In the Spotlight – Caroline Abbott
Author, blogger www.carolineabbott.com
Caroline Abbott is a former child of domestic violence who is now a self-published writer, blogger, and community advocate, working to support and empower others who are impacted. She is a passionate supporter of CDV’s work and role model for what a former child of domestic violence can become.
The domestic violence Caroline grew up with was non-physical. She represents hundreds of millions of men, women, and children who experience this type of domestic violence in childhood, which has a profound and lasting impact on their lives. She felt always on edge, guilty for her inability to protect her siblings, and most of all, driven by the need for approval and validation. Although she was the model daughter, her efforts and accomplishments went unnoticed and unrewarded, which left her feeling intrinsically WORTHLESS.
Caroline grew into an adult who believed the Lie that she was “worthless”. This flawed self-concept paved the way for what followed – inadvertently repeating the cycle as an adult. Marrying someone a lot like her stepfather, who reinforced her false beliefs and negative self-concept, Caroline experienced many years of domestic violence without realizing it, because the abuse was never physical. Instead, it was non-physical, as it had been in her childhood home.
But as years passed, she began to slowly awaken to the Truth. A series of experiences, interactions with others, and her own actions slowly led to a realization that she is not worthless but is actually accomplished! This ultimately was the catalyst for change in her life.
Caroline lived with no one to talk to or share her feelings with for a long time. Plus even when she did develop a circle of friends, she felt embarrassed and found it difficult to share with them. So, she turned to writing. It was her way of starting a dialogue – expressing herself, having a voice. It became a transformative force in her life, as she kept a journal and chronicled her experiences, thoughts, and feelings daily. Caroline also discovered guidance, support, and positive reinforcement through her faith community and a wide circle of friends she had made there.
A growing sense of self-worth was eroding the Lie she had held for so long. She also took further action by proactively seeking information and answers, becoming more and more aware of her situation and how significantly her children were being impacted. The final straw was when her husband’s abuse turned physical. Physical violence was something she couldn’t accept. Her expanded awareness and new-found confidence gave her the strength to end the cycle and change her life.
After pursuing other educational and healing resources, which brought even greater empowerment and sense of worth, Caroline was inspired to give back. She trained to be a domestic violence advocate and funneled her passion for writing and journal entries into a self-published book, A Journey through Emotional Abuse: from Bondage to Freedom. She started a blog (www.carolineabbott.com), sharing information, resources, and words of support to educate and empower others. She also extended her efforts through Facebook, feeling a great sense of healing from giving help and hope to others.
Caroline has contributed to multiple CDV efforts, including being a voice on social media, writing guest blogs, and sharing her story and journey in our upcoming book, due out in October 2014. She is a strong voice and champion for others who grow up living with domestic violence.