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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/

Friday, April 24, 2015

Be still. . .



From the time I was little, I wanted peace, love and comfort. Someone that would love me. I prayed to the Lord and questioned His love for me, feeling lost, afraid and hopeless at times. As the years passed and we had escaped my stepfather, life seemed to slip into a surreal normalcy. I was worried that if I blinked it would go away. 

Then I met my abuser. He was a bit different. Things spun out of control and what was normal went Topsy turvy. I felt as though I was suffocating, I felt stuck, and lonely. I feared leaving. I feared moving on. I feared the unknown of how I was going to make it and later how I would make it with 3 kids? 

It hasn't been easy or a cake walk. As I have mentioned on numerous times, I still have concerns for our safety. The years of feeling like I was walking on a tightrope have all but vanished. 

I still have memories, I still have triggers, I still have nightmares and I still sleep with the night light on. I also still have the unwelcome present of HSV2. That little gift serves as a reminder of a rather dark and bleak time that I would rather forget. But forgetting that time would be hasty. That time brought 3 beautiful kids into my life. I still pray that someday I will have a safe and healthy relationship with my eldest Son that is now 19 years old and I have not seen him since the latter part of 2010, after a scary incident involving a "Supervised visit" with our abuser in which the police were called due to an altercation between my ex and his Mom and Dad. He also threatened to slit my daughters throats if I was awarded custody of my girls. Likely, his threats were not taken lightly by the court and I was given custody of our girls and future visits were at Children's Treehouse. Of course that ended badly, but that is an older blog post. 

The old adage, "What doesn't kill you makes your stronger" Irked me and still kind of does. I don't feel any stronger than before. Conflict and argument's still send me into a panic and I can feel myself turn into a "Shrinking Violet", quite literally. 

I am annoyed that though it has been well over 6 years, my ex still hunts for us. Sound weird? Is it in my mind? No, he asks for us. He was sending me messages since we left in 2009 about his love for me, how we will be together someday, that "he forgives me" for everything and that he is a changed man. All of this nonsense is not reality. The reality of the situation is that he needs help. I've looked into prosecuting him for molesting our daughter but that ended up with a brick wall, legally where we reside too much time has elapsed and there is not a darn thing we can do.

I would be a fibber if I didn't say I wanted to get revenge. I still feel strongly about the situation of course for what that monster did. I was amazed at my Daughters bravery once she was free of the "secret" she had been keeping for years. And how she is choosing to forgive him and asked the Lord to help her do so. 

We still have our quirks and we try to help one another get through these. It's not easy. There are times of heated discussions, tears and regret as all of us in this household attempt to navigate through old wounds, of course the dreaded teenage hormones and my premenopause. God love Terry! His patience sometimes gets the better of him. I know we needed a strong person to help us through. God blessed us with that.

I don't know where you are in your journey but do me a favor. Be still for a moment. Wherever you are, stop what you are doing and just be still. What do you hear? Kids bickering? Traffic in your area? TV or radio on? No matter, take moments out of your day to just be still. Leave the camera off or the video option off and just soak in what is around you.                                                                      

After a crazy day at home or work, I have moments of clarity and splendor of how my life is today. I prayed for the life I have many, many years ago. It can be hard when your caught up in the moment to remember the simple blessings that are around you day to day. Such as, birds chirping, lightly tinkling wind chimes,the wind rustling through the trees, frogs and crickets chattering with one another. The sounds of laughter that seem infectious in our home. These sounds seem simple enough right?

There were times where I shut out the world, feeling lost in spirit and physically, while I closed my eyes and mind to some rough situations. I wanted to be someone else, I slowly stopped feeling, oh don't get me wrong, I always felt a wave of emotion when it came to my kids. Call me Momma Bear or fierce when it is needed! I did this to shut off the nasty words or sights I was seeing. I closed off to stop being hurt and to stop hurting.

Recent trip to Michigan City, IN- Washington Park zoo!

Where am I? I was taking the picture! I am getting a wee bit on the fluffy side since all I do is sit at work so I haven't been putting my mug in pictures too much. 


