Tag Archive | mental abuse

Goals

goals

It has been close to 30 years since I was first struck by the man who would become my husband. After numerous brutal beatings, three children, non-stop threats of murder if I dare leave, in addition to my own prayers for my life to end so I could be free of the abuse…somehow, I survived.

The depth of my fear, fueled by my hate, gave me a pinpointed focus to raise my children and upon the last turning 18… get the hell out! Well, that time is upon me.

I’ve been counting down the days for way longer than I can remember.  Once they became a realistic number, I thought to myself… this is about to get real.  FAST!  Then before I knew it, the days went from 365 to less than half of that number, to within the same calender year and now… mere weeks.  Now, mental preparation.

There is still so much to get done before I go.  Loose ends to tie up.  People I want to explain my inevitable absence to.  And then there is my family.  I allowed my sister and mother to enter into my secret life and read my blog.  When they had a full understanding of my life thus far they seemed genuinely distressed over what I had been through.  My parents had only known about one episode early on but I did a good enough job hiding the life I endured that they had no idea it continued, most especially not for 25+ years.

Since absorbing that I most definitely do intend to go through with my exit plan, my mother and sister seem (to me) to be more concerned about what they need to do to protect themselves than they are about anything I will be going though.  The words, “how can we help” have yet to be spoken.  As these last days are closing in, these words, or lack thereof, have shaken me.  Although I do have friends that have offered their help, I can’t help but feel very much alone.  I’ve been taken back to a mental state where I need to fend for myself, and fear has kicked in.  Worst of all, every specific I had planned for this exit, I now feel unsure about.  I’m second guessing, feeling anxious and deciding whether or not I need to make changes.

On another note, I work from home.  I guess that being helpful or hurtful is up for debate but the point is, I work.  And I do so for many hours a day.  Yet, like many, many others, I live from check to check.  I have been able to put some money to the side for this event.  However, I did not start doing so until the end date was too close for comfort realizing I was broke.  So yeah, my resolution…save something…anything!  I am very much aware that is not nearly enough.  This has added panic on to every other emotion I’m feeling.

How the hell, where the hell, what the hell…am I going to do?  I do not like borrowing.  I’ve had to in the past and it’s just so uneasy for me.  I know I’m not the only one that feels that way.  Unrelated to financial issues, when asking for help – on any level – I’ve been let down more often than not.  So even being here right now, asking, begging, is surreal.  This is so uncomfortable and I apologize for even attempting to have the audacity to think anyone….everyone… doesn’t have a million other things more important to donate money to than me.

I am not even close to a special case.  There are so many of us.  Abuse victims.  And although I haven’t felt like a “victim” for a long time – due to my abuser’s very painful rheumatoid arthritis (lucky me) – Now, I am just a victim of my own poor financial planning.  I don’t even know where to start in asking people to donate, or what an appropriate amount is to ask for.  All I can think of is that if I can afford to pay rent for at least six months, then maybe I can be less stressed about the initial “hiding” period.  My son will be with me and I am not going to be ready for either one of us to be out and about, at least not for the first month or so.  I need to make sure we are completely safe.

This is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever pulled off.  If there is just one aspect of it that I don’t have to worry over, I would be beyond appreciative.  Once I am fully free, paying it forward will be in using my voice and being as loud as possible for those of us that are still in hiding.  It has been 30 years since I was abused by someone who claimed to love me, and it is clear that this epidemic is far from over.  It’s not even close to ending with me; there are so many others out there.  Every anonymous account needs a voice.  A new fight I look forward to getting into head on.

For those of you who find it in your heart to donate anything to me… I thank you in advance and will be forever grateful.  If you are unable to donate, please share this on your social media.  XOXO

Click here to read my full story.

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Meanwhile…

…back at the ranch.

