A little about me

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Brook, IN, United States
Abuse doesn't stop at the court room. Melinda has shared her battles in her life and through the court room as she navigates through the legal system Bringing encouragement, insight and empowerment to those that are in a abusive relationship. She is in the process of creating a new life, speaking engagements to "Break the Silence" of abuse, while putting a face to abuse. She is currently working on writing a book about her experiences as a Survivor.View short Bio here- https://www.patheos.com/blogs/ahappymedium/2013/02/notbrokenbutbrave/

Saturday, February 25, 2017

WOW! Can you believe this?! I left my abuser 8 years ago today...

It has been 8 YEARS today that I broke free from my abuser! HALLELUJAH! Where did the time go? There was a time when it seemed like days wouldn't go by fast enough and here I am today 8 years later!



I will be hosting a FB Live at 4:00 pm CST sharing things I have gleaned along the way, a little of our escape story and other ramblings. Feel free to join in- Melinda Kunst. I have a picture of myself and Mr. Awesome with a surprised look on our faces plugging our YouTube channel.

This year actually feels like I should be celebrating. I'm not exactly sure why. I had a suggestion that perhaps I should do something like burn or destroy something that we shared- shirt or electronic... Now if you recall some of my other posts I had donated and threw out a LOT of things we had that reminded me of him. On one hand that sounds like a marvelous idea! On the other hand, I really like the griddle I kept. Silly right?! 

Or maybe I should have had a pinata with his face on it and the family should have taken turns hitting the heck out of it. But does this feed any resentment or negativity that is still found in any of us? 

So I decided to nix the idea for now. Not to say in the future we may consider this but for right now I'll pass.

If you are just starting on my blog let me start by saying I'm sorry you are here (Unless you are one of my AWESOME Friends or Family then thank you for stopping by!). 

I apologize because it gives me a heavy heart that most of my traffic is due to abuse not because you want to hear my latest rant about chickens or how wonderful my garden looks. More then likely you are here trying to sort out your feelings or how to leave your abuser. 
Checklist for leaving your abuser

Either way my Dearest Blog reader I can honestly say I know what you are mentally going thru. I understand the anguish of "Should I or shouldn't I?" or "Is it really that bad?"

Been there done that, got the T-shirt and the postcard! Once you decide to make that leap of faith can you find the strength to stay gone?

Perhaps you have a situation where if he/she stops drugs or drinking or maybe they get help things will get better? You have to decide that and it may just take leaving 1 time for a serious change. I have a friend that had this situation and I hear her partner is a changed person since under going some counseling. That's awesome! 

In my situation I still am pretty adamant that he won't change nor will countless other abusers. They have to "WANT" to change. Many decide they like the intimidation or power it seems to give them.

Let's say you are leaving for real this time, after of course you have exhausted all your resources, please do me a favor and make sure you have a family member or friend (If not the police) know your plans. Also this time maybe very confusing and hectic! Please review the resources here for taking steps for leaving, or check with a shelter and of course law enforcement. Safety plan

I am not an expert, attorney or counselor so please always seek assistance from these folks during this time! I'm praying for you! I promise you after time has passed things will get better. But you also need to have that positive mindset that this experience will pass, you will find joy and happiness again. You may need to learn how to love "You" in order to heal. That phrase "Time heals all" is for real even if your not feeling it now. 

If you are a believer in the Lord lean on Him! If your not and want to learn how to have a relationship with the Lord drop me a line privately. I'd love to share the joys I have found!



Whatever your journey I BELIEVE in YOU beautiful Soul. Stay strong and keep the faith!

BIG HUGS!
Mel

Thursday, February 9, 2017

How I kicked PTSD in the ass...


If you read one of my earlier posts I mentioned it had been a year since I had a episode! I got to be honest I was a little stunned. I did note in my journal when I had a panic attack/pain/headache just for my own information. 

So what did I do? What magic spell worked?

TIME

That's part of it. If you have followed me a bit you know I am not into doing the Counseling/Prescription writer type thing. But it's no big secret, no gimmicks, no fancy tools or pricey doctor visits.

