Trust Afterwards

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Trust; the one thing that is so hard to earn and yet so easy to lose.  By definition, trust is the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc. When someone earns your trust, you open yourself up to them, you allow yourself to be vulnerable. You allow that person to break down all your walls, and you trust them to be your protector. So what happens after that someone destroys that trust? When the one that was supposed to protect your heart and soul infiltrates it themselves? Damaging it more than you could ever have imagined? Some would say “the walls go right back up!” But actually, the reality is that the walls do not go right back up. Because; now this person knows ALL your weaknesses. They know all the “right things” to say and do to keep you in that vulnerable state and keep you from rebuilding those walls.

So what happens when you leave that situation? You say to yourself that you will never be vulnerable to another individual ever again. Your walls go up, but it is even deeper than that; because it is as if you not only build your walls up but you build an entire fortress around yourself. You vow to yourself that no one will EVER hurt you like that again.

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As a domestic violence survivor, I know I immediately built my fortress. Not a single person could get in. Not even my own family, and I am not sure that they even realized it. It is like a subconscious act of survival. Nothing in and nothing out. Walls up like the impenetrable walls of Jericho. Not allowing anything to enter, and not willing to let go of what is left inside. Scared of being vulnerable again, yet not realizing I was only doing more damage to myself.

Trust is a big issue for a survivor to deal with. It goes hand in hand with love ( Please read “Love Afterwards” ). In order to trust another individual, you need to regain trust in yourself first. Just like you can only truly love another person if you first love yourself. What do I mean by this? Trust in yourself that you are able to make right decisions. After all, you did make the right choice when you left the abusive relationship right? Also, you have to re-learn who you are now. You are not the same person that you used to be. And again, in order to trust yourself, you first have to love yourself.

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Don’t forget that this is all a process, it all takes time. You can take however long you want to, and anyone in your life that is worth keeping around will respect that.  Also, keep in mind that you are human, and we all make mistakes. If and when you make a mistake dust yourself off, learn from it and move on. Do not beat yourself up over making a mistake. Mistakes make us grow. Work on you, during this time to get to know the new you. Instead of looking for someone to fill any voids, you fill them yourself. Find the things that make you happy. Find the hobbies and activities that you enjoy most. Figure out your like and dislikes.

 

Be sure to surround yourself with positive people. Those who only want what’s best for you and want to see you happy. You do not need any negativity right now in this fragile time of your life. Any negative people must go. This is vital and crucial for your well-being and growth. Negative people will only set you back and add to your lack of trust.

In time, you will learn to trust again. Remember with each part of your healing process you must take it one day at a time. Trusting yourself with goals and achieving them. Trusting each and every decision you make for yourself. As well as trusting yourself to see the signs and red flags. You have to trust yourself in knowing that you are much wiser than you were before. That you survived a horrific and traumatic experience.You trusted yourself enough to go through with the plan when you left the situation, now trust yourself in knowing that you can make the right decision through any tough situation.

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Here are links to some books on learning how to trust yourself:

1. In Touch: How to Tune In to the Inner Guidance of Your Body and Trust Yourself

2. TRUST: Trust Yourself and Trust Others, A Simple 10-step Guidelines (FREE BONUS included) (Building Trust, Restoring Trust, Building Relationships, Maintain Trust)

3. TRUST YOURSELF: Master Your Dreams… Master Your Destiny… A Personal Road Map for KNOWING

4. Trust: Mastering the 4 Essential Trusts: Trust in God, Trust in Yourself, Trust in Others, Trust in Life

5. Christ in You: Why God Trusts You More Than You Trust Yourself

 

Love Afterwards

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Love, a word that I always say is an action word. Not just a word that is said, but a word that is shown, love is something that you do. By definition, love is an intense feeling of affection.

I often find other survivors asking “How will I ever love again?” To be honest, you will never be able to truly love another person until you first love yourself. When you were in an abusive relationship you were not loved or cared for properly which may have led to you feeling like you are unlovable. Learn to give yourself the love you deserve and did not receive from your abuser. You are loveable, and you are worth loving. You do deserve to love and to be loved.

Take time in getting to re-learn yourself. It is a process. There are no time limits, you take however long you want. Remember, you are a new person now, not exactly the same person that you once used to be. For however long you were in the abusive relationship you were not your true self, and you were led to believe that you were the negative things that this individual bombarded your mind with. You have to retrain yourself from the negative things you were once told and remind yourself of the positive things that you know you are. Continuously repeating these positive words until you wholeheartedly believe them.

Whenever a negative thought comes to mind, pay attention, and then replace it with something positive. For example, if a negative thought like “I’m not good enough.” Comes to mind, instantly stop, and say: “I am good enough.” or “I am more than enough.” If you get the thoughts of “I can’t…” change them to “I can.” and “I will.” Remind yourself of your worth. Remind yourself of how beautiful or handsome that you are.

Do little things for yourself, take long walks on the beach or a park. Buy yourself some flowers. Have a spa day. Maybe even take a short trip(or a long one 🙂 ). Treat yourself to something nice. Do anything that will make you feel good about yourself.

