Tag Archive | battered women

Winning Hand

For a while now, I’ve been participating in poetry prompt challenges here and on Twitter.  One of my steady favorites is issued every Monday morning by RonovanWrites.  I came in at week #8 and have been back for more ever since.

For those of you that don’t know the intricacies of Haiku:

  • You have three lines of poetry.
  • 17 total syllables usually in the 5/7/5 pattern.
  • Haiku can be broken into two sentences with the middle line of the three lines being the commonly used part, meaning 1&2 and 2&3 making sentences.
  • There are normally two opposite meanings in the first and last sentences.

Here is my submission for this week’s RonovanWrites Haiku Prompt Challenge #30:

Winning Hand
Prompts: Force & Free

Force will not reveal,
Winning hand held tight chested,
Nothing trumps freedom.

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You can read more of my Haiku challenge entries here.

Check out some of my picture poetry on Pinterest.

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Super Bowl vs. Domestic Violence

Yes, I’m a football fan.  Not a FANATIC but I do enjoy the sport.  Watching it…and in my youth…playing it.  I was a cheerleader in high school but at that time I wasn’t in it for the sport.  Years later, my ex-boyfriend taught me about the game.  The real details, and because he loved it I paid attention and learned.  I may not watch every game or even an entire game but I can sit and not be bored by it.

After I was married, well into the whole abuse issue, I remember once hearing a statistic that Super Bowl Sunday was the most dangerous day of the year for women in abusive relationships.  I thought to myself, thank God my husband doesn’t like football – not only football, pretty much no sports at all.  Whew!  Right?  Not really.  According to more recent data it seems these reports were not accurate and the information was taken out of context.

Read more here:  Does Domestic Violence Really Increase on Super Bowl Sunday?

The original reports sounded legit.  You have an abusive partner who is watching the game so intently that the sight of you sends them into a frenzy.  I picture it as: walking in front of the television screen, asking questions about the game, maybe not bringing him a cold beer fast enough.  Sure, why not?  It makes perfect sense.  But apparently, it isn’t so.  There have even been stats to say that Sunday in general is a high volume day for reports of Domestic Abuse.

I’m not sure why all the double talk.  With as many reports of DV incidents that take place, there are slews of cases that never get reported.  How hard is it to document the real information?  Personally, it makes sense that Super Bowl Sunday would be a day of high call volume.  Just because – out of sight, out of mind.  If your abuser is watching the game, the reality of them wanting you within eyeshot is pretty low.   So, why not take this opportunity of making that secret phone call?  Packing a bag and sneaking out the back door to go to a shelter?  This may be the only opportunity some people have.

Do I think it is the most dangerous day of the year for women in abusive relationships?  No.  Not at all.  That’s because EVERY day of the year is dangerous.  The most dangerous for one person is a cake walk for another.  My husband gets seasonal depression over the holidays.  Why not take that opportunity for a murder/suicide?  Yet, for me … Super Bowl Sunday … cake walk.

There is even an article on Snopes.com disproving the theory:  Super Bull Sunday

One thing I will say to the NFL is…THANK YOU.  Finally, you have no choice but to stand up and take notice of the Domestic Violence situation.  Yes, it was only because one player got caught, which lead to a sort of domino effect.  With the amount of sports teams and players there are – they’ve barely opened a can of worms.  But for now – they are doing what they can to show some sort of support.  Even if the ones that have to approve the #NoMore PSA are abusers themselves – good. Choke on it.

And for every man and woman, abuser and victim, silent neighbor and advocate who is watching the Super Bowl today — a seed will be planted.

31 Facts in 31 Days – Day 29

Before this month is over, I wanted to pinpoint on what to expect when entering a Women’s Shelter, for myself and for other woman who may one day find themselves on that doorstep.

The shelter I had gone to way back when (Third Time is the Charm), was in a big house that had bunk beds in each room for women and children to share. They had given me a quick rundown of what their protocol was, what would be expected of me and how they’d be helping me to get back on my feet. There was a classroom/playroom set up for the children. Upon entering, I had no idea what to expect. I was scared about leaving, scared that I took my daughter, scared he would find me and scared of starting over. It was so overwhelming. Here I was, 21-22 years old, with my 2 year old in tow – in a shelter for battered women. I was so embarrassed. Horrified. So much so, I was not even there for 24 hours.