When I had those moments when I felt an attack coming on and I was alone, I would have to give some serious thought to my breathing slowly, in my nose and out my mouth. I would then try to think of a "Happy thought". What is a happy thought? It's not just a Peter Pan sounding thing but it is a memory and or person that just gives you a feel good thought. Or maybe for you it maybe a smell or song. 

So focusing on my breath, thinking of my "Happy thought" would eventually calm me down. This could take anywhere from a minute or as long as a half hour. 

I would later give myself some time to recount what events caused it. Was it a word? Song? Someone's tone? Hormones? Full moon? (Don't laugh at the last 2! There have been studies on this)

Then give yourself time to cry if you need to, journal, talk to a loved one and share what happened. Sometime talking it out does wonders for me! Grab a hot bath/shower and imagine the details of the episode going down the drain leaving you. Think of yourself in a white light (protective), sea salt is great to get rid of negativity so sprinkle some in the tub! Smudge yourself and my favorite Ground yourself. (Earthing)

In a pinch if my other options listed above just weren't working then I would form my hand into a fist or find a paper bag to breathe in.

These can be scary and nothing to play with! I had came close to passing out on several occasions. And at a time my eldest Daughter hadn't been able to control hers and she would totally pass out. 

Afterwards you feel like you have been run over by a truck! And there was a tiny bit of me that was really ticked off that my abuser was still getting to me. It felt like he was still winning because of them. 

Now that really made me mad enough to say no more. I focused more on getting rid of the fear and what remaining control I was still giving into even after all these years. 

No more wetting the bed! Nightmares featuring my abuser are far and few between. 

I feel free! I feel like the chains have fallen off. And it's an amazing feeling! Granted this took years to get to the place where I was and years to get where I am but it's so worth it. 

Now I am not a physician so if you are under care talk to your practitioner before trying this. You can do this! I believe in you Beautiful Blog reader! 

If you have any questions feel free to drop me a line here. I do have snail mail option available too- 

Melinda Kunst PO Box 202 Brook, IN 47922


BIG HUGS!
Mel

Saturday, January 21, 2017

I have a YouTube channel!

I have gravitated towards doing Vlogs! It seems like a natural progression. I hope you find me on there!

Our YouTube channel!

I will have videos that will include my camera shy family. Vlogs about our Farm, my fight with Lyme Disease and picking up the pieces from Domestic Violence.

You can also find me on FB- Melinda Kunst and Instagram!



Since I last blogged we have 2 Grandbabies, and my older Daughter moved out with the baby with her partner. They are dealing with CPS issues but that should be put to bed in a few months.


Coming up soon will be my 8 year Independence Day! Can you believe it!?

I hope it helps to know your not alone in your fight. I'm rooting for you!

God bless and big hugs!
Mel

Saturday, October 22, 2016

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month

It's incredible that it has been 7 years since I left my abuser for good! I felt trapped. I was unsure how and when I was finally going to leave, of course I knew in my heart I wouldn't live to see the end of 2009. A dear Friend of mine felt the same way and encouraged me to leave before it was too late.

I'm new to making videos so please be kind! I hope to have more videos in the future. My wish is to continue to ignite hope in those trapped in abusive relationships. Whether it is your mate, family member, or co-worker.

You Dear Blog reader are not alone! Please stay safe and God bless!

video

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Random non drama post! Honest!

Things around here are settling down. I got to be honest things around here are pretty intense due to our Daughters issue. I wasn't sure if I needed an exorcism or just to cleanse the house a gazillion times because of the negativity and mood we are all carrying.

I managed to break out of my worries about shooting videos and putting them on the web to create a few! I also started an Instagram account (Melinda Kunst) to help with my dream of getting my business off the ground (Legacy Antiques & Estate Sales on FB), plugging our someday mini farm, also this blog! I want to show that YOU can find regain your spirit again! It is possible!

I read self improvement books, listen to youtube and podcasts for this subject as well as growing in my faith. I do not wish to be defined as someone that got the crap beat out of her or put down all the time and just disappeared never to discuss what made me today.

