A little about me

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Independence day to me!

It has been 2 years today that I gained my Independence from my abuser, (my spouse). Myself and my then 3 children (Then ages were M-13, J-10 and A-9).

The days before we left were filled with anticipation of starting again, hopes of being free and hope of never having to go through that ever again. The night before we left my stomach was all in knots! The kids and I had no idea if the plan to leave was actually going to happen because my STBX (Soon To Be Ex) did not know if he had work for sure, since he is construction and it was in Feb. the chances of him not having to go to work were very high!

I had told my Sister during the day prior that it looked promising but I would have to call her the minute he left in the morning. Somewhere around 4:30 or 5 in the morning. Weeks before my Sister and my Dad had moved somethings out of the house, favorite toys, books, dishes, pictures and so on. Things I did not believe he would notice. The funny thing was the weekend before STBX and I had a fight about things missing, he swore up and down I was missing clothes from the closet and my drawers. I did not move a stitch of clothing from the house until the day we left. So I just kept saying no, it was a honest answer!

This day 2 years ago was cool, about in the 40's outside, the sun was just rising when I made the call to my sister as soon as my husband left the driveway. He sensed something was up because he called more then usual and made comments that were very worrisome to me about coming back home! I kept the kids sleeping as long as I could, I had garbage bags ready to throw our clothes in, boxes that still needed to be filled with a few more items.

I began working all the time a cold sweat was all over me due to nerves! I woke the kids up about 6 and I gave them a job of putting their clothes in garbage bags. They did not give me too much trouble and they were all animated and pretty excited to go. While they were busy with that, I hurried myself with moving big furniture first, which was mainly my new bed, a futon that we had in our basement. It took me a few minutes to do so, as it would not go through the door as I pushed and pulled, scraping much of the wood as I did so. My heart felt as though it would burst out of my chest when my phone chirped or he would call.

He made a comment about me being out of breath, of course at that time I did exercise so I brushed it off as just working out.

Long story short, it took about 4 more hours to get everything back and forth. I cried on the way to my new home. Filled with anxiety of beginning again, relief that I was never going to look back and apprehension if what I was doing was right. I questioned myself until that night when my STBX showed up at the door with tears running down his face. My Sister called the police just in case and he said his good nights to the kids and left. I would like to say all ended peacefully but flash forward and many death threats later, we are still not divorced. I found a job as a legal secretary/receptionist, I managed to find an apartment a few months down the road back in Indiana. I had to drop off my now 15 year old son at his Dad's because of the brainwashing my STBX did on him. My son started a fire in my apartment and threatened to kill me in my sleep if I did not take him back to his Dad's. I found out later that my STBX hired someone to "Take care of me" for $5,000.00. He still wants to get back together...

My next court date is in June, my attorney was not the greatest and my quickie 90 day divorce is now in it's second year. I have a Order of Protection of which my STBX violated many times but the charge that stuck was a harassing phone call last July. He had to go to court but it has been continued 3 times since then and I am sure it will be dismissed in June when the next hearing is.

My STBX claims I made many things up, that I am unfit, that I had an affair for over 2 years, and that I am the one that abused him continually as well as abusing our children. A Guardian Ad Litem was introduced a year and a half ago, supervised visits are allowed for my STBX and the girls. I have not seen my son since he assaulted Terry in November of 2009 at the court house. Which apparently my son wanted to kill Terry. The altercation was orchestrated by my STBX, and seen by Lake County sheriff's that were on duty a the time. No charges were filed against my son by Terry. And despite the L. C. sheriff stating they would file charges nothing happened.

In November my son went to jail for the first time, (hopefully the last) for assaulting a student and teacher. My STBX claims that my son saw rage while thinking the teacher was me and he pushed her. R has many tricks to not take any blame in this situation or any issues with our marriage. I know now that is part of the Abuser's thinking.

I could go on and on! I am in a better place, I went back to school for Medical Assisting, (still looking for work) I gained a friend and wonderful loving companion. As well as a new bouncing baby boy that is the apple of our eyes! I found a love that I never knew existed! I did not plan for that! God has a way of planning a future I could never dreamed of! I thank and praise God for getting us out. Though my son is not with us, I do still pray for a day when we will be able to talk. I miss him terribly! I hope his father is treating him well. I am sad that I can not trust that we will be safe if we meet my son right now.

I am thrilled I am no longer a statistic! I am a Survivor, an Overcomer and loved by the Creator! As I think about the future right now, I know Terry and I have no jobs, but we have each other. We have a great love for one another and for God that He will provide and get us through!

A 2010 study by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, one woman is victimized by a intimate partner every 28.2 seconds. These statistics indicate that more than 3 million women are abused in the United States every year. Just as many children are affected by violence as well. Many of these women are lucky to leave their abusers safely, but if you read or hear the headlines there are women that are killed, murdered by the one they love. Love does not hurt!

Tactics used by the Abusers to stay include:

Stating negative comments, such as:
You won't make it without me!
If you leave I will kill you!
If you leave I will kill the kids!
If you leave you will never see the kids again!
If you leave you will never get a penny!
No one will ever want you!
You will never amount to anything!
Your too stupid, dumb, etc...
You will only be good on your back, knees and so on...

The Abusers promise to change, such as:
Honey, I am so sorry! I will never do it again!
I didn't mean it! Could you forgive me?
If you don't leave I will change!
I will get help I promise!
I need you!
I can't live without you!
You know what you mean to me!
We have been together for... long, Baby don't throw it away!
I don't want to be alone!
Help me get help!
I will stop drugs, drinking or whatever...
I will take my meds! Or get back on my meds!

The list goes on and on. The cycle then repeats, the chances of your partner changing are slim. It can happen but in most cases they don't.  The decision to leave is yours, will it be with a suitcase or with the Coroner? No one can tell you when to leave, everyone has their own limits or rock bottom. But I can tell you that in most cases it will not get better, that your children are seeing the abuse. Studies show that YOUR children are likely to repeat the past...

You are capable of great things! You are wonderful and beautiful! Remember that old 70's sign, (I'm dating myself) God doesn't make junk!
Locate your local Shelter, don't be silent any longer! You can do it! I won't lie and say it is easy. And I did not go looking to fall in love after I left my spouse. Many times women fall for a great guy after but he ends up like the last loser! Distance yourself from men like your Ex. Be on your own, fall in love with your children and yourself again. Remember to call on the Lord to help in times of need, He helped me with my walk and picked me up many times. Even when I stumble He has lifted me up.
If you need to talk, email me privately. I do not share your information with anyone or this blog. I will try to listen and help you anyway I can!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Girl you need a Safety plan!

Get a Safety Plan before you leave!

 


Upon leaving last year I was required to have a Safety Plan, it was an eye opening experience! I hadn't thought of many of the things that were in this plan! It brought to my attention the dire need and urgency of my situation. My children and I needed to be safe! I gave copies to family and friends.

I encourage anyone considering leaving to review the following, or copy it for yourself and keep a copy for yourself and someone you trust! I found this one at http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/plan.shtml, you can google, dogpile or use ask.com for other plans, this one is very close to the one provided to me at the women's shelter.

** If you have an Order of Protection remember to keep copies in your car, house, purse, workplace, and children's school!**
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Domestic Violence Safety Plan

The following steps represent ideas for increasing my safety and preparing in advance for the possibility for further violence. Although I do not have control over my partner's violence, I do have a choice about how to respond to situations and how to best get myself and my children to safety. By no means is this list comprehensive and not all things on this list may apply to me and my unique situation. Having these and other steps done ahead of time can make the decision to leave easier when an opportunity presents itself or my physical safety demands it. In addition, it may give me some peace of mind and a sense of regaining some control over life again.

My local domestic violence program is available to assist me with safety planning, either in person or over the phone. I do not have to give my name or any other identifying information. I can utilize their free services as part of my overall safety plan!




