Archive | July 2015

Inside The Mind Of A Domestic Violence Victim

As usual, Kendra Lynn does what she does best.  She has an amazing talent and shares beautifully worded insight into the world of a Domestic Violence victim.  This was originally posted on VoElla | Inside The Mind Of A Domestic Violence Victim

First and foremost, let me remind everyone that victims are strong, intelligent people. They were chosen by their abuser because of their strength and intelligence.

The insecure abuser worked every charm to pull in the victim and then methodically and meticulously worked on tearing down that strength and intelligence. They feel threatened by it. Their ability to pull the victim in and then down gives them a sense of power and temporarily sustains the beast. I say “temporarily” because the beast will always need to be fed through violence. Always. It is their disease.

It’s our strength and sensitivity in the beginning days of the charming honeymoon that gets us caught up and sucked in; loving, charming phrases. We miss the subtle oddities. The change in tone of voice. The harsh non-verbal actions. The way the abuser speaks of his past relationships. When we do notice it, we think our strength and faith can somehow fix him. He immediately starts picking away at our self-esteem and then injecting words of praise.


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A tug-of-war purposely designed to confuse. A tyrannical brain washing that destroys our self-worth. We are now in the tornadic storm without any real sense of direction. The building up phase becomes less and less; more infrequent until all that’s left is a complete tear down of a human soul.

Now picture that once bright, vibrant, exciting woman crumbled on the floor – crying. Picture her not being able to look at herself. The tearing down phase happens quicker than people realize and the victim is left wondering if she is in a bad dream. She does everything to make the “bad spells” go away, all because he makes her feel like she isn’t doing her part.

He chastises her like an errant child. Yes. That strong, bright, vibrant, exciting woman is now gone, lost in the nightmare, right where her abuser intended her to be from the very beginning.

Now we’re going to delve deeper in the mind of the victim as she dreams of escape. Her metamorphism into a survivor.

Why Does She Stay?

It’s everyone’s favorite question and I’m going to answer that. You need to know, so open your heart fully and swim a little in the abyss. It’s the only way you’ll understand.

It starts out as a dream; the escape. She fights back. Gets her pounding of pain, either through words or fists, but she fights back. The mush in her back starting to become a steely spine. Why the hell do you think her eyes are puffy and bruised? She dared to look the monster in the face and now that she sees him, she repudiates it emphatically.

All with a cost, that alone will surely stall any chance of escape. He sees she’s still alive in her spirit and his punishments ramp up further with more pound for pound pain. He methodically stalks her every move, counting each rise of her chest. He is fully aware she’s dreaming of her escape.


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Her steps, actions, and words are all now metered. He frantically checks her phone, gives more bruises to her face and soul so she’ll be too embarrassed to run to her friends. He’ll even say something asinine to any friend that calls, making them think she no longer wants their friendship. Complete isolation like caged animal. She’s wounded – feral and wild. Still insanely dreaming she can actually escape. So she sets out to meter her own steps and words and actions. That’s when she’s reborn.

A survivor is born in the hurricane long before they actually leave their abuser; in the eye of the storm. In that false calm, she’s planning methodically her escape. It takes time. She learns to become patient. Her impatience has taught her that he will nearly break her completely. When he snidely says he will kill her before he’ll let anyone else have her, she now knows the brevity of that statement. So she patiently studies his movements as she sits huddled in the corner of her rusty cage.

There’ll be that moment when he’ll be away long enough for her to actually leave. She counts the money she has hidden away in a place she knows he would never think to look because he checks to make sure she’s not stealing his money. The beast is smarter than you think. She knows it’s not enough money. Not nearly enough. It might be enough to buy 3 meals for her and her children, if she’s lucky.

She finds the name and number to the nearest Women’s Shelter for Domestic Violence Victims. She packs one bag, just enough stuff for her to carry. She looks at her children, calming them – telling them they’re going somewhere nice. They’re scared and worried. Mommy is not allowed to leave the house without daddy knowing.

Her children could wreck the whole plan if they panic. They know the consequences when mommy steps out of line and she doesn’t have time to sit them down and explain it all. She rushes them out, they’re going to have to walk there is no car. They need to get far enough ahead of the beast to ensure a semblance of safety. If they walk fast, they can actually make it to the Women’s Shelter before nightfall.

