I have made an appointment to get a hearing aid.
Yikes! I said it out loud. But before you judge my age status,
I want to tell you a story.
You see, I haven’t been able to hear out of my ear for more than 40 years. At least that is when I first noticed the hearing loss. I laughed it off. I avoided the truth. But I know precisely the moment the ear was damaged.
I was one of those girls in high school who wanted what everyone else had; the cheerleading costume, the good grades, the busy schedule, but most importantly, the handsome boyfriend. While it may have seemed to those around me that I did have it all, I will tell you right now, I lived a lie.
My life as a young teenager was ensnared in an abusive relationship that I couldn’t tell anyone else about. The constant beat downs, physical and mental, really shaped who I am today. I never told. Even when the Guidance Counselor and freshman basketball coach took me out of class to talk to me about what they thought might be happening. I denied and denied and put on my smile and seriously and literally lived through the pain.
You might ask yourself if you were ever in a situation like this. Or you might say that it would never happen to you.
I can assure you, love is certainly blind, and teenage love is not even love but everything you see in the movies: a prom date, a movie date, someone to write notes to, a way to belong.
Lately, the news is filled with stories of men being inappropriate. But the stories that are not being told, are more hardcore. They are stories of damaged confidences and lost youth. They are stories of parts of life you can never get back or relive. They do not involve super important men or VIPs in the world. They are your friends, your neighbors, and even people you think you know very well. They are stories of young girls who have been shaken to their core and see no way out other than to just to stay.
The cycle does end.
Sometimes, as in my case, a roommate picks up a chair and forces the abuser out of the dorm room. Sometimes, the amount of ER visits and doctors probing questions, can do it.
The reality is that victims really are victims. They have no voice. It is embarrassing, humiliating, and downright frightening to call out the abuser.
Even as I write this today, I am not naming this person. I have suffered too many years and hours of therapy to give him credit for making me the kick ass woman I am today.
You see, when you take the power back, it really elevates you. You feel confident and worthy again.
For all you girls, like me, in over your head with no way out in sight, call me or write to me at Palancaleadership@gmail.com.
I will confidentially discuss your problem with you and hopefully help you find your way out.