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Demotte, IN, United States
Abuse doesn't stop at the court room. Melinda has shared her battles in her life and through the court room as she navigates through the legal system Bringing encouragement, insight and empowerment to those that are in a abusive relationship. She is in the process of creating a new life, speaking engagements to "Break the Silence" of abuse, while putting a face to abuse. She is currently working on writing a book about her experiences as a Survivor.View short Bio here- http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ahappymedium/2013/02/notbrokenbutbrave/

Thursday, February 25, 2016

7 years!

Dear Blog reader,

Today marks the 7th year we have been free and safe from our abuser!
This date has turned into a day of remembrance for me. I don't wish to put on a party atmosphere. Its not.

It is a day that will be forever etched in my mind.


If you hadn't read my story previously, you can find my story in earlier blogs.

The months and days leading up to our leaving was intense. I had finally made up my mind for the final time in the Fall of 2008 that my children and I were leaving and not coming back. The final straw came in the form of a panicked phone call from my middle Daughter, yelling in my ear that Rob was chasing our Eldest around the yard in an angry tirade. She called me when she saw that Rob had caught him and he was choking our Son!

I tried to calmly tell her to sit tight and told her to call the police. I also said I would be right home. By the grace of God, I didn't have anyone at the store that day, so I closed up immediately and raced home.

I had a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach. More then usual. I never liked coming home. You never knew what to expect when you walked in the door. I loved my Kids. They are why I came home.

I pulled in and jumped out of the van. My heart was beating so hard that I could hear it in my ears! I was sweaty. The fear churning in my stomach making me feel like I was going to throw up. I walked quickly to where I heard talking in the backyard. All 3 kids and Rob were out. Chatting and playing!

Rob looked surprised to see me. I told him there were no customers for hours and I decided to surprise them! He looked suspicious but didn't say much. I asked how everything was going. I didn't want to come out and ask if he had attacked our Son. I didn't want to let him know I knew or he would have given Jess hell for telling me.
He admitted there was a incident in which he flew off the handle and had issue with Matt. He said he later realized he had taken it too far. He said he apologized to Matt.
Matt came around the corner. I cringed inside. I could see red marks around his neck. His eyes red rimmed, nose still red from crying. I hugged him and asked if he was okay. He looked at Rob as if to check for approval to speak. He quickly nodded.

My heart was broken. I felt angry.

This man that stood next to me lying that he was sorry and it would never happen again. He thought it would be a good idea to have a code word (Banana Splits). So, if he ever got out of control in the future I could say this code word as a reminder to him to calm down.

I nodded. Inwardly, I was thinking to myself that I didn't want to spend the reminder of my life worrying about the next time also keeping him in check with a code word! I had enough. I felt so guilty and small for allowing him to bully the kids.

The next day I called my Sister and told her I was needed to leave.

I cried.

I was done.

Funny, a wait felt like it was gone from my shoulders. It felt good!  My only issue is that I couldn't leave right away. I needed to wait. My family was nervous for me. They guessed how unstable Rob was. They worried I wouldn't leave alive. Those words haunted me as a Friend had told me if I didn't leave soon that I wouldn't be around by the time the end of 2009 came around.

Since leaving him in 2007, he had changed some. He became more paranoid. His outbursts were more erratic and scary. We had countless talks about how unhappy I was. How I wanted to leave. He needed help and I couldn't give him the peace he needed. We fought and argued all the time. The kids were annoying to him. The following Fall was it.

January 2009

I am unsure how we started arguing about me and the kids leaving. It was late. I was tired. I was scared. I was in bed trying to blow off the conversation by telling him that I wasn't going to leave. That we would work it out and to come to bed.

I had been lying in bed for a bit praying he would let it go. I prayed he if he was going to kill me that it would be quick. I prayed he wouldn't hurt the kids. I squeezed my eyes shut pretending to be sleepy. Fear had a tight grip on me. I couldn't breathe.
He stood on his side of the bed watching me. I could hear him crying. Minutes crept by. Time seemed to stand still. It felt like an eternity.

It got quieter. Next I heard something hitting the wall and Rob grunting. I shot up from bed to see him slamming his head in the wall over and over again. Muttering that I was leaving and didn't love him anymore. He stopped suddenly and went to the opened window and punched the screen out of the window.

I grew balls for brief moment, asking if he felt better and to come to bed. I was surprised to hear the words leave my mouth!

He just stared at me and started crying. I managed to reassure him that I was staying and we would be fine. All along knowing we needed to leave as soon as we could.
I had to plan. He didn't allow us to leave his sight anymore and he was laid off from his seasonal job.

As soon as I could I began packing things, squirreling away money and opened up an checking account in my name. My Dad would come and pick things up when I was at the shop early in the morning so no one was none the wiser. I shared my situation with some of the vendors. I felt I owed it to them to be honest. I wasn't quite sure the day I was leaving but I knew I would jump the first chance I could!

