Partly Cloudy With a Patch of Fog

partly sunny with a patch of fog

Just a typical Saturday morning. So I thought. It was sunny outside, blistering cold I’m sure, but it was nice to have the sun shine through my bedroom window. Yet, I just didn’t feel right. Something was off. I didn’t feel like myself at all. My forecast for the day, partly sunny with a patch of fog. That’s the life of someone who has PTSD. sometimes we have days where we just feel out of it. Sometimes we know the triggers, other days we can’t seem to grasp what caused us to feel this way. That was what this episode was for me. I couldn’t pinpoint it. I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling the way I was feeling and because I didn’t know I actually became angry at myself.

I didn’t share my feelings right away. How could I get guidance with something I couldn’t yet describe? I was in a funk the whole weekend. I felt weird, I felt out of place. I knew that this wasn’t me. I was super sensitive to anything and just about everything someone said to me. I was an emotional wreck. At one point Sunday evening I just couldn’t take the feelings anymore. I began crying.

It wasn’t until Sunday evening where I was able to break it down. Thankfully I have an amazing support system to walk me through it. We were able to talk about what I was feeling and even understand that there will possibly be other days like this. I remember at one point during our talk, I got really mad at myself. I felt like because I was having an episode, that I had given my ex another victory over me. Like as if I was still his prisoner in my own mind. I was mad at the fact that I would have to always deal with having PTSD while he is probably living life Scott free.

During this talk, I was told that that was not necessarily the case. Although my PTSD is a result of the abuse I suffered from my ex, my episodes don’t give him anything. Definitely not a victory.

I had to come to terms with the fact that this is something that comes along with my PTSD. It was reassuring knowing that this person still sticks by my side even during my ugliest moments. Knowing that they don’t completely understand it yet they do their best and are willing to be there for me meant more to me than I could ever possibly begin to describe. Now if these foggy episodes were to happen more frequently, then that is where professional counseling would come in. Maybe even more so now before it were to ever get to that point. It is good to be able to have someone to talk to, sometimes we do not want to share every little thing we go through or are feeling with those who are close to us.

I am a work in progress. I am learning new triggers and new ways to cope and get through them. I am learning even more about PTSD on a more personal level. I used to be ashamed and a little embarrassed to admit having PTSD. I cannot be ashamed of something that is a part of me. In the end, if people find out I do have it there is only two things they can do. 1) Love me through it. Or 2) keep it moving! There is nothing to be ashamed of, especially your past! Your past is a testament of your strength. Your scars are your story of victory! It is okay to have a day that is partly cloudy with a patch of fog. As long as we don’t allow the fog to thicken and consume us!

The Phoenix Never Dies

It’s a rough road. For those who are going through or have gone through any form of abuse. The task of surviving day to day. As the one enduring the abuse. The unknown of whether or not we will make it out alive. The unknown if we can ever escape. The unknown of what will happen to us if and when we do escape. What will he or she do if they find out? What will happen to me? For those who have children; it ups the ante 100 folds. Why don’t people leave right away? It’s easier said than done, there are so many factors and reasons. Some may call it excuses, but as a survivor I tell you, it isn’t that we are making up excuses. It is due to the immense amount of fear we have towards this individual.

Then one day. It happens. Literally. Maybe it doesn’t just happen overnight, but because we are so brainwashed and have no self-control we don’t quite recognize it until it is practically boiling over. This fire burns inside of us. An unstoppable strength, After being beat and torn down for so long we don’t quite understand how we got this strength or where it came from. It is as if something inside of you just wakes up all your senses.

For me, it happened after my ex choked me and I passed out. Now, for the critics out there, you must understand that before physical abuse occurs usually mental, verbal and/or emotional abuse have already been set in motion for quite some time. No I didn’t leave after the first time he physically or sexually abused me. Why? Because he had already gained control of my mind. I was a prisoner in my own body. The daily verbal beat downs. Being told that no one loves me, or that I am not pretty enough. Being told that I get what I deserve.. The threats of what he would do if I try to leave, threats he made to me about hurting my family. No one wants me. No one loves me. I am nothing and will be nothing without him. Being reminded of how my biological father abandoned me by saying things like “Your own father doesn’t even want you”. The list goes on and on.

