Black eyes and bloody face and arms, almost weekly, has been my life for the past 17 years. Hiding in plain sight.
I was threatened by my abuser not to say anything, but when I tried to ask for help from a coworker and a person in law enforcement, I was laughed at, ridiculed and asked what I did wrong, and told to “just live with it---no one cares.” I finally decided to break away one day, after being beaten, no matter if no one supported me. I felt broken that day I left but also more free than I had felt in years. It is a difficult journey, where I feel violated again and again by the system that does not care about someone like me. During my court dates so far, I have had the judge and some attorneys smirk when myself and other abusers in the courtroom tell our stories of survival. I always have that feeling of overwhelming anxiety when I have to be in court with my abuser and his enablers, including his attorney and his friends.
I used to think I was alone with my abuse, but I know since I have left, not long ago, that I am not the only one that has survived abuse. I am still scared every day, of what he might do, as I am still stalked. I always have to look around and over my shoulder. Fear is so powerful. Something my abuser and now the system, has pushed down my throat.
I have realized even more that the system won’t protect someone like me, a survivor of abuse. I live in Illinois, where abusers are protected, not victims.
Some days are good, some are more difficult, to overcome and start to heal, all while dealing with a system that doesn’t care about victims/survivors.