Rob got the call they had a job for the first time of the year. I called my Sister the next day to let her know we were ready!

The night before we left I did tell the kids what was going on and asked each if they wanted to come with. Why? I had been reading other blogs and some victims had been in trouble for taking the kids without giving the kids a choice. Our kids were older and though it pained me to ask. I did.

The kids couldn't wait and were excited! I had already made arrangements with old and new schools days before. I didn't like to take them out but had little choice. I wanted to start anew.

I was nervous and tried to play it off the whole night and prayed Rob couldn't see through me.

The morning couldn't come fast enough! We did the normal routine of breakfast, getting his lunch together and getting him out the door. As soon as he left I sprang into action moving things, getting kids ready and making sure I had what I could.

A nervous clammy sweat coated me. I felt nervous and anxious...

It ended up being a long day. Rob still found us that night.

Since that time, it played out like a daytime talk show:

Rob attempted suicide on 2 occassions.

Rob hired someone to follow me and gave money for this person to kill and bury me.

Matt started a fire in my apartment and threatened to kill me if he didn't get to live with Rob.

Rob stalked and threatened us.

I had a confrontation with Rob in which I ended up with bumps and bruises. But I managed to punch, scratch and kick him.

During a meeting at the courthouse between Rob and I. Matt attempted to fight Terry.

In which Terry was unharmed and Matt was held briefly but not charged.

Rob was given Parental time that was supervised but that went south several times.

He threatened to slit the kids throats if I got custody.

He threatened to blow up his parents house if they continued to speak with me.

He continued to harass me by calls, texts and emails. I filed PO's each time. My final PO was from last year. Rob is not supposed to have any contact with me or he will be arrested. It does expire this year.

We went through 1 Counselor and GAL as Rob had threatened them. I am not sure what transpired. Our case was sealed. It was also labeled as one of the longest and worst cases that county had ever seen. Hope that doesn't sound like a brag.

Crazy right? There is other situations that went on during these years. Almost surreal situations! I scratch my head to think of them.

So what had all that done for us?

I found out Jess was molested by Rob. No charges were filed. Why?! I scratched my head too! She had begged me not to turn this already crazy circus into something further. I honored her wished though a big part of me wanted to nail him for that. She states she has forgiven him and wanted to forget.

Both girls and I have PTSD. They aren't fully ready to put the past to bed by sharing it with counselors. Though I have tried! Jess had a suicide attempt and both girls battle from depression.

I have health issues. My Adrenals and Thyroid is shot. Poor things worn out from stress. My other unrelated health issue is Lyme's disease. This is another story! I haven't wet the bed or had bad dreams or panic attacks in a year! I feel better about myself. I never was lost. I hid for a long time. Sounds funny? While living in the abuse there were times when I would go numb, slipping out of my body to watch the situation from outside myself. I would watch in horror or in sympathy for me during whatever unpleasant experience was happening.

I have said it many times here about how surreal that time seems to me now. Those moments when we hear from Rob rock me back to those days of sadness.

Though guilt had plagued me for so long for staying. Guilt for not seeing the sex abuse of my Daughter. Guilt for dropping off my eldest Son with Rob.

I have made peace with myself. I forgave Rob but took that forgiveness back after finding out the devastating news about our Daughter. I am still working on this!

I'm mending.

I'm growing.

I'm loving the life I'm in. We still  have hiccups. This is a part of having teenagers and a toddler.

I feel sane again.

If you are in a abusive situation I want to remind you that it is not easy to make the decision to leave. I would do it again in a heartbeat. YOU are IMPORTANT! Please consider talking to someone you trust. Remember you are not alone and you are WORTHY of love and safety.

BIG HUGS! Stay safe!
Mel




Saturday, January 16, 2016

Happy New Year

Dear Blog reader,

I hope this upcoming year find your free from the bondage holding you. Whether you are being held hostage against your will. Or perhaps you are afraid to leave or scared for your life. Just maybe you need to be free from the nightmares in your mind.

How do you break free of any of these? 

It takes work! Mentally, physically and emotionally. 

It means baring your soul and digging deep to the memories. 

It means opening up to yourself and others about your feelings or what you have been going through.

It means finally deciding that you are not going back to your abuser.

It means you are going to take steps to towards moving on with a new beginning. Wherever that may take you.

It means PUNCHING fear in the face and SHOUTING your not going to live in fear any longer!

You are STRONG

You are LOVABLE

You are WORTHY OF TRUE LOVE

YOU are NOT to blame

You are BEAUTIFUL

Go ahead, cry, shout, scream, punch pillows or kick something (Not your ex, children or animals please! Just throwing that out there. Even though revenge or harming your ex may sound good. He/She is not worth it!)

Can't do any of this without upsetting your Child/Furbaby or neighbors? tTake a shower or bath. Use candles if you can, light mellow music, Epsom salts and soak. 

