Domestic Violence. Not a flattering 2 word sentence. I apologize in advance as Blog's are suppose to be pretty and poetic. This is not. But I chose to discuss because it's summer and many women and children will be in 1000 different ways, silently crying for help. It's a season where it cannot be easily hid. So I share to advocate for them. I'm healed enough to tell my story. And lucky enough to be alive to tell it. Society believes that if she just gets strong enough to get out she will be fine. This is a false belief. Ask anyone who works with people that survive this. They need months and years of support and programs to help them. They are broken. Financially, physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually. Bullies can sense them and follow up even after they've escaped.
My whole world. Right here. 3 of my favourite and most incredible humans ever. Resilient. Strong. Survivors. National Domestic Violence month is October, but we're going to talk about it today. Isn't it ironic that the National Mental Health Week is also in October. Coincidence? Not at all. Little by little I am sharing my story. Giving some glimpses of my life story as I write my book. It's not fun and many do not support or understand why I am now having a voice. It's because to many, on the outside, I come off privileged or weird. Stuffy or snobby. Cold or arrogant. I don't have many I call close friends. Because I won't let them in.
I tell it now, because a few years ago I hit a down time in my company and financial life. I was recovering from 2 marriage breakdowns and debt I consumed while rebuilding. So, when I had my first big fail in business, some really great punishers and pot stirrers came along and learned vague facts about my life and marriage breakdowns. They got creative in their tactics and starting telling my story for me with their own twist, assumptions and drama. The disgusting part? Many were so-called christians. After being humiliated I decided to take my power back and tell my own story. But the one thing my mom taught me was to just be the voice of my own story and leave them in the gutters where they wanted to be. Not to tell the morally, ethically and emotionally bankrupt things they had done. Their own time would come and they would learn through life lessons. So...my own failures and made up spin offs of my failures came out and I had to sit back in silence and just work on my own life and focus on my own family. This is not easy. But I am grateful now because I really took notes and learned who was there and who needed to be forever off our radar. What's that saying, 'If you are absent in my failure don't expect a seat at my table in my success...'. And I will remain true to that forever. So I have immense gratitude. And the people who were there...they are my people. I am still human and come off pretty crappy to them many times. I'm healing and learning how to love again. In general. But they are my people and I will forever be fierce to defend and be there for them.
HER SILENT CRY....I relate to any woman who has gone through emotional or physical abuse. I have to say sometimes the emotional leaves deeper wounds and scars.
I’ve been punched in the head and tried to be pushed out at highway speed with my kids there. I lost most of my hearing in my left ear that time. I’ve been held against a wall by the throat with a knife. And had to look at my oldest son and say, ‘it’s ok hunny take your brother and sister and watch a movie.’ I’ve been pushed through a wall, down the stairs, had a shelf pulled down onto me, while pregnant. I remember grocery shopping and seeing one of the local officers and praying he’d see my bruises. Only to be shadowed by my husband appearing to be lovingly holding my arms and shoulders. I now pay attention to women shopping. I was pushed one day just at the perfect moment when our family friend who was an officer drove by. He turned around and came to the door and asked me to come outside and chat. I wouldn’t. I lied and said we were rough housing. But my eyes screamed help me. I have been lifted off the ground by my throat. I watched my dad get pushed down our back stairs for trying to step in and follow up on his suspicions. Then see his look of dispair as my mom helped him up. Sick with disease and crippled. His eyes cried betrayal to me and to him and my mom said to him, 'how could you? We are so good to you.' When my oldest was a few months old, I took pills to get away. I thought this would spare him a life of heartache. My dad had to race me to the hospital. Then he stayed by my side for 2 days while I had repeated tests to assess organ damage. Because that happens. Your body is not made to withstand a bottle of pills. I had Dr’s come by and grill me. Police came to question me, a mental health person came and questioned me. Then I had to be babysat like a child. My parents fearing for their grandsons safety in my presence. They didn’t know. They thought I had lost my mind. 6 weeks later I learned I was expecting my 2nd. Ask me how guilty I feel almost daily.
