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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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…)

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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Up and coming project

 

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Hey all, so I am in the works of creating a newsletter.  I am planning on starting it in September, I thought that would be a great time since it is the 1 year anniversary of my blog page. On my page I have the subscription sign-up on there, I want to focus on gaining subscribers now while I work on newsletters and continue educating myself with creating them, I have a couple in the works already.

This newsletter is a monthly newsletter focusing on encouraging, inspiring, and empowering women. It will be filled with helpful tools, motivational quotes and much more!

I thank you in advance for all your support in my endeavors. Below is the direct link to sign-up for the newsletter. When signing up, you may receive the intro welcoming letter and a confirmation email. It is automatically sent upon sign-up.

Sign-up here: http://eepurl.com/b19Lqz

Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award Nomination

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Thank you joicelizsabeth (my soul-sister); for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World blogger award. To say I am honored is an understatement! I thank you so much, and truly appreciate you J!

It looks like all I have to do is answer 10 questions, and nominate other women who are more than worthy of a nomination.  So here are the questions posed to me.

  • Why do you blog?

– At first, I wrote a blog to share my experience of domestic violence. In all honesty, I thought that would have been my one and only blog. The only thing I had asked for was that it helped just ONE person. Now, I blog to help give hope, to empower, to uplift and to build up other survivors. I blog, because I now know, that I am a voice for those who have not yet found their own voice.

  • Do you hope to accomplish something with blogging or do you just enjoy it?

– I feel as though I have accomplished what I set out for, I see that I have touched and helped many which is why now I just enjoy writing blogs. I enjoy hearing from readers who share parts of their own stories. I enjoy hearing from readers who say that a recent blog I posted gave them hope. So, I guess I just enjoy it.

  • Where do you live?

– I live in Boston, MA

  • What are a few of your top books?

– I just finished reading “A Black Rose Thrived” written by my dear blogging friend Rochelle Richey. (Amazingly written)

  • How about movies? What are your favorites?

– Hmmm.. I love horror movies. I am so bad when it comes to remembering movie titles.

  • What could you not live without?

– I could not live without my laptop or cellphone (sad I know), but it is how I communicate with my other bloggers/sisters across the world.

  • How would you hope to be described?

– I would hope to be described as; Loving, kind, caring, giving, thoughtful, inspiring, encouraging, and empowering.

  • What is your soapbox? That one issue that always puts you right up there?

– Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.

  • Where would you like to retire?

– Somewhere where it doesn’t snow. (Remember, I’m from Boston) 🙂

  • What do you do for work/day job/ etc?

– Currently; I work in an emergency department.

So, now it is time for me to choose my nominee’s:

  1. Rochelle Richey
  2. Trease Shine Hinton
  3. Rosie Malezer
  4. shesundone
  5. Blue Sky

To those I chose as nominee’s, you do not have to take part in this if you do not want to. However, I would ask that you pass this on and nominate a blogger whom you think deserves it.

Questions for everyone to answer:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. Do you hope to accomplish something with blogging or do you just enjoy it?
  3. Where do you live?
  4. What are a few of your top books?
  5. How about movies? What are your favorites?
  6. What could you not live without?
  7. How would you hope to be described?
  8. What is your soapbox? That one issue that always puts you right up there?
  9. Where would you like to retire?
  10. What do you do for work/day job/ etc?

Dear Outside World

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Dear Outside World;

Often times, survivors are bombarded with the same repetitive question: Why didn’t you leave sooner? or Why didn’t you leave when he or she hit you the first time?

Let me be very clear, no one stays in a relationship because they enjoy the abuse. Do you want to know why someone stays in an abusive relationship? Mainly, out of fear. Fear for their own lives as well as the lives of their family. Secondly, the abuser has more than likely isolated the victim from their family and friends, therefore; the victim feels that he or she has nowhere to go. A victim of domestic violence doesn’t become a victim when the abuser physically harms them. He or she becomes a victim the moment the abuser starts belittling, calling the victim names, starts to control things like what the victim can and cannot wear, for female victims; they don’t want you to wear makeup or your hair a certain way. The abuser takes control of your money, they determine when and if you can see your family and friends, and then cuts you off from them completely. (All this tends to occur first before the actual physical abuse starts)

You see, when you look from the outside, you CANNOT JUDGE A VICTIM, you have NO RIGHT! You have no knowledge on this subject, I often tell people that someone who has been victimized this way should be connected with a survivor of domestic violence. It doesn’t matter how many years of schooling you had, how many degrees you have on your belt. You still will not have an idea or sense of the emotions that this individual has experienced during the relationship, nor will you fully understand the emotions the individual will feel while going through the aftermath and their healing process. (If you disagree please feel free and comment)

So, why didn’t I leave after the first time my ex actually hit me? Because I was petrified! Because this individual had said he would kill me, because he said I would never make it out without both my legs being broken. I stayed because I was brainwashed into thinking he was all that I had. I stayed because I had no friends, that when I did manage to sneak a phone call into one of them they ignored my calls, or cussed me out. I didn’t even have a chance to tell my friends I needed their help. They had no idea that all this happened until years later! And believe me, those same few friends I have in my life now, I know they regret it terribly. I didn’t leave because I was embarrassed, I was ashamed. My whole mentality on life was so distorted. I felt like I may have done something to deserve it. Or that maybe it actually was my fault.

