Family Matters: Learning to love myself

Lately, we have heard so much news about domestic violence on women and children.

Innocent children are easy prey and because of their young age, they become victims of adult abuses. But this writer is also concerned about women abuses that happen secretly in the home. Sometimes, they are seldom detected because the family put up a happy face to friends and relatives. But inside the home, or even in the room of a couple, a silent plea for help is so badly needed in between fear, pain, and sobs. Violence is not only in the form of physical abuse. It also comes in mental or psychological as well as verbal.

All of these are forms of attack that are used by an abuser to hurt. The blow one receives as a physical abuse is murderous in nature and to save lives is a must. Psychological abuse is equally harmful in that the abuser tries to confuse his victim. The faculty of the abuser tries to subdue the other’s mental strength. Verbal abuse is just as harmful. But like the two, it is masterly crafted to make the victim feel inferior, mocked at and aims to damage her self-worth.

It comes to mind a client I used to meet as she was introduced to me by the Women Protection Unit I used to visit as a volunteer. The young lady’s half part of the face was blue black and one eye was badly swollen. With the help of a nurse, we located bruises on other parts of the body that when covered by a dress, some fresh, the others were about some few days old, and were not noticeable. They say that abusers know where to hit and hide the evidence. Carefully, I tried to coach her to open up. She says that she belongs to a moderate income family. Her husband has a good job and they have a five year-old daughter. She stays home while the husband works. She gets confused because at times, the husband becomes too extra nice, and then without warning becomes violent. Many times, she wanted to seek help but feels guilty when her husband brings home flowers, cakes and chocolates to make-up for what happened. But this recent violence that prompted her to seek help was way beyond understanding. He was also drunk and she was almost left half dead when a sister discovered her situation. Her sister immediately called some relatives to bring her to the hospital. They took charge of the situation and went to the Barangay to file complaints and had the case blottered. The rest is history as the husband was sent to jail.

I sat with her near the window of the facility center and gently asked how she was feeling that day.
“I am still confused,” she answered as tears fell on her lap.

First, I would like to ask if you have an immediate support person or group to assist you while you are picking up the pieces. I understand that your husband had been the provider for the family. She nodded her head and said that her siblings will help her, and one offered her and her daughter to stay in their place. I breathed a prayer of thanksgiving when I heard this.

“You know, you need healing for all your wounds and bruises. I guess all these will go in few weeks or so, but you have a bruise that only you can attend to. This is your wounded soul. Because of what happened, you were made to believe that you are nothing, unloved and not capable to pull through life again.” She nodded as tears continued to stream down her cheeks.

I continued. “But all these are lies. Sometimes, the enemy tries to dictate lies in our minds, but that’s all that he can do. In fact, it is Jesus who catches you in His palm, only if you believe Him and that He still has a wonderful plan for your life. This is not the end but a beautiful beginning. Probably, you have not loved yourself enough, that when your husband abused you, you did not think to protect yourself enough.”

“You know what? When someone tries to touch our eyes, without thinking, our reflex is to protect them, that is why we close them.” That is how we should protect our bodies, our mind and our integrity. Our session was short that day, but we separated hoping that this is the beginning for a beautiful woman to climb her own hills and run to her valleys without fear.

Posted in Opinion