They arrive at the shelter in good time but the woman at the desk explains they have no available rooms. Twelve people total in that shelter. That’s it. The secretary arranges for them to go to another shelter in another county. Her and her children are bathed and fed. They’re allowed to sleep in a makeshift room and will leave in the morning for the new shelter. Her children don’t sleep. They cry through the night. A new trauma that she feels she’s caused. They beg to go back home.


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The mind can be a terrible thing. In the dark abyss in a foreign place, it starts questioning everything. She’s been conditioned to pick herself apart until nothing feels right and all choices she makes will always be wrong and stupid. She feels homeless. Not just her but now her children too. She has no money as she was never allowed to work.

The counselor reassured her right away that she would be given a chance. They would give her and her children clothing and food and a place to rest in safety. At that late hour, though, her mind twists the offer into a meaningless hand-out. Plus, her abuser swore he would kill himself if she left. Is he dead right now? Guilt bears down heavily. She stares at the phone in the hallway.

Three hours in the shelter. She calls her abuser and pleads for him to pick her up. She’s crying. Her children are crying. The shelter can’t keep her if she doesn’t want to stay. They offer her a business card with all of the important phone numbers she would need in another emergency. They tell her she’s so brave. She cries harder

Her abuser appears at the shelter – a face of utter calm. One would think he would actually punish her when they get home, but he doesn’t. He rewards her for coming back. He’s full of compliments and offers to help her better. He’s full of apology. Full of the love she once knew when they first met. He even makes her laugh. A strange feeling.

A week later, when she’s least expecting it, the punishment is doled out. Fisted out ten-fold with her children watching and listening. Her abuser actually explains in between punches to the watching children that “This is what happens when mommy thinks she’s smarter than daddy.” Open wounds on her forehead and cheeks – enough for stitches. She slinks to the back bedroom. An emergency room visit would only raise questions. More punishment she didn’t need at that moment.

She’ll do this 3 or 4 more times; leave and then come right back. Each time she leaves, the danger escalates beyond our ability to fully comprehend. I’m sure you see the travesty. I’m asking you to dig deeper and see what is not so plainly written or seen. Her absolute strength and courage. The first escape was a test run; the caged animal testing her limbs as she runs for the very first time. Now she knows she can do it. Running back was actually part of her survival.

She’ll return home. She was born in the middle of a hurricane and now she’s a wolf quietly howling. She’ll scrounge even more money away. She has the card with all of the emergency numbers she never thought of before in her numb haze. She’ll delicately prepare her children better. She’ll quietly and secretly search for a job.

She’ll retrain her thinking of going to a women’s shelter for domestic violence victims. She’ll no longer see it as the end. Instead, she’ll see it as the open door to the life she now knows she deserves. She’ll disassociate; quiet her racing mind while he’s abusing her. Her eyes are even more focused on the prize of escape.

I’ve done my research. I did not have to go to a women’s shelter when I escaped but I forced myself to step inside one. It’s full of inexplicable emotions. Strength. Fear. Bravery. And a deep love that made me fall to my knees – weeping. Now I volunteer there. The most healing decision I have made, thus far.

The resources for abused women are still limited. It’s no wonder she runs back to her abuser. She’s trying to save her life and sometimes the only way to quiet the raging beast is to run right back into hell. We should never ask “Why did you stay?” That puts all the blame on the victim. We should ask the abuser “Whatever made you think your actions are anywhere near acceptable?”

This story was in no way derived from my own personal experience. My heart simply bleeds for the women who feel they have no other choice but to return to their abuser. My life is now dedicated to not merely asking empty questions. I am determined to find answers.

The first hours of a victim’s escape are the most dangerous. She is literally on the edge of hell and it is our duty to help pull her to full safety. We must embrace her and continually remind her how brave she is. Remind her until that becomes her new silent mantra. “I am brave. I am strong.” We owe her that much at the very least.