Do you know what it feels like to have to sneak out of your own house just to spend time with your own mother? To have your mother buy you a cell phone to keep in contact with her and hide it from your abuser? Even with that, have to try and put on a facade in front of her that everything is okay because you do not want her worrying about you? (as if she didn’t know. Mom always knows)  Do you know what it is like to have to lie to the ENTIRE world, when really all you want to do is scream for help? Yet you are in so much fear you somehow manage to paint a smile on your face.

Tell me, Outsider; do you know what it is like to experience all this on a constant basis? 24/7 for however many years, there are no breaks, do you know what good days are like to a victim? Guess what, there are no good days in an abusive relationship; unless you count a good day as not getting choked, slapped, kicked or punched!

There seems to be a huge misconception on victims and survivors of domestic violence from the outside world. I get it, it comes from ignorance. The lack of knowledge that one has towards this issue. Yet, if only you would just listen. DO NOT SPEAK, just LISTEN to what they (we) have to say. Let us explain to you. Do not cut us off while speaking. Do not stop us because it is too much for you to hear. JUST LISTEN, that’s really all we ask for. We pretty much already know that you won’t really get it. What we want, is just for someone to listen. All we ever wanted was for someone to hear us out for once.

You should feel honored if someone wants to tell you their experience(s). That alone is a big deal because what that means is that we found enough trust in you. TRUST, something that very few of us give to ANYBODY! Especially when discussing something so severe.

No one can ever TRUTHFULLY say “I would have left after the first time he or she put their hands on me.” Some of the most strong-willed individuals you know can become victims of domestic violence. You never know what goes on behind closed doors.

Not Only Is it Possible To Rise, It’s Possible To Fly

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Hi friends. Sorry. This isn’t Shauna. This is her friend, Michelle. You don’t know me, but I know you all, and more importantly, I know Shauna. When I first met her, many years ago, I was fresh out of college, working night shifts in an Emergency Room, answering phones and filing paperwork. It was an eye opening experience. I saw a slice of the world that few have ever seen. I saw people come in that were in pain, were in a panic, were seeking attention, or drugs or worse. I held the hands of people that were losing loved ones, got a fresh cup of coffee for a soon-to-be-widow, wrapped a blanket around a shaking parent that just lost a child. I’ve watched physicians make difficult choices, nurses hold it until they nearly peed themselves, janitors clean more blood than you could imagine was inside a person. To date, this was the best job I ever had.

My guess is that you suspect that Shauna was a patient there, after a horrible night of violence and abuse. You’d be mistaken. She and I shared a desk, a little spot of peace in a sea of uncertainty. In the time I knew her, she was unwaveringly kind, poised, but mostly quiet. In the way I know her now, it’s so weird to call her quiet. You couldn’t swear in front of her, which was a big fucking problem for me. She didn’t drink, which I just couldn’t possibly fathom. People would ask her personal questions about her life, and I would hear her shut them down. “How are your roommates?” “Seeing anyone?” “What did you do this weekend?” were all considered personal questions. I quickly learned that she didn’t want to talk about her life, and I was okay with that. Most of our interactions consisted of making fun of our coworkers, or talking about what weird meal I had made myself for dinner. There was a lot of food and real estate porn. Shauna helped me internet shop for the condo I eventually bought, talked me through the petty arguments I had with my then boyfriend, and let me complain about my mother. I think truly our friendship began from a mutual love of Pitbulls.

In the time we worked together, Shauna’s mother became very ill. She lived in the city, but my home was in the neighboring suburb. Like any sensible city girl, she didn’t have a car, so I offered to drive her there. With the kindness she had shown me, it was a no-brainer.

Through bits and pieces of the conversations we had, I began to put together a concerning image of her life. Here she had this mother that she loved dearly and loved her the same in return, but Shauna was living with people that controlled her life. I was sad for her, and I felt so helpless to make it any better. I just promised I would drive her to her mom whenever she wanted, even though one time I left her on the side of the highway to be picked up by Mom because I was going to miss an exam.