Your thinking what?! Those experiences humbled me. Grew my faith. Challenged me to think out of the box to save my skin. Sound weird? Sharing my story has brought me closer to my family and friends. It has also brought strangers into my life by telling in return they share theirs!

I am shedding that skin of meekness or maybe I should call it passiveness to grow that spunk or moxie I had before I lost myself. I have a fierce Warrior spirit that has not only survived the roller coaster of abuse but also called upon that God loving force to help me with Lyme.

I appreciate more, want to share more and want to give back anyway I can. I also want you to know some of the things I really enjoy and what good things are going on around God's Breath Farm!






Future videos to come soon! My story in my words coming as well!

Don't give up! Stay strong! Believe! Make sure you have a strong support group or contact local groups that can help. It's hard to leave. It's hard to find a "Normal" life again. I hate to beat a broken drum but it is honestly not easy. There are still hiccups! Whether it's me getting in a funk, kids not listening to me, step parenting children of abuse (my partner dealing with my baggage), or just staying safe. But it can happen. Believe! Have faith!

Dear blog reader wherever you are I pray you find peace.

God bless and big hugs,

Mel

PS- Kindly ignore my hair and fluffy sides. I am in a love/hate relationship with my hair. It's falling out due to the Lyme and my weight is fluctuating is on overdrive. And no I didn't eat all those tater skins! Terry and I shared, BIG GRIN! I'm a cheap date! I splurged and had soda.



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Flat and over 100,000 views!


The past few weeks have been a heart breaking. Physically all of us in our home are tired, worn out and battling with whirlwind of feelings.

Soon after the birth of my Daughter's baby she faced additional blood pressure issues causing her to be admitted into the hospital on several occasions. On the last incident a Social Worker noticed something wrong between an exchange between Jess and her partner. Whatever it was just didn't set right in her gut so she did her job and asked Jess if she felt that she and the baby were safe with her partner.

She answered truthful... No.

Jess went on to describe a few situations that red flagged her and her partner and CPS was brought in.

The roller coaster she is going through is painful to us to see her crumble under the weight of honesty. She was forced to move out of his Aunt and Uncle's home with the baby and to move back in with us. Which didn't make her a happy camper.

She had threatened suicide, lost the desire to parent the baby and did injure herself which after chatting with my Sister about how escalating this situation was, she encouraged me to call the Police/Ambulance.

I did.

She stayed in a treatment facility for 8 days and since then has had up's and down's. She is on an Antidepressant and is to see a Counselor/Psychiatrist. She and her partner both have Parenting classes, he will have Anger management classes and both have to be supervised while they are with the baby.

It makes my heart hurt for her. I don't understand most of it from the Mom angle of not wanting to parent the baby. I am an odd egg and loved being with my kids. Oh sure I had my moments of wanting some alone time but I never wanted to be away for a long period of time. So this to me is difficult. Anytime I have suffered from Depression I fought my way through it.

She isn't me and I'm not her. We are so very different. We are different on how we cope and handle situations.

I wish I could wave a wand and make any pain go away for her. All I can do is to be supportive and understanding. It is hard to be understanding when I found out they didn't use a condom. GRRFACE!

Neither are ready to be an Adult much less a Parent. They can barely take care of themselves. But this is the situation they are in. Now we figure out how to fix it.

Much of Jess's issues are from her past. She (as well as her Sister) have never dealt with the abuse issue. Now that rears it ugly head like a monster that is under a bed.

Of course this brings so much back for me.

I was questioned by the Social worker on day one of the beginning of this situation and I sounded like a robot as I mentioned that we were abuser Survivors. The Social worker picked up on it and asked why I sounded so flat and with no emotion.

My first reaction to that was anger! I had a child in the ER that was unconscious at this time after just having a seizure from Pre-Eclampsia and they were having trouble getting her BP down. I couldn't think about anything else.

This is not the first time someone has mentioned how flat or robotic my response seemed from my past.

I guess I've told our story so much and I see/hear the reactions from people I tell about our past that I am leery.

