How do you even begin to recover from an abusive relationship? It is hard, like really hard. Especially when it’s so new. There is so much going on in your head with all sorts of feelings. The main feelings for me were (and still sometimes are) feelings of being hurt, sad, mad, confused (and so many more that are indescribable). Worst of all is when you’re feeling all of those things simultaneously on and off throughout the day. There are days where my heart is heavy but emotionally I’m feeling okay enough to “adult” or even talk to people. There are also days where if one person talks to me or even looks at me (not even necessarily badly) I will CRY and CRY.
So back to my initial question. How do you even begin to recover from an abusive relationship. For me, part of my answer is a very strong family support system. That’s the beginning anyway. Please don’t ever ever underestimate the power of a strong family support system. Now I know, for some, that’s not as easy. Sometimes there are a lot of family issues that we don’t think we can power through. My family is just as twisted as the next, but luckily for me, in my time of need they are all here.
After the night that changed everything, I dodged my family’s calls for what seems like forever. I felt like I couldn’t face the world. When I finally talked to my mom, I just sort of blurted everything out. Right away, my parents came over. They lived a couple hours away, so they weren’t able to come until the day after they found out. So when they came over, we had a long talk. I cried and cried, once again.
Since this was a serious case Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) made it very clear that they wanted me to get a protective order. Luckily since my parents were now temporarily staying with me, my dad went with me down to the court house so that I could get the protective order. When I walked in, the office personnel were at lunch so I had time to sit there for about a half an hour. Which gave me an extra 30 minutes to sit there and think about why I was there… Let the panic attack sink in.
The receptionist had me fill out paperwork, and part of that requires my abusers information. As soon as they saw that I had his address listed as “incarcerated” she pulled him up in the system, called upstairs to the State’s Attorney, and sent me straight up there. Long story short, the State’s Attorney was handling this, and they would be representing me.
The whole meeting with the State’s Attorney took a while, we were there for about two hours. We went over a lot of information in regards to my rights, parental rights I had to protect my son, what would happen if the case went to court etc… After everything was said and done, my dad could tell that I was really upset. He suggested we go out to lunch.
When we left the courthouse we went to a place called Colonial Café. It was REALLY GREAT!!! I absolutely loved it. Now if you know me, or anything about me, you’ll know that for the most part I eat healthy 99% of the time. I had been so stressed out, and NOT EATING much because everything had made me sick to the thought. Well, I sucked it up and by then I WAS SO HUNGRY, it didn’t even matter what I got!! I got this huge bacon cheese burger, and it was AMAZING!!
Now I haven’t been to Colonial Café since I was little. The total look and feel of it kind of completely changed. It was always a fun environment, but now it’s a more updated fun. The light bulbs that are hung, changes colors. It was a really great and fun environment that I really needed that day. It was a great pick me up. They have this really awesome ice cream sundae that comes in a kitchen sink. I used to LOVE getting it as a kid. (I didn’t get it that day, but wanted to let you guys know how awesome it is)
After our little outing, I did feel better. The following days were not as easy. I basically sat in my room for 3 days, cried on and off and attempted some writing to sort my thoughts.
My parents knew I was hiding from the world, and having a hard time. My mom is usually pretty comforting, and like any good mom should. She knows when I’m in need of something, anything. Whether it’s from a hug, a talk, or even if it’s a listening ear. My mom had to run out and went to Walmart. She decided that she was going to get me a little surprise. It was so sweet of her to do that. She got me an oil burner. I love love love this, because it’s so calming. I love good scents, and walking into my house and feeling happy. That is one thing that I have always loved. (I know, so basic, but I can’t help it! LOL) And my mom knows that. My mom, I can’t even begin to put into words how important she is to me. And having a child myself, I can only imagine how important I am to her. When my mom brought that into my room, I immediately busted into tears and gave her a HUGE hug and cried. (I know, I have been crying a lot) My point is, that my mom was here for me. For all the moral support I needed.
My parents have both gone home now, but they continue to be here for me, every day. My parents (and let’s face it, my whole family) have had a lot of rough times together, but when it comes down to it we only have one family.
Editors note: My mom has passed away since writing this. (Written over a year ago – it took me a while to gather my courage to post this.) The message remains the same though. My family was a CRUCIAL factor in me getting through the day to day. Posting this is even more of a reminder to cherish your loved ones while they’re here.