A little about me
- 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/
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
I can't believe my pages are on here! I felt a swirling rush of emotions as I posted the last chapters. None of them had been proofread by anyone, so I apologize for any errors.
I feel a big sense of relief getting most of those haunting memories on paper. I am not done writing, I have so many other cobwebs in my mind that need cleaning out!
Thank all of those that have been on this journey with me for well over 5 years in blog land, it is much appreciated.
I pray that whatever stage you are at in your situation ,that you find peace, comfort, strength, hope and faith to keep going. Know this, it's not easy. breaking up never is. It does not matter whether the person you are with is calling you names, raising a hand to you or what have you, abuse is abuse.
If this person is your child, parent, partner, or relative, it's never okay to abuse another.
I have mentioned how God has played a critical role in my life and even at my darkest I knew it would be okay.
Before you push the notion of a being aside that you can not see, think about this.
Can you see air around you? How can you doubt something you can not see? I can go deeper and deeper about the subject and I'm not looking to convert everyone. I would like to plant a seed in your mind about the possibility of the unseen world around you.
I don't believe in chance. I believer things and people happen or come into your life at critical times in your life. It can be a stranger, someone you have known for years or just seeing something that reminds you of a person that has passed.
Know this, you are loved unconditionally by a God that will take you as you are! Broken, tired, scared, lonely, angry or just plain in need of a friend. All you have to do is ask God to come into your heart! Confess that you are a sinner and ask for forgiveness.
Your situation may seem very BIG, but for God, this is the small stuff. Leave your burdens and worries at His feet. You have to have patience! Prayer and situations work in His time not ours. Though I know I have a reminder of myself being impatient, stomping my feet at the situation I was in, wanting what I wanted "NOW!", but knowing I had to let go and let God. (Cliche I know but so true!)
My Friend if you are reading this you or someone you know may/is in a abusive situation. Please get help! It's okay to let others know that the life you are in is scary. Now, this is where your faith comes in!
You need to know you can live the life you are dreaming about. Peace, safety, true love, normalcy.
If you need to talk about any of the topics in my blog please do not hesitate to drop me a line. I am most readily available at email@example.com.
God bless and stay safe!
Sunday, May 11, 2014
“It is perfectly alright to admit that you are not okay.”-Unknown
Prior to me leaving the last time, a bunch of old and new break up songs seemed to be on the radio each time I turned it on. I took these as a sign! Perhaps it was just that I was more attuned to these during this period of time.
Depending on if it was abusive, cheating, fell out of love or what have you, the reasons can be numerous in a breakup. The right time to do so is when it feels right and only you will know when that is!
I'm a total chicken when I do this because I dread confrontation. I've done it by answering machine and text. Either way it's a chicken way to do so but it needed to be done.
You may have had big plans with this person, dreams of a life that seemed almost fairy tale. Or perhaps it was just an unhealthy relationship and it was time to go. Whatever the case looking at the big picture and what you want for yourself down the road is what your focus should be. How do you want your life to go?
You might be thinking, "How am I going to make it on my own?" If you are in an abusive relationship your Abuser may use this as a tactic to keep you. Putting you down and taking your self-esteem little by little. Soon you believe him/her. Why leave? There is nothing better out there? Right?
If you are in an abusive situation by all means make sure you have a safety plan! Don't leave without one! Make sure you have a person in your life that you can trust if you need help to put your plan in motion.
There is your children or pets, a life that you have never dreamed of. I am unsure if you believe in God but he has big plans for you! Even if it seems bleak and unsettling right now, there is a plan, there is hope and possibilities of new beginnings. Don't lose hope, believe in yourself and if you need to go, open your wings, take a deep breath and leap!
Talk to someone, a counselor, friend or family member. Please remember you’re not alone! There are others just like you suffering in silence. Break the chain! Stand up! Don't take anymore! (I am not encouraging anyone to take another life here)
Get away safely or call the police to keep your abuser away. Tell someone! Anyone! Write a blog! Keep your face in your blog so you keep a name with your face. That you are a person that doesn't want to end up splashed on the news as a statistic.
During this time don’t be surprised if the following isn't said:
It's your fault the relationship is ending.
He will say he was trying to make things work but your just making trouble or wanting the relationship to end.
He will say you’re a terrible Wife/Partner/Mom.
He may say you’re an alcoholic/drug abuser/whore to anyone that will listen.
Or tell your children negative things about you or if you are in a divorce process he may tell the kids things they shouldn't know about. Be prepared to de-program your children after a visit with him. My children verbally would gang up on me after a visit. They would pepper me with accusations and mean spirited things after a visit with him. By the time the next visit rolled around they would be fine only to go back to visit and start the roller coaster all over again.
And then like a switch is thrown you may hear:
You mean the world to him.
There will be some begging for you to come back.
Promises he will be a better person.
Promise to get help.
