Reflection Over Troubled Waters

I’ve always been drawn to water. I love the oceans, lakes, and ponds. It is as if it is my own little piece of heaven. The place where I can let all my thoughts run wild and yet at the same time I can still feel at peace. I can scream out all my pains without fear. I can cry my deepest cry without judgment. Then, as soon as I have pulled myself together I am literally face to face with myself. Looking at my reflection on the water. Sometimes the body of water may be peaceful, with my reflection gently resting on the surface. Other times the water may be rough, chopping my reflection up.

During these times where I would see my reflection over troubled waters it was like another reminder to myself. Reminding me, that no matter how rough life gets I will never be overtaken by its circumstances. No matter how large the waves they will not drag me away from my destiny. The current at times might slow me down, but it will never stop me from reaching my destination.

Life has tossed me around like an ocean during a storm trying to drown me in sorrow and depression. Just when I thought I would be lost at sea and soon forgotten about, the waves started to slowly calm down. When I felt weak and thought I could no longer keep my head above the waves a deeper strength from within carried me through.

The storm had passed but the choppy waters still remained. I had managed to escape trauma, but the recovery process was just the beginning. Through the waves of life I managed to rise back to the surface after each crashing wave had ferociously crushed over my fragile body.

I am a survivor of many forms of abuse. I made it through the darkest of times. I learned to love my reflection even if it was over troubled waters, not just when I look at it on the gently pond. I have learned to embrace myself even when I am being tossed around in the raging sea.

My reflection over troubled waters, is a reflection of my strength. A reflection of my perseverance and a reflection of my hope. My reflection over troubled waters is a storm all of her own. Never to be broken. Never to dissipate.

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The Lost Wanderer (Part 1)

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She was lost in her own hell.

Barely holding on.

She thought she knew better than to sleep with the devil.

His lies kissed her lips and she was gone.

His masked disguise left her blind.

Her strength and courage was sucked right out of her.

She was a dead woman walking.

Scared to cry out for help.

Scared to run away.

She held back her tears and carried on each day.

Not knowing how much more she could take.

Not knowing if tomorrow she would awake.

Walking on eggshells.

Plotting every move.

Who could she tell?

Life was what she had to lose.

She was lost in her own hell.

Not some fictional fairytale.

This was real life.

Every day was a new fight.

Fighting for another breath.

Fighting until there was nothing left.

He beat her down with his words.

His tongue was like a double-edged sword.

Her self-confidence.

Her self-love

Her self-control

All of it stripped from her.

She no longer had her identity.

She saw herself through the eyes and the lies of the man she once loved.

Her self identity became his insecurities.

Her pureness in his eyes were now impurities.

Until one day.

She woke up.

Woke up determined to break free.

She had had enough.

No longer blind

She mustered up enough strength to fly.

She was determined to survive.

Her soul revived.

Her heart strived.

She was born again, she had had come back to life.

She made a plan of escape.

Taking every precaution.

She was going to leave no matter the fate.

She was willing to claw her way out if she must.

The day had come.

Last night was the final straw.

He had choked her until she passed out.

She couldn’t take anymore.

Her life in his hands.

She knew his final plan.

She made arrangements early the next morning.

As she started gathering her belongings.

Scared for her life

She was ready to fight.

He was sound asleep

As she started packing her things.

Just as she was about to leave

He opened up his eyes.

He saw all her things and said

“You’re leaving me?”

In an instant flashbacks of past threats flooded her mind.

But she had already decided

Not this time.

Her inner warrior had awoken.

She finally stuck up for herself.

She told him she was leaving and that was that.

He slowly got up.

Her eyes followed his every move.

Her ears in tune with every step.

What was he going to do?

Out of all the things he had threatened.

What was going to be his first move?

He showered and dressed.

Not saying a word.

No sound was made.

No sound was heard.

He grabbed his keys and as he turned to leave.

He turned back around and said

“Good bye (Name)”

Goodbye? That’s it? She thought to herself.

As she heard him open and shut the door.

Something must be up.

She phoned her ride and explained that he had left.

