I Am waking up from dreams

November 6, 2019
I Am waking up from dreams

I Am…
I am from rope swings and secret hide-outs in the woods, made out of sticks and pine straw, whispers and endless laughter with my sister and our friends.

I am from blue skies, skinned knees, and road trips, laid out in the back of a wood-paneled Chevy station wagon.

I am from the smell of cigarette ashes, whisky and gin, my father’s raging “Sweet Jesus!” whenever we spoke too loud or made the slightest mistake.

I am from shouting in the kitchen, broken dishes and broken promises that things would be different next time.

I am from my mother’s refrain of “No one has the perfect family,” and “We don’t talk about these things outside of this house.”

I am from books and poetry, fish camps and farmlands, campfires and sunsets in the Blue Ridge mountains.

I am from “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”, making prayers, promises and bargains with a God who I thought could protect me from life, a God who I eventually discovered was simply walking alongside me in it.

I am from a father who was never wrong, who never shared opinions but only “truths”.

I am from a mother with a strong and beautiful voice, frequently silenced and rarely heard by anyone besides my sister and me.

I am from lying in the grass, watching the stars, feeling small, feeling butterflies in my stomach, feeling my heart break.

I am from digging my nails down into the earth and getting back up again, walking down a path of uncertainty because of all the love and hope I could never shake off.

I am all that I have come from.

I am waking up from dreams that were never mine and gratefully discovering my own.
I am.

I am a survivor of domestic violence.


“I didn’t know that I was being abused...

I am a survivor of domestic violence.


“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth

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