Again, keeping a log of these instances whether they are on the phone, via email or texting is a paper trail and I cannot emphasize how important it is to keep this information, even if they are to deal with right now. Ask a trusted friend or family member for help.
“Knowing where you are broken make it all possible to heal there.”- Unknown
We have the privilege of choices. A person can choose to behave or make wise decisions. You can choose to change your behavior, it’s free will. A wonderful thing that we humans have but we also have a tendency to choose poorly.
Your abuser choose to walk in the door making the time with you miserable or wonderful.
Your abuser choose to act appropriately towards you and your family.
No one ‘made this person abuse you’.
Many abusers get a thrill from berating someone. Perhaps feeling a sense of power and control by making another cower or hide.
Leaving Rob was the final step to save my children and me. I never documented the abuse while I was in the relationship that is something during the divorce process that I realize I should have done.
I do know now I had done nothing to provoke him or instigate a situation. There was very little I could have done to prevent the events besides leaving, contacting police, or making family and friends aware of the situation.
“The enemy always fights the hardest when he knows God has something great in store for you.”-Unknown
Why did I stay?
That question haunts me. Why did I keep putting my children through everything? Why did I allow them to witness and see the pain I was going through? Why did I put up with it for so long? You may wonder how a person gets to the point of letting a person treat them or others around them poorly. Or “Hello!? How stupid are you for staying?”
You hang onto hope; you hang onto words of comfort when your partner says he will change. You cling to the words that things will get better. I prayed that God would answer my prayers and everything will be OK.
He will change. Promises to never harm the kids or me again.
Promises to get help and to be a better partner for me.
You may think you can change a person or think getting married will solve it all; or perhaps think bringing children into the world will help. You believe that bringing children into the marriage will change that person’s heart and attitude.
You believe the words, “I'll change”, or “I promise I'll never hurt you again”, “I promise never to do this or that again.” Or “Such and such, didn't mean anything to me; it's you that I love.”
I stayed because I believed that I was better off with him.
I stayed because I believed the cruel words he would say repeatedly:
No one will ever want you but if they do they will use you up
You are a useless dumb spic.
I thought have no job and I have woman with 3 kids?
I didn't believe in myself.
I left because I love my children and I feared for their safety.
I wanted more for me and the kids.
I feel myself becoming more and more withdrawn.
I left because we were deserving of more from life.
I left because I refused to be treated the way he was treating me
and the kids.
I'm not alone a majority of women (men too!) stay because they feel so down and unworthy. They believe they can't make it on their own.
That no one will support them. If they do leave they go back, this I know I went back several times and though I tried to leave last year monthly I still stayed for fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being able to cut it on my own and the fears that were in my head.
Victims stay because they believe they can’t make it. They have no money, job, health insurance, home, pressure from friends, family, guilt, insecure, loyalty, shame, denial, he will may change how he is, or he says he'll change or even church pressure. Or fear of being caught leaving or found out and getting hurt worse for doing so!
Many victims will leave their abuser at least 4 times, some as high as 10+! I know personally in the shelter a few ladies went back 15 to 20 times! You think to yourself, "Gosh their nuts!” I'll never be like them... At least that's what I told myself. I tried to leave many times myself and I can honestly say I can check off many of the things I have listed.
I could beat myself up with why I stayed but now I could look back and I'm happy I can control and learn to control my destiny.
I am the keeper of my faith and my life. I am not a puppet. I am learning, this process will take some time for all of us to get through but I'm happy I have good family and friends to help us through this and I can learn from the past and put this experience under my belt as a lesson learned...
A feeling of dread churned in the pit of my stomach causing me to feel as though I would throw up.
This is not unusual.
Sadly, this is how I almost always feel coming home from work. I would hesitate from leaving the safety of my car to go inside the house.
Knowing the kids were in the house, caused me to go in, just plaster a smile on my face and hope for the best. I would murmur and pray silently to myself for God to give me strength! “Lord, please let it be a good night.”
My hands seemed to have a mind of their own, white knuckles on the steering wheel that I had gripped so tightly, I was sure I would have pins and needles I let go.
The kids would silently greet me with half smiles, quick hugs and go back to playing as not to make too much noise so Rob wouldn't yell. I heard stomping up above my head on the ceiling.
Here we go! The kids shaking their heads mouthing “Don’t go Mom.” I could hear him coming down the stairs at a quick pace. I tried to compose myself and met him before he got down. He checked my mileage on my car and I would have to recount my day and why
I didn't complete calls or tasks I was supposed to do.
In his paranoid filled mind there would be a myriad of questions such asking what took so long to get home or why did it take me too long to get in the house? What was I calling my boyfriend, as he snatched away my phone from my hip to check the calls and if there is any text messages from anyone? I couldn't get a word out quick enough for him. Was I planting ideas in the kids’ heads about him?
Was I trying to turn them against him?
