Tag Archive | Relationships

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.

Damaged Goods

Recently, I’ve been noticing a few personality traits that I now realize are related to my being in an abusive relationship for so long.  None of them are new but I am just now seeing how so much of me is netted into this lifestyle.  A little over a year ago, I had written a blog post called Survival Mode after reading another blog post (That Wasn’t Me…This Is Me), which triggered an understanding/clarity of how “we” -the abused- get sucked in so deep to a point where we are almost physically and mentally incapable of getting out.

People who have never experienced Domestic Violence or abuse in any form, are typically the ones spewing all the oh so popular catchphrases, such as…Why didn’t she just leave?  What those people don’t understand is that it’s so much more than a woman saying, I love him, and then all of a sudden – CURSE PUNCH KICK – and her saying, I still love him.  I’m sure there is a percentage of that scenario but it’s not the norm.  At least not for me, and I never understood that mindset.

Once upon a time, I was normal.  I don’t know when exactly because apparently I’ve been carrying the burden of abuse around for such a long time.  Let’s just go with the topic of boyfriends.  Okay.  So, I was normal.  Dated guys.  Never got hit.  Never got mistreated.  Never got spoken down to.  And then I meet HIM.  Once he realizes I liked him, the game begins.  I chase, he ignores.  I ignore, he chases.  I date someone else, now he’s in love and can’t live without me.  Now, this could have all been part of his own personal issues with shyness and not knowing how to relate to females in general, or was it premeditated?

The beginning of the end.

When we officially started dating, we had known each other for about three years.  So, he knew my background, my ex-boyfriends, who I associated with.  Being that he was telling me I was his one and only, he slowly started to manipulate his way into my every day.  And since it was a new relationship, seeing each other every day is normal, right? This is where the manipulation began.  It was slow but very steady.  Convincing me not to talk to other guys because I was his girlfriend now.  Until I didn’t speak to any of my male friends.  Even ones that there was never any romantic involvement with.  Next were my girlfriends.  He either didn’t like them or they didn’t like him and it was easier if I just stopped hanging out with them.

As time went on, the textbook abuse code of behavior was activated and carried through almost methodically which began with the ever so subtle isolation of friends and family, followed by jealousy and control, criticism, sabotage, blame and anger …. just to name a few early warning signs – aka – I wish I knew then what I know now.

“It is not this massive oppressive nature that comes at us all at once. Instead, it innocently seeps into our everyday consciousness until it’s all that we know.  Even though the little things seemed so big as they were happening, by the next “BIG” incident that last one could easily be considered almost nothing. I learned the dos and donts of what makes an abusive man angry and quickly and without conscious knowledge I knew just exactly what would rock the boat and so my main goal from day to day was NOT to rock it.”

People wonder how we get so brainwashed that while all of this abuse is happening years are passing by and we still haven’t left.

Like I said in Survival Mode:

“As the years go by you just learn how to respond. What facial expressions to use and when to just answer yes or no without a story behind it. People wonder how you can live so many years this way…truth is, when you are so busy living from day to day just trying to make it through the day without a hitch, time friggin flies.”

And now here I am, still surviving.  Attempting to heal from within so I can heal once I’m out.  I can tell that it’s working because everything is becoming more clear.  These “traits” I mentioned in opening…are the side effects of my life.  One of which came to the surface last weekend when I snapped at someone I love, telling them to “shut up” because they were suggesting I do something a different way than I was doing it.  My brain heard a command and my defensive reflex took over.  I later apologized, explaining that in order to deal with being spoken to a certain way for so many years, my brain instinctually created a sort of coping mechanism which unfortunately reared it’s ugly head with the “shut up”.

The thing is, I never realized this reflexive response. Or maybe it didn’t strike me the same way before.  This person’s response was a look of hurt and disappointment causing them to walk away from me and leave without saying good-bye, and it hurt.  It hurt me because I hurt them.  It made me realize – which I also explained – that there are so many other things that I’m not even aware of that are ingrained in me because of this and I probably won’t even know until I’m away from it. On top of that, I won’t know how long it’ll take me to undo it all.  At the end of the day, they understood.  And I was left wondering what other attributes will pop up when least expected.