The information listed below only pertains to this particular shelter.  I assume they’re all similar in nature but I can’t say for sure.  If anyone reading this has spent time at a women’s shelter, please share your experiences below.  Good and bad.  If you’ve already written about it on your blog, feel free to provide a link.  Any information that can be added to this would be great.

What to expect when entering [our] shelter:

Entering into a shelter can be a scary and confusing time in a survivor’s life; it may even be dangerous. Knowing why the shelter is there and what to expect may help reduce the anxiety a victim feels.

While a shelter serves functionally as a temporary, safe place to stay for a victim to work on regaining independence, it also is a place to connect with other survivors of abuse and advocates who can assist in the journey to independence.

There is always an intake meeting for the victim to fill out necessary paperwork and become familiar with the new surroundings. Afterward, the new shelter resident is shown the room which is assigned to her for the duration of the program. There are responsibilities, since shelter is communal living (such as tidying up after oneself and one’s children, observing a nightly curfew, etc.) which will be explained to the victim at this time.

A shelter resident can expect to share these responsibilities with all residents, since everyone lives and works so closely together. The important thing to remember when preparing to enter into shelter is that the shelter is designed for safety and to provide resources and support to enable the victims to become self-sufficient and empowered.

What to take with you when you leave

  • Driver’s License
  • Birth Certificates
  • Social Security Cards
  • Insurance Cards
  • Clinic Cards
  • Money/Credit Cards
  • Bank Card
  • Bank Book
  • Savings Book
  • Checkbook
  • Your Protective Order (carry this with you at all times)
  • Lease Agreement or Deed to House
  • Car Registration
  • Insurance Papers
  • Health/Life Insurance Papers
  • Medical Records
  • School Records
  • Work Permits/Green Card/Visa
  • Passport
  • Divorce Papers
  • House/Car Keys
  • Medications
  • Address Book

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Fact Source: Metropolitan Center for Women & Children

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To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.

31 Facts in 31 Days – Day 3

Domestic Violence.

It has affected me.

The symptoms are not something I notice on a daily basis.  I’m quite sure there are more that I don’t even recognize.  Before entering this online sisterhood and learning more about what this life does to us, I really had no idea what I was experiencing was a direct result from continual verbal, physical and psychological abuse.  I just thought it was from years of pent up hate and hostility, and the enormous restraint in holding back from pushing him into oncoming traffic.

For the most past, I am aware that I have some symptoms due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I would’ve never have related PTSD to abuse.  To me that is reserved for soldiers who have been in battle.  Who have had to murder to protect their county and who have witnessed their friends be murdered right beside them.  I can’t imagine what they must go through when at war but I never thought it could be comparable to what I was going through in my own home.  It still doesn’t correlate all the time.  However, I’ve come to understand that I am fighting in my own war.

FACT:  Depression and anxiety can make it very difficult to go out and socialize with friends or maintain a job, worsening the situation and perpetuating the domestic violence cycle. Often a victim will find it very difficult to talk about what he or she has suffered, and as a result becomes alienated from friends and family. If they have suffered from severe, long-term abuse they are also more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

This means they will suffer from constant, chronic anxiety, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, flashbacks, unwanted memories and an exaggerated startle response.

The effects are truly endless. This is why it is important that victims of domestic abuse find a supportive network of other victims to engage with. Feeling that you are not alone can make a huge difference to your self-esteem and your ability to cope with what you have gone through. It’s also important that victims find a good counselor or therapist with whom to work through their problems.

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Well, I was actually only going to mention the one symptom of PTSD that is a huge problem for me.  Exaggerated Startle Response.  Basically, it’s when you normally jump when someone pops up and tries to scare you.  Except for me, it is a bazillion times intensified and it happens even when I know the person is in the same room with me or even next to me.  I may see them move from the corner of my eye and I’ll jump.  Or if someone is on my left and all of a sudden they’re on my right I will scream and/or jump.  There is usually profanity involved – but I’m pretty sure that’s a personality trait.  My kids think it’s hilarious and make fun of me about how I’m scared of my own shadow.  They don’t realize what it stems from and that’s fine by me.

See if you have any symptoms of the Effects of Domestic Violence

With posting tonight’s fact, I am now realizing that I may have some depression and/or anxiety going on as well.  I think I have most, if not all, of the symptoms listed in that paragraph.  It’s so strange to me because I really feel like I am on top of it all.  In no way do I feel disabled from my situation but it’s becoming clear that I may not have everything under control.  Most everyone I’ve come in contact with since blogging has said they’ve gone to or are in therapy and it’s been helpful, etc.  I think it is awesome that so many people recognize they needed the help and have gotten it.  To be honest, every time someone said I would need to get help once I got out, I politely agreed but really thought to myself…nah, I’m good.  Not that I have anything against therapy.  Some of my best friends are – – Psychologists.  Really.  Well, okay…just one.  I do admit when I’m wrong [rarely] and I’m getting closer to agreeing that yes, I think some form of therapy is definitely in my future.

