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!

That ONE dreaded question…

“Why didn’t you JUST leave?” The dreaded question all of us survivors hate to answer. Why do we hate answering it? We hate answering it because we know that since you have not experienced domestic violence, you won’t fully understand what we tell you. Why didn’t I leave? I was scared out my mind. I feared for my own safety and those I held dearest to me. I was ashamed and embarrassed. He had manipulated my mind to have me think that this is what I deserved. He had me think that he was as good as it gets. He had me thinking that without him I am nothing, that I would never amount to anything. Who would want me? I was “damaged goods” he used to say. DAMAGED GOODS?! Damaged and at his disposal. Damaged by his words and acts. I was hopeless. I saw no way out. I didn’t think I had anywhere to go or anyone to turn to. Who would I call? I mean, who would come for me? I would get close to leaving and when help came I would fall into his lies and change my mind. They were tired of it. Tired of me.


You see how my mind was manipulated back then? The trap I was in? I wasn’t even my own person anymore. I had been formed into everything he said I was. Our minds are very fragile. Our minds believe anything it is told. So if your mind is constantly being told negative things about yourself, guess what? It will take those things on and believe that that is the person you are. Which is why I find it so crucial to inspire, empower, uplift and build up other survivors of domestic violence. To help them see who they TRULY are!


Domestic violence survivors are NOT weak! That couldn’t be farther from the truth. A survivor of domestic violence has a strength like no other. We survived the physical, psychological, emotional, financial and spiritual attacks like no other. We fought daily against things that wanted to break us. We literally fought for our lives. We fought against what wanted to literally kill us and erase us from this earth. We escaped. We broke free. We came out battered and bruised. We came out with cracks in our armor. Yet, we were not shattered. We wake up every day struggling to be free from the traumatic experiences that plague our minds. The triggers and the flashbacks. We continue to fight on. We continue to heal each day that comes to us. We have good days and bad days and we continue to press on. We find hope in ourselves. We find our strength. We find our peace and more importantly we find our identity.

Reasons why survivors say they stayed in their abusive relationships as long as they did:


  1. In the midst of it, we believe (and hope) that the abuser will change because of the “remorse” and “guilt” they portray to us after an incident. The apologies that they will change. They say they will seek help. Etc.
  2. FEAR: The abuser instills this fear in us of what they will do to us if we attempt to leave. They threaten to harm us, our family, even our children. They threaten to kill if we try to report the incident(s).
  3. No support or the thought of having no support. A victim is most likely isolated from friends and family. Some family member and friends may have written us off due to not understanding what it really is that we are going through. Therefore, we think that there is no one for us to go to. We do not always know what resources there are available to us in order to help us escape.
  4. Guilt and/or shame: We feel guilty for allowing the relationship to get like this. We take the blame and we also are ashamed to admit that we are in this type of relationship. We are embarrassed, because at one time we were so strong and confident and now we are the complete opposite that we are embarrassed to admit what we are going through.
  5. We are attached to our abuser. They are all we know. They are who we depend on for everything.
  6. Fear of starting over: We are afraid of major lifestyle changes that will take place. We have a fear of being independent again.
  7. Responsibility: We feel like we are at fault for the abuse. Sometimes we may feel like we even deserve the abuse. Time and time again after an incident we hear things like “if you didn’t do this…” or “If you didn’t say this..” or “If you had just did what I had asked!” That we start putting the blame on ourselves and believe that it actually is our fault even though it isn’t.
  8. Loss of hope, feelings of being trapped.
  9. Believing that we are the only ones that can help the abuser with their problems. We believe that we are the ones that can get them to change.
  10. The victim thinks that unhealthy or abusive relationships are normal: The victim may have grown up in an abusive household as a child.


There is something called the “honeymoon phase,” where after the abuse, the abuser acts like they feel remorseful, ashamed and will even try to downplay the abuse. The abuser will then apologize, seem to be generous, will show loving behavior and kindness. This “loving” behavior strengthens the bond between the two and will most likely convince the victim that leaving is unnecessary. This is an ongoing cycle.


Domestic violence is not only physical abuse. What you may see on the outer surface does not even come close to the cuts and bruises hidden beneath the surface. Marks from physical abuse, those heal over time. The scars left from verbal and emotional abuse, those scars don’t heal nearly as fast. Those scabbed over cuts do not heal when we are still in the relationship because our abuser keeps picking the scabs off and the wounds continue to bleed.