This seems like as good a time as any to update y’all on what’s been going on.  Before you get too excited, my address hasn’t changed.  Rest assured, when that day arrives the accompanying blog post title will be straight to the point with something like…I’ve Moved or My New Address Is or more appropriately…It’s Finally Over! Nevertheless, there are a few things that have been happening in between all of the poetry sessions and lack of [this is my life] blogging.

So. In the proper order, last month, my blog turned 2 years old. What?  How have I been blogging for two years?  How have I been talking about this Godforsaken subject for two years?  And how the hell have I still been here for two years?  I know.  Except what I see is… oh man, those two years FLEW by and I can smell the finish line!  I know it’s hard to really fathom how and why I’m still here but I’ve discussed that already.  And in all honesty, the violence is no longer there and there are minimal to no verbal outbursts at this point in time. So it’s really like sitting in a waiting room watching the clock with the stereotypical grumpy elderly folk we see on television who complain about everything.  In fact, funnily enough, while I’m doing the necessary legwork for my exit, he seems to be in a nesting phase for the future of “growing old together”.  It’s really pathetically entertaining because I already know how the show ends.

Something else new and exciting (NOT) that has happened is that I turned 45 this month.  I know, how joyous.  It’s all good because I still feel super young.  Probably younger than I should which must be a good thing, right?  For longevity and all that.  And even though I consider myself pretty keen already, I’m really starting to get into the endless possibilities that the future holds.  It’s not just about living my life, this life, free from drama.  Now it’s more like…what else is there?  What have I been holding myself back from that I may have not even realized.  Even the smallest nuance of change will be a big thing.  And with each little thing will be an ever evolving me.  A friend of mine always says he’s a work in progress. Now I get it.

Okay, now hold on to your seats because this one is a biggie.  If you’ve been following me since the beginning or have read my story in full or are just happening upon this blog for the first time…you’ll get it.  Look at the title of my blog.  I just turned 45.  This has been my life for the last 28 years. I knew the time was approaching.  I could feel it coming.  I wasn’t sure how the hell I was going to do it or what I was going to say but… I told my mother.

I know.  You’re like…she totally already knew.  Yes and no.  She knew of an incident that happened in the past.  She knew I left to go to the shelter a million years ago.  And she knew he was an a-hole.  But she had no idea to what extreme. And she sure didn’t know it’s been going on this long.  I was concerned about telling her because I didn’t know how she’d react to some of the things I discussed about my past.  People have a funny way of interpreting the written word.  I didn’t want anything I wrote to sound as if I was blaming anyone else, especially her, for my predicament.

The day after my birthday, I spoke to my mother on the phone.  I told her that I had a secret.  I reassured her that I was not ill and I figured I’d lighten the mood and told her not to worry that I wasn’t going to “become Bruce”.  With that, I explained how no one ever knew that I liked to write and that I’ve been writing since I was a teenager.  I told her that I started blogging a couple of years ago and that I felt like now was the appropriate time to share it with her.  I didn’t mention the topic.  I had shared the blog with my sister a few months ago and she was with my mother so she was there as a sort of buffer.  Then I waited three long days until she read it in it’s entirety.

My sister seemed optimistic when I told her I was ready to share it. She was glad I was ready.  I was nervous but hopeful.  After writing about it for the past two years, I feel somewhat detached from it now.  Like, this is more of a story to me than the reality of it being my life.  So when my mother called, I was almost more concerned about the writing critique than about the overall horror of this breaking news.  I knew it was going to impact her.  I kept checking with my sister to see if my mother was okay while she was reading it.  Being a mother myself, it’s almost more painful knowing after the fact that your child went through something so unimaginable and even though you were right there you had no idea of their despair.  So I knew her emotions would take her all over the place.

You can all breathe a sigh of relief.  I’m not really sure what negativity I anticipated but her response was anything but.  We live in different states so it’s hard to really discuss this openly  now without being interrupted by people on both ends walking in and out of the rooms we’re in.  I’m thinking a more in depth face to face conversation is in the near future.  All and all it was a positive response. Another huge bolder has been lifted off of my chest. Another person knows and I’m still breathing. Another person who knows ME knows.  The wall is getting lower.  That’s almost as scary as the actual departure!

