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.