So on this one particular evening, we had not been on speaking terms for a couple days at this point which was pretty much the norm for him. I had the day off so I had spent the day doing laundry, running errands etc. I was sitting on our bed, watching t.v. when he had come home from work and entered the room. I didn’t like when we were not on speaking terms, I knew I had to be the bigger person and start some sort of conversation with him. I simply asked, “How was work baby?” He slams the wardrobe door shut, I look up at him and see his teeth clenched. I knew exactly what was about to happen next so I got up from the bed, thinking I would just walk out the room to avoid any more confrontations. It didn’t work out that way. He grabbed me by my arm and pulled to where I fell on to the bed. Like any other time, he pinned me down and punched the bed on either side of the bed. Like so many times before he said. “If you move and I hit you it’s your fault not mine.”

I thought I had memorized the whole scene. Every move he made I knew by heart. Then the scene changed. He got behind me and put me into a choke hold that I could not get out of. I passed out. For how long? I do not know and will never know. When I came too, I woke up with my head in his lap. You want to know what he was doing? Playing video games. As if nothing had just happened. It was as if I had fallen asleep there. When he had realized that I had woken up he began laughing and petting my head as if I were some sort of lap dog. It was in that moment that I finally realized I had to go. It was in that moment that I had realized that things were never going to change but that they were only going to get a whole lot worse. If I didn’t escape hell that night or the very next day, I would become a statistic. I had to fight and subconsciously I knew that I had to fight for others who were/are in a similar situation.

When it was time for bed, he told me to sleep with my head at the foot of the bed (as if I were the one that did something wrong). My rage boiled over. The phoenix within me was starting to wake up. I looked at him and said “I ain’t your dog, and I will NOT sleep at the foot of your bed, either you can sleep at the foot of the bed or you can sleep out on the couch, but me? I ain’t moving. Good night!” I had found my voice again. He was the one who slept with his head at the foot of the bed.  In something so small and simple as having the good spot in the bed, I felt victorious. My power had returned to me. That there was the first time I realized the strength I had within me. I stayed awake for a while until I knew that he for sure was sleeping.

The next morning I woke up pretty much just as the sun was rising. I had probably slept for only a few hours. I quietly and softly got up out of the bed, grabbed my towel and my cell phone and headed to the bathroom. When I got into the bathroom I looked at myself in the mirror and could still see my ex’s fingerprints on my neck. I ran the bath water and sobbed as I dialed my sisters phone number. It must have been around six o’clock so I knew she would be up. If she wasn’t heading into work, she was at least getting ready. When she answered the phone she had just entered her work place. I told her I needed to talk to her that it was very important and then began to explain what had taken place the previous night. She told me she would be right on her way and to begin packing everything that I possibly could. After we got off the phone I stayed in the bathtub a little longer. I had so many emotions raging through me. I was scared. I was hurt. I was nervous. I was angry.  I began crying again. I was doing my best to not cry loud enough that someone in the house would here me and come to the door.

I got out the bath, got dressed and walked back towards the bedroom. While walking down the hallway I was praying that he was still sleeping. While opening the door to the bedroom I literally held my breath. As I entered U looked over to find him still asleep. Thank God! I went to the kitchen for some trash bags and began emptying out the closet, stuffing my clothes in the bag. When one bag was full, I tied it and put it in front of the apartment door.

My sister kept me up-to-date with her location. I think that was her way of making sure I wasn’t in any type of danger. Whenever I heard him move or breathe different I would freeze. All I could think was what will he do if he wakes up?

