I am starting a podcast and blog called Hope Beyond Abuse.

I want to share with you why I have started this project and why I am so passionate about it.

Having endured a domestic violence relationship for more than a decade, I know first-hand the helplessness a person feels in that situation. I was confused. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I was emotionally, psychologically, and physically broken down. It took every ounce of strength I had just to get through each day.

‘Why did she stay?’A diagram of the cycle of abuse

The thing that kept me in my marriage was hope.

I clung desperately to hope that this time he was really sorry, this time he really did understand how badly he treated me and how much it hurt. Every time I was wrong and my hope was dashed. Then the cycle would continue. He would be sorry, promise it would never happen again and I would believe that this time he meant it and again lower the standard of how I expected to be treated.

Each time I forgave him, I set the bar even lower on how I expected to be treated, so he treated me worse. On and on, round and round and with each round, I lost a little more self-worth and confidence.

Hope beyond abuse

What finally gave me the courage to leave was a shift in hope. Instead of hoping to change him or my marriage, I began to hope that I could get away and building a new, brighter future.

As I started to believe this was possible, options started opening up in my mind. That belief gave me the strength to seek help, take advice, and leave for a new future. I liken how I felt when I moved out of my marital home to the refuge to the last scene in Terminator II when Sarah Connor says, ‘The unknown future rolls ahead for the first time.’ Up until that point all, I could see was the cycle of abuse going on and on forever. Now, a new, unknown future lay before me.

Leaving is dangerous, but hope is important

Safety when you leave is a real issue. Leaving and the following six months are the most dangerous, which is why I always recommend seeking professional advice.

For readers in Australia, the domestic violence hotline is 1800 RESPECT.

I am not going to pretend that it was easy and to tell the story of how I rebuilt my life is a whole book (watch this space; it’s on its way). But it is possible and there is hope for a new start for you and your children. I am living proof of that.

I listen to what is being said in the media I and don’t see any hope. All I hear is ‘don’t leave, it’s too dangerous’. I think to myself, ‘How on earth would I have had the courage to leave without the hope of a better life?’ The truth is I don’t know if I could off found that courage because for me courage and hope go hand in hand.

This worries me and is my inspiration for doing this blog and podcast.

I have been on the other side of an abusive relationship for nearly nine years and I live a happy, safe and fulfilling life with my children. I desire to be a voice of hope because there is hope. There is help out there, so please believe there is HOPE and keep reaching out. Yes a lot of calls go unanswered but PLEASE call back until you reach that kind voice on the other end of the line that is there to help you. (Once again, the number for people in Australia is 1800 RESPECT).

With love and respect for the strength you show each and every day,

Lisa.

Lisa McAdams

About Lisa: Lisa is a survivor of domestic violence who shares her story openly; along with knowledge and understanding of abuse and her experience from her time in corporate to help companies develop an organisational culture of empathy and understanding.

She helps by bringing insights on this complex and emotional subject, ensuring managers understand the issue, the signs and how to communicate with those impacted by domestic violence.

Lisa is passionate about educating workplaces so they can ensure women in abusive relationships remain in the workplace. Because employment improves outcomes and can ultimately save lives.

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