There comes a time in your life when you get tired of abuse: the two who call themselves my “mom” and “dad” were so consumed with their own egos (re: “me me meeeeeeeeeeeeee”), and those who made them look bigger then they really are, that they couldn’t be the parents I needed them to be: when a decision had to be made (whether it was how to dress, what to eat, or who to spend time with) I had to advise myself. When I wanted to cry, I cried privately (so they wouldn’t see and yell at me for crying); when he wanted to go on vacation it was to meet my brother (who I love dearly); when she wanted to go shopping it was for her diet food (which never worked); when they didn’t like me questioning their dictatorship they tried to beat me down (not just physically); when they didn’t like me going out into the world, to live my life, they tried to stop me (and I refused): you can’t live your life in a choke-hold (physically or otherwise, as was the case with me) because it kills you one way or the other. You have to get more for yourself, and not let any abuser get in your way, because life isn’t worth anything if you can’t even wake up without fearing for your life.
Let me tell you all something (especially those of you just wondering or side-eyeing me for knowing what I know – when I have a B.A. in English from York University and plenty of courses in Social Work): we abuse victims have to ‘look’ long and hard to stay alive: if you don’t look (at what your abuser(s) are doing, or what their next move is), you might not make it. I had to look to stay alive, and so that I could live: I looked through his cabinets (a place where I was “not allowed” to go) to get MY social insurance card, MY health card, MY passport, and MY everything with MY name or MY face on it. I did it because in order to move forward I had to have my government documents with me, and I did that kind of intensive look because I didn’t want him using my name for anything (I’m sure he may have tried to). I still don’t have my birth certificate (he took that before I could get to it). I had to look carefully: abusers ‘check’ to see if you’ve gone for your personal documents, so I watched how often he ‘checked’ his cabinet, and I took, packed, and left within that time frame (to be safe). Can you see why I left? Why should I have to sneak into my abusers cabinets to get MY documents? Why should I have to realize that my abuser took MY birth certificate and did whatever he wanted with it? That’s what I had to do in order to leave, and I want nothing to do with that kind of lifestyle again.
I left for peace, freedom, security, and safety; I left to be alive (rather than to just ‘survive’); I left because I had enough of having to live with sick and twisted people who want to live a closed off, fake, suppressive, and demeaning lifestyle that doesn’t suit me at all.
There is one thing I want to warn abuse victims of, and its this: when you leave, whether with all the money in the world or just enough to replace your things, you will have the following troubles:
1. Address change – phone plan providers, banks, and everything connected to money and a payment want proof of where you life and what you’re doing with non-cash money: I went to get a cell phone (just yesterday) with cash in hand and they told me they couldn’t give me a cell phone because I don’t have a credit card or a picture ID with my new address on it (I closed my last account some time ago). Note: They told me to go to LCBO for an ‘age of majority card’ or to get a ‘valid drivers license.’
2. Contact people – keep your Facebook because its not easy leaving with your important things, and having to dig through your important things to find phone numbers (of people who may or may not believe you); its not easy having to figure out how to tell people “I just left abuse, and I’m ready to live my life but I’m not sure if you’re aware of how much abuse gets in the way of people living their life (or having people in their life) until you leave.”
Please leave abuse as safely as you can.