Set small goals that you know you will achieve, and once achieved celebrate! Congratulate yourself, treat yourself. Then set another goal, or maybe a few goals and achieve those as well.

Setting goals and accomplishing them gives you a well-needed self-esteem boost. It makes you feel better about yourself.

Learning to love yourself is an amazing journey. It is quite interesting. When you take the time to self-evaluate, you will be amazed at what you learn about yourself. There may be things that you do not like about yourself and that is fine, this is the time that you can work on them and improve yourself.

For now, focus on loving yourself rather than focusing on finding love. When you are ready, love will find you. You will recognize when a healthy and loving relationship comes and you will be ready for it. But for now, take this time as YOUR time! Focus on getting to know the new and improved you. The stronger, wiser and better YOU! There is love afterwards. There is love after an abusive relationship. The love of loving yourself comes first. It is time for you to put yourself first for once. It is time to enjoy YOU!

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Sidenote: For those who enjoy reading, I created a short list of several books on loving yourself below:

1. Loving Yourself: Finding Happiness by Falling in Love With Yourself First

2. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

3. Learning To Love Yourself

4. Learning to Love Yourself: Finding Your Self-Worth

Traumatic brain injury and domestic violence (retro)

This is definitely something that needs to be talked about more. A DEFINITE SHARE!

What...cookies again?

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Unless you’re a scientist, therapist, someone caring for a brain injured person or a victim who sustained a head injury, the brain is not something that most of us think about. The average citizen surely does not pause to think about just how fragile the most complex part of the human body, the brain, really is. The nearly three-pound organ, stored neatly inside of it’s bony shell, holds thousands of our secrets and most precious and darkest memories, controls our stop and go behavior buttons, acts as the starter kit for our movements, and plays the role of interpreter to our senses and dreams. Now that information is becoming readily available, more people are at least starting to talk about Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI.

So, what exactly is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)? TBI is an acquired injury to the brain that’s caused by external physical force. It’s not…

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Confused? You Should Be!

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Since I started blogging, I also got really involved in Twitter. Through twitter I have made some really strong connections with other survivors. I also have been lucky enough to talk to some during their transitioning periods. I must say, it is an amazing feeling when you can relate to someone and have them know that they are not alone. To sit there and say, “I understand, I’ve been there” is something many need to hear. While conversing with some of these people I realized many say the same thing. “I’m confused.” Which is why I decided to write this blog here.

I think it is safe to say that anyone who has gone through any form of domestic violence has the right to be confused. The definition of confused is “unable to think clearly” Which after being abused physically, mentally, emotionally/verbally, financially etc; it is completely understandable.

Think about it, someone in an abusive relationship has basically lost all control of themselves. Everything is done on the abusers terms. The victim becomes a robot to the control. So imagine, when someone leaves that situation, it isn’t roses and daisies right away. Every single emotion you can imagine bombards this individual all at once.  The big three: Fear, Hope and Denial.

Fear: Fear of what may happen if the abuser finds out that the victim is leaving. Fear of what may happen after the victim leaves. Fear of what others may say or think when they find out what happened. Fear of the unknown (job, money, housing, family..etc).

Hope: Hope that things will get better. Hope that the abuser will change. Hope that everything goes back to the way they were in the beginning.

Denial: Denial of the actual abuse. Denial that one is a victim. Denial that things could/would get worse. Denying that there is somewhere to get help. Denial of who the abuser actually is. Denial of how severe the abuse really is or was.

Being confused after leaving a domestic violence relationship is common, so don’t sit there thinking you are crazy. Trying to focus on day-to-day tasks is hard at first. Again, the number of emotions one feels after leaving can enhance traumatically. Besides the big three emotions I just touched on there are many others, such as guilt, shame, embarrassment, anger, sadness,  self-blame, anxiety, feeling hopeless and even worthless. So dealing with all these emotions makes it perfectly understandable why someone feels confused.

Here are a few of the questions that I have been asked:

Q: “Is it normal to love and hate someone at the same time?”

A: While in normal situations the answer may be no. But as someone in an abusive relationship (which isn’t close to normal) the answer is yes. Why do I say that? From my own personal experience, as well as others I find that we love the person we first met, the person who swept us off our feet. What we hate, is the abusive person that they always seemed to be. We were in love with the mask, the disguise. The hate is towards the actual monster that we later get introduced too. Hate the monster we have now known to become, but love(d) the disguise.

 

Q: “Am I doing the right thing by leaving?

A: Again, there is no reason for thinking you are crazy for asking this. My opinion, I feel that this stems from the hope you had for things to go back to the way things used to be, or even the fear of what may happen when you actually do leave.. maybe a little bit of both. But just know that you ARE doing the right thing! Honestly, things will NEVER go back to the way things used to be. The lies, and excuses that he or she will change or will get help is just a setup to keep you entangled in their web. Making the decision to leave will be the greatest and best decision a victim can and will ever make.