Once you are out of the abusive situation for a number of years there is clarity and to some degree I have understanding about how and why I did what I did and for how long I put up with what I did. I want you to know, Dear Blog reader that you will get through the rough parts, it will take time and there will be times when it seems like time stands still, with no end in sight of painful memories or legally. When this happens take a moment, be still, inhale all the good stuff and exhale all the bad thoughts, memories and pain. Do this for a few moments daily and let me know how it helps!

I know God's not done with me yet. I know He has never left my side and has sprinkled some amazing people and experiences in my life that I never imagined! Our bus project is going well. Terry found someone that will help show him how to weld the floor of the bus so he can then put in a floor and work on the build out of our "future" home. I'm counting the days until we launch and we all can not wait for whatever the good Lord has planned for us.

We hope to take part in helping any farmers/farm communities that need a hand and also to learn as well! Terry is a handyman/IT professional with a marvelous green thumb. We have both jumped into our mini farm with both feet after years of wondering and reading out of books we have tackled Beekeeping, raising Chicken/Ducks/Guinea Fowl/Rabbits, aquaponics (briefly more Terry's thing), forging in the yard for edibles, learning survival techniques, making our own soaps, salves, lotions and miscellaneous concoctions (some good and some bad-eg. my Dandelion wine didn't turn out so good). I am continuing to learn more about energy healing, Reflexology, Homeopathic medicines, Herbal medicine, Birth Doula and using essential oils. We hope to utilize our skills and help where needed, potentially for disaster relief or just healing someone that needs to share and talk.

I hope to meet some of the wonderful Survivors and Mom's of victims that I have come to exchange messages with over the past several years and I hope to inspire someone trapped in a abusive situation that they can find freedom, safety and a reason to live.

I'll quite ranting for a bit. If you need to talk feel free to reach me on FB-Melinda Kunst. I have several profiles- One is for my Reflexology page- Melinda Kunst (Healing Hearts), and just Melinda Kunst or at my email that I check regularly at blessmeplz@gmail.com

Stay safe and strong!

BIG HUGS!
Mel
 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I left now what?!

So you maybe thinking, "I took a leap and now what Mel?"

The path you are going on is going to be hard. There will be tears, screaming, and total shaking of your head at times. You may not believe how the legal system is treating you and you could feel like the one at fault. Though the process stinks from time to time, if you follow the rules, listen to your attorney or authorities you can make it through this.

Ever hear the statement- "CYA! Cover Your Ass!" Sorry to be blunt. Everything you can do to leave a paper trail, legally the better!

I encourage your to learn as much as you can about the laws for your location. This is not very interesting information but arming yourself about the In's and Out's of the legal system can help you immensely! A judge can see you as more professional which is something that can work to your advantage.

If you have any engagement with an attorney, police or Judge, try to remain calm. Don't give out too much information, such as, they are not going to care if you were running a marathon wearing pink lipstick or if you were trying to read a book. They want to know just the facts of what the matter is.

Keep a journal of any incidents of threatening texts/emails/voice mails/visits. These can be used as evidence of a poor behavior. Hold onto this information for as long as your case is going through and maybe even a year or two after that.

Ditch anything that your ex could possibly have bugged if possible or go through the item with a fine toothed comb. Spy ware, GPS, or a Lo-jack sort of system is just a small bit of technology your abuser can use to hunt you down or further harm you.

If you are leaving the area where you reside to get to safety I encourage you to find out what laws may make you come back or charge you with jail time. Again, sometimes the legal system can make you the bad guy. Stories are splashed on the news of victims jailed because they fled with children into a different state line.

Get a new bank account, change your passwords online, screen your calls and friends on social media. Don't answer the phone for your abuser or call back right away unless it is a "REAL" emergency! One of the happiest moments after leaving my ex, was that I wasn't at his beck and call anymore and I didn't have to answer his call or messages right away. I could wait a day or longer if I really needed to reply at all! There was a point where I informed him to only contact me if emergency otherwise email me. Soon after I was able to get a Order of Protection due to harassment and went through my attorney and a family member for emergencies. I got to tell you how nice this was/is!