Now that I am older and wiser (not THAT much older – or wiser), I can see a lot of the err of my ways.  The biggest is… I chose to stay silent.  If you don’t act as if you need help, how can anyone know it should be offered?  I was a pro at covering up mental and physical warfare.  So for anyone that may have known of even one incident or suspected any future incidents, I tried my hardest to keep it hidden so that I would never be confronted by anyone. Either for fear of having to admit it and be embarrassed that it was happening or for fear that they’d try to help me leave and then all hell would break loose.  The same hell that I had been trying to keep from happening since day one.  So I slowly removed the possibility of anyone finding out by just removing mostly everyone from my life.  I kept it down to the bare minimal and the further the better.

Friends and family at arms length worked best for me.  Over the phone relationships were even better.  That way, I was able to breathe.  No sudden pop ins.  No expected dinner and drinks at my house.  In living that way for so long it became normal.  So much so that people would joke with me that they were going to pull a drop in.  I would laugh.  It was all funny ha ha but I would be physically panicking.  What if they were serous?  For years my abuser wouldn’t care about arguing in front of other people.  of course nothing insane.  Just him having an a-hole opinion about one thing or another to show how he was a big mouth.  So to avoid the possibility of that, I would just shut it all down.  Lights out.  Television off.  Everyone in one room.  No one goes near the door.  Don’t even open the refrigerator so the light doesn’t go on.

Nowadays, I think about how it will be living on my own.  Mostly, I look forward to the silence and in all honesty, being alone.  I’ll probably be like that for a while.  However, once the dust settles, I think it will be easy to merge back into “society” so to speak.  Life on the other side of 45, seems to be bright and shiny.  I’ve got a lot of catching up to do…God help society.  🙂

Prevent Domestic Violence ~ Power Punch Words by Kendra Lynn

This is the only way I feel I can properly thank Kendra for writing such an amazing piece.

As exciting as it is for those of us who have been a victim of Domestic Violence to see the PSA commercials air on television or actors/actresses and public figures speak up about their own stories or use their fame in ads to say this behavior will no longer be tolerated – we’re left wondering… What happens when the camera is no longer rolling?  Is the thrill gone?  That rush of thinking – this is it – this topic is now mainstream – is kind of lackluster.

I’ve said it numerous times before, the fact that there are so many women sharing their Domestic Violence story truly amazes me.  From those who have made it out and those who are still in, the numbers and stories are staggering.  And as she discusses, the word courageous gets thrown around a lot.  Courageous for enduring it, escaping it, and speaking about it.  The real courage is surviving the aftermath once you’re out.

Kendra describes her own feelings about the approach Hollywood has taken, as well as her brush with the judicial system in her own battle with her abusive ex.  And damn, if it doesn’t strike a chord.  Although she is out of her relationship for 5 years and I’m on my way out – every word she writes I can feel deeply and agree with wholeheartedly.  There is something about being in this “club” that unites us in a way no one should be united.  I don’t want to know how it feels to be beaten but it’s too late for that.  The deed is done.  Now all I want is to know is how the hell are we going to stop it from happening to my sister…or your daughter…or your best friend?

Here’s what Kendra Lynn has to say about it:

Hush.

Now the Public Service Announcement (PSA) commercials on domestic violence (DV) have gone silent.

The award show has ended and most people no longer think about the speech against domestic abuse. Janay Palmer-Rice and Patricia Driscoll (Kurt Busch’s ex-girlfriend) are silent. There’s still no word on the progress of either Ray Rice or Kurt Busch.

What stays the same? The statistics of DV do:

  • A woman is beaten every 9 seconds in the U.S.
  • 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence.
  • 3 women in the U.S. are murdered by their partner every day.
  • 15 million children are exposed to domestic violence each year.
  • The median age for a female to become exposed to an abusive relationship is between 18 – 29.

