Domestic violence: You never know what’s happening behind closed doors

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There are problems in every household. But what if those problems turn into domestic violence and every day you feel like you’re losing a piece of yourself? Not only physical but also mental violence is a huge problem these days. A problem that people do not always dare to admit they are experiencing. Especially in times like these, the percentage of domestic violence rises. In this article, one of our team members talks about what it is like to grow up in world war three and how it still affects her daily life.

From the moment I was born to about 17 years of age, I lived with fear every day. Not the fear that most of my age felt, but the fear that ‘today’ the violence might have a bad ending. From a very young age, I used myself as a buffer to keep the peace in our home. Starting as a little girl with my father and then moving on to my stepfather.

When I saw my stepfather’s anger bubbling up over something fussy, as a little girl, I would crawl up on his lap to tell him about what I had learned that day at school. This to distract him in the hope that that one day mom would be spared. The distraction only helped for a few minutes and ended with broken furniture and a wounded mother.


I became mom’s protector

As I grew older, my self-imposed role as a buffer changed to that of my mother’s protector. As a twelve-year-old girl, I protected her from all that physical and mental violence and it usually ending up victimizing both of us. My mother ran out of strength to get out of this situation. With the last bit of strength, she protected me. No matter how many times I told her to stop, she kept taking all the blows to defend me. As the years went by, it became more and more extreme. And at one point, my stepfather even threatened to kill us in the car. I was lucky that my older sister had left the house a few years ago, so I could always go to her to find some peace. But my thoughts were always with my mother. Because if I wasn’t home, who would protect her?


For me, my life was normal

Although I came home every day in a horror scene, I showed nothing to the outside world. From the age of thirteen to seventeen I slept at night for no more than three hours. Then stayed awake until I heard my stepfather come home from his daily pub visit and fell asleep when I was sure mom was safe. I always laughed and hid my feelings, thinking that every household had problems and usually kept my home situation to myself. I regarded my life as normal, even though it was far from that.

When I was seventeen, my stepfather finally left us. But just before that, I snapped. All those years of being strong, all the mean words and violence became too much for me. I finally realized that my life wasn’t normal. And probably because of all the traumas, it would never be completely normal again. I blamed so many people for never getting me out of this situation as a child.


It still triggers me

Today we are almost seven years later and mom and I can finally breathe peacefully again. Our bond is stronger than ever. And despite all the setbacks we’ve been through, we’ve always had each other. I’ve learned to give everything a place, but I do realize that there will always be things that bring out the necessary triggers. Aggressive, drunk, and dominant men are still a problem for me. My defense mechanism still comes up when they come near me. But over the years, I have learned to trust some men, but always with a small heart. I’m far from there yet, but I finally feel I’m getting ahead.


This article is for all victims of domestic violence, and we at Blogzine hope that one day everyone will dare to take the step to come out and be your boss again. Do you experience violence, do you witness it or perhaps commit it yourself? At 1712, the Victims of Violence Helpline, anyone can come and tell their story. This line is completely anonymous and free of charge.

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