By Kendra Lynn | Blog | Twitter |

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Reflections

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt

What an absolutely perfect quote.  Followed by two great prompt words assigned to us this week by RonovanWrites.  These two words were a great Haiku addition to my blog.  Since I always say what I mean, and mean what I say…I enjoyed getting my point across (as usual) but with the use of this specific picture the meaning can be entirely different, depending on your point of view.

#54 – Prompts: Free & Think
Never mind your thoughts,
As I view my reflection,
Freedom looks so good.

Never mind your thoughts, as I view my reflection.
As I view my reflection, freedom looks so good.

Compassion and Understanding

For some reason, I feel that I need to comment on this issue.

When something resonates with a person, there is usually a reason why.  Either they are going through or have gone through the same exact thing or they know someone, whether it be a friend or family member, who is going through or have gone through the same exact thing.  To me, those reasons are a very simple way to say…I understand what you’re going through.  Because you can relate…you understand.

There is also being empathetic / sympathetic to a person’s situation.  Which, to me, means that person may not really understand or get it because they’ve never been in that situation.  However, because the person is (hopefully) kind and compassionate their heart can go out to another and say…I can only imagine what you must be going through.

This is how we interact with one another on a daily basis – through our hearts, minds, bodies and souls.  Whether it be at work, at home, in the street, on line at the bank or via phone, text or social media – with friends, family or strangers.  No matter your race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference…at the end of the day we are human.

Being human has its advantages and disadvantages.  The crux of being human is that we all have problems.  This is our lot in life.  We all have them.  No matter your station in life.  And, as stated above, those around you either understand or they don’t.  If you are very lucky, you have surrounded yourself with people that fall into one of the two categories above, those people being your inner circle, your safety net, your support system.

And then there are…the others.  People who don’t know you from a hole in the wall yet they judge you anyway.  People who hate solely based on one’s race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference.  They don’t, they can’t and/or they won’t understand another person’s differences and so the only way they know is to spew hateful vicious words or even worse, physically harm someone because of these differences.

For those of you that might fall into the “other” category, I don’t know who you are but I hope you will continue to read this to the end just to see what other people are thinking.

Here is where we come to the heart of this post.

Of course, I can only speak for myself when it comes to this.  I’m not sure if my opinions on the matter are formed from being a woman, a mother or from being involved in a violent marriage for the better part of my life – a part of my life that had to be hidden away.  A part of me that I kept secret from everyone I knew, for as long as possible – until it was just too much for me to hold in anymore.

As is the same for Caitlyn Jenner.

I waited for the Diane Sawyer interview to see if the gossip was true.  Prior to that I thought, could this be true?  Yes, we all saw the tabloids and pictures plastered all over the internet of his ever changing appearance.  Still, I thought, it had to be a stunt.  I thought for sure Bruce Jenner was pulling a Joaquin Phoenix and leading the paparazzi on so that he could have the last laugh.  After all, prior to the Kardashians, for all of us “older folk” we knew him in his heyday.  His greatest accomplishment was winning the Decathlon in the 1976 Olympics.  This was who he was.  Infamy that carried him through four decades without ever losing the respect and admiration of anyone who recognized him or knew his name.  I thought, Bruce Jenner holds this title with such esteem, no way he’d disappoint his adoring fans with such news of becoming a woman.  Can’t be.

And then he spoke.

My heart broke.  I didn’t equate it initially to my story.  I don’t know anyone else in my own personal life who is transgender.  I was just an empathetic human being listening to this story.  I could only imagine how hard his life must have been coping with what he was feeling inside and how hard it had to be to hide this secret from family, friends and the public.  By the end of the interview with Diane Sawyer my heart felt such a relief for Bruce Jenner because I know exactly how he felt getting such a huge secret off of his chest and letting go of that burden.  I was just a human being…sitting there being proud of someone that was able to use their voice and tell their story.

Now, I know people have a serious hate for the Kardashians.  The way they rose to fame and the fact that they have a insane legion of followers who have kept the entire family in the public eye since the beginning.  I personally love the show.  Why?  I happen to be a fan of Reality TV.  Not all of it but a decent amount and a wide variety.  When I started watching this show, I didn’t really know much about any of them.  But I knew Bruce Jenner.  When you watch Reality TV, you feel like you know these people.  And to me, fame and fortune aside, the shenanigans that go on can be part of almost any family, which is why I think they have remained relevant for so long.  No matter how much money is in anyone’s bank account, we all have ups and downs.  Watching someone else’s family issues can help you to see everyone deals with the same crap.

