As I sit here, my mind drifts back to my youth. The dreams, the hopes that I had for my life were amazing. When I met my husband, I thought he would help me reach those dreams- a beautiful marriage, wonderful children, a dream house. I thought my life would be like one of those romantic movies. The first time he called me a name, I made excuses. The first time he grabbed me, I believed his promises and his apologies. The good times with him always made me forget the bad times. I didn’t realize my dreams were never going to come true with this man. I was dying inside, but didn’t let myself feel the pain. Now, I am away from him. Three weeks ago, he attacked me while I held our nine month old baby in my arms. He was taken to jail. Yet, here I am, sitting on the fence again. I know that I can never go back, but something in me wants to believe he will change. I know he won’t. More than anything we must love ourselves and never allow any man to hurt us physically, emotionally or mentally. We must believe we are valuable, strong women who deserve better. We must protect our children from witnessing violence and from becoming victims or abusers. The hardest part about leaving is giving up hope. Hope has kept me alive for the past six years. The idea that one day I will have my dream kept me hanging on. I realize now I have to create a new dream and a new life for my son and myself- one in which we are valued, respected and really loved.
~~~ 28 USA, We all deserve to be valued, respected and really loved