A few minutes later she was finally gone.

Out of hell she escaped.

Without nothing, not even a scrape.

The butterfly had found an opening in the window.

And started to fly towards a better tomorrow…..

(To Be Continued…)

Domestic Violence Summit 2014

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I was looking for a video to post while I finish writing a blog I am working on and came upon these videos. The domestic Violence Summit 2014 hosted on the Dr. Phil Show.

It is a seven-part series and I just had to share them with you. Let’s raise awareness. Let’s connect. Let’s Inspire and Let’s Come Together!

Up and coming project

 

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Hey all, so I am in the works of creating a newsletter.  I am planning on starting it in September, I thought that would be a great time since it is the 1 year anniversary of my blog page. On my page I have the subscription sign-up on there, I want to focus on gaining subscribers now while I work on newsletters and continue educating myself with creating them, I have a couple in the works already.

This newsletter is a monthly newsletter focusing on encouraging, inspiring, and empowering women. It will be filled with helpful tools, motivational quotes and much more!

I thank you in advance for all your support in my endeavors. Below is the direct link to sign-up for the newsletter. When signing up, you may receive the intro welcoming letter and a confirmation email. It is automatically sent upon sign-up.

Sign-up here: http://eepurl.com/b19Lqz

Dare To Enter The Mind of A Victim?

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On the brink of insanity,

Is this really my reality?

This couldn’t have happened to me!

How did I let this happen to me?

How could I have been so weak?

How could I let him do this to me?

Why didn’t I leave sooner?

What is my mom going to think?

What will my family think?

Will they still love me?

Will anyone love me?

Will I ever love again?

 

Now what do I do?

I have nothing!

I am nothing!

I’m worthless!

I’m useless!

How could anyone love someone like me?

I’m damaged goods!

I’m crazy!

I’m a failure!

I’m ugly!

He was right…

 

Why did I leave him?

I was better off just staying there!

Maybe I should just go back!

Maybe things will be better this time!

 

Why am I here?

Why did I come back?

God, I am so stupid!

I can’t believe I fell for this shit again!

I can’t believe I fell for his lies.

 

But I love him.

He must love me.

He says he loves me.

So he must right?

Things will get better.

 

Why do I always believe him?

I should have never come back.

I should have never answered the phone.

I should have blocked his number.

I should have changed my number.

 

I’m back in the same place.

I’m back in this hell.

It is all my fault.

He’ll never change.

He won’t ever change!

But I’m stuck here..

I’m stuck here!

 

Everyone said they would never help me again if I came back.

So I’m stuck here.

I’m probably going to die here.

I’m stuck here.

There is no escape.

There is no help.

He’ll never stop.

He’ll never let me leave..

.. not without putting up a fight.

 

I have to fight!

I have to leave!

There has got to be a way out.

He is bound to kill me!

If he can choke me until I pass out and laugh about it!

He most certainly will be able to kill me without a thought!

It will happen!

He will kill me if I do not get out of here!

 

Do not sleep!

Think!

How can I get out of here!

The sun is starting to rise.

Grab phone and go to the bathroom.

Call sister.

(But what if she says no)

She is always there no matter what.

(But what if she says no?)

CALL HER!

Tell her!

 

She said she’s coming now!

Now what?

How do I get my stuff without waking him?

What if she doesn’t get here on time?

What if it is too late?

Grab trash bags and start throwing stuff in them.

Sister is on her way.

She won’t let anything happen to me.

She has always been there to protect me.

Check phone.

Sister is around the corner.

 

Oh my God he is awake!

What is he going to do?

What is going to happen next?

My sister is just around the corner!

Tell him!

(My sister is just around the corner, I’m leaving)

He’s getting up, what is he going to do?

Where is he going?

He’s getting in the shower?

More trash bags, keep packing!

He’s coming back to the room!

Keep strong!

Keep packing!

 

He’s grabbing his keys, what is he doing?

He’s leaving?

He’s leaving?

Where is he going?

Check phone.

(“I’m downstairs”)

 

She’s here!

