I'm a Survivor of Domestic Violence.

Hi,

I'm glad you're here on this page and that you're thinking of talking to someone who might understand what you're up against. It's incredibly difficult to decide to speak up about what you're feeling or going through. I definitely kept my personal journey under wraps for years. Mostly, I didn't trust that I would be able to explain with words what I was thinking and feeling - and I didn't know anyone that had been in a similar enough situation to just sit with me and help me absorb some of the pain of what I'd gone through.

What I would like to offer you is a compassionate - and hopefully understanding - person with whom you can unfold your story however much as you wish, free of judgement.

I am a survivor of domestic violence, and it took me years to finally be ready to exit that relationship. After I escaped the relationship, I was truly traumatized - but my friends and family thought I was safe and "back-to-normal" now that I was no longer living with my abuser. I turned to many other destructive paths and distractions that ended up affirming my trauma in various ways (substance abuse, struggles with eating, falling prey to sexual violence, to name a few). I was riddled with guilt and shame because so many of the struggles I was facing I felt that I has caused myself. It was isolating, to say the least. It took a long time and a lot of mistakes - but I've stabilized myself, have found joy again in my career and my hobbies, have built positive relationships with others and myself, and greatly reduced my dependencies on food or substances to "take me away" from the present moment. I'm proud of the life that I have built and I'm excited about the future ahead of me.

I want to be present for you if you need someone who understands the complexity of the situation you're dealing with. I don't want to fix anything for you, and as a non-professional, I very probably will not. I just want you to know that you are not alone, that life does get better, and you don't have to feel guilty about how long it takes you to be ready to face the world again.

If you need a moment away from it all to take your armor off and just be your self, feel free to contact me. I am here to listen.

Much love,
Erika.