There is an e-mail response that I am including as well. I am smart. I am beautiful. I am strong. Seven summers ago, at the ripe old age of 19, I wasn't supposed to stay with the man I was in love with. He hit me and he was emotionally abusive, but I was young and loved him. I thought I could change him. I blamed myself for doing whatever it was that made him angry.
I was alone in a state I had never been to, visiting him before boot camp, spending the summer with him. I was convinced we would get married.
This secret is stunning to me today especially because I was listening to a c.d. by a local Virginia Beach artist, Jesse Chong, all this week. Yesterday, a song called "Victoria" was playing and the lyrics struck be a bit differently.
"Victoria, you better find a new man
Victoria, you better find a new man
What you thought was a good card,
turned out to be a really bad hand.
You gotta find a reason if you're gonna stay
You better find a good reason to live our life this way
You don't need no reason to get him off your back,
Victoria, you're better off if you give that bad hand back.
Victoria, get some self respect
Victoria, you better get some self respect
Forgive me for the way I'm talking,
But you've got a chain wrapped around your neck."
This song spoke to me directly... I wish I had heard it summers before I had. There is no reason to remain in an abusive relationship. Some of the strongest women, in my eyes, are those who walk away from relationships that are abusive, but it seems easier to stay in them.
If you are (or someone you know is) in an abusive relationship: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE STRONG, YOU CAN WALK AWAY!
If you need help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline, confidentially and anonymously at 1.800.799.SAFE.
Cuddles and Kisses,