Make sure you let a trusted family member or friend know your whereabouts! Make sure you are situationally aware of your surroundings. Trust your guts! Also if there is a visitation please make sure you do the visitation in a public setting or depending on the situation (if violent or disruption issues)ask to have visitations to be hosted at a specialized setting set by the court. These facilities are considered supervised and will have security for you and your family. There is a time limit given for families to visit. Ask your legal professional about this! Also consider asking for a GAL-Guardian ad Litem to assist if needed in children if they are distressed about past or with current situation with your ex. A GAL is an advocate for your child/ren and will help your child work through the issues with your ex.

Now, you maybe thinking, you have heard all this from me before. DUH! Well, sometimes we need reminding. This crazy roller coaster can make you loopy and frustrated! I'm here to let you know that I understand the madness of what you are going through.

If you haven't already done so and need a place to go to stay, call local shelters for help on counseling, legal services, or housing. Especially if you need a place to stay for yourself and children. You may need to tuck your pride aside and just call. These homes are guarded, secure and the folks that work or volunteer here are trained and professional. When I first left my ex in 2007, we were treated with kindness, compassion as well as with clothing and toiletries! That first time all we had was the clothes on our back! There are single women that go here to. Now for males with violent situations this is harder to find but there are services you can utilize as well. Please call your local shelter to inquire.

Now is the time to reclaim yourself! Get back your life! Kick any bad habits! Learn to love yourself and find you again!

You may feel devastated or confused about what the next day is going to bring for to you. I have to let you know that thinking about my future is what drove me to starting again. Knowing I can do what comes my way and that the good Lord is my driving force is what helps me!

After a few days or weeks after leaving you and your child/ren could experience, nightmares, panic attacks, anxieties, medical conditions out of the blue, irrational behavior, mood swings, school work can suffer and depression to name a few things. 
Wait? What?! These may even manifest months or years later. Be mindful to journal or keep a calendar of these challenges and share with your advocate/legal professional/counselor.

Speaking of Counseling. I found counselling didn't work for me, as I found myself feeling worse or more stressed out than when I arrived, this may not be the norm but I did see at least 5 different counselors/therapists. I didn't do well on anti-depressants as they made me eat alot and suicidal. So where did that leave me?

I am on a journey to find what works for me and my children and you have to find what works for you and I am not condoning modern medicine or therapy or shaking my finger at you as this is your journey, find what works for you! This road has led me to:
Reading my Bible
Blogging
Journal
Going to a drumming circle
Using essential oils- Feeling therapy- a shameless plug for YL Oils, I am a distributor
Smudging my home, myself and family
Creating a Bucket List
Positive affirmations
Meditation- This is something that is hard for me to focus as my mind is going 50 miles a minute!
Recently Yoga- Now I wish I look this graceful. I actually don't bend well, and teeter over like a Weeble (showing my age)


I also do things I have always enjoyed: Garage/Yard sales, crafting, antiquing, public speaking engagements-Most are craft/Reflexology/Antique related. I have also learned how to raise chickens, ducks, guinea fowl, rabbits and bees! 

I even went to school again for Medical Assisting- I have the degree but have yet- 4 years later to find a job in that profession (GRRFACE!) I still have the student loan to pay back go figure! These are just a few things that are helping me to find "ME". Sounds strange doesn't it? 
Like, what? were you lost? 

Yes I was for a very long time. I lost my moxie, spunk and zest for life. I lived my life but didn't really live it. I got by. Like a zombie. I got used to just surviving the moment. Not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, not wanting to cause or start an argument, rolling over when things get tough. Not finding my voice when I am in an uncomfortable situation or just agreeing with something or someone when I really don't want to.  

All of these things take time to learn and do. It isn't happening over night. If I could have asked God to take it all away, I wouldn't. The experiences have made me stronger. Now as for forgiveness for what my abuser did to me, I forgave him awhile back, but with the molesting of my daughter, that I am having a hard time with.  I am being honest about that. I go back and forth about this, knowing Biblical I need to forgive, I'm just not ready yet. 

I hope these have helped you! Thanks for listening to me ramble on.
Also please refer to my other blog posts on similar topics. 
Stay safe and God bless!

Mel

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

 My phone chirped, again, I knew better then ignore it as it chirped for the past10 mins impatiently like a 2 year old waiting to be fed.

It was Rob. I was supposed to have been home15 minutes ago! I was waiting for a train to pass. The area I was stopped at was notorious for trains that go on forever. I cringed as another train going the opposite direction decided to parade on by, much longer than the first.