Unfortunately, I’m sure there will be plenty.  I’m aware of some of the PTSD symptoms I already have, which suck.  I have finally become very aware that I suffer from intermittent depression – mostly extreme sadness and episodes of crying spells.  Currently, dissociation seems to be the flavor of the month…past few months…maybe longer.  I’ve been unable to focus (usually when working) for at least six months or longer and daydreaming is another symptom.  I seem to “check out” often – sometimes mid conversation.  I thought that was just selective hearing. 🙂

It seems to be a good thing that I am starting to become more aware of all of these issues.  The more I understand that which ails me hopefully the faster and easier the healing process.  We’ll see.

_____________________________________________________________

If you have been in an abusive relationship, you should read Effects of Domestic Violence posted on The Joyful Heart Foundation website.  It is very informative.

My story starts here.

This Is Why I Didn’t Tell You He Was Beating Me

As I read this article, almost every sentence rang true.  Memories were jumping up at me, reminding me of the shame I felt and the excuses I used.  Although, I’m not sure that I could ever say for sure that any of my friends felt the way this woman assumes her friend felt.  Maybe now but not back then.

I know for sure one of my friends that I’ve known for as long as I can remember knew about the abuse.  She even mentioned it in a letter she wrote me during one of our own disagreements.  She matter-of-factly threw it in my face.  Not once did she seem concerned and if she ever was, she never showed it.  Not once did she ever offer sympathy or a shoulder to lean on or verbalize that if there was anything she could do to help to let her know.  Never.  Just her one statement.

Would I have accepted help?  Doubtfully.  I was so caught up in the fear of the wrath my abuser would unleash at the mere possibility of my leaving.  Any devastation caused by his hands would surely be on my hands.  That is a big part of why I stayed put for so long.  I figured, I knew how to handle him.  I knew what angered him.  In other words, I knew how to play the game.  If I could keep him at bay then everyone else around me had no need to get involved.

However, a few years later, when I left to go to the women’s shelter – and subsequently left there the same night – I had called her.  She and her boyfriend took the 3 hour drive to come and get me and my daughter.  No questions asked.  I stayed with them that night and returned home the next day.  After that, things went back to normal and nothing was ever mentioned again.  My abuser had no idea where I went or that they had helped me in any way.  I’m sure she was not too happy with my decision but she didn’t say it.  Needless to say, our friendship eventually drifted apart.  Last we spoke was about ten years ago.

Little did I know that all these years later I’d be sharing my story or that I’d be okay with (some) of my own personal friends knowing the hell I’ve been through.  I sometimes think about my friend and letting her read this blog.  I’m sure she didn’t know the extent of the nonsense that was going on.  So at the very least, it would explain some of my behavior.

For those of us that have been involved in a Domestic Violence situation, most of our behavior can be explained in this one article…

This Is Why I Didn’t Tell You He Was Beating Me
Originally posted in Dame Magazine

When I fled my abusive relationship for the last time (yes, I left and went back), one of the first things my well-meaning friends and family asked was why I never told them what was happening to me.

“Why didn’t you say something,” they’d ask, looking concerned and confused.  “I could have helped you. I could have done something!”

And I believe them. Had they known how horrible my life had become, I have no doubt that they would have done their best to help me. But all this happened more than twenty years ago. Today, I’m healed, emotionally healthy, and over it—and have the clarity of hindsight to see that my friends and family would have helped me.

Read the full article here: http://www.damemagazine.com/2014/10/29/why-i-didnt-tell-you-he-was-beating-me#sthash.QilhzgKD.dpuf

31 Facts in 31 Days – Day 10

Jealousy was the very first trait of abuse I was exposed to by my abuser.  It was severe and I didn’t understand why at the time.  I’ve always been more comfortable around men.  I think I get along better with men because I can be myself,  as women seem to be much more judgmental and catty.   During my teenage years, I had a different type of attention from the guys.  They didn’t all just – want to be “friends”.  So it goes without saying that it was hard for me to maneuver through those years, that are difficult enough trying to figure out who you are as a person, and then on top of that trying to ward off people who only wanted one thing.

