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How Close Was I?

Yesterday I watched Oprah, the show was titled Saving Your Own Life. I got chills watching it. She interviewed a woman who survived a domestic violence attack where her ex husband had tried to kill her.  She also interviewed Gavin De Becker about his book The Gift Of Fear and he did an explanation about his Mosaic Threat Assessment System.

As a survivor of domestic violence, the show gave me chills. I wonder if I didn’t leave when I did, if I too could have landed up beaten unconscious with a baseball bat and stuffed in a rubbish bin? So much of the early warning signs were there, especially when I did a comparison of the woman interviewed and my history. Both of us pressured by our partner to get married early on. My ex and I got engaged 6 weeks after we met, we got married 8 months later. A few days after we were married he pulled the “I’m your husband and you’ll do as I say” stunt. Three months into the marriage he grabbed me around the neck and threw me across the room. My parents hated him, as with this woman, the day of the wedding my dad told me that I didn’t have to go through with it, that I could walk away if I wanted to. I wanted to, so badly I wanted to and yet I felt pressured to continue on with it.

There were a few things that Gavin De Becker said in his interview that really struck a chord with me because of my past experience:

“When a man says no its the end of a discussion, when a woman says no its the start of a negotiation.”

“We get a signal prior to violence,” Gavin says. “There are preincident indicators. Things that happen before violence occurs.”

Gavin says that unlike any other living creature, humans will sense danger, yet still walk right into it. “You’re in a hallway waiting for an elevator late at night. Elevator door opens, and there’s a guy inside, and he makes you afraid. You don’t know why, you don’t know what it is. Some memory of this building—whatever it may be. And many women will stand there and look at that guy and say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to think like that. I don’t want to be the kind of person who lets the door close in his face. I’ve got to be nice. I don’t want him to think I’m not nice.’ And so human beings will get into a steel soundproof chamber with someone they’re afraid of, and there’s not another animal in nature that would even consider it.”

I learned a hard, painful and very expensive lesson, I learned about trusting my intuition and believing it.

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8 Comments

  • Reply wheresmybun

    I also watched the show last night and it’s scary how we ignore our instincts. I’m so glad you got out when you did. God certainly had better plants for you!

    July 30, 2010 at 10:17 am
  • Reply trishdg

    I saw the show too and it is rather alarming to hear the statistics that a woman is killed by her partner every 4 hours in the states. I wonder what the stats here in SA are? Thanks goodness you left when you did Sharon. I’m sure it wasn’t easy but all the facts you mentioned certainly point to a really awful outcome if you had stayed. I hope more women make that brave decision after watching the show.

    July 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm
  • Reply suestuart

    Glad you got out ok, and that it didn’t scare you for future happiness with W.

    July 30, 2010 at 12:18 pm
  • Reply skrambled

    There is so much that you have survived,and so much to celebrate now!

    July 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm
  • Reply Zeu

    You were (and still are) a remarkable women to get out of that dreadfull and life threatening situation.

    I cannot even begin to imagine what it was like..

    So happy to see you had a “happy” ending.

    July 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply hollielee5

    Wow… some tough stuff. Im so thankful that you came out of your experience seemingly okay. Im just thankful and blessed you survived your ordeal. And look at your beautiful life now… awe inspiring!
    Hearing this makes me want to whoop up on someone, anyone male or female, that does that to another human being. And Im not a scrapper… it just hits me hard to think of someone mentally and physically abusing someone else. SO sick that someone would prey on someone else that cannot defend themselves.

    July 30, 2010 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply adeleida

    This is a very sad post, I’m so sorry that you had to go through that time. Even though you came out of it and have formed a beautiful life now, it must be a hard memory to recall and share. Thank you.

    July 31, 2010 at 9:07 am
  • Reply orbit365

    I missed the show that you are talking about but I have to say that I am soooooo thankful that you had the strength to walk out of that situation. I know that it couldn’t have been the easiest thing. And thank God you actually learnt from your experience..
    xx

    July 31, 2010 at 10:05 am
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