One of the reasons I created Designing Life was because I want to help people. I firmly believe that nothing is ever random and, by sharing my experiences in this blog, I will reach someone who needs help.
I am an abuse survivor. The journey leading to where I am today (planning, escaping, rebuilding) took me over 5 years. The odds were against me; I lived abroad, in total isolation from my family and closest friends, dealing with a system that encouraged me to sweep the abuse under the rug. I knew nothing about how things worked and, therefore, learned everything as I went along. My family and friends could offer little advice because they weren’t familiar with the legal/court system where I was. There were times when I felt as though my nationality counted against me because very few people showed any compassion for what I experienced. Fortunately, I had a sympathetic counselor who helped empower me and gave me the strength I needed to overcome the obstacles that I faced along the way. I also had neighbors who helped me as much as they could.
Throughout my journey, I discovered serious gaps in the support offered to women in abusive relationships. The people I approached for help made things very difficult for me by refusing to offer even minimal assistance…until I appealed their decisions (and won). The divorce process took THREE years to finalize because of delays the ex caused by being uncooperative every step of the way. Everyone, particularly my ex, thought I would give up and stay in the marriage but I showed them just how strong and determined I could be. There were times when I felt completely overwhelmed, depressed and homesick.
I feel more educated about the dynamics of abuse, as a result of my experience. I want to share my knowledge with those who need it. I want to help empower other women and show them that it is possible to come through all the obstacles as a strong survivor. I want to provide what I didn’t have myself ~ a guiding hand and hope for a better, freer future.
With a dear friend (I’ve known since high school), I am in the process of creating Café Sanctuary, a business devoted to helping women in abusive relationships. We are using our experiences to help direct women to the resources specific to their situation. For more information about this business, click on the link above. At the top of the Sanctuary Blog, there’s a checklist and form to fill out, for those who would like to request support.
Thank you for listening.