Step 1: Safety during a violent incident

I can't always avoid violent incidents. In order to increase safety, I can use some or all of the following strategies:

A. Practice how to get out safely. What doors, windows, elevators, stairwells or fire escapes would I use?

If I decide to leave, I will:




B. I can keep my purse and car keys ready, always being sure to keep them in a certain place so that I can leave quickly. I can also leave a set of keys with a trusted friend or relative. I will make sure they know WHY so they don't accidentally let it slip if my abuser talks with them. I can put a set in my desk drawer at work or hidden somewhere on the outside of my home. I can get a magnetic key box that attaches under the fender of the car.

I can stash keys at:




C. I can tell certain neighbors about the situation and request they call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from my house.

My trusted neighbors and their phone numbers are:




D. I can teach my children how to use the telephone to contact police and medical help by using 911. I can make sure my children know their full names, our address and other important information in case they need to call for help or we get separated because of violence. I can teach my children to run to a neighbor's house or a nearby public place if violence occurs.

I will teach and practice with my children:




E. Because I might be in danger and not able to talk freely, I will devise a code for my children, family, friends or co-workers so they will know that I need them to call for help on my behalf. For example, I might say that "today is my cousin Shirley's birthday" - I don't HAVE a cousin Shirley so my support system will know that if I use this phrase, I might be in danger.

My code for getting help from friends, family, co-workers and my children can be:




F. Since I might have to leave my home quickly, I should be aware of where I might go in an emergency. I need to select public places, preferably places that are open 24 hours a day and close to my home. Hospitals, convenience stores, restaurants and grocery stores are likely to be open, have pay phones where I can dial 911 for help, and room INSIDE for me to wait for police to arrive.

NOTE: As part of your safety plan, you MUST find out in advance if your local police station is manned 24 hours a day! Victims have been gunned down by abusers in front of police stations because they fled to police offices during evening or weekend shifts - only to find out that the doors were locked and they could only speak to a dispatcher on the phone thus leaving them as sitting ducks - waiting around for an officer to show up. Police officers are usually on patrol in their vehicles and many police stations and sub-stations are NOT manned 24 hours a day.


Places I can go in case of violence or crisis are:




G. When I believe that an argument or violence are about to happen, I can minimize the risk of physical injury to myself by trying to get to a room that has access to an outside door, by avoiding rooms that provide easy weapons for my abuser such as knives in the kitchen or fighting in rooms where an abuser keeps a gun, or rooms where I might get trapped such as the bathroom (since bathroom doors are usually not reinforced they are VERY easy to kick in).

The safest places in my home for confrontation include:




Step 2: Making it easier to leave

When I leave the residence I share with an abuser, I must plan carefully to increase safety for myself and my children. If my abuser believes that I am trying to escape, they may strike back or increase the violence to try to get me to stay. I can use some or all the following safety strategies:

A. In order to increase my ability to identify myself and my children, to apply for various types of aid and assistance and to keep me from having to return to the residence and possibly confront an angry abuser, I will keep copies or photocopies of important documents that I can grab quickly if I need to leave:

* Identification for myself
* Children's birth certificate
* My birth certificate
* Social security cards
* School and vaccination records
* Money
* Checks, ATM card
* Credit cards
* Keys - house/car/office
* Driver's license and registration
* Welfare identification, work permits, Green card
* Passport(s), Divorce papers
* Medical records
* Lease/rental agreement, deeds, mortgage payment book
* Bank books, Insurance papers
* Pet licenses, vet receipts or paperwork establishing your ownership
* Password to any online accounts

This website provides a worksheet for tracking important information that I should have with me when leaving. The information will help to protect my identity, continue access to important accounts, and provide crucial information to law enforcement should I decide to press charges, file for a protection order, etc. This worksheet is "disguised" as an "Emergency Preparedness Kit", like the Hurricane Kits provided by agencies like FEMA, to minimize the possibility that my abuser will know the real purpose of the worksheet. Download the worksheets.

B. I will be calmer and feel more in control under stress if I am aware of resources waiting to help me, if I know how to contact them, and have an idea of the assistance available to me. I can either ask the police to help me get to safety with friends or family or I can contact my local domestic violence program.

My local domestic violence program is:




C. I can keep change for phone calls on me at all times. I should NOT use a telephone calling card linked to my phone bill, because my abuser will be able to tell what friends, family or other numbers I have called. To keep my communications private, I will use change or prepaid calling cards. (For cheap calls, even international calls, try Pingo.com.)

I can keep change or calling cards:




NOTE: Using a cell phone is NOT safe and can put you in danger! An abuser who knows your cell number, your name and the last four digits of your social security number can probably access your account with your cell phone service provider and report your phone lost or stolen, in which case your phone service will be turned OFF. Abusers with this information may also be able to view your detailed billing via the internet and thus know exactly who you have been calling for help. If using a cell phone, you MUST call your cell company and put a password on your account to prevent access. You must also check to see if online access is activated for your account and either disable it or change the password. Be aware that if your abuser's name is also on the account, they can show photo identification to the cell phone company and gain access again and/or reset the passwords. If your abuser has your cell service suspended, you should be aware that as long as your phone is charged, your phone will still dial two numbers: 611 for customer service and 911 for emergencies. Nextel phones may be an exception.


D. If my abuser is not arrested at the time of a violent incident, I cannot be sure that it will be safe for me to return home to pick up items I might need. In order to be prepared, I can:

Leave an extra set of clothes for myself and my children and several days of any required medications at:




E. If I need to return to my residence, I will call my local police or sheriff and request a "domestic violence standby" to ensure my safety. I will go to a place close to my residence and call to have them meet me there. They will follow me to my residence and wait while I collect some things. I will make sure to ask the officer for a business card or a name and badge number. I might also fill this officer in on the circumstances and ask them to keep an extra eye on my residence.

Phone number of police/sheriff:

I will ask them to meet me at:


Items to take include:
* Medication
* Children's favorite toys and/or blankets
* Small saleable objects
* Address book
* Pictures, jewelry
* Items of special sentimental value


Step 3: Safety in my own residence

Once I am able to return home or obtain alternate housing, there are many things I can do to increase safety in my own residence. It may be impossible to do everything at once, but safety measures can be added step by step. Safety measures I can use include:

A. I can change the locks on my doors and windows as soon as possible.

B. I can replace wooden doors with steel/metal doors.

C. I can install security systems including additional locks, window bars, poles to wedge against doors, an electronic system, etc. I might be able to get a free security system from ADT security. I will ask my local domestic violence program for information.

D. I can purchase rope ladders to be used for escape from second floor windows.

E. I can install smoke detectors and purchase fire extinguishers for each floor in my house/apartment.

F. I can install an outside lighting system that lights up when a person is coming close to my house.

G. I can use a panic button system from ADT to alert authorities that I am in imminent danger.

Be sure to speak with advocates at your local law enforcement agency and/or domestic violence program about these steps. Often there are programs that can help get these things done for you or cover the costs.

Step 4: Safety with an Order of Protection

It is impossible for me to know if my abuser will obey a protection orders or not. I recognize that I may need to ask the police and the court to enforce my protection order. The following are some steps that I can take to help the enforcement of my protection order:

A. I will keep my protection order on or near me at all times. I can also keep copies in the car, at the office, etc.

B. I will give copies of my protection order to police departments in the communities where I usually visit family or friends, and in the community where I live.

C. For further safety, if I often visit other counties in my area, I might file my protection order with the court in those counties.

I will register my protection order in the following counties:




D. I can check to make sure my order is listed in the registries of counties where I live and work by calling the Clerk of the Court and/or the sheriff's office for each county.

Local county contact numbers:




E. I can call the local domestic violence program if I am not sure about any item above or if I have some problem with my protection order.

F. I can inform my employer, my minister, my closest friend and others that I have a protection order in effect.

G. If my protection order gets lost or stolen, I can get another copy.

The closest Court Clerk's Office is located at:




H. If my protection order is violated, I can call the police and report a violation, contact my attorney, call my advocate, and/or advise the court of the violation.

I. If the police do not help, I can contact my advocate or attorney and will file a complaint with the chief of the police department or the county sheriff's office.

