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Letters to My Daughters - Letter 2

Disclaimer: This is my personal story intended to help and give hope to those in situations similar to mine. I am not a licensed therapist or Doctor.  It is in no way an absolute fix or a solution for all.  These are the things I personally dealt with and the lessons I have learned from my experience.   If you need immediate help, please call 9-1-1.  Please seek professional help if you are suffering from the ramifications of domestic abuse.

 

<Letter 2>

 

My Girls,

Maybe one day I’ll fill you girls in on all the things I’ve left out. Today isn’t that day. You should know, the Megan then and the Megan you call Mommy aren’t the same person. 

Not at all. After the break-up was official, it got a lot worse before it got better. 

There was so much clean up that needed to be done. Most of that had to begin inside of me. How did I become this person? I was angry. I trusted no one. I was broken. 

Though I was happy to be away from him, I wasn’t happy.  This was a Cat. 5 hurricane that had wrecked every part of me and nearly every relationship I held dear.  

At one point, he and I were going to get married and move away.  Your T.T. Erin was wrecked.  She went crying to our Pastor.  She was devastated thinking she was going to lose her sister for good.  Something I'm certain you two will understand.

Yes, you may have to read that again.  I definitely said your T.T. Erin was crying. Now you understand the seriousness. Lol. 😂 

It nearly destroyed our relationship. But God…

I put our family through a lot. I had to own that.  

I had to own and learn so many things. 

 

1. ABUSE IS NEVER YOUR FAULT.  

Physical, emotional, verbal abuse, no one ever deserves that. That was the first thing I had to truly understand.  His actions weren’t my fault. I’m not perfect but I didn’t deserve violence and abuse. NO ONE DOES. It is never ok for anyone to hit you. 

The fact that I had to *re-learn that was shocking. I already knew that. Standby for the famous line of every woman…I’m not the kind of girl that lets a man abuse her.  Your Poppy and Mimi have always been a beautiful example of what true love should look like. 

I am the ultimate Daddy’s girl.  I know how a man should treat a woman. Your Poppy has never lost it and hurt us or screamed at us.  Never.  How did I end up here?

 

 

  1. GET OVER THE SHAME.

There is a stigma that only certain people wind up here.  It’s a lie. It was nearly 2 years before he put his hands on me.  By then I had been so manipulated.  I had to forgive myself for falling for it.  Sounds silly. I was so ashamed that I would listen to the things he said that made me believe I was so wrong and needing of his ‘help’. I was so mad at myself. I blamed myself. 


I had to embrace the fact that I’m not better than anyone else and this could happen to anyone.  I had to forgive myself for allowing him to con me away from my family and friends. I couldn’t believe I fell for that. I had to get over thinking I was above something like this. I had to recognize the pitfalls I fell into, own it and brush off the shame and guilt.  Shame and guilt will keep you trapped. 

 

  1. RECOGNIZE THE TRAP.

As I look back and have talked to many who have walked the same road, I see the signs.  I can spot it a mile away…now.  The isolation from those closest to you.  The control over how your dress and speak to people.  The red flag warnings from family and friends who recognize something is not ok. The constant need to ‘fix you’. I can now look back and see these things clearly for what they were. I now look back at his ex and see she wasn’t crazy. She once warned me to stay away. I see it all now. Typically, no one truly sees it until it’s over. That is only IF they live to tell the tale.  

Around the time this was happening to me, an average of 3 women a day were killed by an intimate partner.  That could’ve been me.  

 

 

  1. LISTEN UP.

The truth is, your family and your friends love you. If they are feeling something off, listen to them. Trust that they can often see beyond what your love-tinted glasses will allow. That’s the best part of having loved ones. We can’t always see every angle. That’s why they have our backs. Trust them. To this day, the only guy in my life that Stephanie has ever liked is your Daddy! Listen to your sister. Never, ever let ANYTHING drive you apart. 

 

  1. SPEAK UP. NO FEAR IS TOO GREAT.

Even after everything was said and done, it took me months to tell your Mimi the truth. I finally told your Poppy everything a month ago. Maybe I was scared of your Mimi's reaction. Maybe I was just still scared…period. There is a fear in speaking up. Once you tell it, you have to make decisions.  We don’t have family and friends who would just be ok with it. We have mafia-love family and friends. I knew speaking up would possibly ensue a world war like none other. Maybe that thought scared me too. There is always someone, even if it’s a non-biased professional.  Speak up.  When it’s over and you’re healed, speak up then too. Someone needs to hear your story.   

 

Speaking of healing, that part was next.  It took a while.

 

<cont'd in letter 3>

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If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

For anonymous, confidential help, 24/7, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or  1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

If you are being abused by your partner, know there is nothing you have done or are doing to cause the abuse. It is solely the choice of the abuser to abuse. It may seem impossible to escape your abuser, change your circumstances, or find the help you need, but it is possible. However, you know your abuser best, so think carefully through your situation and circumstances and do what is the best for you.

www.ncadv.org

 

Baton Rouge Area

IRIS HOUSE

http://www.stopdv.org

(225) 389-3001 or statewide toll free at 1-800-541-9706.

Their phones are 24hrs/day

The Butterfly Society (Local non-profit - Zachary)

225-347-7725

Battered Women's Shelter (Ascension parish)

1068 E Worthey St, 

Gonzales, LA 70737

(225) 644-4916

EBRDA Domestic Violence Division

(225) 389-7714

(225) 389-8889

(225) 389-5355

 

24/hr National Number(s): 1-800-799-7233 and 1-800-787-3224

Website: thehotline.org

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