Real numbers gathered every year by the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Nice to know there’s at least a task force.

While social media and Hollywood are great ways to reach a multitude of people, I fear the message is lost. I fear the actresses speaking out against domestic violence aren’t taken seriously because they typically portray a fantasy. In the mind of the median aged target group (females between the ages of 18 – 29), the actress is a glamorous fantasy. Why are the statistics remaining the same? Perhaps because we have unknowingly glamourized the idea of being a survivor of this terrible thing.

If you look at the family history of any domestic abuse survivor, you will find a family tree riddled with various forms of dysfunctional family dynamics and abuse. The 18 year old female precariously hanging from this thin limb sees the notoriety; the center stage presence of the actress courageously speaking out against domestic abuse. A low self-esteem and poor outlook on her future – the young victim of domestic violence perhaps sees only the glory in the story. The roaring applause at an award show and the gleaming lights and the perfectly coiffured actress; a chance for a survivor to be honorably mentioned in front of millions of people. I fear the stage lights are blinding the crux of the words and message of the actresses providing the speeches to end DV.

We all know the reality of any one survivor telling her story on center stage is rare. The real survivors of domestic abuse are sitting at home – still too afraid to speak out and up against domestic violence because of the stigma, the shame, the horror, and the hell that still echoes in our mind. The real survivors speak of our story with a catch in our throat, stuttering words, and tears that spill of their own volition as the story hits the core of our soul.

I am a survivor of DV of almost 5 years and I still cry at odd times while telling my story to those who genuinely care to know. I’ll tell you right now, being a survivor is not glamorous in any sense of rational thinking. It’s taken me nearly all my time of being a survivor to *not* look at all men as abusers.

I remember insomnia clutching my hand with a fearful grip. I remember going through motions; pretending to have it all together but inside feeling like an absolute failure. I remember the heavy sledge hammer memories invoking my first real symptoms of PTSD. I remember finding my voice – a voice that growled and screamed and yelled and cussed vehemently for the simple joy of being able to finally do so (but inadvertently pushing people away).

I remember the cringe I felt when someone hugged me for the first time after leaving my abuser; the foreign feeling that surrounded me in waves of nausea. It’s taken me nearly 5 years to finally learn to love myself and forgive myself for my past choices.

I become silent when someone calls me courageous. It’s at that exact moment I hear my screeching hell hounds – remembering as they chased me during my escape from my hell. I think of the countless victims too afraid and beaten down to leave their abusive partner. To me, that is the heart of every survivor of DV. We don’t categorize ourselves as courageous. We learned very early that labels have a not so funny way of causing a deep bruise. We are our own existence – renaming ourselves outside of our riddled and decaying family tree and relational history. Glamorous? Honey, it’s far from it. It’s its own hell being a survivor.

So what’s my point? Hollywood needs to stop its current form of PSA against domestic violence. It’s not working. The world needs to see more real survivors speaking out against it. The world needs to see a petite girl being punched in the face. The world needs to see real blood, real bruises, real tears, and real fear. It needs to be a power-packed PSA that rocks the core of everyone daring to watch. If I’m going to see a commercial about ending domestic abuse, I need to see a real survivor – someone I and every other survivor can relate to.

Birds of a feather flock together and more survivors will speak up. Everyone watching such a commercial should have tears rolling down their cheeks – much the same thing that happens whenever I decide to speak the harsh truth of my story to someone that wants to really know. The voice of a survivor is a hushed, cracking voice welling up in tears that the listener has to lean into to hear clearly. She’s not dressed up in her finery standing proud. Her voice continues to tell her story but she winces, thinking of any backlash that might occur in doing so. When the world can read past her shame and feel her fear maybe we will begin to make progress in ending domestic violence and Hollywood will become a strategic partner in this fight.

