Tag Archive | future

Off The Cuff

fullsizerender

As much as I knew I would be here…today, the thoughts of what I want to say and need to say are jumping around like the bubbles in last night’s champagne.  So, in keeping it simple, I’ll just say…Happy New Year!  It’s the long awaited and eagerly anticipated 2017.

I haven’t been here in so long, not for any horrifying or unsettling reasons.  More so for a necessary mental respite from spewing the facts of my life.  As much as it was good for my soul and my growth, it also felt like it became an overwhelming (self inflicted) responsibility.  One I was semi prepared for yet not close to ready to take on.

Aside from the basics of my story, those specific details which have been dormant for a long time, there were a slew of other things – detached from the topic – that were going on simultaneously.  I needed to concentrate on those things without feeling guilty for not being present, with you.

Now that everything else I was dealing with is under control, I feel like I can come back and start teething again on this blog.  For those here that I got to know well, rest assured I’m safe.  It’s only day one of 2017, but I’m looking at it’s entirety in the palm of my hand and I’m bursting with excitement.

Health & Happiness to all of you this year and always.

XOXO

Suppressing Fear

A while back, I attempted meditation.  I only did it a couple of times but it was an enjoyable experience and it seemed like something that would be helpful if I could continue it regularly.  Of course, I didn’t continue. No specific reason as to why. Just stopped. You know how it goes, too busy with work, family, blogging…etc.  Plus, it’s hard to get a quiet time to really focus.  I have a small window before my day gets going and phones start ringing and if I forget then there’s no time to squeeze it in.  Also, there are things that I do for me and my own peace of mind (such as writing) that I’m not into the rest of the household knowing – therefore, less comments from the peanut gallery – and meditation is on that list.

So, out of the blue, I decided on Monday to start again.  I’m working on “realigning my chakras” and I have to say, I’m enjoying it.  Monday happened to be a noisy morning so I put in ear plugs, which really helped me focus, and so I have been using them every day.  For me, it’s a smart move because I can tune right into my breathing and clearing my mind.

This week I’ve been working on my Red Chakra which represents my base aka my foundation. The meditative exercises I’ve been employing deal with understanding the source of my life energy.  Not only from my current state but what has been passed down to me through the generations.  I’ve been focusing on Renewal; change and new beginnings.  This is part of the book I’m reading, sort of a Chakra guideline.  To my surprise and yet not a shock, apropos my life, part of the meditation was to feel fear, sadness and let my mind journey to that place I want to inevitably be.

Pleasantly, my consciousness has quickly adapted to letting my thoughts and visuals go where I need to in order to conjure these very real feelings.  It’s only Thursday, and I’m already feeling a clarity about certain things, so I’m interested to see where this goes.  Here’s the thing.  This week brought up a feeling I always knew existed but I’ve been so determined to suppress it that when it showed up in my meditation it was very emotional.  Very emotional.

Fear.

I just can’t shake it.  It’s this shadow that is living inside of me and no matter how hard I push it down it still pops up.  Strangely, the fear is not in being here or in the actual act of leaving.  I’m very aware of the process I’ve outlined and what needs to be taken care of in order to accomplish this.  I’m confident in my ability to get out.  However, every action has a reaction.  The fear is in the unknown response of what leaving will snowball into.

At this point in “our” lives, I know on some level he knows I’m leaving or at least suspects it but doubts I’d actually do it.  He still plans for a future of growing old together – as if.  But I know, as with any change, there are going to be stages he goes through.  Of course, we’re both going to go through stages but they’ll be vastly different.  I already know how he reacts when he’s angry so I anticipate promises, threats, and destruction.  I think it’s the hunting down part that keeps me in a certain head space.  I mean, he’s turning 50 – does he really still have the chase in him?  I tell him continually that I don’t love him and that I’m not happy, and in giving the benefit of the doubt, I feel like that will click (at some point) and he’ll accept the fact that I’m not coming back.

It’s not even fear about what he’ll do to me.  That’s pretty much the least of it.  It’s more of the lengths will he go to in order for me to come back.  Who will he harass?  What will he do?  Where will he show up?  When will he give up?  And of course there is – why.  I know he’s going to play this pathetic…Why did I leave?  Why didn’t I give him another chance?  Why didn’t I let go of the past?  And whatever else his brain can muster to dump all of this on me, as if it’s my fault.  I guess the fear is that he will actually come through on one or more of his threats made over the span of this marriage.

Fear of the unknown is horrifically cruel.  It plays every single scenario over and over, each time making the outcome worse and worse.  This gut wrenching fear is paralyzing.  I was talking to a friend of mine about all of this yesterday, and they said that [since I’m aware] I can start to detach from the fear and start really confronting it.  That I’m, moving away from it but it’s a process and I have to move through the process, which has already begun.  My friend said, the control needs to shift to me now. The battle is in my heart.  The battle is with the fear. That I’m already bigger than that fear at the deepest level and ready to take it on. Now it just has to reach the surface.  “When you decide it’s time to go, you’ll be ready for whatever he brings your way.”

I know that’s all true. It makes sense. I guess it’s just that after all these years, now that the end is so close, all the suppressed trepidation is bubbling up. Maybe that’s the point of starting back on this road of meditation.  Maybe it was a subconscious decision that is meant to lead me down the path of self realization and enlightenment in order to finish this part of my life.  I guess I’ll learn more as I continue on this journey – through darkness, dawn and light.

Realistic Dreams

Under the dark moon, by the light of a faint lantern,
I am captivated by your adoring chestnut eyes,
as they are entranced in the cerulean depth of my own.

Unbridled passion increases into an animalistic frenzy
with instinctual urgency to fulfill each other’s needs.
All the while verbal communication is unnecessary.

