More than once to date I have received an email from an abuser and not the abused. The question that must pop in to our heads is why? Why would someone of that ilk visit my web page? Is it not rubbing their noise in it? Are their reasons for being here pure? After much pondering, I have decided to write this piece to those of you that have.
If you are here then maybe there is a way to terminate this continued devastation. Can I help you realise, see clearly the excessive damage and destruction you have caused to others. Can it even be repaired or does that avenue no longer exist for you? Can I highlight here that ultimate control is exercised by the use of self control? There are so many questions that I may never know the real answers to, without a monumental leap of faith on my part. As I sit here looking for the right words to explore this subject, I realise that it’s a very big ask. I have only ever known one side of the coin. To try to come to some kind of understanding, will require me to look at things from the other side. Am I uncomfortable with that? You can bet your life I am.
Let’s start with the statement I have heard used so many times – I was an abused child – I was abused within a relationship. We know this to be a statement of truth because of our own past experiences; abuse is out there in so many ways. But the argument we now find ourselves in creates a massive divide – not all who were abused abuse. There is an argument put forward that it’s only the weak that walk that road that they are not strong enough to overcome the adversity suffered. That calamitous event within their lives had left them with no choice. How do we answer that? Is it only the weak that are abused? In my own case that statement is so very far removed from the truth. It was a case of – the strong require firmer handling – likened to owning the fastest car – not a horse but a stallion – breaking that spirit was all the more rewarding – I was a challenge – it was all about the power.
I was a guest on a radio show some months back now (GH Radio Michigan) when a lady came in to the chat room to ask me a question. This lady had seen her mother abused terribly by her stepfather but it did not stop there. She herself was the victim of his abuse for many years. For years she felt like she was walking in the dessert dying of thirst, without finding forgiveness for either herself or her abuser. Until the day she felt she could not continue on, without exercising some sort of payback. If I tell you now that this lady contacted me from prison, you can understand my sadness. It pained me to hear the route that she took. In the cold light of day she had purchased a gun, and seeking him out she took his life. This man had taken so much from her in her youth…… he had now also taken the rest of her life from her through her own actions. She then asked me if she had done the right thing, my heartfelt reply was no not for her….. Whist I am unable to condone the taking of a life, I am also unable to condone or judge her either. So here I sit on the fence, intently feeling the splinters from both sides. Wondering if during my own journey to recovery, was I only a hop skip and a jump away from that route also. Abuse costs life’s in more than one way that comes to the mind easily.
Some years ago I was to meet a lady that would become my best friend; she herself had been in and out of Mental Health Care for many years. She had been a victim of sexual abuse from her Grandfather, then again later in life from physical abuse from her husband. Over the years I have known her she has grown so very much, I am so extremely proud of her. We have spent many a night burning the midnight oil. On one of those said occasions, she chose to tell me that through her own pain she herself had become an abuser. I am not talking here of sexual abuse but purely physical. Her partner became the enemy and the receiver of this said abuse. If we sit and think about that statement it’s not rational, but at that point in her life she had not yet learnt to overcome her own demons. I am not going to sit here and divulge it all blow by blow, that is not the point of me mentioning this conversation. It’s merely to say that this is something she regrets immensely. The ultimate cost to her was the loss of that relationship. She always makes a point of reading my blog posts, and I know that more than once she has relived every painful moment of her own life through doing so. This post will be no different as she faces down her own fears with regret. Today she should be extremely proud of herself. Change is possible she is a shining example to that statement. Does she know that I have included her story here? You bet your life on it.
Coming to the end of this piece I feel myself asking if these words will ever make a difference. The answer to that question should go something like this – If you are brave enough to still be here reading, then hopefully you have already made the choice for yourself to change…… don’t waste another minute……..

Author's Bio: 

Teresa Joyce was born in 1958 the middle child of three. After losing her father at a very young age; it was to set the pattern for the rest of her life. Losing was something that she would have to get used to. Today she still has some memory of her father, but in truth it’s all a little hazy. Her mother through no fault of her own after that loss had no other alternative, then to return to her parent’s home with her children in tow. This family unit were to spend only a few years there, until the wind of change came around once more. Teresa still holds many happy memories from her time there as a child. Happy memories are something that Teresa holds in very short supply, and she has treasured them always. Her mother was set to meet the man that was to become her stepfather, and they moved on once more to a new city with the promise of a new life. Hopefully it would be a happy one for all concerned, but it became a place for Teresa that felt far more like a prison. One in which she would spend many days months and years hating. Teresa swore to herself that she would leave all this behind her at the first possible occasion. She can still clearly remember the day that she left that family home and joined the Royal Air Force. It was just two months off her sixteenth birthday. Her stepfather had informed her that to remain living in his house, she had to live by his rules. This was a big decision for her to take being so young, but she could no longer live by any rules that he imposed. Never really understanding at that time, what she was really running from. Memories of those years living by his rules were buried so deep, that previous years and events were only a burr to her. Teresa’s Time spent while in the Royal Air Force was very rewarding, and she involved herself in all and everything possible. After meeting her ex -husband whilst she was on leave, she then left this all behind her and married. It was greatly missed and in retrospect, it would be something that she would live to regret many years later. Life as a married woman changed many things for her; the biggest of all would be the arrival of her son. Teresa loved him even before he was born, and he is still able to pull on her heart strings daily.
Sadly after many years, she found herself unable to stay within that marriage. The onset of a set of circumstances beyond her control would stamp its seal, rendering the marriage unworkable. Engineered by the involvement of the one man Teresa had learnt to hate - her stepfather. The marriage was dissolved and there was no going back on her part, that door was firmly closed behind her. Some years later she would find herself in a long term lesbian relationship, firmly believing that anything touched by a man was tainted; bringing with it only pain and heartache. Teresa’s thoughts at that time were that the worst was surly now behind her, but her life was set to make another turn from her envisaged path. It was to arrive in the form of an accident, which once again would alter her life forever. After many months and many doctors reports she was ill health retired, unable to return to work in either one of her two loved occupations. Teresa was affected by this far more then she could have ever expected, she was left alone with nothing but time, and still within the mix of a completely insane situation; it was at this point that Teresa would enter into the mental health care system fully, to have any hope of dealing with everything going on around her. That care umbrella is still part of her everyday life. The loss of her mother through less than adequate health care, brought her pain like she had never thought possible. Teresa saw herself delving deeper and deeper into her own unconscious thoughts, revealing to her at that time memories which seemed so alien. Ultimately her mental health would prove to be a factor, in the disintegration of her then lesbian relationship.
It’s something that Teresa is still trying to come to terms with even now. She now lives alone with only a small dog for company, which in truth she is happy with. Firmly believing that she can’t hurt those she loves, if they are not there for her to do so; to her mind segregation is the answer. Teresa is still unable to work and in constant pain daily. Maybe today you could say that she has once more taken back control of her life, but only outwardly. The truth is she still carries the past along with her, like an uninvited guest at a party. The one that never seems to know when the party is over and it’s time to leave. Teresa is now trying to live her life as fully as possible, through her son and grandson; they have become her light at the end of the tunnel.