Unfortunately, being part of this show heaped a load of negativity onto Bruce Jenner, so that when he told his story, the others, figured this was more about publicity and ratings than anything else – aside from now hating him solely for coming out as transgender.

In addition to the interview with Dianne Sawyer, there was a two part special that aired as part of KUWTK called…About Bruce.  That too, was thought to be only about the ratings for the Kardashians.  However, if you took the time to watch it, it was not at all.  It was all about Bruce (and filmed before the DS interview) discussing with his children how he felt his entire life, making sure they understood what he was doing and why he was doing it.  Most of them didn’t know this was a transgender issue.  They thought he just had a fetish for wearing women’s clothes.  It was sad to watch the kids try to grasp the reality that their dad in the physical male sense that they’ve known their entire lives would cease to exist.  They were all pretty much in mourning.  At the same time, hearing him go further into how this secret was eating away at him and how he would be so upset with himself if he died before getting to live the life that was inside of him – in his heart, in his mind or in his soul, wherever those feelings may come from.

Then the light went on.  I realized why I could not only imagine what he must have been going through his whole life but now I understood where he was coming from.  I got it.  Not the transgender part of it.  The need to let go of the secrets.  To stop hiding the truth.  To stop pretending everything is alright on the outside when there is a war going on inside of you.  The need to tell your story and speak your truth in order for you to be happy and thrive far outweighs what others might think, do or say.

That’s my story.

It’s everyone’s story who is holding in a secret.  Who is afraid or ashamed to speak the truth.  I don’t know how any of the other Domestic Violence victims/survivors who have come forward and shared their stories feel about this topic.  I can only speak for what I see, hear and feel.

I do not think Caitlyn Jenner is the greatest American hero of our time.  But she is for the transgender community.  She is a voice for those that can’t yet speak.  She has this platform because she was already famous.  She didn’t become famous because she told the world she is transgender.  With fame there is a certain level of responsibility and there is also a huge burden.  Your privacy is gone.  This is why the Caitlin Jenner story is on the news, and in magazines and on award shows.  You have to live out loud.

You will never read about my story of Domestic Violence in People Magazine but you will read about and see pictures of Rhianna’s bruises because she is famous.  She is in the public eye.  These are the people we need to step forward and tell their story.  We need to know we are not alone in this battle.  The Ray Rice incident brought some other famous woman out of the shadows and they too told of their history with Domestic Violence.  This is the way we as human beings know we are not in this thing alone.  You don’t have to understand why I made the decisions I made in my life but you shouldn’t hate me for them.  You shouldn’t judge me for them.  I found my voice.  I’m using it to the best of my ability.

There are so many other human beings stepping forward telling their stories.  Finding their strength and their courage to come forward and inspire someone else dealing with the same issues to do the same.  We are all different but we are also all human.  For those of us that are not in the same battle as another human being, the answer is simple…

Compassion and understanding.

Rewind, Rethink, Recreate

When did my Battered Wife blog become infused with poetry?  Well, it was just about a little over a year ago.  Who is responsible?  We can blame (or thank) RonovanWrites for that. 🙂

This is Week #52 for the Haiku Challenge Master, Ronovan.  However, I found his blog on Week #8.  Since it was still a relatively new challenge, I decided to back track and enter in a haiku for each week I had missed.  Therefore, Week #60 will actually be my official … Year in Haiku.

RonovanRewind: This week, Ronovan decided to do a flashback and reuse the prompts from Week #1.  I wrote my Haiku for this week and then looked back at what I wrote a year ago.

#52 – Prompts: Silent & Loud
Silent excitement, building anticipation.
Building anticipation, time to live out loud.

#1 – Prompts: Silent & Loud
Hiding with a smile, her painfully silent tears.
Her painfully silent tears, so loud, no one hears.

To me, the saying is true…what a difference a year makes!  What do you think?