Think about your situation. Cry/shout (If you can). When you are ready to pull the drain, if you are taking a bath, let those emotions, fears, worries and anger whirl down the drain. Let them all go! Visualize bright white light (Protection), or pink light (Loving) coming down from Heaven going through the Crown of your head and filling your body.

OR

Get barefoot! Earthing (Grounding) is another great way to unwind, destress and even give you most wonderful health benefits. I know in many areas of the country (US) and overseas it maybe cold. But try it as long as you can handle it. OR hug a tree! I tell you these have done wonders for my headaches and Lyme's issues! 

OR 

Smudge yourself and home. Now is a great time to do so! Even if you are a Christian you can do these things. I have a few prayers if you are interested email me privately- please put heading as Smudging.

OR 

Carry a Crystal with you for protection: Clear Quartz, Pink Quartz are great ones for Protection and Love (not that you are looking for love but love for yourself and for others to love you). Have PTSD or Panic Attacks? Apache's Tears is a great crystal.

If you wish to learn more tips or suggestions please don't hesitate to contact me privately:
at melindakunst812@gmail.com

I have had a few emails pop on thru that have been very sad. It breaks my heart to read stories from those trapped in abusive relationships. I give the best advice I can, but a few are in such a dark place and feeling hopeless I feel I failed in someway to bring them to the light. 

Being with any abuser or abusive situation is HARD! Choices whether to stay and be miserable or leave and live in fear of retaliation. "What if's" can do more damage to your health and spirit then leaving. 

It's tough to say good-bye. Whether you leave a letter for your abuser to find or to just be gone (I did that) or maybe you have moxie to just tell your abuser "Enough" and leave with he/she still in the home. 

You may have to leave kids or your furbabies! You may have a situation where you and your partner do not have kids together but perhaps you have watched that child/furbaby grow up! Now, that person is holding that over you by not allowing anymore visits. To be honest that in itself is hard. Legally there is no leg to stand on if you are not physically Mom/Dad. 

I can relate quite a bit. It has been 7 years since I have seen my oldest Son, Matt. I have little bits of news here and there about him but that is it. I miss the heck out of him, even though he planned to kill me. (See earlier blog posts in July 2009) I do admit of still wanting to kick my ex in the shins for what he did to our kids.

I have struggled and asked the Lord to give me a hand with this. Now this doesn't mean it is easy. I know I have to lay it at His feet. I can't keep taking it back. I know in my heart someday we will get through all of this.

I ask you Dear Blog reader to please hand tight! Stay alive! Keep yourself safe! Don't give your abuser power by taking your life. Please talk to a licensed Counselor or clergy member. In the US you can contact the National Suicide Hotline-  1 (800) 273-8255. 

Overseas? Check this website for help- http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

Just wish to talk to someone about whether you are in an abusive situation? 
US- 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Overseas- http://www.vachss.com/help_text/domestic_violence_intl.html
Click to Chat With an Online Representative

I can't tell you the right answer for your situation. I can only tell you that it WILL get better! You do have to stay safe! Be smart and situationally aware at all times. Need more tips see my safety plans or safety tip blog posts. You are more than welcome to email me as well. I'm happy to lend an ear!

It's the New Year! Have you made your Vision board yet? Set goals? Where do you see yourself in 6 months, 1 year or 5 years from now? Do you want to be where you are right now? What steps can you take to get to safety? Who can help you? 

 Wherever you are please know you are loved! Please get help!

It can be hard for me to share personal information after blogging about critical things. I share from time to time as a reminder that someday, YOU will be in a good place. It takes time. I am terribly impatient! If you have followed me since the beginning you very well know I have stomped, cried and kicked my feet as though I was a child. I kid you not. I cursed and shouted at God. Raised my fist in the air! 

I have been there. I have gone through boxes and boxes of tissue. Crying until I have no more tears, my nose red, face swollen (I am not a pretty sight when crying!) and I end up with a terrible headache. I had gotten to the point where I was having panic attacks almost everyday. A song, memory, smell or just hearing my ex's name would send me overboard. 

I'm better! I'm on the mend. I'm healing! I am not who I was when I first started this journey. 

I have some peace. I also have a few secrets that I can not share yet but will in the upcoming months! 

Our bus project is coming along really well and we are super excited to hit the road with some journey in the summer. I promised my 2 youngest we would go see an ocean for sure. We have some friends in FL that invited us. They are a Missionary Boating Family (Yes you heard me right!) https://www.facebook.com/Free-Course-Ministries-1428863007328074/?fref=nf

Stay safe!
BIG HUGS!
Mel




Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tired of being tired Pt 2


Can I totally melt down yet?

After my previous post I received my Western blot testing...

I'm positive for Lyme's Disease. I had the results last Saturday and I have to say I felt elated and even gave a pretty excited posting on FB. Not that I am happy with the thought of how devastating this diagnosis can be, but because I narrowed down the root cause of my health issues after many years.

