#LetItGo Day

On September 3rd, lots of authors, bloggers, and readers will be sharing Let It Go stories. But before I share mine, a bit background. #LetITGo‬ day all stemmed from Ann Aguirre’s title, I WANT IT THAT WAY. One of the characters finds freedom when he lets something go that he had been holding on to. In the book, you see him physically do something to represent the act of letting it go and then finding peace. While reading, the wheels started turning! We all need to have a day to let things go. We’ve all had those moments when things play over and over in our head, when we hear the whispers of being told we’re not good enough, when we find ourselves paralyzed by something. Some of us are affected by this in ways we think others could not possibly understand. So…#LetItGo day was formed. In the midst of ugly and dark things happening all around, we want to focus on freedom and finding peace. And September 3rd, 2014 is that day. The sky is the limit in how you want to celebrate and share it with your readers and followers on your blog and social media. Tell what freedom and peace mean to you, Tell about a time you had to #LetItGo, take pics of you doing a #LetItGo ceremony. Whatever…but this world has a lot of heartache. And we don’t have to hold on to things. We want freedom and peace to reign! So join in on September 3rd and #LetItGo! 

I’m going to share a highly personal story that I don’t talk about much. An ugly one that, dare I say it, I’m ashamed of and yet have learned to #LetItGo all at once.

I am a victim of domestic violence.

Let me quickly clarify that. I was a victim of domestic violence in a past relationship, one I thankfully escaped from many years ago.

It’s an ugly thing, domestic violence. It’s something that happens behind closed doors, something too shameful to admit to. For any of you out there who know anything about domestic violence, you know how isolating it can be. How it can rock your confidence and sense of identity. How there are days you wonder if you could have done something differently, if it was you, if you deserved it, if only you could be better/smarter/safer/etc. When my ex and I finally broke up, after the police showed up at our home and put him in handcuffs, I was faced with the shame and stigma that came about from such a relationship. People I had previously called friends asked me what I did to warrant such anger from my ex. “What did you say to him to make him do that?” was equally common as, “Why did you anger him?” They told me they didn’t want to discuss it with me, because they didn’t want to think less of him. 

I was stunned. And hurt. And confused. One of these people even showed me a black and blue sticker months prior that they had debated about putting on their car, one that disparaged domestic abuse. I wondered if these people had a point. If I had, in fact, deserved the emotional and physical abuse I suffered. I doubted myself, doubted my actions. I lost sense of myself. I felt even more alone, more lost. 

Luckily, my best friend, the one I’ve had forever, didn’t give up on me. I went to therapy, talked with other victims of domestic violence. Gradually, when the fog from such a traumatic event cleared, I realized something. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t my fault. I hadn’t made him do anything. His actions, his words? Those were him

Hurt and fear transitioned to resentment and anger. Each time somebody I had called friend told me they’d hung out with him, allowed him to throw them parties or buy them things or treat them to exclusives only he could provide, my hands shook. I felt nauseous. How were they okay with all of this? “He’s a good guy,” they kept telling me. “He’s sorry. He’s a good guy. You must have done something to make him act like this.”

And then I decided on a day that was deceptively less than extraordinary in that all I did was wake up, go to work, and come home, I realized I was tired of the anger and fear. 

I decided to let him, and all of the rest of my so-called friends, go. I put myself first. I chose to heal, to move on. I let go of photographs and letters, I deleted contacts from email and from my phone. I put them out of my mind. I took a deep breath, and when I let it go, I chose to let go of this part of my past. And when I did, things changed. Life changed. Inner peace and acceptance were things I was finally able to reach out and hold in my hands and heart.

I made amends with myself. I chose the best path toward revenge possible. I chose to live, and to live well.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, please know you are not alone. It is not your fault. You are beautiful, you have worth, you are strong, you can take that step in front of the other and you can have a healthy relationship elsewhere and a life that you richly deserve. Please visit the National Domestic Violence Abuse Hotline (confidential and open 24/7) to find out more about your options.

Join in a #LetItGo TwitterChat on September 3rd from 8-9pm EST! Hosting authors will be:
Ann Aguirre
Megan Hart
Nyrae Dawn
Lauren Dane
Monica Murphy
Come join in the Twitterchat and encourage your readers and followers to do so as well. Share your #LetItGo moments and stories, ask authors questions and celebrate with us! 

5 Comments on “#LetItGo Day”

  1. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    Thank you so much for sharing. You’re a brave and awesome woman!!

    What actually shocks me in all of this is that people who claim to be friends could have that attitude and say those things to you. I mean, I’ve read all about victim blaming, but it’s different and actually frightening to read about it in a personal way like that. I’m so thankful you were able to eliminate them and their poison from your life. You’re incredibly strong to have made that change.

  2. Andrea J

    You are an amazing human being. Your strength and ability to put yourself first and create the life you have is something to be proud of every single day. I will never understand people that can say those things that were said to you. Perhaps it is ignorance or perhaps it is simple fear. I don’t know and frankly you are better off without any of that in your life.

    Love you.

  3. Larry J Dunlap

    Thanks Heather. You are a commendable model for others who suffer from domestic abuse. No one needs to be abused by anyone, and everyone who is, should stand up and take the kind of action you did.

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