"Crap, Rob is going to kill me!" I finally answered the annoying device that hung on my hip like a lead weight.

"Hey! Sorry I didn't hear you, there is a train..."

Rob yelled, "You were supposed to be home by now!" My mind was racing, but yet I grew bold and told him I was waiting for the trains to pass, and I hung my phone out the window in vain and hopes he would hear the rumble in the background.

"Did you hear that?! That's why I'm late! I have been here for over 20 minutes or so and can't turn around due to the back up behind me!", I advised while shaking like a leaf. I waited for him to yell or something but all I heard was silence and then a click.

A hung up is sometimes worse then being hollered at. With silence, I never knew if he would be waiting with vengeful heart. My stomach tightened. I grew panicky inside and prayed he would mellow out or forget the incident.

When I rolled home, he didn't help me with the groceries. It was a rare occasion when he did. The kids would help as best they could but for the most part I became an Octopus woman to get everything I could in, as fast as possible.

I threw everything on the table and did my best to put on a happy face as if nothing was wrong. The kids instinctively knew to scram after all was in and I was left alone with him. He grunted from the couch, not even looking at me. I tried to brush off the event but he wouldn't. He started in with, "Who did you see, Mel?" He quickly jumped from the couch that caused me to gasp loudly, I responded that I wasn't seeing anyone, that I was stuck by the train. I knew I wasn't getting anywhere arguing with him.
*************************************************************************
Did I mention I am so happy I'm not in that situation anymore? I really can not fathom how ridiculous those conversations/arguments were.

Was I cheating? Who was I cheating with? How many people are you screwing?

I learned that he was rationalizing his behavior by creating some mind games to tempt me to fool around and than his flirting or stepping out would make it okay.

This is not normal. If this scene sounds something familiar please ask yourself how much longer can you hold on? You maybe at the point where you feel as though you are losing your mind or that perhaps you are the cause of the breakdown of relationship.

Your NOT!

I can't tell you when to leave. I can't tell you it's time to go. You will know when enough is enough. Call it hitting, "Rock bottom", which is the point of when you can't go on. Hopefully it's not too late or that you become injured or your child/furbaby gets hurt before you make the decision. Talk with a trusted friend, call a Shelter or the Domestic Violence Hotline if you are not sure but want to discuss the situation before taking the plunge.

A few tips:

Make sure you are clearing your history about shelters or conversations about leaving your situation on your phone and computer!

Check out my other blog posts on Safety plans! These can help you plan and give checklists on what to take with you on your journey should you decide to take the leap and leave.

Stay safe and be careful! Remember you are worthy of a happy, NORMAL life. It is scary, it is going to be a roller coaster ride and maybe dangerous. Please don't do this alone, make sure you let someone know what your plans are and how your situation is.

Now an update from my last blog post regarding the passing of my mom-in-law. I learned Rob was mad I didn't show up and proceeded to bad mouth me with whoever would listen. Another family member went on to say that I needed to get over the situation already and yet another stated if her child had been abused she would have prosecuted him.

All of these comments but not one knows how hard it was to leave, not a one of them knows the heart break of leaving a child behind with that monster or worse the anger and sadness from not being able to do something to that man that took the virtue of my daughter. I wanted to call the authorities but honoring her word not to was very hard. She didn't want to be put on display or feel humiliated. I can't blame her and respect her decision, though it was terribly hard to do so. I am still hold anger on myself for not going with my guts and reading the signs. I am supposed to be the protector of my children, yet I feel very much guilty, ashamed and responsible for not protecting them enough.

On a side note we had a fun family day of visiting my family for my sisters birthday over the weekend and here are a few pictures with my girls, sisters and Mom (In green shirt at bottom)
God bless and please stay safe!

BIG HUGS!
Mel
My daughters on the couch with my baby sister 

I'm on the left!
Me next to my Mom (she is in green shirt)



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Light a candle for Domestic Volience

Well my Dear Blog reader, today marks the 6th year that we left our abuser, it has been a wild ride! Not always in a good way!

These past few years have given me new insight on life. I have a more optimistic attitude that everything will work out right. The craziness of our divorce is over but there are still random irritating moments when my ex comes out of the darkness to cause some anxiety around the household.