She really came for me!

Get all my bags and get out of here!

What if he’s outside?

Get in the car.

I’m safe.

Where I am going he cannot find me.

He cannot hurt me anymore.

I’m safe.

Breathe.

Photo Credit: http://www.voella.com/2015/05/inside-the-mind-of-a-domestic-violence-victim/

 

Join In On The Convo

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Teen dating violence is a serious issue, did you know that close to 1.5 million high school students are victims of physical violence for a dating partner each year? Join me and others as we discuss the issue.

direct link: https:tlk.io/alifeworthlivingfor

or you can find it on my webpage on the left sidebar.

 

Let’s Talk About Teen Dating Violence

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This coming Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 @ 7pm EST. Let’s talk about teen dating violence! We all know how serious this issue is, so let’s talk about it! If we want to end domestic violence we need to reach out to the younger generations!

The direct link to the chat is: https://tlk.io/alifeworthlivingfor

Or you can find the chat on the left sidebar on my page.

Please comment below, or DM me on twitter to let me know if you will be joining in on the conversation.

Are You Aware of the Red Flags?

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What are red flags? Red flags are warning signs that something or someone isn’t right. When it comes to domestic violence it is important for everyone to be aware of the red flags, and know how to get out before it is too late. The thing is, is that many men and women become blindsided and never see the warning signs, they never see the red flag waving in front of the abusers face.

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How does someone become blindsided? They woo you, they charm you, and say all the things you want to hear, they buy you “just because” gifts. etc.

Are you aware of the red flags? Do you know what the red flags are? While reading, ask yourself if you see any of these warnings. Do you see these red flags in a family member or a friends relationship?
The information below is found on http://www.caring-unlimited.org/.

 

Red Flags to Consider When Beginning a New Relationship

The following is a list of red flags for you to notice and pay attention to when dating someone or beginning a new relationship. Some of them are indicators that the relationship may become abusive. Others are positive indicators that you are becoming involved with an abuser. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you are dating an abuser.

Quick Involvement

  • 6 months or less before living together/engaged
  • Claims of love at first sight
  • Says you are the only one who can make him/her feel this way
  • Pressures you for commitment

Unrealistic Expectations

  • Compliments you in a way that makes you seem superhuman
  • Very dependent on you for all needs
  • Expects you to be perfect
  • Says things like, I am all you need. You are all I need

Controlling Behavior

  • Advises you how to dress without your asking for advice
  • Pretends to be concerned for your safety or your productive use of time
  • Acts like you do not have the ability to make good decisions
  • Becomes extremely worried or angry when you are late
  • Constantly questions who you spend your time with, what you did/wore/said & where you went
  • Insists that you check in constantly
  • Monitors your phone/email
  • Makes you ask permission to do certain things

Jealousy

  • Wants to be with you constantly
  • Accuses you of cheating all the time
  • Follows you around or frequently calls during the day
  • Odd behaviors like checking your car mileage or asking friends to check in on you

Isolation

  • Tries to cut off all your resources
  • Puts down everyone you know: says friends are stupid, promiscuous, or accuses you of cheating with them; says family is too controlling, they don’t really love you, or you are too dependent on them
  • Refuses to let you use car or talk on the phone
  • Makes it difficult for you to go to school or work

Blames Others for Problems

  • If there are problems at school or work, it is always someone else’s fault
  • You’re at fault for everything that goes wrong in the relationship

Blames Others for Feelings

  • Makes you responsible for how they feel:
  • You made me mad.
  • You’re hurting me by not doing what I ask.
  • I can’t help being angry.
  • You make me happy.
  • You control how I feel.