Luckily, I had a group of guys I could rely on for friendship.  Whether they felt a certain way or not, it was not discussed, and these friendships remained intact from grade school through high school – that is until I ended up with Mr. Jealousy.  After that, most friendships ended (male & female) and everyone was suspect.  Some guys gave a peck on the cheek hello which made him furious, and he demanded it stop.  Hanging out also stopped.  It was no longer necessary being as my time was now to be exclusive to one person.  As the years went on, any man I spoke to, whether it be at work or at a supermarket, gave way to me being questioned.  Did I ever date them?  Did I ever sleep with them?  Am I currently sleeping with them?  The barrage of questions was never ending. And no answer was believed.

Be warned…what may start off as cute “aw, he’s jealous” will without a doubt turn into a psychotic unrelenting abnormal hail of bullshit.

————————————————-

Fact Source:  Beauty Cares

Follow them on Twitter.

————————————————-

To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.

31 Facts in 31 Days – Day 8

Today’s post is meant specifically for a friend of mine.  Someone I let in on my secret life earlier this year.  We’ve only known each other for about 10 years which, out of the 6 people I’ve let read my blog, is the shortest relationship of the bunch.  When we met, there was, I think, an instant connection.  A mutual respect, as mothers and as women.  It wasn’t until a few years into knowing each other that we really began talking about our lives.  There are many similarities (except the abuse) that we came to discover about one another and the paths our lives took.  I think this helped nurture our friendship and now I can’t imagine not having her in my life.  I think we’ve both known for quite a while now that our paths were definitely meant to cross.

She is a beautiful and intelligent woman – but even the best of us get duped.

socio

10 signs for spotting a sociopath

#1) Sociopaths are charming. Sociopaths have high charisma and tend to attract a following just because people want to be around them. They have a “glow” about them that attracts people who typically seek guidance or direction. They often appear to be sexy or have a strong sexual attraction. Not all sexy people are sociopaths, obviously, but watch out for over-the-top sexual appetites and weird fetishes.

#2) Sociopaths are more spontaneous and intense than other people. They tend to do bizarre, sometimes erratic things that most regular people wouldn’t do. They are unbound by normal social contracts. Their behavior often seems irrational or extremely risky.

#3) Sociopaths are incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse. Their brains simply lack the circuitry to process such emotions. This allows them to betray people, threaten people or harm people without giving it a second thought. They pursue any action that serves their own self interest even if it seriously harms others. This is why you will find many very “successful” sociopaths in high levels of government, in any nation.

#4) Sociopaths invent outrageous lies about their experiences. They wildly exaggerate things to the point of absurdity, but when they describe it to you in a storytelling format, for some reason it sounds believable at the time.

#5) Sociopaths seek to dominate others and “win” at all costs. They hate to lose any argument or fight and will viciously defend their web of lies, even to the point of logical absurdity.

#6) Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent, but they use their brainpower to deceive others rather than empower them. Their high IQs often makes them dangerous. This is why many of the best-known serial killers who successfully evaded law enforcement were sociopaths.

#7) Sociopaths are incapable of love and are entirely self-serving. They may feign love or compassion in order to get what they want, but they don’t actually FEEL love in the way that you or I do.

#8) Sociopaths speak poetically. They are master wordsmiths, able to deliver a running “stream of consciousness” monologue that is both intriguing and hypnotic. They are expert storytellers and even poets. As a great example of this in action, watch this interview of Charles Manson on YouTube.

#9) Sociopaths never apologize. They are never wrong. They never feel guilt. They can never apologize. Even if shown proof that they were wrong, they will refuse to apologize and instead go on the attack.

#10) Sociopaths are delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth merely because they say it! Charles Manson, the sociopathic murderer, is famous for saying, “I’ve never killed anyone! I don’t need to kill anyone! I THINK it! I have it HERE! (Pointing to his temple.) I don’t need to live in this physical realm…”

FACT:  The best way of handling a sociopath is to get them out of your life for good. Do not forgive them for the wrongs they have done to you. Avoid finding a reason to tolerate their company again. This is easier said than done when the sociopath is a family member, or long time friend. You may even miss the sociopath to some extent, even though they have hurt you. Yet if you know a sociopath, the only way of protecting yourself is to avoid them completely, even if it hurts.

————————————————-

Fact Source:  Natural News

Fact Source:  HubPages

————————————————-

To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.