J. I can also file a private criminal compliant with the district justice in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred or with the district attorney. I can charge my abuser with a violation of the Order of Protection and all the crimes that he or she commits in violating the order. I can call my local domestic violence advocate to help me with this.

Step 5: Safety on the job and in public

Relationship violence is the number one cause of death of women in the workplace! While it might be important for me to try to continue to work during this situation, I might be at continued risk from violence from my abuser. My employer and co-workers can help to protect me if I inform them of the situation. I might do any or all of the following:

A. I can inform my boss, my secretary, the security supervisor and the police department near my office of my situation.

B. I can ask co-workers to help screen my telephone calls at work.

C. When leaving work, I can try to leave with other people or I can ask security to walk me out. If I know I will be leaving after dark or working late, I can move my car closer to the entrance while at lunch or on my break.

D. If problems occur when driving around, I can flag down a law enforcement officer or other public safety official, drive to a local hospital or get to some other public place.

E. If I use public transit, I can get off at a different stop than my abuser might expect, inform the driver that someone might be stalking me, or wait to exit until I see that other people will be exiting also.

F. I might go to different grocery stores and shopping malls to conduct my business and shop at hours that are different than those when residing with my abuser.

G. I can use a different bank and take care of my banking at hours different from those I used when residing with my abuser, arrange for direct deposit, or ask a trusted co-worker to take my deposit for me.

Other things I might do include:




Step 6: Safety when using drugs or alcohol

The legal consequences of using or possessing illegal drugs can hurt my relationship with my children and put me at a disadvantage in other legal actions concerning my abuser and/or the custody of my children. The use of any alcohol or other drug can reduce my ability to act quickly to protect myself and my children from an abuser. I can enhance safety for myself and my children by:

A. If I am going to use drugs or alcohol, I can do so in a safe place and with people who understand the risk of violence against me and are committed to my safety.

B. If I am going to use drugs or alcohol, I need to do so apart from my children, after I have arranged for them to be in the care of a competent adult.

C. If I am going to use drugs or alcohol, I need to ensure that I have a safe way to return home, such as a designated driver.

D. If I am using drugs or alcohol to cope with anxiety, depression or stress, I can help to ensure my ability to care for myself and my children by finding better coping mechanisms and replacing destructive behaviors with more positive activities such as joining a support group, increasing my exercise, and finding activities that I can do with my children.

Step 7: Safety and my children

A. In the event that my partner takes my children, I will teach my children how to use the telephone to call to me (including how to call collect) and how to use 911. I can make sure that if my child has a cellphone, that there are multiple numbers my child can use to contact me. I can "disguise" some of these numbers in case my partner erases my numbers (like listing my numbers under "School Bus" or other name my partner isn't likely to consider).

I will teach and practice with my children:




B. I will tell people who take care of my children what persons have permission to pick up my children and that my partner is not permitted to do so. If I have a custody order, I need to give copies to schools, after school programs, sports programs, etc.

The people I will inform about pick-up permission include:

School:

Day Care staff:

Babysitter:

Sunday school teacher:

Teacher/Principal:

And:


C. I can inform neighbors, pastor and friends that my partner no longer resides with me and they should call the police if observed near my residence.

D. If immigration issues exist, or if I believe my partner may try to leave the country with my child(ren), I can contact the US Department of State, Office of Children's Issues at 1-888-407-4747 to ensure that a visa or passport cannot be obtained for the child(ren). I can also ask their help in contacting the embassy for the country my partner might try to flee to for the same reason.

Step 8: Financial safety and independence

I realize that financial control is one of the biggest factors that could keep me tied to an abusive relationship.

A. Not only does lack of my own personal money cause stress for me and reduce the options for myself and my children, but the lack of privacy around my money can be another way that my partner monitors me or tries to control me. My partner might be able to monitor my spending and gain information about my activities and my location. I can protect my privacy by:

    Using cash and limiting the use of credit cards since my partner might be able to see my transactions online or might have enough information to access my account by phone.
    Talking with my bank or looking online to see if my account can be accessed or monitored via the internet - then changing any passwords or restricting online access. Just as with cell phones, if my partner's name is on the account, they can show photo ID at the bank and gain access again.
    Stashing enough cash to cover several days in a hotel and meals just in case I need it.
B. To increase my independence, I can open a savings account. If I am concerned that my abuser will find out, I will use my work address or a friend's address to keep this account private or I can visit www.ingdirect.com to open a savings account that operates entirely online so no account statements will arrive in the mail. There are no fees and no minimums to open an account online.

C. Credit is another way that my partner might try to cripple me, which might include: keeping my credit accounts maxed out so that I can't use them, canceling accounts that I might use, or opening accounts without my knowledge to drive my credit score down. I can combat these credit controls by:

    Contacting each credit card company and finding out for sure which ones you are personally and legally responsible for. In some cases, I might be seen as an account holder, while in other cases I may only be a user on my partner's account. Knowing which accounts are truly tied to my personal credit will allow me to decide which accounts to rescue and which accounts to bypass.
    For cards that I am liable for, I can ask the credit card company to help my family through our time of crisis. The card company might suspend late fees and interest for up to a year, if I agree not to use the card (it will likely be suspended). This will help to keep my account from getting further and further in the hole and give me an opportunity to salvage the accounts and end up with decent credit if I am able to make small payments each month.
    I can contact my local credit counseling agency - or my local domestic violence program or United Way for a referral in my area - who can help me to begin separating me from joint accounts. They might also be able to help me to negotiate lower payments and pay-off rates with my existing accounts.
    Getting a copy of my credit report to see what accounts show up under my name to get a true picture of my credit situation. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act I am entitled to one free credit report disclosure in a 12 month period. To request this free annual disclosure I must contact the Central Source. To contact the Central Source on-line, visit www.annualcreditreport.com. I can also contact the Central Source to request this free annual disclosure by calling toll free (877) FACT-ACT or by using the mail request form available at the Central Source website. I can find out how to correct, contest, or question anything on my credit report by visiting www.equifax.com.
    Visiting with a local bankruptcy attorney. Many give free seminars in the evenings or on weekends to answer questions about options related to credit cards and other financial matters. I can check my phone book yellow pages under - Attorneys: Bankruptcy - to find a free seminar near me.
    Asking others to help me. Credit card companies, landlords, utility companies and others may be willing to extend payment due dates, waive late fees or other fines, and make alternate payment arrangements if they are alerted to your situation by a proper authority - which might include law enforcement, the prosecutor or State Attorney's office or your local domestic violence program. If I have sought help from one or more of these agencies, I can ask them to further assist me in this regard.


Step 9: Safety and my emotional health

The experience of being abused and verbally degraded is usually exhausting and emotionally draining. The process of building a new life takes much courage and incredible energy. To conserve my emotional energy and resources and to avoid hard emotional times, I can do some of the following:

A. Use "I can . . . " statements with myself and be assertive with others.

If I feel down and ready to return to a potentially abusive situation, I can:




When I have to communicate with my partner in person or by telephone, I can:




Whenever I feel that others are trying to control me, I can:




To help myself feel stronger, I can read:




When I need support or a shoulder to cry on, I can call:




Things that I could do or learn that would help me feel stronger are:




Things that I could do or learn that would help me to become more independent are:




To help gain support and strengthen relationships with other people, I can attend workshops or support groups or:




Step 10: Safety by being prepared

A. I will sit down and review my safety plan, rehearse my escape plan and, as appropriate, practice it with my children.

B. I will keep this document in a safe place and out of the reach of my abuser.

C. I will review this plan each time there is a change in my situation, which might include: moving to a new location, the serving of legal papers on my abuser, the arrest of my abuser, the release of my abuser, or any other significant change or event which could impact the safety of myself and/or my children.

Symptoms of abuse

As I read through this list, amongst the many others I have read over the past year, they are all the same. Control is what your abuser seeks. He/She thrives on it! A low self-esteem seem to be a norm as well.

