The Fulfillment Series

The Fulfillment Series

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it's a subject that really resonates with me. You all know about my wonderful life with Deek, about our intense love for one another and how truly amazing he is. But I haven't always lived like this. I haven't always been loved, cherished, and protected. Before Deek, I was in a terrible relationship and lived a nightmare every day.


I debated about writing this blog. Deek and I have discussed it, and he 100% supports me telling my story, especially if it will help other women. But like many women who've experience domestic abuse, I'm reluctant to talk about it. Yet this reluctance leaves the door open for more men to abuse their girlfriends, wives, and partners.

Ironically, when I went on Facebook this morning, a friend of my had posted this meme. I took it as a sign, so I'm speaking out.

I could go into the nitty gritty details of my life with my ex, what he did and all that, and one day I might. But our whole relationship was based on him--what he wanted, what he liked and didn't like, what he thought, and the lengths he'd go to in order to force me to do what he wanted. So, I'm not going to talk about him. It's not revenge or spite; it's freedom. One of the awesome things about not being with him anymore is that I'm free to do what I want, talk about what I want, and think what I think. And what I want to talk about is you.

You know who you are.

You probably look a lot like me.
A regular girl with sad eyes and a sad smile.

Domestic abuse takes many forms--physical, emotional, sexual, and even spiritual. Maybe you're a women who gets slapped or beaten for putting the dishes in the dishwasher the wrong way. Maybe you're a woman who's told you're stupid and worthless for long enough you start to believe it. Maybe you're a woman who's forced to endure someone else's sexual depravity, even when you've said you don't want to. Maybe you're a woman whose partner throws misrepresented religious texts in your face in an attempt to use your faith to control you. I'm talking to all of you and to all the other women who live somewhere in between these spectrums.

I know you're afraid. I know you don't feel good about yourself. I know he's done everything he can to beat you down so you'll stay. But you don't have to stay. 

I know what you'll say. "He was nice in the beginning." or "He has good in him somewhere, I know it." But that's just a cycle. My ex was really great in the beginning. He had all the makings of a nice guy, and then one day, it flipped. And just when he'd pushed me to the edge and thought I might bolt, he turned back on the nice again. It's an abuser's pattern. It's how they keep you there, under their thumb. Don't let them. Don't fall back into the cycle.

If you stay, you're risking your life. I know you're terrified to leave. You worry about what he'll do. You worry about finances. You worry people will judge you. You're worried about a lot of things. But you're not worried about the most important thing: YOU. No one, and I do mean NO ONE, should live that way.

If you're worried about your safety, seek help from lawyers, friends, family, and law enforcement. If you think there is a chance he might try to kill you for leaving, work out a plan to just disappear. 

If you think you can't afford to leave, confide in close friends and family. I think you'll find them very supportive and helpful. I tried to keep what was going on in my life a secret, but everyone knew. My friends and family saw how abysmally he treated me and how awful he was to them. Even though I never said anything, they KNEW. And when I finally got the courage to confess the truth about my life to a select few, they cried and said they'd been waiting for me to say it. They'd been watching me suffer for years and had wanted to help but didn't know how. I promise there are people who love and care for you, people who would help you. Trust them. Turn to them.

There are many, many agencies set up to help women get out of domestic violence. They can point you in the direction of lawyers and law enforcement to protect you. Here are some (but be sure to check the ones in your local area):

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Battered Women's Justice Project:
Futures Without Violence:
National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence:

I thought I was done with tattoos (Deek and I have 6 each), but I'm thinking about getting just one more. You see, I'm done being silent and ashamed. I'm a survivor. And other women need to know there are survivors out there. They need to see us, see our lives now, and have hope. So, I think I'll soon be getting one of these tattoos. And maybe a woman who's living a terrible life like I used to will see it and know she can escape. You can be free. You can be happy. You deserve it!

If you're being abused in any way, you don't have to stay. Get help. Be smart and safe. Be strong. There IS a better life out there.

Good men do exist. I promise.


  1. Erin I know how incredibly hard this was for you to write. But I want you to know that I'm so beyond proud of you for speaking up. You lived in terror and that you are trying to help other women get out of domestic abuse is so brave. You are strong. You are capable. You are amazing. I love you beyond words, honey. #Always

    1. Thank you, love! Thank you for supporting and encouraging me to share my story. And thank for your being the most wonderful man alive, for restoring my faith in men, and for showing me what real love and partnership look like. I adore you! #Always

  2. Excellent post and I'm glad you found your happily ever after. You deserve it.

  3. Reading this gave me chills. The picture of you then compared to the picture of you now reminds me of my own life. You know I was once in two abusive relationships. Once was physical and emotional, the other emotional. They were both hell. Even the times I thought were good were just times I was brainwashed into believing they were good. It's such a blessing to see pictures of me now. I look alive. Even younger than I I did then. I was so emotiionally tired. Your pictures now are the same way. The happiness that radiates out of your pictures with Jay is definitely proof that there can be a tomorrow, a future, another life where you can live in peace, with love, free of fear, and filled with happiness. I'm so happy for you. And proud of you too. Leaving takes courage. Speaking about it takes courage. You go, girl.

    1. Guuurl, I know you know what I'm talking about. I am SO happy you found happiness. You do look radiant in your pics (and super young). Happiness will do that to a gal! ;) I'm proud of you for being brave enough to say enough is enough and brave enough to seek happiness despite what happened. BIG HUGS!

  4. Thank you for sharing this post, Erin. You are such a good role model for women who suffer at the hands of abusive partners. Your brave words will go a long way to help others.

  5. Really wonderful post Erin. It was really alarming to see the comparison picture of you before and now. The sadness in your eyes and even in your smile was so apparent, and now you glow from the inside. I am very proud of you for telling your story, and beyond happy for you for finding that really good man that you deserve. Much love-Renee J.

    1. Thank you, Renee!! Deek is a blessing beyond my wildest dreams. He's the most patient, kind, and loving man I've ever met, and I had no idea such wonderfulness existed in this world. Thank you for being such a great friend! ((HUGS))