Tag Archive | spouse 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.

I’ve Said Too Much

RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Challenge #41

Prompts: Want & Tatters

Set in wanton ways,
A wood chipper turns me on,
Oh, how it tatters.

Thus, I’ve said too much. 🙂

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For more of my Haiku, click here.

31 Facts in 31 Days – Day 24

Battered Woman Syndrome:

The repeated episodes of physical assault on a woman by the person with whom she lives or with whom she has relationship, often resulting in serious physical and psychological damage to the woman.

Such violence tends to follow a predictable pattern. The violent episodes usually follow verbal argument and accusation and are accompanied by verbal abuse. Almost any subject -housekeeping, money, child rearing- may begin the episode. Over time, the violent episodes escalate in frequency and severity.

Most battered women report that they thought that the assaults would stop; unfortunately, studies show that the longer the women stay in the relationship the more likely they are to be seriously injured. Less and less provocation seems to be enough to trigger an attack once the syndrome has begun. The use of alcohol may increase the severity of the assault. The man is more likely to be abusive as the alcohol wears off.

Battering occurs in cycles of violence. In the firstphase the man acts increasingly irritable, edgy, and tense. Verbal abuse, insults, and criticism increase, andshoves or slaps begin. The second phase is the time of the acute, violent activity. As the tension mounts, the woman becomes unable to placate the man, and she may argue or defend herself. The man uses this as the justification for his anger and assaults her, often saying that he is “teaching her a lesson.” The third stage is characterized by apology and remorse on the part of the man, with promises of change. The calm continues until tension builds again.

Caring for and counseling a battered woman often require great patience because she is usually ambivalent about her situation and may be confused to the point of believing that she deserves the assaults she has suffered.

How Do You Heal From Battered Wife Syndrome?

Keep in mind that all of these ideas might not apply to you or your situation–you decide what fits best for you.

First priority is your physical safety and the physical safety of your children, if there are children involved. Child Protective Services and Family Services agencies in your area will be able to give you contact information for shelters where you can go and be safe from the abuser in your life. If you don’t value yourself enough to seek protection, then at least do it for your children.

Next you need to think about breaking the cycle of abuse. The components of the cycle, as you can see in the image, are unmet needs, anxiety, seeking love, finding relief, pleasing and appeasing, control and abuse, anger and fear, reconciliation and “back to normal.”

You break the cycle by taking responsibility for your safety (and your children’s safety if they’re part of it), rather than worrying about whether “he will get better” or focusing on the fact that you love him.

You break the cycle by respecting yourself enough to only maintain relationships in which you are treated with care and respect. You begin to recognize that you are a good person and you are worthy of respect in your relationships.

One of the best ways out of the battered wife syndrome is with healthy anger.  Anger is a protective emotion, and you need to have some healthy anger if you and/or your children are being abused. You are your own best anger management resource.

If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else can! In other words, you have to take the first steps, to reach out for help, then there will be others to help you.

If you just stay in the cycle, the abuse will only get worse, and could even become fatal.

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Fact Source: Anger Management Source

Fact Source: Medical Dictionary

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To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.

31 Facts in 31 Days – Day 20

itwillbe

Domestic Abuse Survivors : 5 Reasons to Embrace Your Future

Suffering from any kind of abuse in life is something that we all experience at some point, but there are many situations that escalate further than that. Some domestic abuse survivors are so scarred by their experiences that they end up shutting themselves up to the idea of having a bright future at all.

5- Stop worrying about the kind of life that you once had

The past is in the past and it will never be the future and this is a very important thing that you need to be careful about. If you want your future to be bright you need to let go of the past. Do not become one of those people who get caught up in being stuck in the past and never let go of the things that hurt you.

4-Remember that nothing about your past has to hold you back

Your past should never hold you from your potential in the future. If you feel like you want to start a whole new life you should just go for it and move away from your current residence. Don’t get stuck in who you used to be and give yourself the chance to grow and evolve.

3-Your future is really all that you can control today

Nothing from the past can be controlled today and this is why you need to be careful not to overthink anything that already happened. You are only going to be able to create a future but never to change the past at all. This is why fighting with what once was is a waste of time and you should only work on your present and future.

2-There are all kinds of people

This means that you should never feel limited to the thought of everyone being the same. There are all kinds of people in the world and many of them will be good and others bad. Do not think that one bad experience means that the entire world is the same and that other relationships will be different. There are people who are raised in healthy environments and others who are raised in bad ones. You can’t shut your mind to the fact that in most cases you can easily tell what kind of person you are dealing with. You can easily find out more about someone and how they are by finding out about their family and their way of life.

1-Learn to be alone too

There is no rush to be with someone else and you need to learn to be in your own company. It’s better to be alone than with someone who will create drama and conflict in your life. You have to learn to be alone in order to be able to live your life happy. You will never find happiness in others until you are able to feel and experience happiness on your own. This is going to be crucial in your life and you should avoid getting into any situation with someone else until you sort your own life out.

Your future is uncertain but your actions can shape a lot of that future. You can expect to be a happier person when you stop feeling so worried about your past and focused on what you will do today to make tomorrow better. There is nothing more important than what is happening now and nothing more irrelevant that what occurred yesterday.

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Fact Source:  Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence

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To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.