Reactions are normally-

"How could you "let" that happen to you for so long" or "I would have never stayed "that" long" or "I would have kicked his a** to the curb after the first time".

It gets frustrating. I almost feel like I'm being judged for staying as long as I did. Which brings me back to my ex saying that I must have liked him treating me this way or I wouldn't have stayed.

I am apprehensive to tell my story though in cyber land I do mention and share my story on FB and Pinterest. On social media I don't have to worry about the tone, looks or response from someone that hears I stayed.

I still feel guilty enough for making my children to endure the abuse as long as they did. Why wasn't I brave enough to leave sooner or to leave before our relationship even had kids? I do feel like someday I take 2 steps forward and 2 steps back for healing. Grateful for my support team of family and friends of course my awesome Husband!

We will have another 5 months of CPS involvement and I pray that my Daughter and partner will have enough help and encouragement to become better partners for the baby and if they continue a relationship they get the counseling needed to deal with tough situations during a relationship.

If you are new to my story and scratching your head what's up with us. Here is the mini-version.

I met him in high school. I couldn't get him to leave me alone. He threatened to kill himself, my family and later my children if I ever left him.

I believed him.

I stayed. I continued to try to leave many, many times throughout our relationship. We fought about stupid stuff constantly.

I stayed through physical, verbal, sexual and mental assaults. I had no self esteem left, I was being broke down to the point of suicide. I had done things with my abuser that made me feel dirty.

We were swingers in which I had several lesbian encounters.
I was required to sit at his feet like a dog. He enjoyed BDSM but I learned later there is a healthy respect between the partners and everything he did was not!
He was a sex addict which meant I had to be ready 24/7 for relations. I could count on 2 hands how many times I didn't have to have sex with him. And that did not make him happy!
He sought the elusive Polyamory relationship, which did happen for a short period of time.
I bathed him.
I dressed him. (I warmed his boots for him in the winter and laced them for him all the time)
I started his car for him in the dead of winter. And loaded it.
I warmed his plate for meals, warm food would hit the wall, floor or would be tossed in trash.
I did everything you could think of for him.
I would have to scratch his back for hours at night until he fell asleep.
I felt like a hostage.
I felt like a whore.

I felt unclean. After the sexual encounters I would scrub myself as clean as I could, rubbing my skin until it hurt and was bright pink almost raw.

I felt like a failure as a Christian,as a wife and mother.

I envisioned killing myself and my family to escape. I had thoughts of killing my abuser and towards the end I slept with a knife under my side of the bed because I was worried about him killing me. As time progressed it was building to the point where I felt I would not survive the end of 2009. I had a dear friend advise me she could see that I wouldn't live much longer due to how volatile my situation was becoming.

I had to leave, though he reminded me I wouldn't have money, no health insurance, no place to live and that he would hunt me down.

I left the first time in 2007, staying on 2 separate incidents in Women's shelter. After the urging of my then mom-in-law to get back with him because he changed, I did.

In 2008, things were starting to go crazy again. By the end of 2008 I knew I had to go, Chatting with my Friend, Kristy Robinett, gave me courage to take steps to leave. I enlisted my family to help and they were more then willing to help!

I left for the final time in 2009.

During that time, there were deep cracks in the average joe facade that my abuser tried to keep. He hired a guy to follow me, take pictures of me and to report back his findings. All the while continuing to stalk me via the web, phone and in person.

I had protective order after protective order. All would be broken but nothing more then a slap on the wrist ever happened.

I found out in the summer months of 2009 he hired several men to kill me for money. He provided them with a camera, shovel and he wanted a few thousand dollars with more to be paid when the deed was done.

My Nephew came forward bravely to my abusers Sister, whom then let me know about it. I called the police. They investigated but found the men that were hired had shady pasts so they were not credible, therefore there was no case.

My Eldest Son attempted to set fire to my apartment and advised me he was going to kill me as I slept and he demanded I take him back to his dad.

I did. I was devastated. That was a deep blow to my heart. Any contact with him has been hostile towards me.