I would like to say that it's still my ex's fault but it's not. More than likely it was a tick, spider, mite or mosquito with Lyme's. I can recall 3 instances when I received something funky. I never found a tick on my person. They appeared as a mosquito bite and the next subsequent days they looked like a nasty bug bite. I did go to the ER for the first one but was told it was more than likely a spider bite and if I worsened to have me return to the ER. Well, it itched and looked nasty for about a week and went away.

Not thinking anything of it, fast forward to the last few years and lots of aches and pains later, here I am.

Now what? I'm reading all I can on Lyme's and have a few dear Friends that are Lyme's Warriors that have given me some great info for this journey. Terry and I went to the office that provided the test results for protocol. I will be on antibiotics for 6 months. WHEW!

Lesson learned to be persistent with medical professionals if something is not right. I did also return for a more through test on my Thyroid and will complete my Adrenal testing as well and should have the results next month on that.

I ended up going back to work on the 9th of this month. I felt terrible on Monday, excellent on Tuesday and Wednesday was a horrible day! I could barely walk into the building, I shuffled in, kind of like Tim Conway does as the Old Man, except not as funny. I couldn't open up the door to the office and started crying while waiting for co-worker that took pity on my I believe to open the door.
I walked to my desk just crying, I couldn't take off my coat, I couldn't take my Quart jar (holds my water) out of my bag, my Supervisor helped me sit down. I didn't have the strength to pull and push my chair to sit down. It took me 20 mins to log into my computer. I couldn't get my fingers to work! I was so flustered and upset.

Part of me was upset because Terry didn't think I could make 3 days and here I was on the third day sitting at my desk blubbering like a baby. Terry had been staying in the area so I texted him to pick me up. I was hoping I could start again on Thursday but there was no change. Thursday night I chatted with Terry and a few good friends that encouraged me to do what felt right, my health comes first!

I felt like a failure. I was disappointed at myself. My Warrior spirit felt like it's weaning. I still believe God is with me, just like so many other low or concerning times in my life.I'm not throwing in the towel, just venting.

Of course, I also do not have the Lyme's Disease that makes you lose weight. SIGH! Just making light of this, no seriousness intended.  It has messed with my Thyroid so I have the reverse. Though with watching what I eat, see my previous post-Tired of being tired Pt 1.

I think about so many others that are struggling with worse health issues and count my blessings. Since I'm not working I have to figure out how to creatively make ends meet.

Anyone interested in a Survivor of abuse, turned health activist, Antique/vintage dealer, Doula, Reflexologist, herbalist and hobby farmer? Happy to telecommute!

This journey has taught me to appreciate everyday! My past and where I am now is so much better. I have a sense of peace, the normalcy I yearned for, though there is still some sort of drama here and there that is unrelated. And on a positive note I now have a growing collection of walking sticks and canes to help me with my balance issues on rough days!

Please see my previous post labels: Safety plan, Leaving your abuser, Positive Affirmations, Gaslighter or maybe you want to know more about my journey, see About me. My journey started the moment I left my ex.

I know God is in control! Even when everything seems like it is spinning out of hand. The Lord knows every hair on your head, where you have been and where you are going. If you need to talk, need to pray or want to find out more about the Lord, please feel free to email me, leave me a comment or find me as "Melinda Campos Kunst" on FB.

On side note, I found the nerve to color my hair PINK!
My Hubby cut it SHORT so I can wear it as a "Faux hawk"! I loved it! It lasted about a week before I decided I was ready to go back to my normal color.

I had received more then a handful of comments of "Why did you do that?!" and raised more than a few eyebrows at church. Two things:

1) I always wanted pink hair, even before it was popular to do funky colors with your hair.

2) It felt empowering to cut and color my hair how "I" wanted it to be. Terry was fine with the color as long as I was happy with it, he would be happy.With my ex even my hair had to be looking perfect. He hated short hair! It's so super easy to deal with especially right now, when I am lucky if I feel like getting dressed everyday.Strange enough, I felt very empowered by my rockin spunky new look!  I'll be growing out my lovely locks so I can actually do some neato hair styles I found on Pinterest. YES, you will find me on there! One of my vices to get lost on!

I pray that your path finds you with much joy, happiness, safety and love. The path is slow, rocky and sometimes seems like too much, but it's worth it in the end. Don't give up! I'm rooting for you! I'll follow up with more info on my health journey as it comes!

God bless and BIG hugs!
Mel

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Tired of being tired Pt 1




 It's been awhile since I have posted. Several things going on with me, physically. I also think I need to take more of a drastic direction of my blog than just sharing my past. I have tried to incorporate what's going on in my life here and there that is not related to my abuser in order to shine a ray of sunshine on what can be a dark subject.

As I shared before I wish for normalcy. Like a child craving a sweet at the checkout counter of a store. 