I had almost finished getting all of my things when he woke up. I must’ve looked like a deer in headlights. He turned his head and looked at me saying “Shauna, are you leaving me?” It felt like my throat was closing up. I mustered up the courage to tell him yes. I told him my sister was already on her way and should be here any minute. He got up, and I prepared myself for what I thought would happen. I was expecting him to either hit me, punch me or even drag me around the room. I was expecting him to do all the things he had threatened to do to me. All the times he said I wouldn’t make it out the front door unless my legs were broken. Telling me I was lucky if that was all that happened to me. Every time I would look at him, I would have flashbacks from the night before. Flashbacks of when he clenched his teeth together and then lunged at me. Flashbacks of him putting me into a choke hold and then of myself waking up with my head in his lap. He had grabbed his towel and gone to the bathroom. While he was in there I started grabbing everything of mine that I could and continued placing the bags by the front door. I called my sister to see how far away she was and told her that he is awake and in the shower. She said she was just a few minutes away.

When he came back to the room he finished getting dressed, grabbed his keys and with his back turned towards me he said “Goodbye Shauna”,  and walked out of the apartment. I stood there for a minute kind of dumbfounded. Maybe even in a bit of shock, I didn’t expect it to happen that way. I didn’t expect him to react in that way. All the thoughts I had of how everything might play out when this day comes, all the fears of this day that kept me from leaving sooner. It crazy to me. In the back of my mind I still wondered what he may really be up to. Would he be outside the door waiting for me to leave? Would he be sitting in his car to follow us and see where I was going to be staying?

My sister called me to tell me that she was outside of the apartment building. I let her into the building so we could grab everything in as little trips as necessary. We gathered all my belongings, put them in the back of her truck and we were gone. My sister called my mother to tell her that I am safe and with her and even told my mother how I had marks on my neck still. I looked out the window as we drove off. I was free I thought to myself. Little did I know that the real battles were just around the corner.

Physically I was free. Mentally and emotionally I was still a prisoner. It has taken me years just to be able to talk about this, let alone start to heal from it. It is a long road. It isn’t a lonely road because I have learned from first starting my blog page that I am not alone and that there are many people who are there for me when I need them. I do not have to feel ashamed when I experience something for the first time. I know there is someone who has experienced it or something similar to it and they will help me thru it.

When I feel weak, when I feel defeated. Those are the times that the phoenix inside me burns brightest. The Phoenix never dies. It is apart of us, it is one with us. The phoenix is our inner most deepest strength and courage. It may seem like it escapes us but it never leaves us. It waits for its moment to shine in our lives. It waits to be called upon in our most desperate of times.

Like a Phoenix, she will rise from the ashes of despair and soar.”

Angel

 

My Broken Pieces

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When your biological father doesn’t love you, it cuts you deep.

It leaves you vulnerable and weak.

Leaving you open to predators

Who seek to do nothing but devour you.

When your father doesn’t love you

It leaves you searching for it in the wrong places.

It leaves you craving it.

No matter how it is that you taste it.

Love is all that you want.

Love is all that you long for.

To be loved.

It is all you dream about.

You fall for all the lies.

No matter how big or small.

You will go through it all.

You stick with the bad and go through hell.

You let him continuously keep you under his spell.

Because nothing else matters when you are being given what you so desire.

Whether it is real, or all a fantasy.

It satisfies your craving.

Even if it is only temporarily.

 

My broken pieces I’m left alone to pick up off the floor.

On my own to make myself whole.

No one but me.

Me. Myself. And I.

 

When the first man you ever loved.

Shows his true form.

Things you said you would never allow,

Now have taken your freedom.

He uses his tongue to cut you deep.

You lay in the dark afraid to sleep.

He wraps his hands around your neck until you pass out.

He has no fear in killing you, have no doubt.

 

My broken pieces I’m left alone to pick up off the floor.

On my own to make myself whole.

No one but me.

Me. Myself. And I.

