I am NOT a label! Breaking social stigma

I am NOT a label!  Breaking social stigma

In fall of 2011, I left my home town with my then 3 year old daughter. Her dad was out of control, and she witnessed one of his "games" of strangling me. I was never taught to stand up for myself and set boundaries. But my mama bear instinct is fierce. With help of DV advocates, we left our home town with 3 days to prepare. It was a very stressful and fearful move. We couldn't say good-bye to anybody. Including my 3 older kids from a previous marriage. Heartbreaking.

After a 3 hour drive, we arrived in our "safe town". It took me a couple of months to understand that I was a person, not his property. Reality hit ... HARD. I had a breakdown, in a town I knew nobody. So I asked CPS for help ... DON'T EVER DO THAT! My daughter was my only reason for living. And they took her away from me, I didn't see her for a month. I had never gone 2 nights without her. My ex used her as a tool to get me to do what he wanted. For punishment, he would disappear with her. I thought those times were the worst.

It took everything I had left in me to get her to safety. Or so I thought. CPS only picked up where my abuser left off. It hurt so much. For a year and half, I didn't want to live. I was labeled first Borderline Personality Disorder, later to be determined CPTSD with extreme anxiety. I fought through the many times I wanted to just give up. I was determined he would not take my life away. So I researched and found a treatment facility 2 hours away. CPS had their "service plan". I tried to follow their guidelines, that lasted 3 months. And I said enough! I found resources, I discovered DBT via YouTube. Because the wait list to see mental health provider was another 3 months. I am proud of myself. I did it, alone and heartbroken.

Four years later, I have a good life. Stable, comfortable and wonderful friends. BUT I still have the label. When I walk into the social worker's office, I see fear on her face. I really don't know exactly what they think I am going to do, so I just laugh it off. This week I am not laughing anymore. The "system" gave my abuser custody of our daughter. She was moved back to what I risked my life to save her from. I am left with repeating "What about me?" I will never give up getting custody back. I am realizing that lack of knowledge, can manifest into such intense fear. I just don't know where to begin.

3 Replies

  • Your story has touched my heart. The bravery it takes to do what you've done is immense.

    You are not alone. Many of us are survivors of abuse and still struggling with the repercussions. You are not to blame no matter what anyone says.

    Keep going, keep sharing, keep reaching out. There is still hope -- even when it seems like there is none.

    Sending you lots of support.

  • Thank you so much for your encouragement and support.

  • Your story is my fears, if i ask for help what consequences will there be. These people who are meant to help you! If i rang the police, social services (in uk) get informed. If i go to the doctors, will they think im crazy and take my children away. That my ex could use mental health problems against me one day. Some of which are caused by him.

    I don't usually have much fight for myself, BUT i am fiercely protective over my children.

    Keep strong, i don't know what if any impartial confidential advice you may be able to get where you live? May help?


You may also like...