I crave stability. 
I crave happiness in everyday life and simple things. 
I crave unconditional love. 

I am blessed to receive all of these things now and count my life at this time surreal from my past. Which brings me to why I have been MIA for a bit. 

Now thinking back I can see patterns of physical issues but I was so consumed with fear and panic that I didn't put things together. And of course I wasn't able to really worry about how I felt at that time. I know sounds weird, but when I was with my ex husband, anytime that took away from my abuser was a no-no! He believed that any sickness or injuries were my fault or made up. 

Enough about him! Flash forward to present. 

So over the past year I noticed an increase in aches and pains. I attributed alot of it to getting older (I'll be 45 this month) or maybe it is my high stress job as a Customer Service agent for a nationwide trash company. It is not uncommon for workers, myself included, to cry sometime during the work hours from a disgruntled customer unhappy with billing, trash pick up, or why the sun is not out. 

These issues started to worry me as I noticed my feet started to feel tingly and felt numb. I blew it off to the fact I was sitting all day. And I was so exhausted, even after sleeping, also my sleep was off. I was maybe getting 4 hours of sleep a night if I was lucky. Of course I would fall asleep on the couch at 7 pm! I felt old! Despite my working out, P90, TurboJam, TurboFire, Brazilian Butt lifting 5 times a week (Not all at the same time) I was gaining weight! 15 pounds in a month at one point and time. I was watching what I ate somewhat. I admit I was stress eating mostly at work and eating snacks and desserts after 8 pm, after my nap. 

Slowly that  annoying tingly-numb feeling crept up my legs. The next month my arms and hands had the same feeling. I was really getting worried. But I did continue to brush it off as how I was sitting at my desk. My back was killing me more than normal. Which again I blew off. I invested in a Office ball chair, of which I loved bouncing on! I figure I could perhaps get rid of the weird feeling in my arms and legs this way. During this time I was having more Anxiety attacks, muscle twitches and my speech was becoming impaired. I felt like I was losing it. I cried to Terry that maybe I was getting Parkinson's or Alzheimer's! I was forgetting things, my headaches that plagued me for years were getting so intense I had to leave work.

I had Vertigo on and off for 10+ years that would come on if I was tired or under great stress. It would go away after a few days to a week. Suddenly in July no matter what I did I couldn't get it to leave. It no longer was limited to when I was just tired. I was having intense spells that happened when I when I was sitting, driving and just walking. I broke down and scheduled an appointment to a Chiropractor. A month later, I was still experiencing issues and they worsened! 

The Chiropractor advised that I had the signs of Fibromyalgia and possibly MS. Hearing this I needed to jump into going to a medical doctor in August. I left work early at work in a panic. I felt anxiety but something else. I felt hot, I was so dizzy and felt faint! I shared with my co-workers that something wasn't right. I had Terry pick me up from work and we drove to Urgent Aid. I didn't know what was wrong but something was just not right.

I was evaluated and sent away to be treated as a inner ear infection. I was unhappy with the diagnosis and told I should go to the ER if symptoms persist. 2 days later I went to the ER. I was once again evaluated and told about a probability of an inner ear infection and sent on my way. 

Feeling puzzled and somewhat annoyed I was able to get to doctors. At the appointment I rattled on about 30+ other things I have noticed over the past few weeks. He scheduled MRI's, blood work, sleep studies, stress tests and more. He wanted to get a baseline since he never saw me before. I left my appointment upset. During the waiting period for my tests I took it upon myself to read and devour articles and websites on anything that sounded like my symptoms. I came up with a few things to ask the doctor about at our next visit. 

Upon the next visit I was informed I was borderline Hashimoto and further tests needed. MS, Lyme's Disease and Lupus was ruled out. YEA! I still had no answers. I ask if he performed the Western Blot and all Thyroid levels. He said he did blood tests and I was fine. HUMPH!  I had shared I had PTSD at our first visit this time the Doctor suggested that perhaps I was "Creating my symptoms". He may have to refer me to a psychoanalyst if nothing is found.

We left the appointment frustrated. 

I was tearful and upset. 

I know it's not in my head!

A friend of mine recommended I change my diet- No Dairy, Whites, or Gluten. She had experienced similar issues a year before. She provided some other great pearls of wisdom and I felt like I finally was not losing my mind. I also met someone else that advised of a place I could get a blood test for Lyme's disease since we live in a location where this is prevalent. So I did! I should get the results back in a month, at this present time I should be hearing from them soon with the results.


Since I started this journey I have been depressed and annoyed that I haven't had an real answers. I found my blood results with a Hashi group I joined and bounced them off a kindred spirit. I wish she lived closer! She gave me a pep talk and pointed me in the right direction to ask my doctor about my test results. I had an appointment on Tuesday and before I went I prayed for God to intercede with my visit and  I ended up seeing the Dr's Associate! He was informative, attentive and listened to my concerns. 