Before you ask that dreaded question, be sure you are ready for the answer(s). Be sure you are ready to handle the graphic details. Believe it or not, asking a survivor why they stayed or why they didn’t just leave is a form of victim-blaming. No matter what your intentions may be. Asking a survivor that question brings back a lot of mixed emotions and triggers a lot of things. When people used to ask me why I didn’t leave and then follow it with “ I would have left the first time he hit me.” It made me feel embarrassed and ashamed all over again. I felt weak, I felt vulnerable. It put me in a very uncomfortable state of mind. So please, from the lips of a survivor, refrain from asking that question. I hope this blog post brings clarity to those who always want to know the answer to that one dreaded question: “Why did you stay?” “Why didn’t you just leave?”


Are You A Victim of Gaslighting??


Are you confused? In a daze? Constantly second guessing yourself? Questioning your feelings or your perception of reality? Do you feel like you are going crazy? Having trouble grasping on to who you really are? If so, you just may be a victim of gaslighting.


Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse. It is a sophisticated form of manipulation. It is used to cause doubt in an individual in hopes of making the victim question their perception of reality, their memory and even their sanity. The abuser’s goal is to have their victim second guess their every decision so that the victim is more dependant on the abuser. The more dependant the victim becomes, the harder it will be for the victim to leave. One method an abuser uses is to ignore the victim, then give them attention and ignore them again. Gaslighting often comes after other forms of emotional and physical abuse because the victim is most likely to stay in those situations as well.


Gaslighting comes in stages. Disbelief, protection and depression.  The disbelief comes into play when the signs of gaslighting first happens. You write the signs off as nothing more than weird behavior. Protection or defense comes in when you start defending yourself against the gaslighter and their manipulation. You could even say that the defense comes in when you also defend the gaslighters behavior. You begin making excuses for the things that they say. The stage of depression begins when you notice a lack of joy and you begin to notice that you are not yourself anymore. You feel cut off from family and friends. In fact, you feel like you’re cut off entirely from the world.


Psychoanalyst Robin Stern Ph.D lists the examples below as signs that someone may  be a victim of gaslighting:


  1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself.
  2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.
  3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
  4. You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend,, boss.
  5. You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
  6. You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
  7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
  8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
  9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
  10. You have trouble making simple decisions.
  11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
  12. You feel hopeless and joyless.
  13. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
  14. You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.
  15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.


If you feel or think like any of the above listed examples you are more than likely a victim of gaslighting/emotional abuse.It is a tough pill to swallow when you realize that you are being abused. It is extremely difficult and very emotional to acknowledge that someone you respect love and trust is hurting you. The only way things will change is when you’re ready to face the facts. Again, yes it is hard to admit. We start asking ourselves how we let this happen, how did we allow this person to gain so much control?


It is important for the victim to know that it is not their fault! Emotional and verbal abuse starts off so settle that it is easy to dismiss it. That is how gaslighting works. It eats away at you slowly. Your brain is very fragile. It believes whatever it is told. So if it is told negative things repeatedly, it believes it to be true and vice versa with positive things. That is why it is a good idea to get into the habit of daily motivation. Motivate and empower yourself. It can be something as simple as “I am strong”, “I am confident” or “I am beautiful.” Take the negative things that were told to you and say the opposite.


When you begin doing this in your healing process you will also begin to reclaim your reality and identity. Most importantly, you have to come to the realization that this relationship is unhealthy. No matter what the abuser may say to you to try to get you to stay or come back. Things will not get better and they will not change. In fact, the situation(s) will more than likely get worse. You owe it to yourself to be safe, healthy and happy.

My Walk Through The Fog(Gaslighting)

When you are a victim of gaslighting it feels like you are walking through fog. A never ending, dense fog. Trying to grab a hold on to reality. Asking yourself what reality even really is any more. Even more important, trying to grasp onto your reality. You are faced with trying to identify who you are. What is your purpose. Constantly questioning your insanity. The abuser says things like “You’re crazy” or “What are you talking about? That never happened, you’re making stuff up.”


Looking for somewhere to turn, somewhere to run. How can I get out of this fog. I can’t see in front of me or either side of me. I surely do not want to try and look behind me. Unable to get a sense of direction, I turn to the only person I have for guidance. I have nobody else, they are all gone. The same person I run to for guidance is the same person who has me blindfolded by his lies. My mind is being suffocated by his poisonous tongue.


It’s my fault. I can never do anything right. I’m crazy he says. So he must be right. He’s always right. He knows me better than I know myself. Who am I? My identity seems to have slipped through the cracks of my fingers. Through the cracks of my mind. My identity is not my own. I watch as it slips through the cracks of time.