Personally I didn't realize it while living through this. It all seemed "Normal". I questioned things from time to time in my head and wondered if this is how other families and couples were. I did feel some envy at those that seemed to have it together, even if they had some bumps in the road they seem happy. I had longed for that. I longed for someone that would take me for me! Not to belittle me, put the kids down and someone wanted a strong family that was built with love, trust and honesty. I wanted a marriage and a helpmate. Someone I could walk side by side with. Someone that would lift my spirits and be my friend.

Our marriage was like a ticking bomb waiting to go off. The tension day to day was so intense! My hair would fall out due to the stress, my stomach hurt all the time ( I was popping antacids like candy), I was tired (due to him making sure I stayed awake until he was asleep first! He was a light sleeper another blog story for another time!)
I seemed to be sick all the time, the month before we left I hadn't been able to relieve myself of solid bodily fluids due to the stress. I was jumpy all the time!

I didn't recognize many of the signs early on. Once we left I had an "Ah-Ha! Moment." I have made a slow recovery, I was told it maybe years and years or never before I work through my issues, the same with the kids.

For awhile I felt foolish, how could I have let someone do the things he did? How did I allow myself to stay with the kids that long? Why did I endure it for that long? These questions plagued me for a bit. I am realizing there was more to it. There are the mind games, even once I was out of the house there are still mind games. There are threats of him "Telling" on me or threats to kill the kids or me or all of us! In my case my STBX has mental illiness that has been attributed to his abuse. No matter! If it is drugs, alcohol, mental illiness or just because there is no excuse! Abuse in any case is abuse.

Getting out before it was too late was the best thing I ever did. There were continued death threats as well information that my STBX attempted to hire someone to kill me as well as hiring someone to take pictures and follow me. Driving by my home and place of work is something that is being done. I have made numerous phone calls to the police as well as my Atty about these matters. While heis/was under investigation for Soliciting and Conspiracy to commit murder I still worry. I worry more about the fact that sadly my son made a choice to return to his father. And as a result my son will no longer speak to me orhave any contact with me at all.

A relative of STBX made the comment that if I hadn't gotten out when I did they were sure I would have been dead by the end of the year. Though they kept their mouths quiet and shared my secret about the abuse they firmly believe thatwould have been the case.

Seek someone out that you can trust! A relative or friend or perhaps a law enforcement official. Confide in them,ask if you can give them important papers to hold onto or maybe to use as a contact or a safe place to stay if need be.Women shelters are a wonderful avenue to use! There are many women in the same boat! No one can tell you when to leave only you will know when that will be. But don't make excuses, no money, no where to go, no car, no job... I stayed for these reasons plus a hand full of others. But they were just excuses and not a good enough reason not to save my children and myself from further harm! If you don't do this for you then do it for your children before it's too late.

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Symptoms: Indicators of Abusive Relationships

Using Emotional Abuse

    Putting you down
    Making you feel bad about yourself
    Calling you names
    Implying that you are crazy
    Playing mind games
    Using guilt as a weapon of control
    Using humiliation

Using Privilege

    Treating you like a servant
    Making all decisions for the family or couple
    Acting like an owner or master
    Being the one to define and enforce roles
    Expecting you to obey like a child

Using Coercion and Threats

    Making or carrying out threats
    Threatening to leave
    Threating to harm themself if you leave
    Threatening to hurt other family members or pets if you leave
    Threatening to report you to police, child welfare, etc. to control you
    Threatening to file false charges against you
    Using threats to get you to drop charges
    Threatening to expose a secret

Using Intimidation

    Making you afraid - looks, gestures, actions
    Smashing things
    Abusing pets
    Displaying weapons
    Threatening to expose a secret

Using the Children

    Using the children to relay messages
    Using visitation to harass you
    Threatening to take the children
    Threatening to harm the children

Using Isolation

    Controlling what you do
    Controlling who you see or talk to
    Limiting your outside involvement
    Not letting you work
    Not letting you receive an education
    Using jealousy to justify actions against you
    Destroying your support system

Minimizing, Denying and Blaming

    Making light of the abuse
    Saying abusive behavior was not abusive
    Shifting the responsibility for the behavior to you

Control

5/2010

Control is a big factor in an abusive relationship. I believe I have touched on this subject before in previous blogs. Many abusers begin their abuse slowly. It comes so subtly that you may not even notice, or perhaps you do and just choke it down like a bad taste in your mouth.

Many abuser have so little control throughout their day that when they come home they unleash and let go. Not only letting go of frustrations through verbal attacks some may go as far as physical attacks. It becomes so much in routine you pray it doesn't come about again and pray your partner has a great day.

I talked to God repeatedly in hopes and desires of my partner to change but that didn't happen. Or if it did he would change on a dime or with the wind. My partner was in charge at work so he brought that home with him.

I have slowly realized the amount of control he had over us! From how much fat was left on a roast to where I was during the day. I have a hard time now with how much I let myself be under his thumb. Of course now that we are separated his behavior has not changed. Despite his boasting of finding his faith, he is the same person. He will not change but I do still hope he will for his children. The repair and healing that needs to be done between them is like a vast fissure in the earth. It's not going to be easy, nor is it an overnight process. It happened over time and as will the healing between all of us. Even though I have forgiven him. This weekend was hard bad memories leaving me feel drained, upset and sad. When these come out I tend to become very melancholy and distracted, of course my hormones right now are high so the tear factor is at the drop of a hat.

He is allowed unsupervised calls daily if he wishes to his daughter's, apparently whether or not they want to talk to him or according to him whether or not we are around to get his calls. So in other words he is still trying to assert any type of control he can and due to the loss of our file during our Wellness check this situation happened allowing him access unsupervised.

On Friday's call STBX asked if my middle daughter would like to stay for the summer. If the girls were to go back I have no doubt at all that I would not be allowed to see them again! They would end up lost to me, STBX promised me on many occassions he would not stop trying to make me miserable until I "Come to my senses and come back to him". At whatever the cost, no matter "who" gets hurt.

I am very dismayed at our court systems right now. I can not help but feel shafted. I have an Order of Protection against my spouse and he (and sadly my son) has threatened to kill Terry and I. My spouse went as far as to hire someone to "Take care of me" but yet he is still allowed to walk around free. "Bulletproof". I won't be silent anymore. I will not allow him to control us. I will not "Jump" just because he says I "Have to". Nope not anymore.

No more control, I am trying to make a better life for us. "We are trying to make a better life for us." I had hoped for us to call a truce but my STBX refused. He continues to twist the truth, he continue to exhibit insane behavior and actions. He still is in control of his family to a certain degree and that saddens me. Not all of them but some... I hope they will see him for what he is and someone will get him help. If not for him but to save our son so he will not fall into the same type of behavior in his future. I pray that it is not too late! My lack of control with that situation has me frustrated.

I found this Power wheel on the web much like I have posted before but it does not hurt to post again!
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Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships?

The abuser exerts Power and Control over the victim combined with the Cycle of Violence to keep women in abusive relationships.

Barriers that Prevent Her from Leaving

The victim of domestic violence also faces many of the following barriers that prevent her from leaving her abuser.

