Friday, March 18, 2011

Verbal Punches

These images always get to me... for sooo many years, I thought that it was the physical abuse that was the worse. I was brainwashed to think that no one would believe me if I didn't have any physical signs of being beaten.

The truth is that I was beaten with words every day for 11 years.

This is not something I admit easily or express the effects of it lightly. I feel guilt for having stayed in an abusive relationship for so long. I hate that my children were exposed to and a part of Domestic Abuse and Violence. The kids, too, were hit with words every day of their little lives...

The Workshop the kids and I just attended was very informative and it helped us all work through stuff. We are all sooooo emotionally drained, and we are all letting it out in different ways.

No matter now hard it is, it is way easier than living in abuse and violence, ever single day...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Camp for Kids who Witness Violence

The kids and I are out of town at a 'camp' for Children Who Witness Domestic Violence. They have sessions for their age level, and I am with the ladies, but we all talk about the same topics. It is great so far - we made it through the first day - with 2 more days to go.

In today's last session, we watched a video about kids who witness violence. There were lots of things that compared to the stuff we went through, and I nearly broke into tears at one point. There was also a part where a little boy acted up after a visit with their Dad. That is exactly what my kids are like after just a 2 hour supervised visit with their Dad. It was really good to know that my children's behavior IS normal... normal for a child who grew up in a household where their Dad abused their Mom.

As much as I am glad we came to this camp, I am already becoming emotionally drained...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Trapped by Jill Peters

I was in Chapters the other day, and this book caught my attention. I bought it, and I've hardly been able to put it down since!!

'Trapped' explains so well a lot of the stuff that happened during my marriage. I never sat down to put it all into thoughts, but as I read through this, it jogs my memory and brings me back to a time I hated - a time, not that long ago, when I was, indeed, trapped.

Some of the things that she talks about and describes is hard to read. Sometimes it all overwhelms me too much and I feel like I have to put the book in the freezer where it can't hurt me. (Remember Joey on Friends doing that?? :) I haven't had to yet, but I have thought about it.

So, if you want to know more about what Domestic Violence and abuse is like, this is an excellent read. I am just about half way through and I am comforted knowing that someone understands and has been through similar experiences. It helps.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Rights

When most people think about Domestic Violence, they automatically picture a woman who is beaten. Most imagine the bruised eyes and body, the bleeding, the shaking, and, perhaps, the total 'bottom of the barrel' look.

I was in the middle of domestic violence, and that was still first picture that came to my mind.

I found it difficult to consider myself in an abusive relationship because the majority of the ads against violence showed women like I described above. Most didn't show ME. And, the ones that did, I ignored. I had come to believe that what was going on in our home and marriage was completely normal. Boy, was I wrong.

One of the first things that my Social Worker gave to me when I started seeing her after I got out of the violence, was this list of Human Rights. This list changed a lot of things for me, very quickly. It was the first step in seeing just how violated the kids and I had been for so long...

This is what an abuse-free life looks like.

Things to remember everyday:

* I have the right to be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect at all times.
* I have the right to make my own decisions about the course of my life.
* I have the right to have dreams - and to work toward making these dreams come true.
* I have the right to feel good about myself as a person and a woman.
* I have the right to choose who will be my friends, whom I will spend time with, and whom I will confide in.
* I have the right to make mistakes.
* I have the right to change my mind (Have you ever heard the saying "If you haven't changed your mind lately, maybe you don't have one"?)
* I have the right to be happy.
* I have the right to ask for what I want.
* I have the right to follow my own values and standards.
* I have the right to express all of my feelings, both positive and negative.
* I have the right to say no.
* I have the right to determine my own priorities.
* I have the right not to be responsible for others' behavior, actions, feelings or problems.
* I have the right to my own needs for personal space and time.
* I have the right to be in a non-abusive environment.
* I have the right to change and grow.
* I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.
* I have the right to be uniquely myself.

So many of these rights of mine were violated. I'll talk about ones that really stood out to me in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Just giving myself permission to use my voice to stand up and speak out about the domestic violence and abuse I endured for 11 years is a huge step. I am not helping anyone else with the things I have learned and gone through if I just sit by and pretend nothing happened.

I am here, starting this blog, to be real and speak candidly about domestic violence and abuse. I will share my story. I will share the effects it has had on me and the children.

My prayer is that something I write about will help someone else out there in a situation like I was in.