Hypersensitivity

  • Easily insulted
  • Sees everything as a personal attack
  • Has a tantrum about the injustice of things that happen to him
  • Totally goes off about small irritations
  • Looks for fights
  • Blows things out of proportion

Disrespectful or Cruel to Others

  • Punishes animals/children cruelly
  • Insensitive to pain and suffering
  • High expectations of children beyond their abilities
  • Teases children or younger sibling(s) until they cry
  • Doesn’t treat other people with respect

Expects Control During Sex

  • Little concern over whether you want sex or not, & uses sulking or anger to manipulate you into compliance
  • Makes sexual or degrading jokes about you

Rigid Sex Roles

  • Believes women are inferior to men
  • Unable to be a whole person without a relationship

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

  • Sudden mood changes–like the person has two different personalities
  • One minute nice/next minute exploding
  • One minute happy/next minute sad

Past Battering

  • You may hear the person was abusive to someone else they were in a relationship with, they may deny it saying it is a lie or their ex is crazy/it wasn’t that bad

Breaking or Striking Objects

  • Used as punishment
  • Breaks cherished possessions
  • May beat on tables with fist
  • Throws objects at/around/or near you

Any Force during an Argument

  • Physically restrains you from leaving the room
  • Pushes or shoves you

 

For information on how to get help or how to help someone else, click here.

Teen Dating Violence

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February is T.D.V.A.M. (Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month), at the age of seventeen, I myself was in a violent relationship which I have previously posted (See Blog Here). While researching some stats, the numbers actually shocked me.

Loveisrespect.org lists the following stats:

  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
  • 1 in 3 adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
  • 1 in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The website also gives very good reason and stats as to why we need to focus on young people:

  • Girls and young women between ages sixteen and twenty-four experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence (that is almost triple the national average)
  • Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of those age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of twelve and eighteen.
  • The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.

As for college students:

  • Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.
  • College students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse – 57% say it is difficult to identify and 58% say they don’t know how to help someone who’s experiencing it.
  • 1 in 3 (36%) dating college students has given a dating partner their computer, email or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse.
  • 1 in 6 (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.

The long-lasting effects:

  • Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
  • Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get an STI.
  • Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rate attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys.

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Just by looking at the above stats from loveisrespect.org teen dating violence is far more common than people think or even realize. Why is that? It is due to lack of awareness, the subject of domestic violence as a whole shows that there needs to be more awareness on the issue. Therefore, there needs to be more awareness brought to teen dating violence as well.

Don’t ever think that your teens are too young to talk about domestic violence. If they are old enough to understand right from wrong, then they are surely old enough to discuss domestic violence. The problem with this though is the lack of awareness from parents.

  • Only 33% of teens who were in violent relationships ever told anyone about the abuse.
  • 81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
  • Even though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.

So what can be done to change this? Yes, posting blogs can help bring awareness to the issues, but more has to be done. Maybe there can be classes held at schools for parents? Maybe pamphlets and information about teen dating violence can me mailed to students houses; information and stats on the issue, as well as some pointers on how the parents can talk to their teens about dating violence. One thing is for sure, more knowledge on this issue is absolutely needed. 

Below I posted a few videos I found on Youtube.  Knowledge is POWER!

 

Did You Know

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Did you know:

– Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.

– On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

– 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

– 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

– 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.

– On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

– The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.

– Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.

– Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.

– 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.

– Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.

– Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.

Statistic from: http://www.ncadv.org/learn/statistics

Facebook: A Life Worth Living For

Twitter: @Shauna_Driscoll

A Life Worth Living For; a life filled with purpose. A life filled with hope and a life filled with dreams.

#PutTheNailInIt

PutTheNailInIt

Safe Horizon has launched a campaign Put The Nail In It to encourage people to donate to the cause of ending domestic violence. The campaign encourages people to paint their left ring finger purple to show your support in raising awareness to domestic violence. #PutTheNailInIt
Donations help with sheltering victims, legal fees, providing counselling, and more. Please visit the link to see how you can help!

Photo credit: “Today I Might….” Today I Might. Web. 7 Oct. 2015. <http://www.todayimight.com/category/nails/&gt;.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Be on the look out in the next few days for a couple of blogs I will be posting. Let’s get together to raise awareness. The more we educate ourselves and each other, the more lives we can save!

Feel free to comment on this post for any questions regarding D.V. that you would like to see discussed. Also, I encourage all survivors to share their stories. You have a voice and I want your voices to be heard. You made it! You deserve it!