He verified it looks like I have Hashimoto's, also Celiac's Disease and he believes I have Adrenal Fatigue! 
WHOA! I had to thank the Lord for this blessing.



I requested further testing on my Thyroid, brain and vitamins. He sent us to Vyto's Pharmacy (A Compound Pharmacy. In my opinion it's too bad we don't have more of these anymore!) for a Cortisol test.Everyone was informative! it so happens the Pharmacist suffered from Thyroid issues, so she was able to provide a lot of information. 

So armed with new vitamins to try, my saliva test and a positive visit I feel better that something positive will come out of this! 

I have been off work this whole time but my FMLA is up this week so next week I head back to work. Terry is betting I make it 3 days. I figure I will try to see how far I can go without losing my mind or physically breakdown. So say a prayer for me!
How could this all come to a head? For many years I have had a great deal of stress in my life which sent my Adrenals to work overtime. As the years went by of burning the midnight oil and chaotic situations my body has decided it's fried. I felt I needed to share. 

Many Victims and Survivors of abuse have various ailments that are worse or hidden. Abuse can do a real number to a person. The effects can be felt years later after the abuse is over. In some, physical issues go away after leaving and maybe replaced with Adrenal Fatigue or Thyroid issues. So Dear blog reader, I implore you to make sure you make a checklist for your health.  Keep a journal of your whole body, mind and spirit. Get yourself checked and don't wait like I did! 

Wherever your journey is taking you be safe!

God bless!
Mel

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New campaigns and leaving your abuser

Have you heard of some great programs recently to help Victims?

Service that will move Victims, see story here: 

http://www.people.com/article/california-moving-company-moves-domestic-violence-victism-free

Also "The Black Dot campaign" When someone shared this on FB I was very excited to hear about it. I did check the internet to find our more info on this organization and found Snopes states it is a false system as many hospital workers and law enforcement are not trained to look for a black dot on a victims hand. Check out the group on FB-https://www.facebook.com/Black-Dot-Campaign-Supporters-838246062962711

I am hope to hear of more activism or info on training our health care workers or law enforcement to recognize this. I reached out to the group Admin to inquire how I could help but received info on purchasing T-shirts. While I am definitely super happy to find out how to bring attention and help others silently get help and I'm not sure I feel comfortable yet supporting this group. I think the vision is awesome! I'll keep watch on this organization. 

So what do you do when you find yourself in this situation of wanting help but not sure where to go?

Or perhaps you have a friend or relative that needs help and you are unsure how to help. Here is a few bits of info!

The National Domestic Violence Hotline-1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) http://www.thehotline.org/

Check with your local shelters in your area. If you are unsure or just feel you can not locate this info safely on your home computer find a friend or relative to help you. I am always happy to help so don't hesitate to email me privately-melindaallen1970@gmail.com.

Check out my other posts on Safety and Checklist for leaving your abuser for information for steps. Document everything that you can, emails, text message, voice mails and keep a journal of these things or to help you cope with your current situation and past. Sometimes when you are going through a dangerous situation you may not be able to see the trees through the forest. The time of separation is "Survival mode", you may be hyper sensitive right now. You may cry, scream, feel elated one minute and the next feel utter despair.

You are in a different situation in comparison to those that are not a victim of abuse. Don't feel defeated if you still consider going back to your partner. Don't feel terrible if you let your partner get to you or hold financial or health issues and he/she will take care of you if you come back. Or state that are will not be able to make it on your own with no money or home to call your own.

You are not a terrible person if you go back. You do have to hit rock bottom before you finally leave for good. "You" are the one that will know when it is time to leave. It may take a week, months or years. I beg you if your children or pets are being hurt to get help ASAP! If you can't leave for you please think of your children or furbabies. 

It was the first hard thing I had to do, the second hardest was to stay away from him. That meant blocking his number, not letting him know where I was, making sure I kept contact when I had to talk with him to a minimum. I didn't get back to him right away,when he called and you know what? It felt pretty dang good I didn't have to jump when he said jump! 

Of course if it's an emergency please make sure you keep record of what the urgency is. Now if someone is in the hospital THAT is an emergency. If your abuser doesn't remember passwords, financial info or how to wipe his/her butt, too bad! Your not responsible. Your job is to stay safe, get help and find sanity during this rough time. 

I'm not going to lie, the next few years are going to be rough. Get counseling if you need to! What worked for me may not work for you. You have to find what makes you comfortable to help heal and get through this roller coaster. 

Being free may mean you get a little wild or want to show up your abuser, staying out partying. Please don't! I'm not saying you can't have fun, but please do so responsibly! Don't advertise your outings so you don't bump into your abuser. Remember safety in numbers. Make sure you always go out with someone trusted or call someone to let them know of your day in case something happens to you.