I would stare at my feet feeling as though I had gotten caught with my hand in the cookie jar. Never doing anything I wasn't allowed to or supposed to and I was always guilty for something I had never done. No matter what my reasoning it was no matter. I didn't do as I was supposed to.
“Facing the fear in order to heal is so much more important than the fear itself. The fear will fade in time and you will become stronger than you ever imagined.”-Cathy Gipson
Recognizing the patterns of abuse
So does your partner apologize and tells you that the hurtful behavior won't happen again — but you believe that it will? Or at times you wonder whether you're imagining these things. If these scenario sounds familiar, you may be experiencing domestic violence.
Domestic violence —is also called domestic abuse, battering or intimate partner violence — occurs between people in an intimate relationship. There are many forms of abuse, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse. Men are sometimes abused by partners, but they live in greater secrecy about the abuse due to how society views abuse for males.
I had a hard time believing all I was experiencing was abuse and at first it may not be easy to identify the abuse. There are some relationships are clearly abusive from the start, abuse often starts gradually and it can get worse over time.
You could be experiencing abuse if the relationship you are in does any of the following:
Calls you names, puts you down or insults you.
Prevents you from out, even if it is work or school.
Stops you from communicating or seeing family members or friends.
Holds you financially hostage by monitoring or telling you how money you can spend, where you go or what you clothing you are permitted to wear.
Appears to be jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful.
Gets angry when drinking alcohol or after using drugs.
Threatens you to harm you or a weapon.
Hits, kicks, shoves, slaps, chokes or otherwise hurts you, your children or your pets.
Forces you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will.
Blames you for his or her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it.
Makes you believe that you wanted the violence or to be harmed.
The abuse becomes part of a sadomasochistic act.
Your abuser apologizes, promises to change and offers gifts.
The cycle seems to repeat itself over time.
The longer you stay in an abusive relationship, the greater the toll on your self-esteem. You may experience feelings of depression or anxiety. You may begin to doubt yourself or wonder if the abuse is your fault. You may feel helpless to get out of the situation. The best way to break the cycle is to get out of the situation as soon as you can.
You can start by telling someone you trust about the abuse, whether it's a friend, relative, doctor or clergy member. Don’t be surprised if you find it hard to talk about the abuse.
“This is not love. It is a crime... You can't look the other way just because you have not experienced domestic violence with your own flesh.”-Salma Hayek
Create a safety plan and where to go for help
Leaving an abuser can be dangerous. Consider taking these steps:
Call a women's shelter or domestic violence hotline for advice. Make the call at a safe time — when the abuser is not around — or from a friend's house or other safe location.
Pack an emergency bag that includes items you'll need when you leave, such as extra clothes and keys. Hide it or leave the bag with a friend or neighbor. Make sure to keep important personal papers, money and prescription medications handy so that you can take them with you on short notice.
Know exactly where you'll go and how you'll get there, even if you have to leave in the middle of the night. Go straight to your location and if you feel it is necessary contact the police to escort you to your destination.
Your abuser may use technology to monitor your telephone and Internet communication and or to track your physical location.
Use these tips to help keep stay safe:
Use cordless phones and cell phones. Your abuser may be able to intercept calls and listen to your conversations. Your abuser may check your cell phone to see who has called or texted you. Or your abuser may check billing records to see your complete call history.
Consider a new phone, many states offer plans for survivors of abuse or look into a pay as you go phone.
Use your home computer cautiously. Your abuser may use spyware to monitor your e-mails and the Web sites you visit. Consider using a computer at work, the library or at a friend's house or if you can afford it, buy a new computer that your abuser does not have access to.
If you have a wireless modem, make sure that it is password protected so it cannot be accessed.
Frequently change your e-mail password. Choose a password that would be impossible for your abuser to guess.
Clear your viewing history. Follow your browser's instructions to clear any record of Web sites or graphics you've viewed.
You now may be thinking:
Where would I go?
What would I do?
I have no money!
These are the things that your abuser wants you to think of! He wants you to be fearful, dependent and unsure of yourself. He feels if you are this way, then he holds all the cards. You’re his.
In an emergency, call 911 — or your local emergency number or your local law enforcement agency. The following resources also can be a big help:
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE or 800-799-7233.
Call the hotline for crisis intervention and referrals to resources, such as women's shelters.
Your doctor! Doctors and nurses will treat injuries and may refer you to safe housing and other resources that are local.
A local women's shelter or crisis center. Shelters and crisis centers typically provide 24-hour emergency shelter, as well as advice on legal issues and support.
A counseling or mental health center. Use caution when you are told to seek couples or marriage counseling. If violence has heightened to the point that you're afraid, counseling between you and your abuser isn't the best choice.
A local court. Local courts can help you obtain a restraining order that legally mandates the abuser to stay away from you or face arrest. Advocates may be available to help guide you through the process.