I suffered a few more physical attacks from my abuser towards the fall of 2009.

I felt lost.

The legal system didn't seem fair. It felt like I was the abuser and he was the victim.

We were finalized for our divorce in 2012. In 2013, my Daughter's partner advised that Jess had told him she was sodomized by her Father when she was young. Sadly, after contacting the police I found out that too much time had went by to press charges. Though it took every ounce of power not to go and just, I don't know beat him or just put a hole in his head.

I had a Protective Order placed last summer (2015) after he sent threatening emails, texts and voicemail's. All the while proclaiming his love for me. The sad thing is he was engaged to woman during this time. He said he would leave her in a second if I came back. I tried to reach out to this woman but never heard from her.

He did end up marrying her during the summer of 2015. I wish them the best. Any correspondence I have had with her has been one of someone in denial or that is perhaps she just can't see. I have heard from family and friends that maintains contact with them is that he treats her publicly just he did with me.

My last Protective Order expired this summer.

He still tries to bully and intimidate friends and family that maintain contact with me. Why does this not surprise me.

I originally started this blog as a way of healing my spirit. I felt broken. I had cried out to the Lord so many times for help and I felt like I was lost along the way.

I know now he never left my side. I'm still not sure what lessons I was to learn along the way, but I can say that my faith was strengthen.

I could have blamed God for the suffering my children endured or myself for that matter. I didn't.

We all have choices in life, sometimes the choices we make can build us up or break us down.

I was asked sometime ago if I would do it over again knowing what I know now. I still have to say yes. My life now is so very different! I have a will to keep living. I have a beautiful family and met oodles of people along this path that I wouldn't have known otherwise.

It's made me fall to my knees and ask for forgiveness for things I had down during my marriage. During my relationship with my abuser I only shared my situation with a handful of people. Today, I have over 100,000+ views of this blog. I am by no means gloating or dropping high fives about that fact.

It saddens me to know that others are still experiencing abuse. And humbles me that someone is actually reading my rantings.

So, Dear Blog reader, if you are in a abusive relationship please know you are not alone. Talk to a close Friend or reach out to a local Shelter or http://www.thehotline.org/ for help. I've been where you are and know there can be life after an abusive relationship. It's not easy to escape and staying safe for months or years to come can be hard. Don't let this discourage you! I want you to be free, happy and to be able to love yourself again!

Please look at my posts for Safety plan and Check list for leaving your abuser for suggestions to help you before you leave.

Stay safe and God bless

Mel



Monday, August 8, 2016

New life and new beginnings


NEW LIFE!

Jess had her baby! She is having some blood pressure issues and I got to be honest it was downright scary.

Her blood pressure skyrocketed which threw her into confusion and a seizure.

I was a blubbery bundle of snot. Don's Aunt and I have grown close during this pregnancy adventure and she kept me grounded. I would have totally lost it had it not been for her.

I am happy to say she is stable, talking and hoping to get out of the hospital soon! We can't wait to have them back at home!




Things are different now. Jess has seemed to literally grown overnight since having the baby. This is the same kid if you recall I talked about giving an exorcism to! I bring this up because so many parents are pulling out their hair due to how kids are behaving, whether acting out or clamming up.

I'm here to tell you it will get better! I had a time believing this would ever happen 7 years ago. I wouldn't have believed how far we've come since our old life. I have mentioned how surreal our life is now probably too many times, but unless you have walked this path you may not understand what I mean.

I still can't get the kids to discuss the past and Alex still has some issues that needs to be addressed that cropped up after her visits with her Dad during 2009/2010. I pray we can someday get help for her and that Jess will also reach out to someone as well.

NEW BEGINNINGS

I met some amazing people over the past few weeks that have lit a fire in my belly to take a leap of faith and start a business again with my first love of antiques! Melody and Mark are super cool couple! Mark is pedaling across the U.S.! Not for a cause but for himself. I was in awe! Melody is documenting his journey. She gave me an impromptu interview which was featured on her blog. I was touched by her kindness that can be found here-

http://55andalive.com/uncategorized/day-50-a-new-state-another-flat-tire-melody-meets-melinda/


Melissa is like a Pixie I could keep in my pocket! I first met her while bidding against her at an auction on a bedroom set. She was kind enough to let us win it.