Yet another night I’ve awakened from my dreams
as a thousand yesterdays replay within my psyche.
Each one continually leading us in the same direction.

Indeed, if our eyes are the doorway to the soul,
we can slumber peacefully knowing our yesterdays
will turn into our tomorrow sooner than we think.

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See this poem on Pinterest.

This #ComboPrompt is a compilation of the following prompts:

Issued by #ashverse – “dark moon” & “faint lantern”

Issued by #Magick_Words – “awaken” & “the soul”

Issued by #WrittenRiver – “a thousand yesterdays”

Domestic Violence victim regrets registering to vote after address posted on web

Something to Think About

On this Election Day, while preparing to go flex my suffrage muscles, a right that was finally institutionalized after years of protest by women who refused to take no for an answer, I came across this article. It reminded me that although the 19th Amendment grants all American women the right to vote, there are so many other rights we are not guaranteed. The right to privacy being one.

With my brain working overtime in how to stay off the grid once I leave, I’m grateful that I came across this article.  It goes to show you can never be 100% sure your information is not floating around out there, most especially in this digital era.

For Domestic Violence survivors who are already living a peaceful and serene life, and for those to follow in your footsteps, being hyper-vigilant about your safety is never off the table.

FOX31 Denver

[ooyala code=”hocnVocTqLXEqf45O87pDGQiWWmRJe38″ player_id=”47658b6fe4a043a48f5296392ce1db7f”]

DENVER — Theresa VanDerhoof has spent the past 14 years avoiding her violent ex-husband.

“He`s thrown me down the stairs, he`s punched me so hard that it`s broken ribs,” said VanDerhoof, adding, “He’d put notes on my car.  He would follow me, he`d figure out where I was.”

Even now, Vanderhoof sleeps with mace under her pillow and every few months she Googles herself, to make sure her address and phone number don’t appear online.

Her stomach sank three weeks ago when she discovered all her personal information on the website “ColoradoVoters.Info.”

“I`ve never felt that violated in all my life.  My information is out there now, my ex-husband does one search of my name, he`s going to find me,” said VandDerhoof.

The Denver area woman never guessed that registering to vote for the first time in more than a decade would make her feel…

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31 Facts in 31 Days – Day 31

Today is the last day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Thank you for seeing me through each day, with words of support, and by sharing some of these posts.  I’ve definitely learned a lot more than I expected by posting 31 Facts in 31 Days.  I hope you did too.

Empower:
• To give power or ability to.
• To enable or permit.

Power:
• Ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
• Great or marked ability to do or act; strength; might; force.

Ability:
• Power or capacity to do or act physically, mentally, legally, morally, financially, etc.
• Competence in an activity or occupation because of one’s skill, training, or other qualification.

Since the beginning, I always knew that one day I’d be leaving. I always believed I had the ability to pull it off. I always strived to survive another day to make sure I saw that – last day. Over this past year, my experience in blogging has been something of a rebirth. With releasing my secrets, I have rendered them powerless. My story of abuse doesn’t hurt me anymore. It’s no longer a burden weighing heavily on my heart, or on my soul. And because of that, there has been somewhat of a regeneration of all that I have already known, except now the reality of – leaving – is close at hand. It’s in my peripheral. And, it’s gorgeous.

Music has had a very large impact on my life, since I was very young. The sound of the melodies, the words and the voice of who is singing the song always has an affect on me. It brings out every emotion. I do appreciate all types of genres – it’s only fair. The people writing and performing music (as with blogging), do so from a part of their souls that needs to tell their story. Every song I listen to, takes me to a certain place in my mind. Whether it be memories of the past or dreams of the future – music stirs me.

One song in particular, since the very first time I heard it (2002), has had a profound effect. No matter my mood, it always gives me focus, clarity and drive. The words and the energy of the song are beyond what I can explain.

Best I can say – this – is my song of empowerment.

See lyrics below:

Fighter (2002, Album: Stripped)

After all you put me through
You’d think I’d despise you
But in the end I wanna thank you
‘Cause you made that much stronger

Well I thought I knew you
Thinking that you were true
Guess I, I couldn’t trust called your bluff
Time is up, ’cause I’ve had enough

You were there by my side
Always down for the ride
But your joy ride just came down in flames
‘Cause your greed sold me out in shame, mmm hmm

After all of the stealing and cheating
You probably think that
I hold resentment for you
But uh uh, oh no, you’re wrong

‘Cause if it wasn’t for all
That you tried to do
I wouldn’t know just how capable I am to pull through
So I wanna say thank you

‘Cause it
Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter

Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

Never saw it coming
All of your backstabbing
Just so, you could cash in on a good thing
Before I’d realized your game

I heard you’re going ’round
Playin’ the victim now
But don’t even begin feelin’ I’m the one to blame
‘Cause you dug your own grave

After all of the fights and the lies
Guess you’re wanting to harm me
But that won’t work anymore
No more, uh uh, it’s over

‘Cause if it wasn’t for all of your torture
I wouldn’t know how to be this way now
And never back down
So I wanna say thank you

‘Cause it
Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter

Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

How could this man I thought I knew
Turn out to be unjust so cruel
Could only see the good in you
Pretended not to see the truth

You tried to hide your lies
Disguise yourself through
Living in denial
But in the end you’ll see
You won’t stop me

I am a fighter
(I’m a fighter)
and I
I ain’t gonna stop
(I ain’t gonna stop)
There is no turning back
I’ve had enough

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter

Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

Thought I would forget
But I, I remember
Yes I remember
I remember

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter

Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

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Fact Source:  Dictionary.com

Fact Source:  Metro Lyrics

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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.