Here We Go Again

Even though the last four years had been tumultuous, to say the least, it was still four years.  That was a decent chunk of time done and behind me.  Even though most days were exhausting and on some days I wished he’d just kill me so I could be done with this life, I stayed strong.  I had to.  I had my daughter.  I wasn’t going to become this textbook basket case of a wife/mother because my husband was a lunatic.  I had to keep it together.  Most especially now because I had another baby on the way.

During this pregnancy, I was sick to my stomach.  Not physically.  I did not have morning sickness or anything of the like.  It was more of a self loathing.  I was so depressed that I was going to have another child with this man.  That I would be stuck for another five years.  I barely gained any weight with this pregnancy.  I didn’t want to eat and most smells made me nauseous so that didn’t help either.  But I got up everyday, took care of my daughter’s needs.  Went to work everyday.  Basically, I did what needed to get done.  A creature of habit I guess you could say.  Day in and day out just trying to get through it all.

You know who else was a creature of habit?  Yes.  My abuser.  My “loving” husband.  Of course the arguing didn’t stop because I was pregnant.  I was still useless.  Didn’t clean the house right.  Didn’t pay the bills on time.  Didn’t do the laundry often enough or buy the right groceries.  It was always something.  Even when it was nothing.  And the arguing was always about nothing.  He’d pull shit out of the air to argue over.  You know what else didn’t stop while I was pregnant?  That’s right.  The hitting.  Still got hit.  For some reason he seemed to be more enraged in these arguments.  I can’t remember why.  Maybe he was as depressed as I was that we’d be having another kid together.  Maybe he felt stuck too?  Who knows.  His arguments and threats got more and more vicious.  It seemed like a different personality took over once he got deep into the arguments.  You could almost see something else take over.

Once during the pregnancy, maybe 5 or 6 months in, who knows what he was yelling at me for but he started hitting me.  Nine times out of ten he always punched me in the head.  He liked giving me knuckle shots that would leave lumps that would hurt for days.  Usually, I would just cover my head with both hands to deflect some of the connecting shots.  Now, I had a belly.  If I covered my head he may punch my stomach.  If I covered my stomach he’d surely get my face.  We were in the bedroom during this fight and I remember bending down and kneeling against the bed.  So my stomach was down low were he couldn’t reach and I was then able to cover my head.  He must have maneuvered me somehow because my body was now on the bed and he was pushing my body down into the mattress.  My stomach was flat against the mattress now.  I was screaming.  “You’re gonna kill the baby!”  And he kept hitting me and pushing me down.  I thought for sure this was it.  I thought I was going to lose this baby.  He finally stopped and picked up a lamp and threw it into the mirror that was above the dresser in our room.  “See what you made me do?!”  Threatening that I better figure out a way to replace it because he was not going to.  Then he finally left me alone.

Somehow, I made it through.  My second child, another girl, was born a few months later.  She was just fine.  She was born a little smaller then the first but I figured that was because I barely ate but who knows, poor thing was probably stressed as hell in the womb.  She is the one that has the most volatile relationship with him.  She has a similar personality and won’t back down.  If he argues with her she argues right back.  That’s a good thing I guess…as far as future relationships go.  I know she won’t take shit.  It’s not good when it’s your father and you’re speaking to him that way.  It triggers him.  Usually sending him in my direction.

Life goes on and day to day stuff makes the weeks and months and years go by.  Arguing and fighting are part of the norm.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are days of silence strewn in between the insanity.  Nights of just sitting and watching television and laughing at whatever comedy we’re watching.  We didn’t snuggle.  We didn’t interact in a loving, nurturing, romantic way.  We did’t even kiss anymore.  Hadn’t in years prior to the second child.  And still don’t to this day.  That would mean there was some sort of connection on some level – and – there just isn’t.

A few years pass and my mother gives me the news.  She’s leaving my father.  Her and my sister are moving out.  Her and my father had ups and downs but it was mostly due to his infidelity.  He was a good provider.  We had a good family.  A decent upbringing.  Family vacations.  Family get togethers.  But there was always his hanging out.  Coming home in the middle of the night.  Secret calls.  So now that I was out of the house and my sister was just about 18 she picked up and left.  That was it.  Oh wait, somehow I was to blame for this.  When my husband found out that they were splitting up he went nuts on me.  Screaming that this is what I want to do too.  Like mother like daughter.  Now, this sound like a normal rationale response…for a psychotic narcissist…but at the time things had actually been mellow for a few weeks so this tirade was not expected.  In fact, I remember being a little upset about it and figured I could talk to my husband (if I had a normal one) to tell him how it made me feel.  His response, “If you think you are gonna pull the same shit as your mother you have another thing coming!  You want to leave you better get up right now and get the hell out of here now.  Don’t think you are taking anything here either.  You walk out with the clothes on your back and that’s it!”  So now after a mellow few weeks I was at a loss.  I initially thought…holy crap…this is my way out.  But I had nothing to use as the excuse ( i know, I know…aside from the entire marriage).  I mean we hadn’t argued and he hadn’t hit me in a few weeks.  I was like, at least if he had hit me the day before I’d be like, yeah remember yesterday…I’m outta here!!  Instead, I just looked at him and said, “What are you talking about?  Why would I want to leave?”  What a f—ing idiot.  I know you can’t believe I said that.  I can’t believe I said that.  He may not have even believed it.  Sometimes I think back and wonder if he was trying to offer me a way out.  Maybe in his twisted mind he felt like I ruined his life as much as I felt like he ruined mine.  I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he thought that way.  After all, everything was my fault anyway.  Add on the list…ruining his life.

Special thanks to those of you reading this.