon of hope for those who have suffered the way I have, and to educate the fortunate people who have never had to suffer this to be more understanding, compassionate, and supporting of those around them who have; painfully it is more common than we realize.

How did I heal? Therapy, journaling, yoga, meditation, self love, acceptance. The most healing of all? Sharing my story to help others. You are not alone. You are never alone. You have options. You have an out. You are destined for greater things and you will achieve all of them.

Katelynne Donoghue
Katelynne Donoghue
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Katelynne Donoghue
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