 

 

 

 

Continuing Thru The Obstacles

obstacles

I am a survivor. I come with a lot of baggage, I will be first to admit that. Things that don’t bother or set you off, can send me into a whirlwind of emotions for days. PTSD. One of those things I had to learn to live and deal with. It is a part of me. It is not something that just goes away.

My past has made me very alert to a lot of things. It is a good thing but also a bad thing. Sometimes I tend to get defensive when there is no need for it. It is as if at times I feel like I always have to fight for myself. Like a bad habit. I had to fight to survive for so long that is almost as if I am programmed to always be ready to fight.

I have experienced new triggers, learned how to get through them instead of just avoiding whatever the trigger is. IS…not WAS! I believe that the triggers don’t simply just disappear over time but they become less frequent as we become more aware of what those triggers are and also as we learn to cope with our day to day activities.

Over the years I have learned a lot about myself, even more so thru writing my blogs. I didn’t like everything that I learned, but I learned to accept it and to change what I was able to change. I have learned to love and accept all aspects of me. How can I expect others to do so if I am unable to? How would I be able to know what I deserve if I do not even know what I am worth?

I am a survivor. I come with a lot of baggage. No, I don’t want to unpack my stuff with just anybody; that goes for both friendships and relationships. If I decide to unpack it is because that person has earned my trust. Which is hard to gain in the first place. If I decide to unpack, please be patient with me. Let me take my time carefully unpacking, carefully exposing my scars.

Continuing thru the obstacles, climbing over the walls, jumping over the hurdles and running this race called life. One day at a time. One obstacle at a time. Realizing that I may not make it through that obstacle the first time around but always getting stronger and better for the next time.

The Lost Wanderer (Part 2)

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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…..

On to brighter days she thought to herself,

Not knowing that there would be new obstacles.

These obstacles would be different though.

The obstacles of the mind.

She wanted all memories erased.

Unfortunately she realized this would not be the case.

It took a long time for her to be able to function properly.

Years of torment, years of abusing herself.

Years of hating herself.

Seeking for love by any means necessary.

The lost wanderer, searching for her place.

Trying to figure out life on her own.

Through trials and tribulations she endured.

She survived.

For so long she hated the word survivor.

It wasn’t until years later she wore it like a badge of honor.

The butterfly now soars sunrise to sunset.

Freely to higher heights.

She found her path and destiny.

Each day comes with its own set of challenges.

Each day she continues to grow and strengthen her wings.

No longer lost, she now wanders with love, hope and courage.

Searching for those who are in the same space she once was.

Searching to empower, searching to encourage and searching to inspire.

The Residue of You

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The residue of you.

It doesn’t take much to remember the pain of you. The first man I loved. My first hero. My first heart break. You are the reason for a lot of my firsts, but you were never a part of many of the important ones. Shit, you never even came to my graduation ceremony they held for 6th graders going on to junior high. You sent your girlfriend. You replaced your children with whatever bullshit you felt was more important to you at the time.

The residue of you, is why I think I have so much trust issues. Not just with men, but people in general. My sisters used to say I was “daddy’s princess” when we were growing up. Man, did you prove them wrong. You told me I was a mistake.

People say to forgive and forget, how much easier it is to say then to do. I find it incredibly difficult to forgive the one man who is supposed to protect me from most of the things I have had to deal with growing up. Then again, how can a man teach his children how to protect themselves from men like himself? How can a man like himself teach his children how a man is supposed to treat his daughters?

You were never there, therefore YOU DO NOT GET CREDIT, in the process I went through in becoming the amazing woman I am today. You do not get to say that you are proud of me for my achievements when you were never there to guide me. NO! You do not deserve to bask in my success. You have no part in it, therefore you will never reap from it.

I used to always want to ask you why. I used to think maybe that would help me get over it. As I got older and wiser I realized that not only would I most likely not get the truth, but that it also just didn’t matter. The truth is that you are a selfish human being. The truth is that you just don’t care. The truth is that you are exactly like your own father. Irresponsible and selfish.