It can be hard to very hard to recognize or admit that you're in an abusive relationship, help is out there. Keep in mind that no one deserves to be abused!
Happily ever after?
“It's not what you go through that defines you; you can't help that. It's what you do after you've gone through it that really tests who you are.”-Kwame Floyd
Can you repair a broken relationship?
OK, so you left him or put his things at the door. Now what?
He has begged you, pleaded and says the things you always wanted him to say.
Do you take him back?
I got to tell you that is one of the hardest choices I ever made!
Why? The kids missed him. I didn't want to get divorced due to religious views I had personally. I didn't know how I was going to make it without him financially and I felt sorry for him.
I didn't listen to the little voice in my head. My heart took over.
I listened to Judy plead for me to take him back. He promised her he would change. She said I needed to take him back to find out how much he loved me. He said he loved me profusely in the psychiatric ward. Wouldn't I give him another chance? He's changed, she said! He won't ever lay a hand on you again, if you just let him have another chance...
I gave in.
I was hesitant and felt so torn.
I relented and gave in.
That first month, give or take a week, was marvelous! The kids noticed the difference and were happier than they had been in a long time. We talked about feelings and how we felt. I felt empowered to do so due to what I had learned at the women's shelter. I started to believe the women there didn't know what they were talking about. He changed! It was fantastic! They must be man haters. I believed him and discounted what the Psychiatrist had told me. Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Psychotic, Anxieties, Depressed and extremely obsessed with me. She told me to stay away or to get away from him. is fixated with me. She said off the record it was not health with the type of interest he had in me. It was like nothing she ever saw before and she feared for my safety.
I discounted all of that and took him back.
The honeymoon didn't last long. We had the other woman show up and that was the end of happiness and bliss...
So can a relationship that was torn apart be DV or any type of violence be fixed? I've met women that have returned to they're abuser over 20 times or have gotten into other relationships that have ended with her in the hospital. Or for the verbal abuse to continue after the sparkle has worn off again.
I've read a few places that say they have had good results from therapy, which DOES NOT happen overnight! Saying a few nice words, going to a few therapy sessions, or wining and dining her does NOT make it all better. Studies show that the counseling takes either medication or years of counseling as well as anger management of some sort. When I left each time, he would tell me flowery words, send me flowers, and promise me the world. When I dug my heels in and said “NO MORE!” I got:
You Whore! You were probably sleeping around with Tom, Dick, and Harry!
You were a terrible wife and Mother!
I'll kill you!
Next thing you know it is as though a switch went on he will then say he is sorry and tell you he will give you the world.
Fact is he will most likely never change. The next woman won't even know what she is in for. I can't help but feel sorry for the next woman. He has been through several already. Not sure if they wised up or what. So ask me again if you can repair the relationship. I think you know what my answer will be...
Repairing your image after being in an abusive relationship takes time. Remember be patient with yourself it will take time. It didn't take overnight to get you where you are at and it won’t be overnight that you will heal.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”- Philippians 4:13 KJV
Opening your heart to love
Relearning to be in a relationship with others can be a tough thing to do. When you break free of your abuser you also break free of all the rules that he or she set for you! Now, I'm not saying go live wild, start partying, drinking, having wild sex or doing drugs. I have said this before! Sowing your wild oats after you leave a relationship is normal but remember the consequences:
Your crazy abuser or whatever you call 'em is still out and probably looking for you or for ammo to use against you in court or to turn your friends and family against you.
There are STD's out there!
Mr. or Ms. Right that you may meet fresh out of a relationship maybe just as nuts as the person you just left or worse!
Invest in yourself! Give yourself some time to heal! If for some random reason you and your Abuser decide to reconcile.
Don't leave and then a week or 2 or a month later BELIEVE he or she has changed so you give them another chance only to find after a bit you are BACK in the same position you were when you left in the first place! IF you reconcile WAIT! Give it 6 months or a year or 2!
Don't give in to his/her pleading or begging. Trust me you will survive without this person.
My Aunt told me that she believed her abuser was the air she breathed and couldn't get enough... That's why years later they have been divorced for years she says that is why she now suffers from has asthma!
Give yourself the gift of time apart.
It does hurt!
It does ache!
You do question whether it's the right thing to do!
You wonder if you will be able to afford or survive alone.
You may struggle!
You may second guess yourself, or wonder if it was all in your head.
Or think that maybe it wasn't as bad as you thought it was.
You could experience guilt because you will think he or she will kill themselves. Many times the abuser does not go through with the act and may do say they harm themselves for sympathy reason. Now, my ex had 3 suicide attempts after I left him.
Each time Rob made sure to let someone know what he was doing. He also threatened to do something to harm himself, me and the kids if we left him. If your abuser give you any information about harming themselves, please call law enforcement to do a wellness check on the person to ease your conscious.
After time, if, your abuser does change and you get back together, take it slow. Date each other. Don't jump the gun and play man and wife again.