This is something I came across over the summer and even though I do feel strong and capable most days, these feelings are always just under the surface.

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Fact Source: Domestic Violence UK

Fact Source: Joyful Heart Foundation

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To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.

31 Facts in 31 Days – Day 2

Today was a very draining day for me and I am physically and emotionally exhausted. I feel like I’ve been crying for weeks but it was more like 10-15 minutes. Part of the reason I have been able to stay somewhat sane over these past 25 years is more likely due to control. Not someone controlling me but my control in keeping this “situation” contained. You’d think that holding that burden for so long would break me down more than keep me steady. I guess I won’t know how my control has helped or hurt until I’m out and can get some true therapy.

As for today, well, I basically had what I would consider to be an “episode”. I was talking to my mother briefly about general aggravating behavior of all the people that live under this roof with me. Regular everyday venting. And then – the meltdown. All of a sudden, tears are flying out of my eyes and my voice hits a pitch I’m not really sure what animal can hear, and I start giving her some detail about the crap I have to deal with. Nothing pertaining to abuse, just the normal build up of nonsense that goes on in a marriage. At the end of the conversation, I felt (somewhat) better and I’m guessing she felt way worse. When I hung up, I was left wondering…wait until I tell her I’ve been writing this blog – and wait until she reads it. Ay caramba! I’m not ready for that day! Talk about a meltdown!

My mother doesn’t know everything. She knows he hit me one time in the early stages of my marriage, which lead to me ultimately leaving and going to a women’s shelter for barely a night, but due to the way things turned out, I never really discussed those types of occurrences again. I mean overall, she and my sister know that I’m not happy. They know I’m planning on leaving but we’ve never delved into the reality of my life. Our conversations consist of typical venting everyone does about their significant other and then we move on to the next topic.

The difference in today’s conversation was interesting. In the midst of me spewing my undeniable loathing and saying how I needed to wait until my son graduated from high school to leave, she said “And with him {the husband} you’d have to move very far away.” So somewhere inside she knows he’s not all there. I was telling a friend of mine about the conversation and he said, “You don’t have to tell them who he is. They know instinctively—even if they try to look away. They’re probably in denial. That man scared ALL OF YOU.

My friend is right. Ultimately, I think that is the answer as to why my parents may not have stepped in. His reputation was well known. For me, personally, keeping your enemies close may have been what has kept me alive all these years. I have no doubt whatsoever that if I had left while in the eye of the storm, things would have ended a long time ago and way differently than they are going to end now.

Moving right along…

The information I would like people to be aware of are the signs of abuse. Not every case is textbook. There are a lot of these signs that are not even close to what I was put through but there are a few that pinpoint things to the letter. It definitely can vary, the approach these predators use, so it’s important to know the facts.

Signs of Abuse

If a person displays three or more of the following behaviors, there is a strong potential for emotional, physical or sexual abuse. The more of these behaviors they display, the more likely that person is to perpetrate abuse.

Jealousy – questions the victim about her conversations, accusations of flirting, jealous of time spent with family, friends or children, repeatedly checking on her whereabouts or asking friends to watch her.

Controlling Behavior – questioning where she went or who she talked to, controlling decisions regarding the house, clothing, or finances, restricting her ability to leave the house, excessive texting, calling or emailing.

Quick Relationship Involvement – comes on like a whirlwind, says “you’re the only person I can talk to” or “I’ve never loved anyone this much,” pressures the woman to commit.

Unrealistic Expectations – very dependent on the woman for all his needs, expects a perfect wife, mother, lover and friend, expects her to take care of everything involving their home and his emotions.

Isolation – attempts to cut the woman off from all her resources, accuses her supporters of “causing trouble,” restricts access to a car, or keeps her from working or going to school.

Blames Others for His Problems – chronically unemployed, someone is always “doing him wrong” or “out to get him,” blames the woman for his mistakes or anything that goes wrong.

Blames Others for His Feelings – uses his feelings to manipulate the woman – “you made me mad,” “you made me hit you,” “I can’t help being angry with you.”