Time has allowed me to begin healing, finding myself. None of which are happened at the hurried pace I wished for. It took time to get where I am and it will take time to heal. Realistically, I'm looking to challenge myself to try new things (see my picture in my Beekeeping outfit!), look at my Bucket List post.

Now that time has passed you would think my ex would move on. . . well he has, kind of. I receive messages from him and hear from friends that he still mentions his love for me and that he holds on to hope we will be together.

I can't help but feel the willies. I still look over my shoulder, I still carry my pistol, I do need to brush up on my self defense skills and I do still feel paranoid when I'm out.

Sad news, earlier this week my ex Mom-in-law passed away. I have to admit I have mixed feelings of her passing. The history between my ex's family and myself has been interesting.  I don't wish to say anything negative about it. There has been some good times and support. I don't believe some of the family realizes the severity or intensity of the relationship that I have/had with my ex.

In attempting of trying to set up a time to visit, my first plan fell through and my second plan went to crap in a hand basket fast! I had a plan to have an aunt on Rob's side distract him for a little of time so my eldest daughter and I could pay our respects. For some reason she took it upon herself to tell my Rob! He had stated it would be fine but he did not want Terry there, I was flabbergasted! Why did she tell him the plans? So this would give him time to plan some slick move?! I told her forget about it and asked why she screwed us? She didn't understand the issues. I explained Rob had molested my daughter and I want to keep her out of harms way and Rob threatened to kill Terry and I again last year, Hence the Order of Protection... DUH!  She remained cool throughout the call, I must have sounded like a rambling Momma Bear. I didn't care what I sounded like, I'm not family anymore. I don't feel I have to be "nice" anymore. Maybe it's age, maybe it's that I am tired of the whole dang situation. Maybe I just want peace.

I had worked it out to another way to have my eldest pay her respects, another trusted family member to get her there before the services start. I just was informed that we should refrain from going. That Rob is causing too much of a stink. . . I didn't wish to start drama but that happens with him. This reminds me of what happened when my ex father in law passed.

I have to admit to feeling some relief about the news, at least we tried!  Hope your day is filled with joy! Please share this post with anyone you think maybe in a abusive situation. Remember to stay safe!







Friday, February 13, 2015

Escaping the past

"I didn't take my meds today, do you really want to make me angry? I'm not kidding, I will bash your face in when I get home. *CLICK* "

As the hours would go by my stomach would turn in knots as time crept by until he arrived home. I felt like a child waiting for his parent to come home for a spanking after being caught doing something. More often than not, I was in trouble for not calling someone he asked me to or paying a bill. Nothing earth shatter. Though my children and I lived in a continual cycle of trying to please a person that could never be pleased.

I would never go back to someone that has any unstablity issues. I will not allow myself to go back.

If you have been with me on my journey thank you for reading. I don't post as often as I had in years past for numerous reasons. The most important reason is that I really want to move on. I want to shake the past from my bones and forget about it. I don't wish to be defined by my past, yet I don't wish to have my story fade away. I'm still not out of the dark. I still receive messages from my ex with sweet nothings and proclaiming his undying love for me. Which is very creepy as we are now almost to the 6 year anniversary of leaving.

I can't get past the physical scars my body holds both seen and unseen. Of course there is the special present of HPV and HSV2 that I have, a constant reminder of the past. There is a special birthday on November 17th that does not go by without me thinking of my eldest Son that I haven't seen in the past 5 years, phone calls I have made to him briefly are one sided and usually are followed up by nasty text messages about how horrible I am/was.

I know in my heart of hearts this isn't true. No I am not perfect but nor am I a monster that my ex has created. The damage is far beyond just a few names. I linger onto hope that someday my Son and I will be able to talk and see one another without me fearing my safety.

How can someone be so taken with another person so seemingly blindly?
The cold splash of reality is that my ex buys love. He is a sweet talker. He was profiled by a counselor as "Ted Bundy".

The thought of him abusing (sexually or otherwise) is still a thought. I may never know.  It's horrible to think that way but knowing what he did to our daughter, I have no doubts.

