I looked down the path which was before me and I felt a measure of fear, isolation and depression. Some would say I was peaceless and I would definitely say yes. Women are often called upon to be strong, to show forth greatness, yet we are often the most peaceless because society has made us so. Going back to that house was not an option being a single mother I made the decision to leave my relationship. This was not an easy choice however, it was the only option given to me to save my life.
No one knew the hell which I endured while smiling! No one saw the wars I fought while onlookers saw 'peace', No one realized the tears which flowed down my face during worship sessions were from the physical pain after being beaten. No one knew I went hungry many days as the food which I prepared for the family could not be touched before my partner had his share and he would leave barely enough for the children after eating to his heart and stomach content crumbs would be left for the children and myself.
When I made the decision to leave, I did not have a bank account because he controlled the finances, I had no place to go as he made me look like the one with all the issues who strained the relationship, and I could not stay because the final step would have been death. My country does not have measures in place to assist women like me, women who are seeking to leave to preserve their lives, it does not have support systems to help adult victims of childhood abuse and many times homelessness, lack of education and moving into another abusive relationship are the options which present themselves.
I made a choice to leave. I deserve peace and safety and I deserve to live free to realize my fullest potential. Many speak of peace as if its this thing one can grasp, hold in hand and release anytime war is present. I say peace is a dream which we all dream of, each of us have a different idea about peace, we all see it differently and we all speak of it in different ways. However peace for me is the ability to not only survive but to life a full life where I have the opportunity to experience moments of emotional, economic, physical and mental calm and assurance. Peace to me is knowing that today I can be free to become who ever I want to be, peace is knowing tomorrow has endless opportunities for me to advance academically, use my voice and seek co-existence.
However right now peace to me is a fading dream.