Take it slow.
My own personal opinion is that I don't believe an abusive person is capable of changing. They are what they are. Small changes, such as cleaning up after one's self or putting the toilet seat down sure but to make a total 180 when they are so used to being a bully? I don't believe it. Even after all these years will still intends to harm me physically, emotionally and mentally whenever he can.
Struggle, cry, lean on someone to get you through the transition.
Don't talk to your abuser after you leave him or her. Save it for court or give yourself some time.
As I mentioned before with regard to visitations consider dropping off your children in a public place or meet to talk publicly and don't leave at the same time. Wait for him or her to leave first or ask a friend to go with you.
Do remind your children it's not their fault. Remind your kids you both love them and you need them to concentrate on being a child.
They need to focus on school and not about the rift between Mom and Dad.
“Things don't go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.-Charles Jones”
I took “Can’t” out of my vocabulary. I had to do this to repair myself both physically and mentally.
The word, “Cant’”, was part of my life for so long. Rob would criticize me to say that, I can’t do this or do that.
When I hear someone use that word, it is negative. All the excuses for not living a happy life comes from your abuser destroying your self-esteem and your self-worth, so you may be paralyzed by fear and never have the courage to break free of your life.
I hear from victims the statement that they, “Can’t leave” or “Can’t make it on their own”.
You can! Its work but you can! If you believe in the power of prayer or Law of Attraction you may have heard things don’t just magically happen.
If I waited until I could afford my divorce or until the “Right time” I would have never left!
There may never be a right time to break up or have kids or quit work and so on. Sometimes, you have to trust God, pray, ask your angels and have faith that things will end well.
Finding yourself again after a break-up is a tricky thing and toss in the fact that you left an abusive situation the mix may still seem like a scene taken from soap opera or talk show. A “normal” separation is one that you divide up the kids, stuff and move on.
With an abusive relationship the other partner may NOT want to let go.
Your abuser may continue to stalk you, or continue to harass you by texting/emails, or try to hurt you by intimidation or further abuse (Verbal/Physical). It can be very hard to think of moving on with the continued drama.
You ask, “Seriously?! Woman what are you smoking!?”
Honestly! You can do it! You can live a “NORMAL” life again.
You may have to break some habits created by the relationship(s) you were just in. Starting over is just that! Beginning again! Clean slate!
Changes the behavior patterns after you leave is slow process. You have to unlearn all of the programming you have been conditioned to do. How?
Well, honestly, it takes work to start the wheels in motion to have things work out for your life. Such as calling for a Pro-bono attorney to help if you can’t afford an attorney, research on your own for laws, legal terms, how the divorce court works, how to handle yourself in court or and leave no stone unturned!
Put aside your pride, let others know where you stand! Ask for to help if you need to know where to find a job, a reliable car or suitable housing by calling friends, family, using government agencies or social media to help you.
Meditate or spend some time with the Lord
Seek counseling! I am not big on counseling, finding alternative ways to heal myself on my own, but many people do benefit from talking to a professional.
If you have left your abuser, start purging everything! Whether it be the relationships with others that maybe toxic in your life (Your Ex’s friends or family).Starting new (If you can afford it) can help. From the bed you and your partner slept in together, clothes in your closet to the digs you stay in.
I am a strong believer that the residual energy left over from your home or the things you carried with you from that hurtful relationship linger and can carry some strong memories even if you do not think about it.
Consider donating these items. Now I’m talking some serious personal effects such as, pictures, vehicles or even your home. No, I haven’t fallen off the deep end.
After discussing the subject with many survivors I’m not the only one to feel ill at ease about having these things around. You’re starting all over. That means clean slate! If you feel that you can’t get rid of these items and things consider cleansing your home or ask your clergy person to bless your home.
In cases finances maybe tight so here are a few inexpensive ideas to help you on your road to recovery include:
Make a wish (vision board) cut out pictures from magazines or surround yourself with things that make you happy. A button, seashell, glitter (my favorite), ribbon, scented candle or whatever makes you smile!
Create a list of characteristics for the dream person you wish to come into your life. Be open, detailed, truthful and imaginative, make your list as long as you wish.
What I mean is not to say you want to have someone that just loves animals, and now that you are dating you learn this person loves animals at a distance and has no interest in having a pet.
Or maybe you dream for a person that loves to stay home. Well, what if this person loves to stay home and never go out, while you do occasionally like to venture out to explore new cities or go for a day trip.
Or someone that loves sports and you come to realize this person loves sports so much it over takes their life. Be specific and detailed about your dream person! How tall, what color hair, what hobbies they enjoy, music, an energetic, happy or religious person.
Keep the list with you or in a posted in a place where you can see it often. It works, be patient and positive!
List of 5 things daily that you are grateful for. Or where you see yourself in 6 months, a year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years! Goes great with using a wish (vision) board.
Create a Bucket List! Places you want to see, things you want to do!