 

Q: “How can I get help?”

A: There are many resources out there. If you can safely search online, you will find an ample amount of websites that have great information. You will be able to find local organizations that can offer services to you. One thing I like seeing when I am doing my own research is that many of these websites have a “quick exit” to exit off their page. This is their virtual way of keeping you safe. There are also a lot of hot-lines and most of them are 24-hour hotlines, you can call when you know for sure it is a safe time to call and talk to someone who will provide you with the information you need.

If you have any other questions that you would like answered please feel free to comment below, or you can also DM me on twitter, email me, or message me on facebook.

Photo Credit:

“Google Images.” Google Images. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

<https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://afternarcissisticabuse.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/confusion.png%3Fw%3D423%26h%3D482&gt;.

 

My Support for the NO MORE Campaign

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Today I took the pledge. Today and in days past, I say to domestic violence and sexual assault. Will you join me and take the pledge? via  Visit their website and see all the ways you can say NO MORE.

Below I shared a few of their campaign videos.

 

Scars From Within

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If the scars from emotional abuse were visible to the naked eye.

I assure you, you most certainly would cry.

Possibly die inside.

Try to figure out Why?

I can’t deny.

The pain I felt inside.

The sleeplessness nights where I cried.

Asking God why? Why?

What did I do?

To deserve this abuse.

What can I do?

To be free from this dude?

I haven’t got a clue.

So lost and confused.

Can’t see my escape route.

Scared to stay but more afraid to leave.

If I try to leave surely I’ll bleed.

If I stay,

Maybe he’ll change.

Maybe he’ll go back to his old ways.

Man, how blind was I?

It was all a lie.

All just a disguise.

I was in such denial.

Now, no longer blind.

Eyes open wide.

Found my strength deep down inside.

I know I’ll survive.

Never again will I be victimized.

Spread Your Wings

Spread your wings.

Sail along the gentle breeze.

Gaze upon the horizon,

Look down upon the trees.

Take in the beauty

Of a new beginning.

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Spread your wings.

Fly to newer heights.

Escape to a better place.

Feel the wind beneath your wings.

Breathe in the fresh air of freedom.

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Spread your wings.

Soar like an eagle.

Take on a new journey.

Gracefully floating,

To your new destination.

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Spread your wings.

Glide into paradise.

For now, it is time to fly.

Fly to your safe place.

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Spread your wings.

With the strength from within.

Choose this day,

As the day, you win.

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Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award Nomination

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Thank you joicelizsabeth (my soul-sister); for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World blogger award. To say I am honored is an understatement! I thank you so much, and truly appreciate you J!

It looks like all I have to do is answer 10 questions, and nominate other women who are more than worthy of a nomination.  So here are the questions posed to me.

  • Why do you blog?

– At first, I wrote a blog to share my experience of domestic violence. In all honesty, I thought that would have been my one and only blog. The only thing I had asked for was that it helped just ONE person. Now, I blog to help give hope, to empower, to uplift and to build up other survivors. I blog, because I now know, that I am a voice for those who have not yet found their own voice.

  • Do you hope to accomplish something with blogging or do you just enjoy it?

– I feel as though I have accomplished what I set out for, I see that I have touched and helped many which is why now I just enjoy writing blogs. I enjoy hearing from readers who share parts of their own stories. I enjoy hearing from readers who say that a recent blog I posted gave them hope. So, I guess I just enjoy it.

  • Where do you live?

– I live in Boston, MA

  • What are a few of your top books?

– I just finished reading “A Black Rose Thrived” written by my dear blogging friend Rochelle Richey. (Amazingly written)

  • How about movies? What are your favorites?

– Hmmm.. I love horror movies. I am so bad when it comes to remembering movie titles.

  • What could you not live without?

– I could not live without my laptop or cellphone (sad I know), but it is how I communicate with my other bloggers/sisters across the world.

  • How would you hope to be described?

– I would hope to be described as; Loving, kind, caring, giving, thoughtful, inspiring, encouraging, and empowering.

  • What is your soapbox? That one issue that always puts you right up there?

– Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.

  • Where would you like to retire?

– Somewhere where it doesn’t snow. (Remember, I’m from Boston) 🙂

  • What do you do for work/day job/ etc?

– Currently; I work in an emergency department.

So, now it is time for me to choose my nominee’s:

  1. Rochelle Richey
  2. Trease Shine Hinton
  3. Rosie Malezer
  4. shesundone
  5. Blue Sky

To those I chose as nominee’s, you do not have to take part in this if you do not want to. However, I would ask that you pass this on and nominate a blogger whom you think deserves it.

Questions for everyone to answer:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. Do you hope to accomplish something with blogging or do you just enjoy it?
  3. Where do you live?
  4. What are a few of your top books?
  5. How about movies? What are your favorites?
  6. What could you not live without?
  7. How would you hope to be described?
  8. What is your soapbox? That one issue that always puts you right up there?
  9. Where would you like to retire?
  10. What do you do for work/day job/ etc?