Being a survivor of Domestic Violence

And every once in a while the Universe decides to congratulate me with a string of decent people. Or perhaps I’m always surrounded by decent people, it’s just when I’m at peace with myself and the world, that I can properly identify the decent people. I’m not sure…

Breaking my silence on domestic violence has been heartbreaking. It’s been scary on a few levels. To talk about domestic violence means to acknowledge that it happened. To share what was in my heart means others could take advantage of my vulnerability. (believe me, being taken advantage of during my healing has been more difficult to process than the domestic violence itself. I have seriously had to question humanity on VARIOUS occasions). To keep hitting publish and share my story (and my processing) was extremely overwhelming. Of course, at first, I was concerned with my reputation. Socially, I’m known as the biggest cheerleader and love bug. Professionally, I’m known as being super resourceful and accomplishing near-impossible tasks. To my family, nothing is ever good enough for them. To myself… I was lost in the chaos. I know I am a person of good character but I didn’t know what to believe because I shut down my mind and just poured out my heart. Emotions are not rational. Nothing makes sense when emotions are involved. Nothing. This last year has been my biggest life challenge. An emotional challenge to confront, accept, process, let go, forgive, and grow from domestic violence.

Yesterday, I made a comment that my radar was off. Familiar vs Kindred. I was still seeing things through a rose-coloured lens rather than as truth. I acknowledged I have been giving my heart to others in hopes they were cut from the same cloth. I often joke about #PrettyGirlProblems but the most heartbreaking moment still remains, when, I realise a guy wants nothing more than a piece of my body. Not my heart, but my body. Perhaps it’s a justified chip on my shoulder or perhaps it’s a sign of unprocessed pain. All I know is the last guy I dated, I was forced to remove sex from the relationship. He made a crude comment exposing his fear of commitment (shadow fear of abandonment) and I interpreted it as an attack on my character. So I communicated I was removing sex to create space to build a stronger foundation of trust. It was up to him to let me know once he trusted me. Disappointingly, it took less than 2 weeks before his comments of love turned into comments of well, not love. I cut and run as soon as I realised my vulnerable moment phone calls were no longer to him but to others. I was not being emotionally supported. I was not being honoured. I was not being understood. I was not being respected. I was not being loved. There is nothing wrong with my emotional processing or my being. I’m not better or worse than others. I’m just different. Through the last year, I’ve been able to articulate exactly what I’m feeling. I’ve bridged the gap between emotions and thinking patterns. I’ve bridged the gap between my head and my heart. They are best friends now… and it’s quite magical. Others have not embraced or travelled the same path and that’s OK. I know they loved me the only way they knew how…

Maintaining a state of detachment is not easy. I’m already very good at understanding various perspectives at once. For example, a few months ago, my mother was in a bad place. She was surrounded by people that were not celebrating her and she lashed out at me. He words cut straight to my heart. She said that my breathing was a problem. She said I was the reason for all of her problems. In the moment, I was hurt. A few moments later, I understood her words were how she was feeling about herself, not how she felt about me. My love language is positive affirmations and service. I am able to forgive people for saying horrible things but only if they approach me first. Admitting that something hurtful was said cannot be after I call out the injustice. They have to take the first step to reflect on their behaviour and fix the situation, not me. My feelings matter. My existence matters. I’m capable of tremendous love and it’s often dismissed. I would never leave the side of someone who acknowledges there is a problem but how can I stick around if I’m the one being accused of being the problem? It’s a terrible position to be in. It’s a constant state of lose-lose.

All of these moments come flooding into my head and heart space. My heart space is still my mother. My mommabear. All I want is for her to call me and reinforce that she wants to see a therapist together. To acknowledge that there is a problem and it’s NOT me. To be open to receive my love without judgement. I’m exhausted in proving my love towards her. I’m exhausted to remind her of her magic. Especially when she continues to allow others in her space that make life unnecessarily difficult.

The real challenge is to decide what does love look like? To me, it’s understanding all my garbage. It’s fighting for me when I’m not willing to fight for myself. It’s being a spicy meatball when I’m a wet noodle (sometimes I need to be vulnerable). It’s knowing when to just hug it out. When to apologise. When to talk and when to give space to breathe. To me, love is a conscious decision to show up Some days are better than others but just keep showing up. My life has been filled with moments of me fighting for others but not so many moments of people fighting for me.

What is love? Love is knowing that I could have been killed in December 2009; the world could be without a Jessica Marie Corvo. But it’s not. I’m here. I survived. And to me, love is honouring, respecting, and celebrating that I’m here. My existence matters. And I am worthy.

The day my childhood bedroom turned into a crime scene.

Published by Jessica Corvo

Health Coach. Mental Wellness Advocate. Ironman. Global Nomad. Warrior of Love.

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