Editorial: When the Wounds Don’t Heal from Domestic Violence

Michele Orsinger

Hey, ya’ll… it’s me again… the lady who finally started telling her story. Let me start this newest one by explaining the physical aftermath of domestic violence. Let me tell you about my inability to walk today… my pain. Most of my walking issues have to do with the weather and how cold it is. It’s kind of the same with someone who has prior broken bones. This is something I’ve had to live with for three years now. It’s my secret that I refuse to keep a secret anymore. This is my day of dealing with not being able to walk… my day of 15 puncture wounds and a brain injury that keeps reminding me. It’s just another day… one I’m still struggling through. It’s something I need to learn how to live with.

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Keep walking... even when it hurts...Michele Orsinger

Something triggered in my brain once I entered survival mode. The mental aftermath of it all blindsided me. That moment you escape with your life, it’s such a feeling of freedom… there’s also a lot of fear. I wasn’t prepared for that part. So many people asked me why the police weren’t contacted… why I didn’t pursue charges. That’s really an easy question for me to answer. You see, six months before this happened… the police were involved. It’s the court system that let me, my black eyes and my bruises down. Surviving was a good enough solution for me… I had no desire to keep reliving it sitting in a courtroom. So, I went into seclusion and hid from the world for about six months. That was the best decision I could have made at the time - it gave me time to focus on myself… on my injuries… on my mental well-being.

During those first six months, I had to change my phone number three times. It was pointless to do because he still kept ending up with my number. There were so many days (especially the first two months) that I was receiving over 100 text messages a day… it just seemed never ending. They took the typical path of how a narcissist words things… from apologies to blaming me… from begging for forgiveness to threats. What I never could understand is how he got others to believe I caused those injuries to myself… especially the softball size lump with an open gash on the back of my head. Some people will believe anything, I guess.

If the walls I once lived in could talk, the stories told would terrify everyone who heard them. The memories alone still terrify me. Most days are better than others… it’s days like this one that sting the worst. I need to accept that my wounds will never heal… that’s a hard pill to swallow. Walking will always be a challenge and it’s a constant reminder of how I should have escaped sooner. But, the path chosen can never be changed. The time has come for me to simply learn how to adapt… how to accept it. I need to let the embarrassment go when I feel people staring. I made the choice to save my own life and it’s time I own it.

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Public Facebook Photo

If someone you know is living with domestic violence, please don’t dismiss them… don’t turn your back. Many of us leave multiple times before finally coming to our senses. We have to be strong enough to face those fears in our own minds. We need to find the determination to survive. Without possessing those things within ourselves… we’ll always be victims. I’m telling you this because over half of my “so-called” friends and family ditched me. That made me remain in a violent household even longer. I was scared that if I did run, there would be no support system in place. Then there was a night that changed everything… a night that I opened up to someone I only met once. It only took that one chance meeting to develop a friendship that has withstood so much. My friend Juanita was the listening ear I desperately needed… that’s not her real name - we’re going with her alias here. You see, my wonderful friend is a K9 police officer in Philadelphia. She was the only person online in the middle of the night - one of the many nights I was laying in the spare bedroom covered in my own blood. She didn’t judge… she didn’t intervene… she didn’t call my local police department (even though she wanted to). What she did was more important… she listened… I listened. She made me send her pictures to prove I was in a room by myself… she had me show her my injuries. That woman never once tried to persuade me to travel a different path… she knows how to handle domestic violence victims because she deals with them every single day. Juanita understood… and for two years following our chance meeting, she helped me gain enough courage to run.

To anyone reading this… if you’re in a volatile household, reach out. If you don’t have a support system… reach out to me. It’s important to know that you aren’t alone even if it feels like you are. Every life is valuable and worth living. Every life deserves to be a safe one. Every life matters.

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My mission is to provide the world with inspirational, educational, and real life stories. Almost everything created is done so in an editorial way. It's important to me that readers can find articles to read while feeling like they're part of the story.

Mechanicsburg, PA
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