I have to revise my own but even the smallest things can go on your list. Bake cookies with kids or for a homeless shelter. Go back to school! Try a new dish or learning a new craft. Going to the city or let your mind go crazy!
If you can afford it, go get a haircut, nails done, or have a massage.
Include the kids! Take time to play! Play games or play or read to your kids.
Eat well or better. EXERCISE! Whether it be a walk around the block or mall. Food can be a great comfort but it does nothing positive for your waistline!
Depending on what point you are at in your situation, you need to know that you are deserving real love, where there is no hitting, yelling, verbal attacks and so on.
Many abusers don’t know what love is but know they crave it. They can say the right words but in many cases they don’t understand or mean them. Just like you they don’t wish to be alone, they may say or do anything to keep you with you.
Rob would threaten that he would "take care of me" if I were to ever leave him, cause me to look around my surroundings to make sure I am not in danger.
This can be a pitiful way to live but I am alive and well. The girls are better than they have been. I do wish my son that my son was here with us, sadly, it sounds like he is being taken care of well.
So take your time. It will happen again. Be mindful of any intuitive thoughts or feelings you have about a person.
Join a group, special interest group or take a class that is near and dear to your heart.
Write a list of things your have always wanted to accomplish or do.
Don’t put a time limit on it, just cross things off as you do them.
Think out of the box!
Take a self-defense class
Say positive affirmations and believe them! A good friend had introduced them to me before I left my abuser. I plastered affirmations all over my bath mirror and kept some in my purse when I needed encouragement.
“I am worthy of love”, “I am beautiful”, “I am safe”, “I am strong” and to be honest at first I felt really silly saying these in the mirror and even out loud. After some time I started to feel more in control of me.
Re-invent who and what you want to be! Take those questions from above and start planning your new life! What do you want out of life? Are you living your life or just going through the motions? What can you do now to make what you want with your life?
What about the food you eat? Do eat things that are good for you? Is the food you’re eating something you really enjoy or something you just adapted?
Are there things you use to clean you only used because he/she wanted you to? Personally, after I left I realized how much I hated the smell of Febreze. And I wouldn't use it again!
Or what about the TV shows you watch. It has been almost 6 years since I have watched “The Simpsons”. It is something I watched because of my ex-husband.
What about your clothes? Do they make you feel good? Are they you or what your ex liked to see you in? I personally want a person to be attracted to me, not the clothes I'm wearing. I want their eyes to be fixed on mine not my breasts or my behind. You attract what you put out there.
What have you become addicted to doing because of your ex?? Party too much? Drinking? Drugs? Food? Sex?
Your make up? You’re Hair?
The list can go on and on! It is quite amazing when you reflect back at the things you have or do because it became routine with your ex.
Take a serious look at your life then and now. Pick up the pieces of your life. Your worthy! You’re a Survivor!
Take baby steps! You can do it!
“Fight to keep going, to get through all the crap that seems so thick there is nowhere to go and no way to get through it... there is always a way. And that way is forward, just keep striving to move forward whether it's one step at a time or five. Just don't stay idle in all the thickness, it will devour you.”-Cathy Gipson
Keeping yourself safe!
You are a swirl of emotions and the roller coaster doesn’t end once you leave the relationship. Common mistakes after leaving an abusive relationship is not protecting yourself legally and physically. Also, not believing in yourself can keep you in a cycle of being abused by another! The following are tips that I have used to help keep me and my family safe:
*Leaving a paper trail. Tell anyone you can about the abuse. File police reports and Orders of Protection!
*Making a Safety plan- See Resources for information
*Leaving your abuser
*Ditching the ties with the Abuser and possibly his/her family. There are times when some families say they are your allies but as time progresses true colors come out or fear of your abuser get to them. They may become defensive or defend the abuser. Suddenly, your support from his/her side wavers and poof! You could become the bad guy! Leaving you to scratch your head...
*Learning to live again without CHAOS! My daughter was on the phone with a friend and she could hear the dad yelling at the mom. My daughter Jessica, was sad for her friend. But happy that's not a part of our lives anymore!
*LOVING YOURSELF! That's a hard one, at least it was/is for me.
* Stop blaming YOURSELF! It's hard not silence the nagging little voice of your abuser that can pop up randomly.
BREAK the PATTERN of the same type of love relationships. You meet that wonderful at a bar and they seem to always be losers. HELLO! Or you seem to keep attracting the same type of bad personality? It happens to many women/men. You’re not alone! I was asked to date on various occasions but something seemed off and not right. Glad I listened to my inner guts, because lo and behold BINGO Dr. Hyde comes out.
Don't leap into bed with the first person that sweeps you off your feet. Take time to get to know the person. Don't be afraid to ask his/her friends and family about this person. Google them!