Hypersensitivity – easily insulted, claims his feelings are hurt when he is really mad, takes slight set backs as a personal attack, rants and raves about the injustice of what has happened to him.

Cruelty to Animals or Children – punishes animals brutally or is insensitive to their pain or suffering, expects children to do things beyond their abilities, teases children until they cry, isolates children from the rest of the family.

Playful Use of Force in Sex – holds the woman down during sex, acts out fantasies where the woman is helpless, the idea of rape excites him, manipulates the woman into compliance, demands sex when she is ill or tired, unusual interest in or addiction to pornography.

Verbal Abuse – cruel or hurtful remarks, degrades the woman, diminishes accomplishments, name-calling, wakes her up to continue verbal abuse.

Rigid Sex Roles – expects a woman to serve him, insists she stay in the home at all times, he is the boss and she must obey him in all things, sees women as inferior to men.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – sudden changes in mood, nice one minute – then explodes the next. Nice outside of the home, convincing others he is charming and the perfect mate, but angry, defensive and critical behind closed doors. Friends often have a difficult time believing the same person could have such opposing behaviors.

Past Battering – has hit women in the past, but they “made him do it,” has a history of fighting or violence outside the family, record of trouble with the police.

Threats of Violence – any threats of physical force used to control the woman.

Breaking or Hitting Objects – used as punishment (breaking her possessions) or to terrorize the woman into submission.

Any Force During an Argument – holding a woman down, physically restraining her from leaving, pushing or shoving as a means of control.

If any of you reading this are experiencing any of the above situations, please DO NOT disregard what I am telling you. It is only the beginning. Be very careful and … get out before it is too late. xo

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Fact Source: Genesis Woman’s Shelter & Support

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To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.

31 Facts in 31 Days – Day 1

Today is October 1st.

For most everyone, it’s the real start of autumn and the holiday season.  Some people start to decorate for Halloween, go apple picking, or just revel in the fact that the colors of the leaves will start to change soon.  Those in the cooler climates start to discuss the impending doom that is winter, and those in the warmer climate fear the possible need for a sweater rather than a tank and shorts.  And somewhere, on an island, maybe Aruba, there is not a single person giving a second thought to the weather or the season change.  Mostly because it’s gorgeous 365 days a year.

However, for some of us, October brings to mind something completely different. It’s something I only learned about one year ago – and it’s likely something the average person doesn’t know about.  Aside from the weather change and colors of the season, October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  I’d like to say every “victim” of domestic violence knows about this (even those living in Aruba) but I can’t.  I’ve been “in the life” for 25 years and I only heard about this last year.  Maybe it’s something new that’s going on.  You know, a fashionable trend.  People want to have a cause to advocate for.

It’s not new.

FACT:  In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed.  That same year the first national toll-free hotline was begun.  In 1989 the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress.  Such legislation has passed every year since with NCADV providing key leadership in this effort.

Presidential Proclamation — National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2014 | The White House

Here is a tidbit of information as per the Presidential Proclamation:

“Last month, our Nation marked the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  Before this historic law, domestic violence was seen by many as a lesser offense, and women in danger often had nowhere to go.”

I don’t know if you are surprised by any of this information.  I don’t know if it’s something you glossed over until reaching this paragraph and didn’t really absorb it.  I don’t know if you even give a … one iota about it.  What I do know, is that I was first struck by domestic violence in 1988.  One year after the first DVAM was observed.  One year after the first toll-free hotline began.  One year prior to Congress passing legislation to commemorate October as DVAM.  Five years into this life of abuse, the Violence Against Women Act went into effect.

Hello??  Two Thousand and Thirteen.  That’s when I learned about all of this.  Not in 1987, 1988, 1989 or even in 1994!!  Maybe this was all a big secret.  Maybe none of it works.  Maybe it’s just a bunch of mumbo jumbo the government has hidden in a file cabinet until they are asked about it and then they – oh so proudly – whip it out to show everyone.

Truth be told.  The probability that I just found out about it last year is likely due to the fact that I finally stepped up onto a [borrowed] SOAP BOX and said, without any intentional volume… “I’m not telling you my name and I’m in an abusive marriage.”  Then, lo and behold, and rather unexpectedly, people came out of the woodwork and said… “I don’t care about your name and holy crap…me too!

And here I am a year later, totally excited for October to begin so I can talk all about it.  Of course, not to anyone I actually know in real life – but you get what I’m saying.

