Reflection Over Troubled Waters

I’ve always been drawn to water. I love the oceans, lakes, and ponds. It is as if it is my own little piece of heaven. The place where I can let all my thoughts run wild and yet at the same time I can still feel at peace. I can scream out all my pains without fear. I can cry my deepest cry without judgment. Then, as soon as I have pulled myself together I am literally face to face with myself. Looking at my reflection on the water. Sometimes the body of water may be peaceful, with my reflection gently resting on the surface. Other times the water may be rough, chopping my reflection up.

During these times where I would see my reflection over troubled waters it was like another reminder to myself. Reminding me, that no matter how rough life gets I will never be overtaken by its circumstances. No matter how large the waves they will not drag me away from my destiny. The current at times might slow me down, but it will never stop me from reaching my destination.

Life has tossed me around like an ocean during a storm trying to drown me in sorrow and depression. Just when I thought I would be lost at sea and soon forgotten about, the waves started to slowly calm down. When I felt weak and thought I could no longer keep my head above the waves a deeper strength from within carried me through.

The storm had passed but the choppy waters still remained. I had managed to escape trauma, but the recovery process was just the beginning. Through the waves of life I managed to rise back to the surface after each crashing wave had ferociously crushed over my fragile body.

I am a survivor of many forms of abuse. I made it through the darkest of times. I learned to love my reflection even if it was over troubled waters, not just when I look at it on the gently pond. I have learned to embrace myself even when I am being tossed around in the raging sea.

My reflection over troubled waters, is a reflection of my strength. A reflection of my perseverance and a reflection of my hope. My reflection over troubled waters is a storm all of her own. Never to be broken. Never to dissipate.

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Never Judge A Woman’s Strength(revised)

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I absolutely love this photo that happened to come across my Facebook News-feed on 11/03/2015.

Never judge a woman’s strength, everything she has gone through has led up to this very moment and has prepared her for the next. A woman’s true strength really is in her survival story, whatever it may be.You see a woman’s strength isn’t physical. A woman’s strength is mental and emotional.

For someone on the outside looking in, they may not see a woman that is in a domestic violence situation as strong. For the most part she is looked at as weak. But tell me this, how is she weak if in despite of all that she endures she still manages to keep it all together in front of you and others? Despite everything she endures she still manages to paint on a smile for public view and for the most part tricking you all into believing that everything is okay? As crazy as that may seem, think of the strength that she has to pour into all of that.It is in that same strength where she finds the courage to leave. To pick up all those broken pieces and day by day piece them all back together.

Tell me, if you happen to be trustworthy enough to hear her story that you will still plague her as being weak. When she managed to break free and carry on. When she walks with her head held high and her truly beautiful smile radiates.

Don’t ever judge a woman’s strength when she is a victim of abuse. Because it is in her own survival story that her true strength lies.

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!