I am now in my thirties, have not seen you since I was about ten or so. The last conversation we had I was days away from turning twenty-five. As far as I’m concerned that last conversation is just that; our last. Again, I fell for a chance to reconnect with my father. The hopeless little girl inside of me got the best of me. All that got me was another let down, another scar tatted on my heart. You had the chance to talk to one of your daughters after all these years went by. Even though you didn’t deserve it. What did you do? Instead of talking to her, you said you had to get off the phone because you were crossing state lines. That sir, was it. That was the last knife I would ever allow you to stab me with. That was your last chance.

I have gone through so much and have grown even more. Yet, the residue of you still remains. We nicknamed you the seven year curse, then it changed to the three year curse, because you seem to come around every seven years then it turned to every three years. A curse because with you, comes nothing more then bad memories. With comes so much hurt and pain. With you triggers a whole lot of different things that none of us want to remember.

Triggers: I seen someone who had similar features to yours. Well, what I can remember of you. I instantly got angry, I was instantly reminded of all the lies and false hopes of you.  All the verbal, emotional and physical abuse that was done. The best yet, remembering the fight I fight each and every day to prove to myself that I do it all on my own without you or anyone else. The fight I fight because I know that I am better off without you. The fight I fight that because of you, I learned self-love is the best love.

So no, you will never be given credit as to the woman I have become. I am who I am because you were never around. I am who I am because my mother is all that I had. I am who I am because I witnessed first hand the strength and endurance of my mother. I learned how to fight through life because I watched her fight.

The residue of you, won’t be allowed to set me off like it has in the past(I’m working on that) but the residue that you left behind I will use as a reminder that I am only me because of those who took time and sacrificed in order for me to get here.

 

 

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…)

Have You Ever Wondered?

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Have you ever wondered why?

Why he or she covers up the lies?

Why he or she doesn’t just leave?

Why he or she cannot see what you see?

Have you ever tried to understand?

Walk in his or her shoes if you can?

Ever think of the dangers that are at hand?

Do you realize the mental control that is in place?

Do you know the things that he or she must face?

Do you know what is possibly at stake?

How much careful planning it all takes?

Before judging and assuming, before victim bashing.

Be aware. Aware of the things that are most likely happening.

For a victim of abuse they may not be aware of the choices they have.

They may feel like no one cares.

Take into consideration of the brainwashing.

Being told that no one loves them.

Being told that it is their fault and that they deserve it.

Abuse goes so much deeper than a physical wound you may happen to see.

The mental, verbal and emotional abuse is not seen by the naked eye.

The invisible scars that lie deep beneath and hold so much control.

Have you ever wondered?

Have you ever really just wondered?

Why he or she is so closed off from the world?

Why he or she does not trust a single soul?

How hard it is for them to gain back their own self control?

Do you know what it is like to be a prisoner in your own mind?

To feel trapped even after you have already escaped?

Triggers: A scent, a sound, a touch, a day, a time, an event, a number of things that could send a person spiraling backwards in their healing.

The panic and anxiety attacks

The not wanting to leave from under the covers of your bed.

Never feeling safe.

Always feeling alone.

And you wonder why he or she goes back?

The sweet lies that drip from the tip of the abusers tongue.

The lies that have the victim turn back and run.

Run back to the arms of the one who causes the most pain.

Blinded by the disguise.

Not seeing their own demise.

All in order to feel “loved”

Have you ever wondered?

How he or she got there?

What has them stuck there?

Have you ever taken the time to fully understand?

What it is like to be controlled by another persons hand?

How someone once so strong could be so fragile?

How someone with so much confidence now insecure?

How someone who once was so full of life can now be so passionless?

Have you ever wondered?

What can you say?

What can you do?

To possibly get them to see the truth?

Truth is..

You can tell them until your face turns blue.

It isn’t that they don’t hear you or want to hear you.

They need to see the truth

For themselves.

They have to see their way out.

They have to see that they will be safe.

They have to get to that point.