So.. I fully anticipate attempting to post everyday this month, however, it’s highly unlikely.  I just figured I’d put that out there right now, so as not to disappoint the masses.  <– Sarcastic Humor (My Super Power).  Man, I wish you guys knew me for realz.  One day.

Last but not least…

In addition to spewing a few facts this month, I want to also share some of the things that people have done to bring attention to this epidemic – whether it be a video, a picture or a quote.   I knew immediately what I was going to post for Day 1.  It’s a video.  It’s pretty close to accurate – in my opinion – minus the sales attempt by Google – although if you watch to the very end – they were good enough to tie together their hybrid Ad/PSA and make a point.

I’ve only watched this video 3 times.  Tonight being the 3rd.  I probably won’t watch it again.  I have a pretty high tolerance for most things but my body had an immediate reaction. It’s not even that anything is visible – after all it is an ad – but the intimate knowledge of what is supposedly happening affected me.

Disclaimer: This video clip is 2:37 in length and the amount of time it alludes to “domestic abuse” is all of 30 seconds with most of it not visible.  So if you’ve ever been physically beaten this could have a triggering effect.

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Fact Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Proclamation Source: The White House

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To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.

What A Difference A Year Makes

This particular post has been a long time in the making.  Today marks one year since I sat down at the computer and decided…what the hell.  At the time I figured, who’s going to read this anyway?  No one wants to know about someone who is in an abusive marriage.  I’ll write a few posts and then forget all about it.  How do you even blog?

That pretty much sums up everything I was thinking at the time – and as I started to write my very first post…the beginning of my story…that would eventually lead down the road of becoming a battered wife…I thought…please do not let anyone see this.  I don’t really want anyone to know.  I don’t want to be questioned about this.  Just let me write this and get it off my chest and that’ll be that.

Instead, so much more happened.  Yeah, people read – and yeah, they commented.  They asked – I answered.  We talked – I learned.  More importantly – people shared.  Women AND men….shared their personal stories of abuse.  With me.  On the blog and behind the scenes.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt so embraced as I did the first time someone said…“You’re telling my story.”…“He sounds like my ex.”…“I’ve been where you are.”

It was then that I realized….I’m not alone.

Of course, we all know someone in a “rough” marriage.  Whether they’re vocal about it or we just assume.  It’s not necessarily physical abuse.  It can be verbal, psychological, financial…there are so many subcategories that people are completely unaware of.  I’m not going to use this post to start spewing facts and figures – just one.

1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

ONE in FOUR.

We know the math.

That means when you see a group women – count – 1, 2, 3, 4.  Stop.

One of them HAS been, WILL be or IS now getting beat.

Plain and simple.

Before I decided to blog, I had no idea.  I never even thought about it.  My father hit my mother but it was barely anything.  Growing up, one of my neighbors hit their wife.  I remember seeing her, a beautiful woman, with a black eye.  The mother of one of my childhood friends got beat, all the kids too.  That was the one family every one knew that stuff was going down when the door closed.  I was only a kid but I doubt anyone ever said anything to her, or to my mother or my neighbor.  None of these ladies left….well, actually, they all did but that was decades later.  Back then, families stayed together.  People minded their business.  And “What goes on in our home, stays in our home.”  That was the code.

I’m not exactly sure what the worst part of all of this was.  That is seemed to be a normal occurrence or that no one ever said anything about it.  It just was what it was.  Normal.

Fast forward to me at 18.  We know that story but back then NO ONE KNEW.  No matter how loud he was or how many people passing by heard…that was my secret.  A few years later, a good friend of mine tells me her husband hit her.  She has a similar personality to me so I’m like…yeah AND?  Did you call the cops?  Did you leave?  Sometimes – not every time – but sometimes the answers out of her mouth were YES.  She called the cops, she packed up and left, took her son, went to her mother’s, got a court order – and then – went back!  The next time we went through the cycle again.  One day, she threw an ashtray at him.  Called the cops…again.  The cops came and told her if they were going to arrest him then they’d have to arrest her.  She…like me…is nuts.  And she is screaming…arrest me then! If you don’t I’m gonna hit him with something bigger and then you’re really gonna have to come get me.  The cops got back in the car and left.  And…they stayed together.  For many more years.  Her husband had a cycle.  He’d get depressed around Halloween and this nonsense ensued and continued through January.  Then they’d make up for their anniversary – ironically – on Valentine’s Day.  They did love each other though.  I think so, deep down.  But she too…finally left for good.

The common thread with all of the above – myself included – there is always an excuse.  A reason it happened and a reason why we stayed.

