Friday, February 15, 2013

Toxic Love

Yesterday was February 14th. To many, it was just an ordinary day like any other. A regular, average day in which you might be told you’re fat, ugly or stupid… Perhaps you were forced into sex against your will. Who knows? Maybe you were ‘lucky’ and only got a busted lip? On the bright side; tomorrow he’ll probably bring you flowers and say he was sorry - right? Does any of this sound familiar?

It does to me. I have lived through an abusive relationship. I know what it’s like to fear someone so badly that you are terrified to even whisper their name for fear of retribution. Bite marks, bruises and scratches you never even noticed were on you, but others could plainly see what you tried so hard to hide. I’m not a woman, but I’ve been there. I know you.

I guess that’s why I was so moved when I recently heard of an organization exposing violence and abuse against women worldwide. It struck a chord in me. The organization is called V-Day, and every February 14th (for the past ten years) they have taken strides toward empowering women to take a stand, move toward self-reliance, and free themselves from the blows of their abusers. This year’s theme: “1-Billion Rising” is to raise awareness of the unimaginably high number of abused women around the world.

It’s been nearly 25 years since I took my own stand and literally made a run for my freedom. I’m happy to say I am now in a truly loving relationship with respect and support freely given. In fact, our 20 year anniversary arrives this April. I have been so happy; I almost forgot where I was so long ago - Almost.

But, maybe you’ve not been as fortunate. If you are trapped in an abusive relationship take heart. There are numerous organizations, church groups, support groups and maybe to your own surprise; friends and family that are ready to help you if you give them a chance. To learn more about V-Day and about their “1-Billion Rising” efforts, please visit their site at or find more support at Women's Health.

So, I close with a bit of advice to whoever will take it; if you are a victim of violence and abuse, don’t lose hope. Find the strength to take a stand, to “rise up” and take hold of your freedom with both hands. Hold it tightly and believe me when I say, “You can do this. You are worth it. There is hope. It can be done.”

It’s your life – Live it Completely!

John Aaron Villarreal

Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!

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