The point where they have had enough.

Their eyes will be open

Where they will soon realize.

Everything that was said

Was nothing but lies.

It was all a disguise

To try and paralyze

A caterpillar from transforming into a butterfly.

Have you ever wondered?

When She Awoke

One morning she woke up different.

Done with trying to figure out who was with her, against her or walking down the middle because they didn’t have the guts to pick a side.

She was done with anything that didn’t bring her peace.

She realized that opinions were a dime a dozen.

Validation was for parking.

Loyalty wasn’t a word but a lifestyle.

It was this day that her life had changed.

Not because of a man.

Or a job.

But because, she had finally realized that life is way too short to leave the key of her happiness in someone else’s pocket.

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Domestic Violence & Mental Health

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It has been in my head for a while to blog about domestic violence and mental health. I know I have touched on P.T.S.D. in a previous blog (P.T.S.D. and its triggers) , but what about depression, suicidal ideations and substance abuse? Those of us who have experienced the aftermath of the psychological effects of domestic violence know all too well about how the trauma affects us on a daily basis. Depending on the severity and duration of the abuse, some may “bounce back” faster than others. Which leads to the reason why I always say to take your time with your healing process and do not rush it. We all heal and deal differently. It is a fragile process that takes a lot of time and effort. If you are in need of resources please click on this link.

Mental health illnesses are not something to be taken lightly. They are also something that has really been recognized when it comes to domestic violence survivors. Before recent years, P.T.S.D. was most commonly known to be linked to war veterans. Over the years the diagnoses of P.T.S.D. has been revised. The most recent revision I have come across was in 2013. (National Center for PTSD)

When looking at depression, at least one researcher refers to domestic violence as the “hidden epidemic” of mental health conditions. (Domestic Violence and Depression – Breaking the Cycle). From my own perspective, depression is inevitable. It is fair to say that as a survivor of domestic violence I wholeheartedly agree that when a victim, it’s your self-worth, your integrity, your self-esteem, and more importantly your identity that is constantly under attack.

After a constant beaten on one’s mental and emotional being, it should not be shocking that a victim of abuse becomes depressed. With all the negativity that has been drowning the victim, the only thoughts they can conjure up are negative thoughts. In extreme cases of depression one can also experience suicidal ideations or suicidal thoughts. Domestic violence is not just about physical abuse, it is not just about the black eyes, bruises and scars that one can see with the naked eye. It goes so much deeper than those wounds.

Emotional abuse is any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.”1 Emotional abuse is also known as psychological abuse or as “chronic verbal aggression” by researchers. People who suffer from emotional abuse tend to have very low self-esteem, show personality changes (such as becoming withdrawn) and may even become depressed, anxious or suicidal.” (See my blog on Verbal/Emotional Abuse)

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The flashbacks, the nightmares, uncontrollable thoughts and anxiety is what we as survivors are left with when we first escape the abuse. We are trying to recover ourselves, recover our identity; recover who we once were. It is a process, and an exhausting one at that. Coping with the effects of domestic violence can be extremely overwhelming; many times since the survivors control over the situation has been ripped away from them by the abuser, the survivor can turn to self-medicating. No longer wanting to deal with the pain head on, no longer wanting to remember those events that have taken place and no longer wanting to deal with those flashbacks and nightmares. They may also engage in self-harming behaviors which is another way to feel like a sense of control and also as a way to release their pain.

 

Domestic violence can also take away one’s sense of safety and security. Making it difficult for the survivor to trust others. Remember, the survivor had trusted this person with his or her whole being, their trust was taken for granted. Survivors may feel like giving up, they may feel unmotivated and empty. They may not want to reach out for help because they feel like there is no point in doing so.

One thing we as survivors must remind ourselves and other survivors is that we are broken but not damaged. We can and we will overcome the effects that the abuse has left us. With each other we can make it. With the right resources we will overcome it. Keep pushing, you deserve to have A Life Worth Living For.

 

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!