This is information overload! Take your time and go through my blog and glean what you can. Remember this is not your fault. You will get through it, this takes work and it helps to have a trusted supportive person to bounce situations and information off of. Try not to take offense to the suggestions or advice this person gives you. You are right in the mix of a potentially dangerous situation and you may not be thinking clearly. Step back, breathe, find a safe way to decompress. 

*Pray/Read the Bible- If you have any questions about the Lord or don't have a Bible drop me a line, I would be happy to discuss this with you privately about how good God has been even when I was pushed over the edge.

*Spend time with your kids/furbabies or loved ones.

*Exercise

*Meditate

*Find a hobby that you enjoy

*Get out and hug a tree or ground yourself for at least 20 minutes a day.

*Talk to a friend or professional

*Plan for your future

*Journal

*Take a hot bath for at least 20 minutes or as long as you can with Epsom salts, essential oils, or herbs, soft music and candles. Don't be afraid to cry during this time. When you pull the drain envision all of your worries and negative emotions going down the drain.

*Try alternative healing- Reiki, Vision Boards, Yoga, Reflexology (Hey I know a great Reflexologist if you are in the NW Indiana area- Me!) 

*Create a Bucket list or think of things you always wanted to do and DO THEM!

*Read a good book

These are just a few things you can do to help you heal and find some normalcy. I hope it helps! 

Stay safe!
God bless,
Mel



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What to expect from a shelter

If you have followed my story from the beginning, you may remember my experience as a guest in a shelter. If not, no worries you can find my experience in older blog entries.

The whole ordeal of leaving an abuser is terrifying, traumatic and down right emotional! You decide to make the jump to leave your abuser and may be unsure where are you going to go?

A hazy view of shelters, as being seedy. A place where only low income women go. Maybe you are intimatdated. Perhaps you think only people with kids are allowed there or you feel just uncertain if it's okay for you. You may have no idea where to find one in your area. All of these thoughts and feelings are normal and understandable!

Abuse effects all ages, races, economic situations, sexes, and religious beliefs. Those men and women that go through the doors of shelters are just as nervous and unsure as you are. Many come with baggage that is not seen from the outside. They come with scars both inside and out. Many have trust issues, lack of confidence, little to no finances, support , no idea what tomorrow is going to bring and some are just bone weary from whatever situation they escaped from. One woman during my stay had been a Guest over 20 times! She hoped she could be strong enough not to go back again.

You will need to call a shelter near you. Most shelters addresses are not listed in the phone book, as not to bring unwanted attention and for safety of it's Guests.

You head to your local government page for your state or city for contact information. Google search, Aspire App that was recently created specifically for victims of abuse, and https://www.domesticshelters.org to name a few.

What happens next is when you are safe, call, a person will take an assessment of your situation, ask if you need or can leave ASAP. If you need a lift most shelters do provide a pick up service if it is safe. If the police have been called advocates can take you under the watchful eye of an Officer. Many shelters host 15 to 40 beds and on average you can stay 30 to 40 days and if you have wee ones of course they can stay as well. An advocate will also let you know whether they have room, which can be equally scary, but in most cases they should be able to coordinate a escape day for you or let you know when they will have a vacancy.

Please don't let that stop you from leaving!

What can you expect once you have become a Guest? This list is just a top of my head list and some shelters may have more programs or less, feel free to ask!

*A caring person to listen or just give you a hug if need be

*Shelter-there maybe a slim chance you have to share a room

*You will be asked birthday, address, medical info, nearest relative, description of your abuser, if you have a Order of Protection, attorney information, a short bit of the abuse. You will also be required to fill out a Safety Plan! I have a copy on this blog of the form given to me during our stay as an example. You will be asked about visitation arrangements if you have children together.

*Legal help

*Crisis intervention

*Counseling

*Support groups

*Case Management

*Children's services

*Transportation

*Help locating housing

*Job searches

*Training for a new career

*Medical help in cases of injury or rape-They can arrange to get you to a hospital

*Some have animal shelters and many do allow for service animals. Let your advocate know!

*Emergency phone- You will have access to dial 911 in case of emergency, it's not a phone for social media or for cruising on the web. It is for emergencies.
You will be responsible for you children

There will be shared Kitchen (Let them know if you need special dietary needs)and common areas

They will have toiletries, sheets/blankets, towels and clothing- During our first visit as a Guest we only had the clothes on our back! They provided us with new underwear, socks, toothbrushes, soaps and shampoos. I just cried at how wonderful the community was to donate total strangers!

You will have a place to do laundry

Most shelters do ask for Guests to contribute by sharing responsibilities of chores
You will be asked not to share too much personal information with other guests for your safety and that of others. Seems extreme but I was so into my own bubble of sadness I really wasn't up to making new friends.

No visitors! Advocates are very concerned over your well being and do not wish to put you or anyone else in harms way.

There maybe a curfew and if you are not back at that curfew they will call Police.