I think I can walk away from the past but sometimes it seems like a hug from a person you don't like very much and there is no way to run away from it. That's kind of how I feel, there is no escaping the past. Granted it's "Not in your face" anymore and for this I am thankful and I am not meaning to sound whiney.

I have the privilege of having victims and friends of those in abusive situations contact me. Most are just wanting to bend an ear, to see if they are making the right decision to consider leaving or maybe have a thought they are being abused but perhaps maybe it's all in their minds.

Every situation of abuse is different. You can not compare my experiences to yours. Each one is unique, some are more verbal, or emotional or sexual or physical. Many of the same behavioral patterns of these "Gaslighters", "Narcissist" or whatever you want to call them are similar! More often then not, it may seem like abusers maybe related!

Dear blog reader, whatever stage of abuse you are in, please know you are not alone! Whether you are a Man, Woman, old, young, white, black, or what have you, abuse has not boundaries! You can break free of the bondage of abuse. Take the steps to keep yourself safe.



Those first few weeks after I left, I have to admit that I was terrified. Scared he would find me, (he did) and more afraid I wouldn't make it on my own. (I did!!) I listened to dozens of break up songs- "I'm a Survivor" blaring on my radio, watching movies like "Enough" "Sleeping with the Enemy" and "The Burning bed" fueled my resolve that I in all honesty I wish I were stronger or well trained to take the SOB down.
I fantasized about that, knowing deep down it's not for me to do. He will be judged someday and I had to search myself rather then live in fear and just think of getting even that I needed to restore my spirit and build up my kids to know everything was going to work out and I am still a work in progress.

It's not easy. Myself and dear friends have battled with the insanity of not only an ex but our legal system that can swing to the way of the abuser if you are not careful! This means covering your behind! Document! Document! Document any and all conversations you have, whether text, email or voice mails.
I suggest not replying back if you can help it but gauge it by situation. Example, if your ex states he needs to change your visitation day, sure reply. But if conversation starts going south STOP replying! Don't antagonize your abuser by making nasty remarks, this could backfire on you in court or with legal authorities! Be the bigger person! Besides you aren't with this person anymore and do not need to be at his/her beck and call anymore!

Depending on your situation look into a Guardian ad Litem, which is an Advocate for your children and this person can be a value to you!

The legal system can be very rough. Things may not turn as you thought they may so prepare yourself, educate yourself about your states or countries laws. Learning all I could to help me, made me feel empowered and to some degree control.

Take time to rebuild yourself now, not later! Steps can be as small as Positive Affirmations, counseling or maybe a large step to go back to school! (See blog post on Positive Affirmations)

You CAN do this!

Everytime I wonder about my path, I look back and will soon have a day of rememberance when I left my abuser for the final and last time upcoming on Feburary 25th, which was Ash Wednesday in 2009. I hate to call it a time of celebration or anniversary. Rememberance fits better. So, when I find myself wanting to run from my past I think about that time of escape. The fear leading up to that day and the intensity of emotions I was going through. Time seemed to stand still and that appeared to be the longest day that I can think of. I have contact from other survivors or abusers and that serves as a reminder that I need to embrace my past. Not try to relive it, but that I have learned alot from it, which in turn my story has helped others still locked in a place of distress, sadness and worry. My story is here to let others know they are not alone and that they count!

So Dear blog reader, whether this is the first time your read my blog, please keep faith and know you matter! If you need to talk to someone please call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline (800)799-7233 or (800)787-3224 TTY.

Now for my news! I try not to post too much about personal things going on in our live for safety reasons.(My ex and Son read my blog)

My family and I will be hitting the road travelling through the US in a few short years in hopes to go where we are needed; I hope to speak out against Domestic Abuse and meet other advocates I have met during my journey, also to help others for various organizations, or farmers or whereever the good Lord plants us. We will be travelling in a school bus in which my handy Hubby is in process of remodeling!

We are all very excited! I have a countdown going on and we are purging our belongings, as there is not alot of room in a bus! So stay tuned for news about our adventures! Honestly, 6 years ago I would have never thought I would be in the place of bliss I am right now. So, please don't give up hope! It can happen for you!

BIG HUGS and PRAYERS!
Mel

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

It's all your fault!

"Can't you do anything right?!"
"Your useless"
"Your the reason why everything is wrong with our lives!"