Speaking of which, for those of you who don’t know – last week Twitter pretty much was taken over by the hashtag… #WhyIStayed.  This was in direct response to the Baltimore Ravens Running Back “Ray Rice Incident”.  Author, Beverly Gooden, is the women who started this movement, solely because seeing the Ray Rice Video triggered her own experience with domestic violence and she felt the need to speak up.  I have some definite opinions about this incident but that’s not was this post is about.

Over this past year, things have changed.  It has nothing to do with my leaving.  That is still and always has been my main and ultimate goal that has not and never will waver.  What’s changed is my resolve.  It’s not enough for me anymore to just get out.  For several months now I’ve been thinking about my role in all of this once I do go.  I’m not a shy, stand in the corner kind of gal and by nature I’ve got a big mouth and always have something to say.  The phrase – things happen for a reason – has always resonated with me.  Maybe because no matter what goes on, good or bad, the only thing you can say to truly make sense of it all is just that.

When I started this blog, it was right off the heels of a trip my Ex and I took (The Flip Side) to visit our friend R.  And it was the first time since I was 16 that we were able to be…us.  The pair.  Calm, comfortable, caring and most importantly being out in public without worry.  That was so overwhelming for me.  Within a week of being home there was something within telling me the only way to truly move forward was to let go of everything I had been holding in.  I needed to purge.  To say the things I had never said.  And so at the time, the trip, the people I was surrounded by, even the state I was visiting, was without a doubt the catalyst to me starting this blog.  And with every person I came in contact with (virtually), it was easy to see that – everything happens for a reason.

Case in point… #WhyIStayed.  As I joined in with the rest of the twitterverse and gave a few of my reasons…I came upon so many other women and young girls who were me.  A few of them posted that they stayed because of the shame they felt about being a victim.  All I could do was post a reply to tell them I knew how they felt and that the shame was not theirs.  Something I only recently learned myself, but because they were so much younger maybe I could help them make that realization that much sooner.  So I shared with them my post Shame On You in the hopes it could possibly do something for them.

Instead, two young ladies did something for me…

In speaking shortly with Mandy, 3 years out of her abusive relationship and suffering with symptoms of PTSD, she says to me:  “Thank you for sharing your story…others like you help inspire me to stay strong.”

In another conversation, Brittanie, who was trying to find the strength to finally tell her father about the abusive relationship she just got out of, says: “You’re giving me support and helping me…to stay strong.”

Does being in an abusive relationship automatically make you more compassionate to others who have been in the same place?  How on earth can these girls be thanking me and saying I am helping them?  That can’t be possible.  Their words truly touched me.  Not any more or any less than others who have posted similar comments on my blog.  It was only different because I could see their beautiful faces on twitter.  I could see their youthfulness and it made me feel overwhelmed that these young girls may have been involved in these abusive relationships, but – they got out.  They. Got. Out.

There were multitudes of #WhyIStayed posts and two that just jumped out at me was one from Kat who said “Because after being stuck in an abusive relationship for a while I started to believe I deserved all of it.”   I thought, my God…I was so there.  In the very beginning, with the abuse at its very worse, I thought for sure I deserved it.

However, the one that really caught me was from a girl names Katie.  Very simply put “Because every time was the last time.”  This is it. Whether this is what they’re telling us after they hit us or if it’s what we’re telling ourselves – we’ve all believed this at one point or another.

By the end of the first two days of a tweeting and retweeting frenzy, it was quite clear that again – everything happens for a reason.  It’s taking so much strength to not blurt my story out to pretty much everyone (which would be fine and dandy it I was already out) but I need to keep it contained to those select few that know me in the real world.  I’ll tell you though, the more of these posts I read, the more I could feel this anonymous name tag rattling within my rib cage.  It’s so hard for me not to get up and say something.  I’m not one to hold my tongue.  In fact, I’m usually the first one to speak my mind.  Loudly.  I’ll wait my turn though.  I’m so looking forward to being on the other side.  Domestic violence is going to regret meeting me.

Thanks to all of you that have read, commented, offered counseling and a good laugh.

I’m in my therapeutic poetry phase as of late, so I couldn’t help but throw this little ditty together …

I am a daughter, a sister, a mother and a wife.
I am trying to stay sane while getting through life.
I am the scales of justice and the year of the dog.
I am so much more beyond my story and blog.

( I hope all of this made sense. I’m in desperate need of sleep.)

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To read from the beginning… my story starts here.