If you still feel like he or she is too good to be true, hire a detective. Ask YOUR friends and family what they see or think. It helps to have another pair of eyes to see what you may "not" want to see. You can see that new Romeo or Juliet through rose colored glasses. So be open to hear what they have to say!
*Start your change by taking up a long forgotten hobby, Vision (Wish/Prayer) board or create a Bucket list of things you want to do (See previous posts). Whether it's losing weight, breaking out your glue gun, writing, singing, dancing or what have you. The world is still your oyster! Grab it!
*Think positive! Kick old thoughts to the curb. Challenge yourself to say something positive to yourself or those around you. Remember if you have children (pets) that have endured abuse they need a boost too! Get them involved in making a positive change for the better. Remind children that the relationship you had with your abuser is not the "Norm". That there are better times. That they can do anything they put their minds to! Remind them that Dad (or Boy/Girlfriend) or Mom's behavior is theirs. They can break and make new positive patterns. They are capable of great things too!
All of these take time. They can happen with baby steps, courage, persistence and love. Oh, there will be bumps in the road. (Terry and I have issues but they are nothing compared to the relationship I had with my EX).
Domestic violence can be more than just physical abuse. Domestic violence occurs when one partner controls the other using any physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or economic abuse. Many states define Domestic Violence as physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation.
I am including my plan for increasing my safety and preparing me in advance for violence that may happen in the future. I don't have control over my partner’s violence, but I do have a choice about how to respond and how to best get me and my children to safety.
Happily ever after. . .
Well sort of
“God wants us to live like the grass. Even if it's stepped on, crushed, burned and cut; it always persists and grows back even greener and stronger.”-Unknown
Flashbacks, nightmares and panic attacks
The chapter on my marriage to will is closed, but the experiences are not forgotten. In reality, my thoughts, dreams and sometimes paranoia run away with me. I foolishly had a thought that with the end of the marriage my bad dreams and other things would vanish.
Like Houdini, waving a magic wand . . . **POOF! ** All the feelings of sadness, grief, pain and panic would be gone!
In the real world, these feelings linger for time. How much time is depending on each person and how ever long you were in a relationship with the person that tormented you. No matter, if it was verbal, mental, emotional, physical or sexual, it all takes time to heal.
I'm terribly impatient, I want it over now! Even when I'm in the foggy feeling of losing it due to a panic attack, do I get super frustrated and angry with myself for getting so worked up. And in my head I'm mad that my abuser still has some sort of lasting control that I break down to a breathless, teary-eyed, puddle of goo.
More so lately, I seemed to lose myself in a moment of memories. I seemed to get catapulted to a time when I was still with my ex (gosh I like that!). For some reason, whatever the trigger, I get lost in a blink of an eye. I can smell, hear and feel the raw emotion of past times. There are times when I look over at Terry lying in bed and for a brief moment I feel a panicky feeling that if I look too long he turns into my ex.
If I hear someone with a Nextel or a certain chirp on their phone I look around and feel twitter patted that it's my ex calling or near me. I see a car that looks like his or a person that from afar looks like him and I feel like my body can't move. Like a deer in headlights.
I don't know when these feelings will leave me. I know my children experience some of similar things. Loud noises and yelling (very rare around here) cause us all to jump out of our skin. I know there are things counselors use. But to tell the truth, I get all panicky about having to go and relive all the memories again. I feel I can do that on my own with no problem! I can take myself back and recall some pretty nasty times.
5 years ago if you would have asked me where I would be today, I would have responded, "In a hole somewhere, in the middle of some lonely spot." I know in my heart, as do many of my family and friends that I would not have survived that marriage longer. Terry and I talked about that the other night. He told me to stop talking about that, he doesn't like that picture. I agree, but the truth of the matter is I would not have survived.
But I did! I got my kids out of there. Though I am sadden by my son's decision to go back to his dad. I almost feel haunted by the decisions I made. I don't question the choice to leave! Oh, Heaven's NO!
I also know that if I didn't decide to do things the way I did, there would be an alternate story to the one I'm in now. I, in some ways, feel as though I'm living a fairy tale. My past is so surreal that it's hard to believe we lived how we did. Survival mode always turned on. Even in the good times!
I want nothing for good things to come from all of this:
1) My son to come to realize that I miss the heck out of him and long to give him a hug again.
2) The girls get some big brother time again. I know they miss him!
3) My ex gets some sort of treatment and help.
4) The kids and I finally find an end to feeling scared, panicky and worried about my ex.
5) Someday my ex will have a good, safe relationship with the girls.
I haven't been alone with my ex since Sept 2009. Prior to that, he put his hands on me anytime he could. I don't trust him. I don't feel we can have him over or a bar-be-que anytime soon. Not that we would! The address here is private. That does give me some comfort. In an old voice mail from June, my ex rattle on that I shouldn't blab about our relationship to everyone if I don't want it to get back to him. Funny thing is I haven't. I found out a few people from my old shop (antique store) were able to make their own decision about him based on what truth they read. As well as the personal experiences each of them had with my ex.