Sound familiar? Sometimes I am my worst enemy!

The voices in my head constantly beat me up. They break me down. Tell me that I am not worthy. They tell me that I will never be any good. That everything I do useless.

The early years of leaving my abuser were rough. Looking in the mirror, I stared at a person that looked beaten up, as though the years had sapped all the gladness from her face. I looked at a stranger. I was unsure who I was.

For a very long time I was nothing.

As time has progressed the aches and pain of a broken spirit are leaving me. I admit I welcome the change like a person enjoys a cool breeze on a hot day.
Now I am rebuilding myself.

Rebuilding myself is taking alot more time and effort then I anticipated. It annoys me that this was not a automatic change.

You are not alone in the feelings you have. It's not your fault. You aren't to blame. The healing process is slow and you may always be on guard for fear of your life.  If you still have to communicate with your abuser, it can be hard to move on. If you children with this person, it can be as though you are taking 2 steps and 2 steps back if your children seems to experience attitude changes towards you. (See Parental alienation on web or blog).

Here are a few tips to help:

Limit your contact with your ex if possible.

Limit cell, emails or text messages to once daily, unless it seems like a valid emergency. If any of these are harassing keep them and alert the authorities!

Never meet abuser alone! Meet in a public setting. This goes for picking up and dropping off during visitations if applicable! Contact your local law enforcement to meet you, they are more then accomodating.

If you go out and about, remember to be aware of your surroundings.  Now don't become obessive. I have a tendency to tune out the world while shopping, this hurt me dearly! My ex had hired someone to follow me early on in the separation when I left him. I was oblivious to this even though I thought I was paying attention. There can be distractions from kids, pets, other family or friends, electronics. Please be mindful! Check your car before you get in, back seat or under car. Check out youtubes for some self awareness techniques or enroll yourself in a course for self defense, many communities offer classes at low or no cost. Also see if you can look over your vehicle for a tracking device.

As I mentioned cell phones before, make sure you have your GPS turned off. If you have a phone that is part of a plan from your abuser, ditch the phone! Get a Pay-as-you-go phone. If you take pictures with your phone and post on social media, if your abuser is savvy enough he/she can locate where you are.

Speaking of social media, check your friends list for those that may be feeding your abuser info, this may be his/her family members or mutual friends. Don't allow everyone to view your profile! There are many settings on these sites that are set up to protect them, don't get sloppy and utilize them!

If you have a laptop/computer from an abuser or they have access please consider not using it. There is sophisicated technology that can be used to track your internet use or he/she can get access to private information.

Update passwords on all of your accounts and childrens accounts as well.

It sounds like a scary way to live, but you are precious and worth it!

Be safe and God bless!
Mel






Monday, November 24, 2014

FIBBER!

I feel like a fraud. 

Rattling on my blog about positive thoughts and feelings, when I didn't feel that way inside, I was talking the talk but not walking the walk.

This puzzled me as I had thought I had forgiven my ex, finding emotions that I had felt were healing or gone have been painfully opened by the events surrounding my older daughter. I have humbled myself before God, family and friends on numerous occasions with tears, prayers and even screaming in the comfort of my car to and from work.

My PTSD in full swing, I feel like a mad woman inside, wanting to run away and throw the covers over my head and never leave the comfort of my home!

It doesn't help the career I am currently in is Customer Services, where during my work week, I, and my co-workers are sprinkled with insults, nasty language and hostility from a wide range of issues. God bless them as they help ground me until I get home.

My spirit is still wounded and trying to heal from the past, moving on the future is very hard! I don’t take confrontation well. I get very fidgety, hurt and start shrinking into myself during a heated or any sort of stern discussion.

I have avoided social media, blogging, reaching out to other survivors, my family and friends, not feeling many understand the depths of emotions and darkness I feel from time to time. While I am in a much better, safe place then ever I feel like I am my worst enemy right now.

I crumble under pressure to maintain and juggle home and job obligations, my current husband, Terry is wonderful at building me up, yet he cannot understand why the girls and I can’t just get on. It’s not logical to him. He can’t fix it or the girls or I, leaving us from time to time in family discussions and situations where one or all of us are in tears.

