From the Shadows, Strength is Found

From the Shadows, Strength is Found

Who thought anything good could come from being a victim of abuse? Or that possibly there was a silver lining for those of us who lived through such a devastating experience? Well, I am definitely not grateful for the bumps, bruises and black eyes my abuser inflicted upon me, not to mention the lifelong psychological scarring, but every single day I stand proudly in front of the mirror, in front of my children, my parents, sister and girlfriends, in front of the whole wide world, and acknowledge the amazingly resilient and strong woman I am because I survived abuse.

Over the years, bit by bit, my abuser tried to strip away everything that made me the unique individual I am. He tried for thirteen of our twenty-year marriage to banish me of Me. That’s what abusers do. They chip away at their victim’s self-image, at herself-confidence, at her sense of pride until almost nothing is left. All I had to hold onto in my darkest days was a single thread of self-identity. Delicate and fragile, yet strong enough not to break, this thread provided unwavering fortitude and reassurance that I was the good person I always knew myself to be. It gave me the strength to endure.


Each and every victim of abuse possesses this same steely strength because, deep down, we refuse to sacrifice ourselves completely. Even though I had to take again and again what he dished out, the fact is I never gave up. I refused to drown in the watery abyss of oblivion. Yes, I was up against a force much more powerful than me, but I am who I am and no one, NO ONE, can take that away from me.


Today, besides being happily divorced, I am a woman who knows herself inside and out and is laser-focused on what she wants (and doesn’t want) in her life. I value my self-worth, can handle just about anything life throws my way and hope to be a best-selling author once my memoir is published. Oh, and I don’t take anything from anyone, anymore. I am done with that. High school girlfriends remind me how strong I was back then, all those years ago. Today, after a lot of reflection and healing, I am stronger than ever before.


The End


Deborah L. Wade

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