We have caught up with one another during my Fleamarket in June and then we were in Monticello antiquing a few weeks back, we happened to drop in her shop at Cornerstone Antiques. We had a brief discussion on the business and she said some really great pearls of wisdom that stuck with me. She encouraged me to also take that leap of faith to do something I love and enjoy!

The Lord is talking to me through others but sometimes I question Him. I have times where I think is this "Me" or "God" giving me these thoughts.

After talking with my better half about doing something I love, I admitted I wanted to do Estate Sales! We'll still do our Fleamarkets! Also branching out to having our own shop on wheels (Gypsy Trailer- Terry is an awesome handy woodworker!), Pop-up-Market and only the Lord knows what is next for us.

My health is still on the very slow healing side. It's frustrating! I am tired easily and often. It's not uncommon for me to want to nap at the drop of a hat or to even nod off during a conversation with someone (it's embarrassing). I'm hungry all the time so weight loss is not happening.

I tried clean eating and I did feel better but I had to eat often. I still wake up in the middle of the night starving, I have tried eating protein before bed or a big dinner with no help.

I still am labeled with:
Fibro
Adrenal Fatigue
Hashimoto's
Chronic Fatigue
Still have back and neck issues
Numbness throughout my body (Pins and needles on steriods!) I did get feeling back in my face finally!

I try not to complain but last month I was just a crunchy mess! The aches, pains and migraines were getting too much. The brain fog merciless. Though I do count my blessings that I know what I have. I need to make an appointment to get a check up. I broke down and took some prescribed pills, Doxy, to give me a boost. My herbal treatments are costly and not covered by insurance so I ration my pills. Which I know is not helpful either.

Things that I can do:

Meditate
Kick off my shoes and ground myself
Ignore news or stressful situations
Take a bath in Epsom salt
Enjoy my family
Craft
Create a Vision board

So, Lyme disease I have been through one bully to deal with a bunch of creepy little ones that seem to invaded every part of my body.

On another topic, child support can be either non-existent or timely. When my ex remarried it seemed like he was doing a good job with payments at least times a month, when his Mom passed he did pay off ALL his behind payments! Now since my last 2 blog posts there has been nothing. Coincidence?

So, am I healed from my previous life?

No.

But I am a whole heck of a lot better then I was back then. I can actually discuss some experiences without crying at the drop of a hat. When I talk to someone about being a Survivor, some people are usually quick to say "I wouldn't have put up with that!", or "You should have left the first time" or "I would have hit him back".

These can be very frustrating to explain to someone that has never been in this situation. It can seem bizarre or dumb to stay in an abusive relationship and not kick this person to the curb.

I admit now I can agree to a degree. And if someone reaches out to me about an abusive situation, I do say leave. But this is easier sad then done.

If you DARE leave you may hear or experience:

He/She may threaten to commit suicide
He/She may threaten to kill you or your kids/family or furbabies
Hire someone to kill you or beat you up
There could be threats to not give you a dime
Leave you with bills
Leave you homeless
Tell everyone your crazy or that you were the abuser
Cut off your health insurance
Take everything from you
Get you fired from your job
Turn your family and friends against you
Rape
Worse abuse!

This is not uncommon and sadly these are things that keeps victims with an abuser. I heard these threats and experienced more. Your not alone! Stay strong Beautiful!

While I talked about awesome folks I have exchanged brief emails with that have been encouraging as they sail their own path as they have left or are leaving or still in the midst of a abusive relationship. Some of those that have reached out to me may never contact me again and that's ok. But there is not a time that doesn't go by that I pray they are safe and on the road to mending wounds.

Wherever you are I'm thinking of you! You too Dearest Blog reader!

Have you read my story?  Or are you in an abusive situation or know someone that is? Please share my blog with them so they know they are not alone. That there can be light at end of the tunnel!

BIG HUGS! GOD BLESS!
Mel