Fear

    Fear of physical harm
    Fear of threats
    Fear of harassment
    Fear of making abuser angrier
    Fear of living alone or being alone
    Fear of losing children
    Fear of losing house, car
    Fear others will blame you
    Fear of the unknown
    Fear of financial problems without him
    Fear a change in standard of living
    Fear of deportation
    Fear no one believes you
    Fear of the court system

Love

    Still loves the abuser
    Commitment to the relationship
    Sex, affection, and kindness during non violence times
    Companionship
    History together
    Hope it's going to improve
    Hope he'll change

Emotional

    Low self-esteem
    Being emotionally exhausted
    Loneliness
    Guilt
    Self-blame for the abuse
    Feeling like a failure
    Feeling defective
    Feeling unwanted by others

Change

    Not wanting a divorce
    Not wanting to be a single parent
    Not wanting to look for someone else
    Not wanting to leave pets
    Not wanting to grieve
    Not wanting to start over
    Not wanting to change life style
    Not wanting to lose his family
    Not wanting to be excluded from social functions

Abuser

    Uses mind games
    Uses crying
    Uses threats of suicide
    Uses his power and his family's power
    Uses his Mr. Nice Guy image
    Uses promises
    Uses apologies

Children

    Pressure from children who want their dad
    Believes it is best for children
    Custody issues
    Need childcare

Support

    Nowhere to go
    Unaware help is available
    No support system
    Isolated from support

Needs

    Need insurance
    Need financial support
    Have health/disability issues

More

    Not identifying abuse
    Normalize abusive behaviors
    Abusive cycle is familiar
    Others accept violence as okay
    Pressure from others
    Preserve abusers reputation
    Religious beliefs
    Social status
    Security
    Having hopes and dreams
    Same sex partners
    Knowing its okay to leave

Domestic Violence against women



Domestic violence against women: Recognize patterns, seek help
Domestic violence is a serious threat for many women. Know the signs of an abusive relationship and how to leave a dangerous situation.
By Mayo Clinic staff

Your partner apologizes and says the hurtful behavior won't happen again — but you fear it will. At times you wonder whether you're imagining the abuse, yet the emotional or physical pain you feel is real. If this sounds familiar, you may be experiencing domestic violence.

Recognize domestic violence


Domestic violence — also called domestic abuse, battering or intimate partner violence — occurs between people in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse. Men are sometimes abused by partners, but domestic violence is most often directed toward women. Domestic violence can happen in heterosexual or homosexual relationships.
It may not be easy to identify domestic violence at first. While some relationships are clearly abusive from the outset, abuse often starts subtly and gets worse over time.

You may be experiencing domestic violence if you're in a relationship with someone who:

Calls you names, insults you or puts you down
Prevents you from going to work or school
Stops you from seeing family members or friends
Tries to control how you spend money, where you go or what you wear
Acts jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
Threatens you with violence 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
You may also be experiencing domestic violence if you're in a lesbian relationship with someone who:
Threatens to tell friends, family, colleagues or community members your sexual orientation or gender identity
Tells you that authorities won't help a homosexual, bisexual or transgendered person
Tells you that leaving the relationship means you're admitting that homosexual relationships are deviant
Tells you that abuse is a normal part of homosexual relationships or that domestic violence can't occur in homosexual relationships
Justifies abuse by telling you that you're not "really" homosexual, bisexual or transgender
Says women can't be violent
Portrays the violence as mutual and consensual
Depicts the abuse as part of a sadomasochistic activity

Pregnancy, children and domestic violence


Sometimes domestic violence begins — or increases — during pregnancy. During this perilous time, your health and the baby's health are at risk. The danger continues after the baby is born. Even if your child isn't abused, simply witnessing domestic violence can be harmful. Children who grow up in abusive homes are more likely to be abused and have behavioral problems than are other children. As adults, they're more likely to become abusers or think abuse is a normal part of a relationship. You may worry that seeking help will further endanger you and your child or that it may break up your family, but it's the best way to protect your child — and yourself.

Break the cycle
If you're in an abusive situation, you may recognize this pattern:
Your abuser threatens violence.
Your abuser strikes.
Your abuser apologizes, promises to change and offers gifts.
The cycle repeats itself.
Typically the violence becomes more frequent and severe over time.
The longer you stay in an abusive relationship, the greater the toll on your self-esteem. You may become depressed and anxious. You may begin to doubt your ability to take care of yourself or wonder if the abuse is your fault. You may feel helpless or paralyzed. If you're in a lesbian relationship, you may be less likely to seek help after an assault if you don't want to disclose your sexual orientation. If you've been sexually assaulted by another woman, you may also fear that you won't be believed. Still, the only way to break the cycle of domestic violence is to take action — and the sooner the better.
Start by telling someone about the abuse, whether it's a friend, relative, doctor or other close contact. At first, you may find it hard to talk about the abuse. But you'll also likely feel relief and receive much-needed support.

Create a safety plan
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. 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.
Protect your communication
An abuser may use technology to monitor your telephone and Internet communication and to track your physical location. To maintain your privacy and safety:
Use cordless phones and cell phones cautiously. Your abuser may intercept calls and listen to your conversations. He or she may check your cell phone to see who has called or texted you. Your abuser also may check billing records to see your complete call history.
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 to seek help.
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.
Where to find help


In an emergency, call 911 — or your local emergency number or your local law enforcement agency. The following resources also can 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 local resources.
A local women's shelter or crisis center. Shelters and crisis centers typically provide 24-hour emergency shelter, as well as advice on legal matters and advocacy and support services.
A counseling or mental health center. Counseling and support groups for women in abusive relationships are available in most communities. Be wary of advice to seek couples or marriage counseling. If violence has escalated to the point that you're afraid, counseling isn't adequate.
A local court. Your district court can help you obtain a restraining order that legally mandates the abuser to stay away from you or face arrest. Local advocates may be available to help guide you through the process.

It can be hard to recognize or admit that you're in an abusive relationship — but help is available. Remember, no one deserves to be abused.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/domestic-violence/WO00044

Absolving Abuse- Life after the Darkness of DV

Jun 23, 2010

Absolving Abuse: Life after the Darkness of DV



I read alot of the articles I post here of course, the hard hitting fact (no pun) is that the effects of DV or any other type of abuse has long and devasting effects! I myself have many times where I just cry, out of the blue just cry. This week has been particularly hard for me where I have had a few panic attacks.

I am blessed to have Terry but on the flipside I do not want to burden him with anymore drama. Which is not the right thing to do. I am free enough to share my inner most thoughts with him but yet I hesitate, I stop myself from doing so. On one hand I do not want to be hurt either physically or emotionally or mentally, so I keep a shield up. I know I do this and feel terrible for doing so. My self esteem is in the toliet, feeling unworthy of anyone to love me, feeling undeserving of happiness and feeling guilt for staying as long as I did and seeing the effects it has had on my children and family.

My self image is not the best. Years of hearing how fat I was or what a terrible person I was keeps creeping out from the corners of my mind. I know it's not true but yet conditioning for years has pushed these things to the forefront of my mind.

I recalled a time when I desparately wanted to be a "Good Girl" and not do any wrong. It does not matter the circumstances of the incident the fact of it is that I was fine. He sadly has a condition that needs strict therapy. I do not ever see him changing. The chances of that are so rare. I pray that my son will not keep going on the path he is.
My son called last nite at 10 pm, Terry answered the phone and my son asked to talk to his sisters. Terry informed him that they were in bed. My son argued with Terry and cursed at him. Terry hung up, and my son called the house 2 more times, each time with nasty words.

That is not my son! I feel as though I have lost him but I do pray that he will see the truth and remember why we left his Dad. Not for the reasons his Dad has conjured up in his mind, but for the real reasons.

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Absolving Abuse:

Life After The Darkness Of Domestic Violence
Being a victim of domestic violence can make you feel so isolated. What do you do the morning after you've left him? How do you handle the nightmares that continue months after it's over? Will you ever be yourself again?

Some people will blame you. Others will pity you. There will be support and interrogations and everyone who knows will have an opinion. But, at the end of the day, when you lay down, it will just be you. And how you feel and what you think about yourself is what matters.

Don't Turn Away!
You have been beaten. The bruises will fade and time will pass but that does not mean that this terrible thing that has happened to you will disappear. If you shut the door on this pain today, it will be waiting in the dark later. You are injured. Domestic violence damages both internally and externally. You need to aim for a healing process that incorporates your whole person.

Begin with the internal struggle. This may be a lonely time no matter how many friends and family and supportive measures there are around you. Go inside of yourself and find out what you need to do to heal your heart. What hurts the most? How can you start to rebuild your wounded soul? Where can you get help and what type of help will be best for you?

Often, victims of domestic violence bandage their cuts and fractures and try to forget that they have been beaten. Once they are out of the protective shelter or the abusive person is out of their lives they turn their backs on what has occurred.
You are at a crossroads. This is where important life affirming changes can be made. This is a place where you can learn to value yourself again.