I'm sitting here shaking my head. Happy to be out and sad to think I am still hiding in some ways. Afraid to go out or announce things about me personally because he may find out where we are or where we live. I don't think I can ever let my guard down.
I have been getting lost in the past more frequently of the late. Not sure why. I needed this! Thank you Dear reader for listening to me rant and rave! All in all I'm forever grateful we are safe, we are loved and we are not alone...
I implore you to leave if you are in a difficult situation that is life threatening or harmful to your well being! Please don't worry about the house or the things in it. Leave with your life! Screw the possessions you can get new things. They are just things! You are not replaceable! Tell someone, call the police, find a shelter if need be, but get to safety!
Many prayers for you with whatever decision you choose to make with your life or the lives of your children or pets. No person is worth risking your life or sanity with the promises that they will change.
“Hope is not pretending that troubles don't exist. It is the hope that they won't last forever. That hurts will be healed and difficulties overcome. That we will be led out of the darkness and into the sunshine.”-Unknown
As time goes by
Time has healed my bruises inward and outwardly, I allowed my emotions raise to the surface to find out how I can best deal with the vicious and yet constant reminder of where I was. It is hard to describe in words the emotions that still swirl around in my heart about my past. I mentioned it many times about how surreal life is now.
This incredible new journey and adventure has made me appreciate this new life.
The past is the past.
It has shaped and defined the person that I am today. The past has left me with scars that are not visible to the world. I was broken but I am being mended.
Faith has a lot to do with my road to healing. I’m learning new things and about myself also;
I'm not afraid to pick up the phone that someone may yell at me for whatever the reason.
I'm not afraid to come home or run late.
I'm not afraid of totally giving myself to love and intimacy.
I'm not afraid to share my feelings.
I have many bumps in the road. I have times where I just crumble either in private or in a public setting. I'm learning to be me.
Learning to find myself. Though I still say something’s that I shouldn't. I do things I shouldn't. I leap before I think first. I feel like a toddler at times. Fumbling to love the life I'm in.
I was also able to celebrate many years of “Firsts”. The day we left
I had taken the kids out at night to the local store for food, staples and fun stuff. We were hardly out at night ever, this first night seemed magical!
We bought cereals, sweets and things we were never able to buy before and we shopped for over few hours, which had been unheard of prior. I felt as though I was naughty!
I even stopped shaving ( I do shave now but for a few months it felt GREAT after the initial prickles and itchiness was gone), I do not color my hair anymore and shower when "I want to" .
Days can go by where I feel suddenly overcome with memories and feelings. Still trying to repair my spirit and stay safe where we live. I would love to share so many things about where we are and going's on. But for the sake of safety as many of you understand.
I have been finding joy in so many little things that I never was able to appreciate fully, such as:
Going to church
Watching a Sunrise and set
Being late- Now this isn't something I make a point of doing, but 5 to 10 minutes I don't sweat it anymore nor do I just don’t go if I’m not on time.
Reading anytime- No more sneaking a book to read by my nightlight.
Being able to try new and different things without criticism
Decorating how I want to
Having a friend/partner/Help meet
Dancing or random song out breaks even if I’m out at a store.
Chickens and Ducks! Love these critters but they aren't pets. They are for food/eggs. I don't dress them up or call them pet names.
Playing with glitter
There is more but I won't bore you!
Every day is a new adventure, no it does not have to be perfect.
My life in the past is surreal, as though it happened to another person. Stay positive! Hard to say and do I know. Finding joy and happiness is what we as humans crave and desire and dare I say if you weren't hugged enough as a child or during your life, it seems one longs for love and closeness.
Create the life you crave. (Legally of course)
Surround yourself in things that remind you of being strong or empowering you.
As I mentioned before, create a Vision/Wish board (Inspiration/Prayer board) with old magazine and glue or find pictures on the web that remind you of positive thoughts. Remember you are worth happiness, joy and eventually love with another (worthy of a wonderful person such as yourself!).
Listen to positive music.
Find positive people to hang with. Get rid of negative thoughts, people or things. I have made many posts on this subject and I hate to sound like a broken record but it is so important in healing!
Do things that "You" like enjoy. Try something you always wanted to do. Share with loved ones. Kids can do these things too! It can help them in the healing process too!
There are literally hundreds of experiences that I have had throughout my life with my abusers. I could write volumes! The point of penning all of this is so through all of this I pray it has left you with hope, dreams and opens possibilities that you CAN have a normal life!
This book contains memories that are just beneath the surface. Many more memories and circumstances have popped up as I am typing these words.
Do not lose your faith, God grace and love has been a light at some very dark hours. Blessings to you and stay safe!
Connect with me or read previous blog posts at www.hopewhentheresnone.blogspot.com
“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”- Laurell K. Hamilton