Walking through the fog, in search of my identity. Searching for a glimpse of who I once was. Searching for hope. Searching for a promise. A promise that time and time again has been broken. Searching for truth. Searching…searching…searching! Each day hoping to find myself. Each day hoping to find clarity. Every time I seem to get a step close to who I am and where I am, he seems to be right there pulling me back even deeper into the dense fog. I want to scream for help.Yet I know no one would hear me. I’m all alone. I’m all alone…


The fog thickens around me. I feel myself weakening the longer that I am here. I don’t want to fight anymore. I just want to give up. Time to throw in the towel. Fighting only wastes more energy. Maybe this is where I am supposed to be. Maybe this is who I really am. Maybe it’s who I’ve always been? Oh my god he has been right this whole time? I don’t know how much longer I can last. How much more can I take? I begin to raise my white flag to surrender.

Just as I was about to give up. Right before I raised the flag, I saw a glimmer of light breaking through the fog. HOPE! Hope has found me! Hope has come to my rescue! The fog starts to dissipate. I begin to feel my strength slowly return to me. I am becoming more alert of my surroundings now. I begin to see the reality for what it really is. I realize that this is not where I am supposed to be. This is not what I deserve. I deserve so much more. I have to get out of here. I have to break free. He is aware of it all. He sees that I am catching on. He again lures me back into the fog. Damn! I can’t believe I am here once again. How does he do it? The process starts over again. Again…and again…and again. In the fog, at the edge of the fog. Back and forth. It’s like a revolving door.


It’s hard to get out. It’s hard to escape. Always questioning yourself, always second guessing your thoughts, your perception, your memories. Then one day you realize you are not the same person who you once were. You are an empty shell. We need to listen to our instincts. We cannot stay in this same place. We have to walk out of this fog and not look back. We have to have hope and know that there are clearer days ahead of us. We can make it out and we will make it out!

Gaslighting- What is it?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!! With that being said, I wanted to start off with bringing awareness to gaslighting. I plan on writing a few blogs on this one topic before starting the next. What is gaslighting? Giving examples of gaslighting. As well as sharing my personal experiences with gaslighting. As always, I invite my readers to comment, share and make suggestions on my blogs. So let us get right into it!


Do you know where the term “gaslighting” comes from? It comes from a 1938 stage play titled  Gas Light, Where the husband tries to drive his wife his wife insane by messing with the lights which in those days were controlled by gas. He would dim the lights and when she would notice it and say something to him he would tell her that the lights didn’t change.


So what is gaslighting exactly? Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse, where the victim begins questioning their own sanity. They begin questioning their reality and their emotions. This form of abuse gives the abuse an immense amount of power over their victim. As we know, abuse is all about control and power. Therefore, once the abuser manipulates the victims reality, the victim will be less likely to leave the abuser. Gaslighting is something that tends to happen gradually, it is not something that happens overnight. As time goes on; a victim can become, depressed, anxious, confused and even isolated to the point where they lose sense of what is actually going on. This in turn can lead to the victim relying on the abuser more and more and becoming more dependent on them defining what reality actually is. This creates a difficult and possibly dangerous situation for the victim to escape.


Below are examples of several gaslighting techniques. Is your significant other using any of these?


Withholding: This is when the abuser refuses to listen or acts like they don’t understand. Example: “You’re confusing me!” or “ I do not want to hear this again!”


Countering: The abuser starts to question the victim’s memory or thoughts. Regardless is the victim remembers them accurately. Example: “You never remember things correctly.”


Blocking/Diverting: When the abuser tries to change the subject or questions the victim’s thinking. Example: “Did you get this crazy idea from (persons name) again?”


Trivializing: This is when the abuser makes the victim’s emotions seem unimportant. Example: “You’re too sensitive.”


Forgetting/Denial: The abuser acts as if they have forgotten what has actually happened or denies things like promises they made to the victim. Example: “You’re making stuff up.” or “I don’t know what you are talking about!”




  • Always second guessing yourself.
  • You ask yourself multiple times a day if you are too sensitive.
  • Frequently feel confused or even crazy.
  • Constantly apologizing to your significant other.
  • Lack of understanding that with a lot of good things in your life you still aren’t happy.
  • You often make excuses to your friends and family for your significant other.
  • You withhold information from your friends and family in order to not make excuses for your significant other.
  • You are aware that there is something horribly wrong, but you can’t seem to express it, even to your own self.
  • You start telling lies to avoid put downs.
  • You have difficulty making even the simplest decisions.
  • You sense that at one point you used to be a confident,loving, carefree and more relaxed individual.
  • You feel hopeless.
  • You feel like you can never do anything right.
  • You start to wonder if you’re “good enough” for your significant other.


Gaslighting is a serious form of emotional abuse. It leaves the victim in a “fog-like” state. What was once their reality no longer exists. What was once their identity has been stripped from them. The victim’s reality has literally turned into a horrible nightmare. If you or someone you know is or has been a victim of gaslighting, I urge you to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline which is exactly where I got the above information from.You can chat with one of their advocates online via the above link, or call and speak to an advocate at 1-800-799-7233.