It’s worth your time – please continue to read the rest of her article here: Prevent Domestic Violence ~ Power Punch Words by Kendra Lynn | VoElla

Follow Kendra on Blogspot & Twitter

Infinity House Magazine Interview – Part 3 of 3

“Thank you for sharing with us and our readers, you are incredible!”

I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity for my story to be told on another platform, via Infinity House Magazine.  Part of stepping out of the shadows to tell our personal story of Domestic Violence is the responsibility of sharing it with as many people as possible.  Even if some are unable to relate directly, it is important, in my opinion, for everyone to understand just how widespread an epidemic this really is.

It happens every day, on every continent, to 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men.  There is no discrimination on gender, race, religion or sexual preference.  Each case of abuse is different.  For some it’s physical, and for others it’s sexual.  There is also emotional, psychological and economic abuse.  Statistics say that only 70% of Domestic Violence cases are reported to law enforcement.  We will probably never know how accurate that number really is – unless we started speaking out.

We don’t need sympathy.  We need honesty.  If you are reading this and have been in an abusive relationship – most especially – if you have gotten out — Tell. Your. Story.  It can, and will, help others.

However, if you are still in an abusive relationship, you are the only one that knows whether or not telling someone will jeopardize your safety.  Use caution.  Whenever you are able to – forget about the shame and – Tell. Your. Story.

Looking to the Future After Domestic Violence

This week we have heard the story of … Battered Wife Seeking Better Life. 

Her true tale has been one of great sadness, of deep jealousy, of vast fear and of unexplainable physical and mental pain. It has been the account of real life domestic violence, that happens to millions everyday.

http://infinityhousemagazine.com/2015/02/05/domestic-violence-part-three-marie/

Infinity House Magazine - Part 3

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To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.

Infinity House Magazine Interview – Part 2 of 3

“We believe your story has the opportunity of inspiring our readers and even us here…”

In the beginning, there was no way I would have believed anyone if they said that by telling my story I’d be helping others who may be or may have been in the same predicament as I was.  I could not comprehend how that would make sense, especially since I am still here.  I remember the first time someone said to me that…my story inspired her.  I thought to myself, HOW?  WHY?  I DON’T GET IT.  On some level, I still don’t.

Then I think about all of the people who have reached out to me.  Everyone’s kind words, advice, and words of encouragement (even the few negative comments), have made a lasting impression.  All of the stories I’ve read, the stories shared with me about how they left, every word… has touched me in some way.  Men who have told me their stores of verbal and physical abuse have left me speechless.

If telling my story has done that for one person, then I guess it was well worth it.  I didn’t know the effect any of this would have on me but now that I do, I would never trade that feeling.

The Real Reasons I Stay

Many people on reading … would have asked the same thing: why doesn’t she just leave?  Here we explore … exactly why it isn’t that easy…

http://infinityhousemagazine.com/2015/02/04/why-i-stay/

Infinity House Magazine - Part 2

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To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.

Infinity House Magazine Interview – Part 1 of 3

“Your story is absolutely incredible…we would love the opportunity to interview you.”

My brain’s response was – Interview who?  ME?  Are these people for real? Is this SPAM?  Why me?  I’m not sure I read that correctly.

Well, it wasn’t SPAM and apparently, they are for real.  The kind people at Infinity House Magazine took the time to read my story and felt that I had something to offer.  Although my story has been discussed thoroughly on this blog, there is something about a Q & A session to really see it from an entirely different perspective.  It’s the same and somehow different.

Upon reading the first installment, I was taken aback as if I was reading another woman’s story.  It was brutally honest and sad on so many different levels.  I was able to see the naivety of my youth fall victim to this unexpected den of abuse.

Real Account of Living With Domestic Violence

Battered Wife Seeking Better Life explains what led her in to a domestically violent relationship and exactly what it’s like. A heartbreaking story but a must read.

http://infinityhousemagazine.com/2015/02/03/domestic-violence-real-account/

Infinity House Magazine - Part 1

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To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.

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.