Know Your Options
Domestic violence is a crime that affects a complete person. Your body and soul have been wounded. There are a number of traditional and non-traditional ways to help yourself. Group therapy is a great way to get in touch with others who have had similar experiences. Others that understand the pain of being battered are less likely to judge you. This could be a forum for the release of the ugliest moments.

Individual counseling can be equally helpful. Some people are more comfortable in a one on one setting. A personal counselor can provide more specialized therapy because they are focused on you. Maybe there are some issues besides the domestic violence you want to work on.

If you don't feel comfortable at one group therapy session or with one therapist, try another one. So many people give up on therapy because they don't like their initial experience. Be willing to try out several counselors if necessary. Therapy can be extremely beneficial for domestic violence victims.

Practicing yoga can help you get in touch with you inner and outer strength. Yoga works to center the mind and body. Powerful breathing techniques and relaxing poses can have a calming effect. You can join a class or practice in the privacy of your own home.

Take a self defense class. Domestic violence can make you feel powerless. Self defense techniques can help you feel more in control and powerful. As well as increase your feeling of safety.

Do something that you love. Do you love to paint? Work with children? Cook? Domestic violence victims need to be reminded of their beauty. Remember what you love and do it. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Work at a day care center.

Domestic violence is an isolating crime. The less alone you feel the more hopeful your outlook will be. Do not be afraid to socialize. Everyone is not out to hurt you. Some people are nice, decent human beings. Don't let the monster that hurt you ruin the rest of your life.

You can survive domestic violence. It won't be easy but there are steps you can take to heal the inner hurt.

Remember that you are the one who counts. You are the one who has to be able to look in the mirror and smile.

http://www.savvy-women-magazine.com/Lifestyle/readers-story-domestic-abuse.php

The incredible journey of me!

Repost from 7/24/2010

You've come a long way Baby!

This has path has been filled with many up's and down's! I can not believe how far me/we have come. Now I am not making millions or anything like that, but my life is so much richer now then it ever has been before. The chances to start over or to start life is amazing. Happiness comes along when one least expects it. I see now taking a chance is a wonderful thing.

I've stopped on a few occassions to stop the pity party just to open my eyes and thank God for the wonderful things happening in my life and the wonderful people placed in my life!

The little one that neither of us planned has been a very wonderful blessing!

The Lady's at work blessed me with a baby shower!

Judy, Lynda, Lisa, Suzanne, Christina, Sandy and Lauren has given me many baby things!

I've gotten some sage advice from many new positive people I have met over the past year... My 2 sisters, Peggy, Kim, Lisa, Kristy, Beth,Terry D., Babe, Roberta, Lynda,Brian, Lesile, Michelle, Laura, Beth and Will to name a few.

I have been blessed with a man that loves me and the girls to pieces! Without him I don't know where I would be. I wasn't looking for a relationship at the time but boy oh boy, God loves to throw you a good thing when you are least looking for it! I did do 10 wishes and I will be darned if I didn't get 2 of them sooner then expected.

The world is my oyster! Through the dark clouds there are silver linings, oh I still stumble, I still am haunted in some ways by memories, but Terry noticed they are getting fewer apart. No more crying out or wimpering in the middle of the night (I didn't realize I did that!). My panic attacks are much better, I do have times when I do still feel sorry for myself. Especially now due to my growing belly!

The girls are so much better now then they were a year ago! Alex is such a ham and Jess is working on not mothering so much. We gave her an order to just be a kid and she learning to do so. Both seem to be working on their memories as well but they each handle them differently. They miss their brother and I do too, but that is still not safe for myself and Terry. I pray about this relationship between the 3 of us. I know it would be a very long time before we can trust him.

School has been a blessing as I am realizing I am doing ok. I had reservations about going back but I am excited and can not wait for school to end so I can find something I want to do. I am excited as well about becoming a Doula! I've always loved to fly by the seat of my pants!

The issue of Domestic Violence is still a strong thing in my life and voicing it to others will more then likely be something I will advocate for a long time! Reaching out to others that were in a bad relationship even if it is just for coffee will be something I enjoy doing. Though lately I am afraid I need to catch up with someone!

Thank you all for your support and kindness!

I have done so many things in this short period of time. I've been able to stop and look at things around me and just say thanks Lord for all I have and for his protection, strength and grace and I know He is walking with me!

How does it go?

Repost from 7/2010- I am moving my earlier posts from myspace to blogspot.

I'm not quite sure the tune. Too many thoughts get in the way. It can be hard to remember how to put my best step forward and to not stumble at times. This mad adventure I am on is definately not how I saw that it would go. I expected it to be faster, not easier, nothing is easy. Not anything in life. Not at all.

I kind of wish I had a magic wand at times, to wipe away tears, to change disappointment to happiness and to make things go right. Oh that sounds like a Walgreens commercial for "Perfect". There is no perfect love, no perfect person, no perfect relationships and it can be a hard thing to find a happy ending. There is almost always some load of brown piles dead smack in the way of the trail you are on.

I swear at times God has a sense of humor. I scratch my head and wonder. I can picture Him up there smiling down at me and shaking his head while he watches my antics. Almost comical but in a warm loving manner. Mouthing "I told you so!", but in a Fatherly way.

I rarely get alone time and that's ok. I have alone time on my way to work and school. Oh I do the dishes to clear my mind of any trash or worries that fill my head. I think I have said it before, I can't change my circumstances or life easily but washing dishes, cleaning house, changing my hair color or taking a walk is something I can control. When everything else seems so darn haywire I can always do those things...

Things I have learned while going through my divorce-

It's not easy when you have man that is unstable

Legal land is a long process that takes even longer if you have an unstable spouse

There is no glory in divorce no matter what the situation

There are hurt feelings all the way around during a divorce

Finding out you are preggers while you are divorced is not fun at all takes the process longer in Legal land (though I am sincerely grateful I am being able to have another chance to have this little blessing)

Divorce costs more then your sanity, it charges by the hour

No matter how petty the situation is the tendency of your STBX is to totally blow it out of proportion and you remember one of the reasons you are leaving this person

Supervised visitation... If I could do it over again I would have made sure I put my foot down and said I would do it the place they suggested so not to put undue stress on my in-laws and everyone else involved

I would stand firm with my Order of Protection and no matter what the situation I would have not said anything that could be taken out of context

I do have to laugh about a few things I have heard recently it just reminds me how happy I am to be out of that situation
And no Darlin, the kids don't have to call you! The judge said you can call anytime you like. They are not chained at home and have a tendency to be out with Terry (Yes that man that you come so much to bash, send threats to) or out with family. Imagine that! We are actually moving on! We are actually trying to pick up the shattered pieces of ourself and be happy. Astounding! What a revelation! Sadly our son is caught up in this and hopefully he will come around when he is older. I miss him. His dimples and silly smile. I miss his jokes even though they didn't make sense at times. His hugs and that boyish charm when he batted his eyes at me playfully. I miss the man he's becoming. That makes me sad amongst other things right now.

Despite it all there will be a rainbow at the end of this crazy rainbow. There will be a time when I can look back and just laugh my bottom off and it does seem so very far fetched and out of the realm of reality now. I do know in about 5 years from now I will laugh... One can dream can't she?

Pieces of us- Repost 5/2010

Over time there comes a point when enough is enough. One person can only tolerate just so much. You break, you then decide what to do, whether it means leaving physically,mentally or emotionally. You break free. You tire of the pieces of your life that slowly get chipped away.

Slowly your spirit gets weaken and you feel the need to escape. Running away in daydreams, or at night in your sleep. There comes a time when one needs to leave the abuse, the torment and the bitterness. Waves of emotion rocked me so many times, I sucked down so many tears.

