It’s always nice to hear from people who can relate to what I write. Today I had the privilege of speaking to Elena Perella from Italy.
We spent a while talking about common denominators within our works and reflections. From the outset we could appreciate what it means to be a victim and the processes of recovery. Furthermore, it was enjoyable to talk to a female who could understand the process associated with male depression and victimisation when it comes to abuse.
However, Elena offered a new view and approach on the relationship with depression and eating disorders. Of course, there is a clear link but there still seems to be little consideration on hearing the voice of those of whom have experienced and survived such conditions.
Elena has taken the time to write a brief introduction to her journey of which I am delighted to post on here. She has requested that you either take a look or at the very least forward it to someone you know that may appreciate and take comfort from her work.
For your ease her link is; www.sentidu.com
Testament of courage: a woman’s story to overcoming violence and finding love
When I met him I immediately fell in love with him. He was so handsome, strong and charming. He had a loving, piercing glance that made me feel the most beautiful woman in the world. Something about him attracted me like a magnet. I had never felt that way. At that moment I was sure we were meant to be together. After many relationships with men who weren’t emotionally available, finally I got what I wanted: a man who loved me, just like I loved him. A man who made me feel good about myself, a man who listened to me and understood me. He seemed to know about life, about women, about how to care. During the first years of our relationship we spent a lot of time together. I was experiencing a dream…that I never thought would soon become a nightmare.
One day he decided to leave his job to give to his life another direction. Things didn’t unfold like he thought and the pressure he began to experience was strong enough to free what he had repressed his whole life: anger! His anger manifested itself in aggression. For I was the only one so close to him, I became his perfect, easy target. He began to attack me psycho-emotionally and verbally. I couldn’t believe that the man I loved and admired, the man who loved me so much could use violence against me. Initially they were sporadic episodes but in time they became an enduring routine. I was constantly under his power. I had no way to escape. I was pushed to a corner and forced to be verbally tortured. I cried and screamed, begging him to not to hurt me anymore.
I loved him, how could he be so cruel? I spent years under those terrible circumstances, hoping that he could change. In the beginning I forgave him because I believed one day he was going to open his eyes and see what this was doing to me. Unfortunately this didn’t happen. He kept abusing me psychologically and verbally over and over again. I started to get physically sick. I was losing my dignity and didn’t feel like a woman anymore. I lived in fear, constantly. Every sound made my heart leap. I knew that staying in that relationship was going to kill me. I was too scared to call the police because I knew his reaction would hurt me more – but to continue to tolerate violence wasn’t an option either. There had to be another solution!
Instead of getting discouraged, I decided to see that experience as a mirror. In some way I knew that I was the one who had allowed the violence into my life, but didn’t know how. The reason why was written into my heart. One day, while I was talking to a friend about my situation, I suddenly felt inside myself the answer I was looking for: I didn’t believe that I was worthy of being loved, therefore I attracted and forced myself to accept men who weren’t emotionally available and aggressive.
Becoming aware of this was such a relief! Suddenly everything fell into the right place. I began to work at myself to free my heart from the toxic conviction that was destroying my life. I learned to love myself and to believe I deserved to receive love. When I decided to keep distance from my partner the circumstances around me started to support my decision. It was amazing to see how powerful this process of change was! Step by step I freed myself from the chains that kept me imprisoned. I have now created a new life full of love and I hope that through sharing my experience to become an instrument to inspire other women and men to prevent and banish violence in their own lives