The Downward Spiral of Violence
Updated: Aug 22
Does this story remind you of someone you know– a friend, a work colleague, or maybe someone close to you? Maybe even yourself?
One of my clients was on the verge of making one of the hardest decisions of her life. She finally decided once and for all to leave her abusive and violent relationship. She “almost” made this decision so many times over the years, yet she was pulled back for many reasons we all can identify with if we have ever found ourselves in a similar situation. She felt like she has nowhere to turn, no support, so many secrets, and had 3 small children.
Over the years, she found herself getting the car over and over with the kids and bags packed, yet she couldn’t put her foot on the gas to drive out of the garage and leave. She was running from years of abuse and fear, and was now faced with going into the unknown (all the what-ifs) if she pulled the trigger and did finally leave. What would happen, would he find them, what would she do if they left, and how would they get money? All of this paralyzed her from hitting the gas pedal of the car.
One of her friends saw my brochure and recommended she get in touch with me for some help and guidance in her situation so she could find the courage to do what she needed to do.
Many of the clients I support and guide, are women and men who find themselves in abusive relationships. I provide the needed open door, judgment-free space, and provide them support and guidance when they find themselves in the deepest darkest time. In our sessions hope, possibility, and a future of life off-the-battlefield are identified and worked towards. They are given the possibility to find within and for themselves a life they want to be living, and one they can rebuild for themselves and their family.
After getting in the car so many times over the years, my client finally succeeded in her attempt to break free and was at a loss for what to do next. Making the decision was difficult, and once free she needed to overcome fear and find the courage to keep going, rather than go back to where she escaped from because it was familiar. Many would say, “What the heck? Just leave, get rid of the bum!!” But in reality, it’s not that easy and is complicated.
It’s so easy to go back to homes full of violence because it is known and comforting, even when it is extremely dangerous and damaging. The fear of the unknown keeps us in situations where we feel stuck and helpless. It’s like going back to an addiction even when we know it hurts us and is detrimental to our health, or could even kill us.
She found herself in a void and a crossroads. On the left was a life she could not endure anymore, on the right was one of taking action to stop the damage of being a victim, and in the middle was the haze of the unknown.
As with all my clients, I get permission before sharing in the hope that sharing their stories gives a glimmer of hope and courage to someone who finds themselves living a similar situation and is willing and able to reach out to get help. I witness many stories of clients who are on the brink of giving up or maybe checking out on life because of the circumstances they find themselves in. I can assure you, life does not have to be this way, and there are solutions no matter how difficult the situation is.
“Before your Art as a Medium to Heal program, I was scared and isolated. I needed to find a safe place for me and my children, but I felt helpless and didn’t know where to turn. I thought that everything would fall into place once I left the abuse, but it wasn't the case, and many hurdles to overcome. I knew things had to get better, but I didn’t know how or what to do to get there. Thank you for helping me find the way to talk about my secrets using art, get out of survival mode, get off the battlefield, and heal. It wasn’t easy learning to trust myself again, go into the unknown and find a way to provide for myself and keep a roof over my head but I made it! Finally, my life has taken a turn for the better and I’m finding joy in life again. Thank you for helping me choose for myself to get in the car and find the path needed for me and my children, so we can rebuild our life and future.”
Many women and men find themselves enduring this unfortunate harsh and sad reality in their day-to-day lives of violence. They lose hope that it can get better, things become unbearable, and they start to give up. I can assure you there is a light at the end of the dark long tunnel of escaping violence and trauma.
Today, so many are witnessing an increase in domestic violence and the need for critical help and guidance continues to increase more than ever.
If you find yourself or someone that you know in a similar situation, please share this story so they can know that there are possibilities for a life outside of what they are living right now. And, that they can overcome the difficult circumstances they currently find themselves in.
Life is full of possibilities is within our grasp when we are willing and able to reach out for help when we need it the most.