Small things have came out in my children, I hear fears, excuses and see habits that need to be broken. Much of my own problems or issues take a back seat to those of my children. Their needs are so greater then my own.  Hearing how they saw things that transpired during the years we were all together breaks my heart. They had a different view at how our family worked, and it's not very pretty. It causes me to feel embarssment as well as sadness that these are their childhood memories. Oh there are times when they share a funny story or they recall a fun time, but more often then not it is not always a pleasant memory.

I see now why they are like they are in the little things they do. The ticks and habits they have. The defense mechanisms like a deer in headlights during signs of a challenge or trouble. It's almost as though a shield goes up and I, myself have found that I do the same thing. Shutting up like a clam at times or just seeing myself go into my own little world. This I see in my girls. It doesn't make me proud. I feel ashamed that I had a large part in the things that have made them what they are. I take responsiblity in these things. I think I posted before on the coulda, woulda, shoulda's , as well as the choices I have made.

I can't do anything about any of that now, but now I see that as chance to turn things around and in short time we have been away from STBX I have seen the girls change by leaps in bounds, both in manners and daily challenges.It helps that I have a great person that is my Helpmeet to encourage all of us and to take us as we are. We were and still are in some ways a broken bunch. Despite all the baggage that came with me, he has stuck at my side. I can't imagine ever coming so far without his love and friendship. Any set back or emotionally meltdown that we have had, he has helped pick us up and wipe our tears.

I consider me very lucky! In many circumstances there are women/men that do not have this. They may end up either going back to their abuser, or back in a cycle of attracting someone that is just like the person they left or worse. I also had a great family support, my sisters' and Dad were very helpful and great at helping the whole separation to fruitation. I never would have had the guts to leave again if it had not been for them. The first 2 weeks was very devasting, and not because I was heart broken due to the separation. It was the fear that he would hurt the kids and I. As it was he was calling 30+ times a day, hanging up, begging that he would get help or he would change. Many of the things that I heard so many times during our marriage. This would last for a day, week,or a month only to have the other shoe fall and we would be back to square one again. Leaving the kids and I scared. The cycle went over and over... I grew tired of picking up the pieces of us.I was terrified that I would never see my children grow or that they would not live to see their next birthday.

Because I left does not mean we are free of STBX, he still plays mind games, he still tries to control us. I receive messages that are threatening or accusing in one form or another. I don't believe he will ever change, statistics show that many that are abusers never change, the percentage that does may relapse down the line. Very rarely does an abuser do a complete 180. In order to break this for future generations is to break the cycle and get help for the children of abusers or educating the victims/survivors so they will not go back or find another that will take advantage of them.This means building up the survivors self esteem that is more then likely in the toliet, feelings of inadequecies, feeling as though you are worthless or whatever mental attacks made by the abuser.This doesn't happen over nite, this may take months or years! The damage made happened over time or years, so must the recovery to find one's voice and self worth. It will happen!

5 days and counting until Independence Day!

WOW! I can not believe how time has flown by. 2 years! No final on the divorce and I am thrilled to say I have not heard from him lately (STBX- Soon To Be Ex). Court date is still in June, we have not done the Paternity test yet. Too broke! $500 to get it done, that is a big chunk for us to use right now, me without a job is not helping. On the bright side I had an interview on Friday of which I was asked to come back to shadow tomorrow. I also had a voice mail after church for an interview at Kohl's! WAHOO!

One way or another I will get a job this week, my eBay sales are ok not enough to pay the rent or utility bills but it does help for a small spurlge of lunch or dinner for us. Mad Money! I have been searching for past blogs and can not find them anywhere. I lost them somehow on myspace, so now I decided to look for the hardcopies around here. Wish me luck! I do have a previous post called "Living with a violent person" from 10/2009.

If you know someone dealing with abuse please feel free to email me. I will be happy to listen or point them in the right direction if they need help leaving. Don't be silent!

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Various things come to mind, oh they weren't all that bad, we did have many good times. There were times of hilarious laughter. Things that helped keep me praying, if we could just bottle that time or keep laughing like this then maybe...

Those times had gotten so few and far between that my sanity, let alone my safety was at stake. It had gotten to a point where I questioned so much about myself, being a good wife, mother, person in general. He was so good at manipulating my thoughts and actions I honestly thought I was a terrible person. I believed that I was wrong on so many levels on everything I did. I heard these things so often that I swore it was God's honest truth about me. I believed it... No matter how many books or videos or other self help things on improving myself I read I could never seem to live up to this ideal person he had for himself.

I felt very stupid, like the stupidest person on the planet for many reason, one because I stayed and allowed him to control me. Two because he reminded me that I was! Any self esteem as well as confidence I had were in the toliet. I viewed myself (and I'm still working on feeling better about myself) as a fat, ugly, and stupid person. Anytime I would get a compliment on anything about myself from someone outside left me embarassed and confused. I still get embarassed. I don't see myself as attractive in any shape or form. Beauty of course is in the eye of the beholder and that does make me happy. To know that someone out there takes me for me is very powerful and uplifting.

I'm reminded of that poster back in the 70's, God don't make junk! I leaned on the fact that I am important, I am loved and worthy of being loved. I mattered to those 3 kids that leaned on me to be strong, hold them up, and to be there when they needed me.
I jumped into the mix many times. I watched as he pulled their hair, slapped their faces, as he screamed at them so fiercely that spittle ran down his red face with his eyes bulging (spilt milk or some reason so trival it wasn't worth getting worked up about). I intervened as much as I could, I chased after him around the house as he chased the kids while he was worked up for no real reason but to be mean. I jumped in to take whatever he had to dish out to the kids. At this young age they should be concerned about going to slumber parties and hanging out with friends and not worried about if Dad is going to explode today.

Sneaking calls to me before he got home. Calling me in a panic if he went off on a tangent. Driven to the point where I was exhausted from being on guard while I slept, or during waking hours. Not wanting to leave the house because I couldn't trust if he was going to leave the kids alone or if he was going to go off. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Having my phone chirp and ring all the time because he wanted to know every little detail of what I was doing. It got to the point where I would just make up stuff because he had just called me 5 mins before and there were no changes.

How do you live with a mad man? Patience... Hope and prayer too! You begin to think this is normal. Doesn't everyone live like this? Doesn't everyone have some sort of issue like we do? No telling! It's no one's business so you keep quiet, plaster a smile on your face and pretend this doesn't exist. Pretend that you have the ideal family, that you are living the American dream of sucess, though there are struggles, no telling.

You live to survive, there's a point where you flash into survivor mode. You bring up defenses and just do what you are told to survive. Don't make waves, don't put up a fight. Whether it was out of feeling defeated or survivor mode that's what I did. I slipped into a state of blankness, just going through the motions. Remember I mentioned those little words and situations that make me remember?

I had that several times over the weekend. I remembered several things, cleaning up after he had relations with another. I remember laying in bed during relations praying for him to get done or for him not to touch me. I cried many times laying in a panic at bedtime. I was in a panic because many times I didn't want relations, I was in a panic because what if I fell asleep before he did (he would get upset), what if I didn't perform good enough? Many thoughts would run through my head at once, sometimes it got very noisy in there!

I scrambled in the morning to get his lunch and breakfast. Getting all flustered if I forgot something. I wrote notes, I plastered things on the door before he left, as I would go outside to load the truck and start his vehicle I wanted to remember things he needed. Hell's bell's if I forgot something he needed.  I dressed him, put on his socks, buttoned his shirts, helped him get his layers (if needed) on. I made him coffee or hot chocolate. I did what I could.

Many times the kids were not a witness to violent things that happened at nite or even in the morning. Luckily, I don't think I could look at them with a straight face due to being really embarassed. Embarassed that I was being treated like a dog, that I allowed it. That it seemed so natural and normal so it was ok. Knowing in my heart it wasn't, knowing in my heart this isn't how a relationship is supposed to be. Longing for normalcy, longing for a love that was not hurtful or mean. Longing for a mate that would make me feel safe and loved. I longed for a great love and after awhile I stopped daydreaming about such things as they do not exist, at least that's what I told myself.