As My Thoughts Escape My Mind…

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As you all know from my previous blog, I have started writing my book. It’s really hard, remembering details from my childhood as well as details from my relationship. I must admit I’ve already shed some tears and this is just the beginning of the book. Remembering things I worked so hard to erase or cover up. To bring them back to the forefront has been difficult at times. Some things I actually did completely block out of my mind and couldn’t really write in complete detail about. Even with some of those details that I cannot remember, it brought me to tears. To me, I felt like those details were not erased by me and should not have to be something that I should forget.

It has been challenging but also therapeutic at the same time. This book needs to be written, and I hope that you all can relate to it. I thank you all for being a part in this journey. Thank you for your support with this blog page. If it wasn’t for you this book may not be written. It was with this blog page that I had hoped to share and connect with others and make a difference in someone’s life. The connections I have made shown me that I really do need to put this book out there. You all inspire me more than you could ever know.

Continue to pursue your goals. Continue healing. Continue striving. You are on this earth for a reason. Do not allow your past to make you think or feel any different. You have a voice and deserve to be heard. Break the silence. Let’s raise awareness and let it be known that enough is enough!

butterfly is proof

 

 

Ever Wonder Why?

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Why didn’t you leave sooner?

Why did you let him get away with it?

Why did you stay?

Why didn’t you fight back?

Why Why Why Why Why.

 

As survivors, we get asked the WHY’s far too much! We know it isn’t necessarily intentional, but sometimes all those why’s make us feel worse than we may already feel. When we do get away from the abuse, we are already asking ourselves the same why’s and sometimes we ourselves do not yet know the answers. It isn’t just the question, but it is the delivery of the question that gets us. To be honest, we’d rather you not ask the why’s. In time you may get your answers, but if you are too impatient, you can continue reading to get some of your answers.

 

Why didn’t you leave sooner?

When the relationship first starts it isn’t started with the abuse, the abuser woo’s you, they sweep you off of your feet. They make you feel like a king or queen. After they “got you” they start slowly tearing you down (emotional abuse). They’ll call you names and make it seem as though he or she is just joking with you; but then it isn’t a joke anymore. You hear these things repeated over and over again. You start to believe that these things are who you actually are. You take on a false identity of yourself because you feel like this is what you deserve. You believe him or her when they say that no one will love you, no one would want you, you’re no good for anyone (verbal abuse). He or she isolates you from family and friends, making themselves the only one in your life.They may say that you do not need to work, they will take care of you. If you do work, they have a joint account with you, or they time you the time it takes you to get home and oh please do not be a minute later (environmental and financial abuse). Therefore, you feel as though you have nowhere to go or no one to call to help you. Or they make you think that no one would come for you because they do not love you.

Be aware the information I am now giving you is from someone who has experienced domestic violence in ALL of it’s forms. I am speaking about what happens, but don’t get it twisted. While all this is actually happening the victim is not aware of it. They are blind to it, they are so wrapped up in this individual that they do not see any of this as it is going on. I want to make it clear that domestic violence is NOT just physical abuse. But it involves far more than what is perceived. There are many men and women who were with an abusive partner and did not experience physical abuse.

So for me, when the physical abuse starts I was already too far in (if that makes sense) I had already been brainwashed into thinking that this was where I was supposed to be, that this was what my life was supposed to be. I felt like I deserved it. I mean my sisters and I were verbally, emotionally and physically abused by our father. During my parents divorce my father stopped seeing us, he abandoned us. For some you may think that would be a good thing. But for a child who still loved her father and still wanted him in her life it was another punch in the stomach, another stab to her heart. I had lost my step-father to cancer. It was as if this was just another part of the life of Shauna. As if, I was not deserving for love, whether it be in the form of a father, or partner.

Why did you stay?