When I left that job, Shauna was one of the very few people with whom I kept in touch. It was probably two years before we saw each other again. When we got together, she was this entirely different person. The first thing she said to me was “Let’s get a fucking drink”.

We went out to a bar, a place I couldn’t have pictured her in a thousand years. She told me about the amazing man that she was dating, the scum bags she had dated and the good news that she had moved back home with Mom. That was probably my favorite part.

It was like I was meeting someone entirely new, but had known my life for years. At the first opportunity, I had her over to the condo she and I drooled over at 3 AM nightly after I made an offer on it. She met my husband I had squabbled with when we were dating, and kissed the Pitbull we adopted shortly after I was married. Shauna became a weekly fixture at my house, sometimes helping me, posing as a fake client, other times just to drink and laugh. Eventually, after too many glasses of wine, Shauna told me the story of her survivorship. I remember sitting there with my hand over my mouth the entire way through. I couldn’t believe someone I had loved so dearly lived through such hell. She seemed so nervous to tell me about her life, but she was so brave through it. She didn’t stop. It was like one breathless story, breathless for both of us, though I was silent. There were hugs. There were tears.

The next time we got together, we were drinking wine. We drank some more, and I told her how her story had taken root in my bones. I told her that her life, her story was too important not to share, that there was so much wealth and power in her experience, and that by holding it in, she was depriving the world and a desperate community of a truth for which they so yearned. We drank some more, and we started talking about what mediums it would be most appropriate to discuss, and I recommended blogging. We drank some more, and she wrote her first blog. She was nice enough to let me edit it, but truthfully, I just put in the details she was reluctant to write down. It has made me so proud to see how successful this blog has become, especially as I have had nothing to do with its content since the first few times she asked me to check out what she wrote.

Today, we were texting, and she was so sweet and thanked me for her success here. I told her, “I pushed you off a cliff. You learned how to fly.” This evening, she asked me for the first time in months to check out her blog post, and it was about what I had said to her this morning, about her flying. I was so flattered, but I thought how unfair it was to you, her readers, not to know the full story came to be. It’s once again that unwavering kindness of Shauna that forces her to want to credit those who help her with success. It felt as if she wanted to give me every word she had written, which I couldn’t edit. I see how much power and strength she has found in telling her story. I am so lucky to have witnessed this phoenix rise from her ashes. In closing, I want to leave her with the essence of the post she wanted to share with you all:

Not only is it possible to rise, it’s possible to fly.

PhoenixRising

 

 

Hey friends, Shauna here, The above context from my friend Michelle, literally brought tears to my eyes, when I write I always originally write in google docs, that way if I need Michelle we can both do edits from our own homes if need be, when I asked her for help tonight she had no problem doing so, then she had told me she was “working on something don’t look.” So I didn’t, but kept messaging her on Facebook asking if I could.  Haha.

Below, is the context I had asked her to help me with – Aspire to Inspire Before You Expire.

While looking for a great definition on “aspire to Inspire before you Expire” I found this: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Aspire_to_Inspire_Before_You_Expire.html

“So in summing up the meaning of the phrase aspire to inspire before you expire, it simply says to have the desire to arouse and positively influence an individual into action so that they fulfill their innermost desires before they die and leave this planet. And it also applies to you – allowing inspiration to flow through you so that you too experience an inspired life. As always, the choice is yours! Be the inspiration!”

Earlier today, I was talking to my dear friend who is the one who got to me to finally start blogging back in September of 2015. She encourages me more than she knows. I had once again thanked her for doing so and her response was epic! “Hahaha, no I pushed you off a cliff, you learned to fly!”

I had been wanting to share my story of survivorship, as well as empower and inspire others, reach out to victims and give them hope for their future. I just could not take that first step. She told me that my life, my story was too important not to share, that there was so much wealth and power in my experience, and that by holding it in, I was depriving the world and a desperate community of a truth for which they so needed. She literally gave me the push I needed to turn my dreams into reality.

Aspire means to yearn for, have a strong desire for or to have hope.

Personally, my desire, my hopes, and my dreams are to help victims and survivors of domestic violence. That through writing and maybe one day even speaking to others, that I can empower and  inspire other survivors to share their stories as well. That if we inspire one another than we can truly break the silence. That if we all take a stand, that if we all do something with our own experiences that we CAN stop domestic violence. If we can ensure that schools are really teaching our teenagers about teen dating violence, if we can reach these younger generations then there can be an end to domestic violence.

I have always said, if I can make a difference in just ONE person’s life, then I have been successful!

What are your aspirations? What inspires you? What do you desire and hope to accomplish while you are still here?

 

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