To read Dian's Review of the Book Click Here
BP: When you took the first step toward recovery, can you recall your feelings that day?
Schwartz: I was embarrassed and terrified. I finally made an appointment with a therapist and sat through the first session talking about nothing. It wasn’t until he asked me if I wanted to set up another time to see him, that I finally said very matter of fact, “My husband is beating me.” It was so difficult to say those words but I knew voicing what was going on was the first step to getting out of the relationship and out of old patterns. It was a step-by-step process, ut each time I left his office my mind was filled with wonder and “light bulb moments” that slowly changed my life.
BP: What one piece of advice would you like to give to women who are being abused?
Schwartz: Most women who are being abused aren’t even aware that it is domestic violence they’re experiencing. The feel they are just women who can’t get it right and can’t please their partner. However, the inner voice won’t deny it and will reach out to them in dreams or thoughts that tell them something isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. I always tell them to listen to the soul and spirit because it will never lead them down the wrong path and when they finally listen, it’s time to seek help. Regardless of what the abuser says, it is not their fault. Domestic violence is a choice and a learned behavior.
BP: Many women feel hopeless, that there is no way out, no money, no resources, and no support system. What is your advice to them?
Schwartz: When we’re involved in an abusive situation, it’s nearly impossible to think clearly, and we believe there is no help. Instead, we put our energy into something that doesn’t work and never will…a relationship that will destroy us. There are many resources for battered women and if they will pick up the phone and call 1-800-799- SAFE they will discover how much is actually there to offer assistance and encouragement.
BP: Tell us a bit about your life since writing your book - what are you doing now, how are you continuing to heal, have you had any contact with your abuser, etc.
Schwartz: I continue to heal by helping other women. My website keeps me busy and has become my second home. Using our lessons in life to guide others makes what we experienced more meaningful. I decided that abuse is something I went through but will never be what determines what I should be in the future. I’m currently working on a screenplay about three women who become close friends because of one bad man who tormented all of them. It’s partly true.
I’ve had no contact with my abuser and truthfully, I don’t know if he’s dead or alive. He’s so unimportant to me.
BP: If you could go back to the time when you first realized you were being abused, knowing what you know today as a survivor - what would you say to your younger self?
Schwartz: I would tell my younger self this: You know you don’t really love this man but are simply tired of being alone and scared of growing old without someone in your life; but what is true loneliness? Crying in the bathroom behind a closed door so he can’t hear you; or sitting across the table from someone who could explode at any minute and throw a plate of food at you; or being afraid to voice your opinion because he might go off on you for doing so? What is lonelier than that? Regardless of what your role models have told you, it isn’t true. You do deserve better than this.
BP: Please feel free to speak about anything you would like readers to know.
Schwartz: One very important lesson I’ve learned is, until you find out what runs your own clock, you will never know what makes another person tick. Unless you can honestly see what you’re doing, and why, you will fall prey to those who have ulterior motives. You will begin to recognize traits and know what is happening inwardly in others. This will stop you from becoming involved with another abuser. It really is all about us! We are in charge of our destiny.
BP: Thank you, Dianne, for sharing your story and insights into domestic abuse.