Thank God for Angels and how quick the human body heals. My 2nd pregnancy is a story all on its own. One day I might share. I’ve stayed in a shelter with my kids. Had food stamps. This is a living hell. After he left, officers drove by many times a day to check in and at night, parked across the street. This brought peace of mind and a feeling of safety. And it affects your kids for years to come. While waiting for trial, one Sunday night we were out and when we came home, my boys went downstairs to go get ready for bed. They ran upstairs and said 'Mom! There's a man climbing out our bathroom window!' What does a mom do in this situation...we called the RCMP and got in the front room with a knife and waited. They took finger prints, walked the perimeter, checked the house, but somehow someway I never thought they'd have to check every inch. And because it was late I said it was fine. Kids went to bed and I was up late trying to calm down. Around 2am I heard a creaking on the stairs and thought one of the boys couldn't sleep. So I called to them to come up. It was silent and then I heard running up the basement stairs, my back door and someone left in a hurry. I ran to the door that was open and saw no one. Ran downstairs and my boys were sleeping. I got threatening calls for months from his friends while waiting for trial. Had his friends and former co-workers drive by while in the yard or on a walk with my kids and harass. It was a nightmare. This is just a small bit of what we lived. There was so much more but nothing I am ready or feel it is of any benefit to share.
Am I free of blame? Not at all. I learned to fight back. I made sure everything between me and him was propelled to buy time. I had mental meltdowns. I later became someone who bit if you got too close. And talk about being a helicopter mom. I’m not a shark with my kids. I was a piranha. People wonder why I don’t date 🤔.
Here's 7 misbeliefs about families and women who survive and escape from Domestic Violence:
1. They have left and will now be OK. FALSE! False, false, false. They have just come off the running wheel like a hamster in a cage. They have NO clue how to survive outside of the control. this makes them fair game for every idiot out there. Especially the bullies of the world.
2. Survivors of Domestic Violence at least were never addicts. FALSE! You cannot stay in a toxic environment and not become addicted to the 'cycle'. When they first escape it is like a honeymoon phase. They are intoxicated on life and freedom itself. But it quickly becomes dark and scary. They seek out new abusers and toxic people because they do not believe they even deserve better. They are Adrenaline Addicts and Self Sabotage for a long time. They need help to heal. They cannot do this alone. I repeat, they CANNOT do this alone.
3. Women who stay in Domestic Violence are trailer park trash and uneducated girls with no direction. FALSE! Some are yes. But it would shock the living crap out of you to know it is your neighbour who drives the fancy car, has the degree and comes off intimidating so you avoid her. Domestic Violence has no preference.
4. Women who come from Domestic Violence are weak and damaged goods. Well....if you feel that way best you move along. As a friend or lover. She is strong, brave and beautiful.
5. If you get the children out before they are a teen, they will not suffer because they are resilient. This one breaks my heart. I cannot state enough how untrue it is. These children have just seen the 2 people they are suppose to love and trust more than anyone in the world, hurt each other. Because sadly, believe it or not, when a partner stays and allows abuse...she is hurting her partner each time. By allowing them to not seek help and deal with their issues.
6. Those who suffer domestic violence are 100% innocent and harmless butterflies. FALSE. False until she seeks help. They have only known toxic love. It is a cycle that as strange as it sounds, is a safe and familiar environment. If they learn to see the warning signs of danger in their partner...at least they have a hope of alleviating the results. New people - are unpredictable. And that is the scariest thing to us.
7. The abuser is a monster and cannot be helped. Mostly false! These are broken women and men who probably suffered abuse at some point themselves. People were not born to be mean. Hurt people hurt people. Healed people heal people. Did you know that there's a very high percentage of women who next time around or at some point also become an abuser? They learn to stand up for themselves and how to survive. Many times they too face consequences. Talk to any law enforcement person. It is heartbreaking the stats around this topic. Both sides are humans. Parents. People. I hurt my children by staying. I have had to do just as much damage control wth them as their father has had to. And we have healed and moved forward. My kids love us both the same. We are mom and dad.
Stop the Stigmatism that comes along with Domestic Violence. Get educated.
If you live in this, there is help. Reach out and ask. And if someone asks you...and you ignore...you are no better than the abuser for turning a blind eye.