I feel very much like someone that is fibbing to the world that life is peachy, when it’s not. I dislike the job I have, but love my co-workers, and yet I am thankful I have a job, especially during these times of high unemployment. I enjoy doing various hobbies; I’m scared to just quit doing that full time.

I am letting my joy being stolen from me. The daily little things are worrisome for me for no reason, but I can’t help but dwell on them.

I have been torn between cursing and screaming at the Lord for understanding how my abuser seems to get away with everything! From being able to attempt to harm me on more than several occasions, stalking me, using parental alienation tactics, not paying child support, breaking the numerous Order of Protections and more!

I assumed once I left him that he would be seen for what he is. No matter where I turned it seemed as though he was getting away with everything.

How can this be?! 

I cried, reasoned, yelled and questioned the Lord with how this is okay? How come he continues to seem to get off free?

Though I wavered in my belief that someday he would be held accountable, God has made it clear to me in my heart to be patient.

I felt as like a small child pouting and begging God for some sort of smiting to take place or for someone legally to find a reason to throw the book at him! How can this be?

I’m tired of hiding from my ex and now my eldest son. I live in worry that there will be some harm that comes to my family and me.

“What if they figure out where we live?”

“What if they figure out where the girls go to school or where I work?”

Frustrated and envious of others that has statues on social media that gives them the freedom of not worrying about him stalking me on a random outing.

Stupid right?! Living life in fear is terrible. Even though the probability is super high that anything would happen, the random text or email messages causes me to hiccup and get panicky or worried.

It gets me upset that I allow my abuser to continue to hold me hostage and he doesn't even know he does! I’m feeding my demons by living in fear of living.
Now how can I move on?

I have done much of the things I have rambled on about. I am finding things that give me happiness, outings, learning new things, while my latest craze is teaching myself how to play piano and knocking off a few things off my ever growing bucket list.

Also we are thinking of travelling when the kiddos are on summer break around the nation to visit friends and family.

I toyed with the thought of seeing another therapist but can’t seem to bring myself to do so. The big factor is I have little funds to do so as counseling is very costly.
I need to take my own advice! Pray more. Tear open my box of crayons, glue and glitter to create a vision board for me for my health and sanity. I need to call friends and maybe have a few date nights with my husband, play some more with the kiddos.  

Why write these things?

I want to be genuine and truthful on my journey. There are tears, times of doubt and dark moments.

A year or so ago a dear co-worker had given me a book to borrow, I kind of read it but couldn't get into it totally because that it dealt with a child kidnapped and killed. It wasn't a true story but I couldn't read it and gave it back to her. Well, over a year later I kept seeing that book on the web and whenever I hit thrift store, yard sales and antique shops! I figured these were signs I needed to read it for real this time.

I read it in about 1 ½ days. It was a quick read for me. The end of story reminded me I need to find forgiveness for my ex and that after I found out the information about molesting our daughter I realized I hadn't forgiven him for that.

I also did something I have never done throughout my journey, I screamed.

I screamed at the top of my lungs while driving home. I sobbed. I shook my fist in the air, screaming like a mad woman to the figure of my ex that is burned in my mind. I yelled at God! I yelled at myself for feeling so blind, feeling like a terrible mother.

I felt as though I had been living in the dark. How could I have been so dense? I wanted a pound of flesh! I asked God how can I forgive her father and forgive me for not seeing.

After my tirade, I felt better, yet I could not say the words of “forgiveness”. I still felt angry and out of sorts, as I pulled up to the house, my husband was out to greet me with a big hug. He noticed something was off and mentioned it. I shared my feelings and he reminded me that we are safe now and even though I say the words that it doesn't mean the hurt and pain is going to go away but my heart and spirit will feel free.

This was a big step! That same day, I had received a text message from, supposedly, my eldest son that is living with my ex-husband; the message was a forwarded horoscope about burning down bridges and that even when I think about that person I should consider make amends with someone that has been on my mind. I truly believe that was sent by his father rather than him and found it kind of eerie at the same time.

There is no discussion between him and I still, as he is not reasonable nor will he be civil enough to have any type of friendly relationship with and especially after the information that came to light over the past few months!

So, where does this leave me?

I said the words, I felt at easy saying them and peaceful. Reminding myself that my daughter said she had given it to the Lord and forgave him several months ago.