If you need to get anything important from home, as an example, prescriptions, birth certificates, medical cards and so on. . . An Officer can escort your to your home to pick up these items. It's not a time to bring everything with you. Just small important things.

This is just a brief bit of information. Programs and assistance may vary for how in depth or detailed the shelter can help you. It's not a handout. It's not something to take advantage. It's for you to get back on your feet, to help you realize you are AMAZING and DESERVE not to be hurt anymore!

When you walk through those doors you find a place that is homey, safe and bright. Advocates at these facilities are caring, genuine and have seen every sort of scenario! They have been through intense training in order to equip them with knowledge to help you through your situation.

This is just a small peek into a shelter.  I encourage you to check into these services. It is humbling to ask for help, but I have to tell you, I found encouragement, others like me and hope for a new beginning.

I'm proud of you Dear Blog reader! No matter where you are on your journey please know you are not alone. And if you know someone that is in an abusive situation share this blog with them. My own story is found in the Labels and also share Safety/Safety plan, and Check list for leaving your abuser, to encourage and inspire hope of a normal life. There is normalcy after abuse. It takes time to get there and lots of tears but it's worth it.

BIG HUGS and stay safe!
Mel


Monday, July 13, 2015

I hit him too!


I cowered in the corner. Trying my best not to cry and feeling totally helpless and desparate not to get hurt again like I had in the past. His shouting and arguing had led me to this familiar corner of the room. I felt like a animal ready for the slaughter. My stomach hurt. I couldn't catch my breath but couldn't let on that I was feeling as frightened as I already outwardly was.

He stood above me with a coy dark smile. His face was cloudy but filled with rage. His fist clenched so hard I swore his knuckles would pop out of his skin.

My mind jumbled for some sort good reason to appease him as to why I failed to make some calls about bills. I forgot is not good enough. I ran out of time is not good either. I had no good, valid reason. I hurridly went about my day like normal, rushing about like a squirrel in traffic, trying to make sure I store my nuts before the winter.

Oh that's how everyday felt. Like I was rushing about with a list of things that numbered from a unrealistic checklist of people, place and things to do. I usually did everything by the skin of my teeth. But not that day.

I managed to squeak out that I was sorry and it wouldn't happen again. His face changed into a gentle smile and he offered a hand up. I felt a rush of relief! YEA!

After helping me up, he takes me and shoves me so faster then I had time to register what happened and I'm falling backwards into the wall behind me. I let out a sigh as I went down. My teeth had clenched together from the impact. My head hurt and arms felt bruised.

He stomped away in a huff, muttering under his breath. I stayed there like a rag doll for what seemed like forever, in actuality it was a few minutes. I rose slowly, ever so carefully. My head felt like it was filled with cotton. From behind me I heard quick steps rushing towards me. I felt a adreniline and turned around with such force my back cracked. I turned fast enough to see him coming at me with the cold stare of hate etched on it. His intention was to do further battle.

He started screaming that I was lazy and good for nothing, along with some obsenities I was used to. I felt wobbly, still shook up from the incident just a bit before. I raised my arms to protect myself while he sneered with a fist in mid air, somehow I grew a set of man parts and stopped his hand and punched him in the stomach! He looked stunned!

"You hit me, Mel! I didn't hit you! I was just coming to see if you were okay after you fell!"

Huh?! What?!

I yelled back that I was protecting myself!

He spoke softly and said, "Mel, you really need to get help before you hurt one of the me or one of the kids! I'll let this go but we need to talk to the doctor about meds for you. Or perhaps a Psych eval."

"I think you need to rethink who is abusive in this family. I have was protecting myself from you Mel. I saw you look wild and that's why my hands were up because I wasn't sure what you were going to do to me."

I was stunned, pumped up with SheMomma emotions! I felt both stupid and angry at him and myself. At the same time I knew what he was doing. He had a habit of doing or saying things to make me feel like I was nuts. Truth is I thought I was losing it.

There was a time, I believed if I fought back I was to blame for the abuse as much as he was. He would bark he would call the police on me and take the kids. I would never see them again.
But I very rarely hit back. I usually just took whatever crap he hit me with. It wasn't until much later I realized I was not crazy. I was not abusive and he was twisted. I was defending myself from a potentially heated situation. I never struck my children out of anger or abused them as my ex had. He rationalized all of his reactions to situations with some sort funky spin to make me the bad guy or he always has someone else be the scapegoat. Never fully taking responsiblity for his actions.

So Dear one, if you are trapped in a situation that sounds similar, please know you are not alone. Contact a trusted friend or relative, shelter or even the Police to get help. Don't hide in the darkness any longer. It is scary to leave an abusive situation. I'm not going to sugar coat it. But you will be in a much better place once you have left.

Please view my other posts on "Safety". Check into the "Aspire" app created by Dr. Phil's wife, which looks like a regular news feed but secretly has info to get help locally.

Prayers and hugs for you!
Mel