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 of a vehicle 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.
Years later enter husband #2. They say if you don't heal you go back to what broke you. Or someone close to. I thought I'd outsmarted the universe and picked a polar opposite person from my husband. In some ways it was worse. The control was imminent and constant. I moved out to Alberta pretty much 'in the middle of the night' to escape the scrutiny from ppl in a small town who couldn't seem to forget. My dad had passed, my sisters married and in other towns and my mom remarried and living elsewhere. I felt really alone. So I thought, hey, a drastic change will do me good. And I picked up my homeschooled kids and left.
Not to a life any better. Not right away. I moved out here to a man who I thought had loved me forever. Why not give it a chance right? I mean, he professed his love for me and chased me hard so it must be love. ( back story - he was 8 years older than me and I dated him in high school and my dad hated him). But I was mad at the world and thought this will be good for me. If you were to ask anyone from my home town, it's like I packed up and left in the night. I left my dream home (an older home but one I loved and had plans for). I left family and friends who cared but I was convinced they didn't think I existed. I got engaged within 3 weeks of seeing my former high school boyfriend and moved literally in 3 days 8 weeks later. To add to it I got pregnant and ended up miscarrying 10 weeks later. A good friend came to rescue us - she'd seen the abuse. Financial abuse, verbal abuse, mental abuse, then physical abuse. But my self worth was shot. I'd moved my whole world out here. So when he rallied I gave it another go. Got married the next fall and learnt after some things that turned my stomach. I'd always told my kids if they ever came to me and told me how they felt i would listen. I didn't keep that promise.
Prior to that I had been abused in everyday including being stalked. But physical abuse wasn't yet occurring. But I felt worthless and unlovely. Undesirable and unwanted. I'd lost a child out of wedlock. What would ppl say and think. I remember one night I had to drop off some things to him after the miscarriage and moving out. i planned to leave them on the doorstep. I hadn't told him I was coming by. As soon as I put the box down, he tore out of the condo and after us. I had to pick up my little girl and run. He chased us to the car and beat on the windows. Then got in his car and chased us all the way home. I still kept thinking I was not worth anything so I married him. He charmed his way back into my life and we ended up planning a wedding in 5 days. Got married Thanksgiving. No support from friends and family. So i cut them all off. My boys weren't the happy boys when I told them. My little girl, 20 minutes before leaving the house for the wedding, told me not to marry him. I was so torn. I was more afraid of his wrath humiliating him at the alter then of my daughter's request. I thought I could manage him. I just needed to marry him so he felt secure.
I found out after we got married that he had taken a job in another province and married me only to get the position. 6 weeks later he left. He still came home from time to time. 'We tried' to make it work. Valentines Day he planned a romantic night in a honeymoon sweet. But i wasn't as bubbly as he wanted so it turned to an argument. I got tossed around a hotel room naked and picked up and thrown against the wall across the bed. I hit the wall, landed on the nightstand then hit the floor. It was quiet for a few months, then July 1st it hit the fan. I was getting ready for work and was planning a wedding. A large middle eastern one. He had come and as usual wasn't happy not getting the attention he craved. We got into an argument and I asked him to please take it elsewhere. I didn't want to upset the kids. My middle son James stepped in to stop him from being aggressive and he went to step go after my son. I stepped and stopped him and it escalated to the bedroom. i defended myself and hit him back. Hard. He left and threatened to go to the police. I said do it. I'll tell them all about you. He did. He went. I got arrested. For domestic assault. But they knew of the abuse and asked me to tell them of what he had done. He was arrested and charged with more than one count. I plea bargained and had a conditional. No criminal record and a few years later they offered to expunge my record. Not a proud mom moment. But you mess with my kids, you mess with me. I'd do it again to protect them.
This has embarrassed my family. I'm pretty much the black sheep. I've weathered some hard things since. Judged because of being arrested. Lied about and extorted from. Maniputlated and destroyed. So much so I laid down and died financially and emotionally. I use to be so judgy. Well, I still am... but I resonate with those who have failed and work hard to get back on top. Society is unforgiving and vicious in their rumours. The worst is the church. Full of hypocrites and sinners living in glass houses. Someday my book will tell the full story. There's alot of people living in glass house throwing stones. I throw boulders.
A few months after my arrest, I began an affair with a married man. Someone in authority over me. It lasted 6 years. I was convinced no one knew. But they did. The guilt consumed me and I eventually left. That is not the person I wanted to be. But I was convinced no one could ever love me.
Thank God for Angels and how quick the human body heals. My 2nd pregnancy with my son James 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. I've survived abuse, 2 strokes, heart attack, abuse, rat poisoning, cancer - 20 years free. My son James survived Leukemia twice. And kicked a 3rd time before it got on the radar(we are natural medicine freaks).
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.