In honor of February Teen Dating Domestic Violence Awareness Month. #TDVAM

“She builds others up because she knows what it’s like to be broken down herself”

I don’t think people realize how much strength it takes to pull your own self out of a toxic relationship with someone you love so much. You spend half your life with this person and to see a life without them is just not realistic. And when you have children with this person it makes the process even harder, and almost impossible to leave. For those that don’t get it, it’s not the bruises that hurt, it’s the wounds of the heart that scare your mind. They say “stick and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt” They lied. Words hurt like hell, and they have the power to mark you beyond physical repair. To be beaten down emotionally and still come out shining, that’s bravery. As a survivor on both sides, having to witness my mother get abused as a child and being in an abusive relationship myself I know the pain. As a helpless child I watched my mom get abused and gasp for air and could do nothing... out of fear I would freeze. As woman in a relationship, I will never forget repeatedly being told if I left “No one is going to want you, especially with three kids”. Those words were said to me so often, I began to believe them and thought I was never good enough the cycle seemed never-ending. And If I am completely honest, even today I struggle with those thoughts that often creep up and make me question myself. When your mind is so broken down, you actually start to believe that you deserve the abuse or think it’s all your fault and it sounds crazy but it’s true. Domestic Violence is crushing and continues until enough is actually enough and until you actually stop it, you will continue to take it.

Being abused physically or mentally is not Love, and it’s never okay and never your fault. To those going through it, I too felt your pain and it’s okay to not be okay. Let the pain fuel you and ignite a flame in you to fight. We bend, we do not break. Do not let anyone who does not value you, tell you how much you are worth. So if you’ve done that today or any day, I AM PROUD OF YOU. I am not ashamed of my story because like the Phenix I rose up from the ashes and started again.


RESOURCES New Brunswick Domestic Violence Awareness Coalition The National Domestic Violence Hotline

With my sister and mom Marching for #DomesticViolence

Domestic Violence March with the Family

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© 2015 by Shades of her All Rights Reserved Denise M Diaz

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