I stayed out of fear. Being told if I left I either wouldn’t make it out alive or if I did both my legs would be broken. I stayed out of fear that he may do something to my family. I stayed hoping that he would change. Hoping that he got help. Hoping that the man I fell in love with in the beginning would come back. I stayed because I so desperately wanted to be back to the way things once were. I thought that if I continued loving him and showing him that I loved him that he would see that and want to do better and be better.

Why didn’t you fight back?

Why didn’t I fight back? For one, I did my best to make sure the confrontations didn’t occur in the first place. Do you know what it feels like to basically walk on eggshells in your own home? To have to watch every little thing you say or do to keep this person “happy”? Fighting back would only make things worse. The night he choked me, the night before I left, the thing that set him off, was me saying: ‘How was work baby’, I saw him clench his teeth, so I decided it would be best to walk out the room and give him his space, I misjudged that though. He in turn grabbed me and tossed me on the bed, he began punching the bed so close to my head that if I moved the wrong way at the wrong time he surely would have punch my face. He punched me all over my back, and that is when he choked me.

Why did you let him get away with it?

This one gets me. This is one that is at top of my list of questions that I hate and it enrages me. It was my decision to not press any charges. It was my decision because I did not want to have to deal with him any more. It was my decision because I just didn’t want to make things worse than what they already were for myself and my family. It is my decision and I do not regret it. As I have learned and grown, he didn’t get away with it. One thing I know for sure is that God is the ultimate judge, there is nothing greater then when God takes care of things for you. See, I believe in Karma. What goes around comes around. It doesn’t mean that what he did to me will necessarily happen to him. But one thing is for sure, he’ll reap what he has sown. Besides, what greater victory is there then for him to see and know that he can no longer control me? Not only that, but through this I am using it to reach and help others who have gone through it and for those who are going through it now. My greatest revenge is my comeback and my comeup.

Before you go asking why, I urge you to do some research on domestic violence and abuse. Get familiar with the forms of abuse, read some other blogs from other survivors about their experiences. Each individual handles things differently. Our experiences are different even though they are similar. Our healing process is very different. We are all at different stages in our healing. Take the time and educate yourself before you ask the why’s. Like I wrote in the beginning, some of us do not yet have the answers to those why’s. Be patient, try to have understanding and most importantly show compassion.

Travel Through The Mind of A Survivor

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I’m safe.

Where I am going he cannot find me.

He cannot hurt me anymore.

I’m safe.

 

Breathe.

 

Inhale.

Exhale.

 

I know I’m safe.

But will he find me?

Things are so weird now.

I know I can’t go back.

But I miss him.

I miss him?

Am I crazy?

 

I miss who he was in the beginning.

Was that really him?

What did I do wrong?

What did I do to make him hate me so much?

Why did he do all those things to me?

 

Was I not good enough?

Was I not pretty enough?

Not smart enough?

I gave everything up for him.

I did any and everything to make him happy.

 

Who would ever want to be with someone like me?

I’ll never love anyone again

I’ll never be loved by anyone again

I’m damaged goods

 

He was right…

No one would want me

No one would love me

I’ll never be anything

I’m nothing

I’m nothing without him

 

I have to move on

I can’t keep living like this

I can’t keep going on like this

I have to get my life back

 

One step at a time

One day at a time

Whatever it may take

I’m getting my life back

 

I will have good days

And some bad days

But each day is a step closer

A step closer to gaining back my identity

 

I may not be who I once was before

But I know I will be better than I was

It is going to take a lot of work

But I know I can make it

 

If I could make it out of that

I can make it through anything

 

When the negative things he used to say play in my mind

I will reverse them into the positive things I know I am.

 

He said I was ugly.

But look at me.

I’m beautiful.

 

He said that I was weak.

But I am stronger than I have ever been.

 

He said I was nothing without him.

But I am more than he could have ever handled.

 

I am who I am

Because of all that I went through

When you thought you could break me

I actually broke free

I busted out of that cage

Out of that cocoon

And I learned how to fly

Photo Credit: http://consciouslifenews.com/akashic-records-simple-explanation/1122435/

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