The small things got me, pinching, pulling my hair, slapping me or forcing himself on me. That got me, his threats to harm me on some level at times got me mad. I began to tell him was that all he had? Did that make him man enough? Did it make him feel good that he can push me around? That he can push his kids around? Does that make you feel good?

I could picture many times when he had an object in his hands poised to throw at me. I became a good dodger! There are many holes in the walls from things he's thrown at me. Getting angerier because I moved. Duh! And me cleaning up the mess, drywall bits and pieces of whatever he threw at me. My fault that whatever it was now was broken! See what you made me do? Why did you break this, that or the other?

There were things I allowed him to do for the sake of the kids, like cold water. He would get upset so I would stand in the shower while he poured ice cold water on me with a super soaker or while he ran the shower I stood there and took it. It made him frustrations out, rather me then the kids. Or he would put ice down my pants or shove it in other places and he seemed to enjoy me squirming and crying. I didn't sob, mostly quiet tears, I would imagine myself elsewhere. I would go off in my mind almost seeing myself from a distance taking the punishments from afar. Allowing me to drift in peace feeling sorry for that poor woman in the shower or on the floor naked. Feeling bitterness as this was supposed to be someone that was my partner, someone I could turn to and trust.

How many times did I scrub the floor on my hands and knees until it sparkled? I swear he scuffed the floor with tar on purpose! Here I am not allowed to come to bed until the floor was clean, until the kitchen was cleaned. But as I'm doing so I can't make a sound or there would be hell to pay for keeping him awake. Had I done my chores prior I wouldn't be in that mess!

Now in many ways I guess I'm putting things off, dusting, vaccuming and such as defiance or maybe because now I can. I'm not sure which. We are better off. I can sleep without feeling someone kick me or have someone pull me by the hair because I have fallen asleep before him. I don't have anyone choking me or punching me at nite for whatever excuse he would give. I don't have anyone kicking me because I'm not getting done with whatever fast enough.

I'm getting to be happy I don't live with the delusions anymore. I can leave the tv on and wake up in the middle of the nite without anyone making me come back to bed if I don't feel like it. 

I will still have bad dreams, bad memories and some good. We survived and that's what is important. We are around to tell others and hopefully help someone else that is living in that situation. Maybe that's why I'm here... And if that's the case that's fine with me...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A moment of madness

Repost from 1/22/2009 a little over a month before I left my STBX.

I have pondered over the past year and half why I'm still here. Now I'm taking action! I have to make copies of bills next week and send them off to a friend to hold onto until I'm ready to go for the gusto.
He's being sweet as pie, though there are a few moments of madness that peek out. Whether he yells at the kids or sternly reminds me of my place (women are to be lead by their husbands, according to the Bible, seen not heard). 

He's one of those that can dish it out but can't take it. He's only 2 wayed me 3 times today. I called him 2 times because I would never hear the end of it tonite if I didn't. I don't say I love you anymore. The words have lost all meaning to me. I've told and prayed to release all the resentment I have towards him for the many years of hurt. The continuance of hurt...

I haven't left yet because without his insurance I'm screwed, I did get a refill of my meds for the HSV2. I got this gift from the 3 some we had with another woman, something he had a fantasy about which led to finding out she was involved with a few other persons on the side. Sheesh! It was a mess. I've come to terms with this, I'm more upset that I didn't stay gone, I took him back. I should have kicked his ass to the curb, but I felt guilty, I'm a sucker for a sob story! He's not going to take his life, he's too much of a drama queen. He continues to control my mind and emotions as much as he can. Telling me no other will love me like he does, I'm his alone, got it. I was made for him sent together by God. Maybe once... But not now. God doesn't want a messed up relationship like this. God doesn't want the up's and down's. God doesn't want us to be miserable! He wants what's best for me and my children. I pray God will fix R... I can't... Nor do I want to keep going like this.

I am just tired... Do I have a job after I leave? No. Do I have a place to run to? My sister has opened up her home to me and the kiddos! She has also offered to put the payment down to get the divorce started. I want to be free of no one timing me to see how long it takes till I'm home. I want to be able to go on the computer without someone wondering if I'm online talking to men or women (I'm not!) I haven't cheated.  I don't meet anyone for quickies here at the shop (my hubby runs an antique mall and I mind the store while he's gone). I am really looking forward to doing things with my kids, board games, walks, spur of the moment types of things.

R has tried to change, he's gotten involved in church ( I think his thinking of the head of household is a little warped though). He isn't a drinker, thank heavens! But he's only taking one pill in his med. He is mentally upstable and now he thinks he can do it on his own. Couseling? HA! He'll find something wrong with the person.  Everyone is against him. He's so paranoid! I don't love him, I find myself getting my stomach in a knot having to tell him I do love him (that's after he's insisting). I can't tell him I'm leaving or he will lock me in a room and not allow me to leave until I change my mind about leaving and loving him. He'll cry he will take his life! He's told the kids that we will never get the house he will burn it down before that happens. If they choose to live with me he will never talk to them again. My 13 year old is ok with that, but my 10 and 9 year old were devastated. Despite them knowing we need to leave they were crushed! He has told them because they fight and don't get along Mom will divorce me ( like it's their fault).

I need to leave soon! I am playing it cool a little longer I can't let him know! He's construction so work is slow and not all the time yet. I have to call the Atty and find out once we pay the $ how soon do I get financials and so on. I have to make sure to take my Avon checkbook so he doesn't leave me with nothing. I have heard that he has to pay me maintenance until the divorce is final! Oh that was music to my ears! I was so worried! I would like to wait a few more weeks at least until tax return time. Which we need to get done soon!

I've wrote a book! I'm keeping it cool and trying to be patient. I have to go and check on customers. Keep us in your prayers!

Independence day in 9 days!

I am coming up to our Second year Independence Day on Feb 25! I can not believe it has been almost 2 years that I first left my spouse. It has gone by fast and it seems as though it was a lifetime ago and another life.

The life I have now is so much different and comfy. I recently have had some other memories crop up, nightmare last week and a mini panic attack a few days ago. It's amazing how they pop up with a vengence and so fierce they take my breath away. I will not look back as defeated as I felt not so long ago! My ex still looms around. By the grace of God we have not heard much from him, though I do still miss my son terribly. I wonder what he looks like and how much he has changed. I wonder if remembers any of the nasty things we endured. J still wonders why he went back.

Oh but she is such a handful herself! I love my children to pieces but my goodness I was at my wits end last Sunday. I lost it! I said so much I had been holding back from her. I flew off the handle big time! I just said my piece and all was quiet. We have had so many arguments that at times it is like walking on eggshells and it can be crazy worrying about her getting upset. Heaven's! I left crazy and don't plan on living like that again. She can be so mean and violent to her sister, with our concerns that if she will harm her sister further or hurt the baby. When I say violent it isn't throwing knives or anything, it is hitting, it is threats to harm her sister or things her sister loves. And then she gets that look in her eyes that I saw her father have... All is not always nice here.

So Sunday I said those words that I don't really mean... "YOU CAN LIVE AT DAD'S! I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!" Of course Terry, being of sound and calm mind suggested we talk and just calm down for a bit. He knew well that I do not want her to live with her Dad. She will never be the same if that happened. I would never hear from her again. Oh, that is guranteed! I could never live with myself, I lost one child and feel regret over that incident. I am not the only one that is healing and relearning how to live, both of my daughters are as well! Right now I am just taking away privileges, making her go to bed early, that sort of thing. SIGH! It is funny you look at my other blog and I feel I come off as a happy go lucky person with a side of insanity in this blog. Getting to the heart of matters and not pussy footing around!

I received a number for another advocate to speak to and I was thinking of perhaps seeing if the local Moms groups may need a speaker to talk about Family violence. Just a thought! I am out of work and besides antiques and blogging, my other passion is spreading knowledge and hope for others that suffer from Domestic Violence.

I reviewed some of my old posts and shortly I will be reposting our escape that I posted orginally in 2009. I did hap on a post from 1/22/09 that I will be reposting next! Have a great night!