A little about me

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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/

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Life after abuse

From time to time I view other blogs and websites about abuse. I find it hard not to feel sucked into darkness of my life about my past.

The past does not define you. Your past makes who you are now. Getting wrapped up in writing my book brings back to what was a surreal life there once was. The craziness of living with someone that is abusive.

I could ramble on a list of mental illness labels to call him, Narcissist, Gaslighter, Borderline, blah, blah, blah. . .

He was abusive. That's it. No special label needed.

God has this wonderful choice of Freewill. He knows between good and bad. He chose his moods and his actions most times before he walked in the door from a day at work. The experiences one goes through is amazingly similar. That's what gets me. No matter whose story or book about they're experiences with an abuser, the story is almost the same.

Paste your face here.

It's almost annoying and scary at how similar in the situations we are. I have discussed this with others that are victims or survivors about the "Playbook" that all abusers seem to use.

No matter what point in your journey you are in, please know you are walking a path from many other survivors and victims have walked before you. There are those that wish to keep silent and stay in the relationship of abuse and they feel as though there is no hope. Then there are those such as  very strong people- Leslie, Kristy, and Joanie. You may not know who they are, but they have made profound impact on me. They have reached out for friendship, sharing they're stories privately about what they endured in past relationship. I am in awe of the strength, the grace and brushing off the shadows of abuse and they are each putting a face on abuse.

Kristy is a well renown Author, life coach and Medium- www.tangledwishes.com .

Leslie and Joanie are two women that have left very abusive relationships after years of suffering in silence from abuse. There are several more that have contacted me over the years, looking for advice for son's, daughters, in-laws, parents or even co-workers.

Dear Blog reader, your not alone! Your experiences whether they are verbal, sexual, mental or physical are real!

I can't tell you how or when to leave. You will just know. There will come a time when enough is enough. No amount of pleading from others involved will get a victim to leave the abuse. Sad to say something may have to happen to the victim or someone close to her or him, in order for that person to leave.

A wake up call.

Where your abuser has a choice to victimize, you also have a choice to stay a victim.

You can have a really good life, but you need to have faith and believe. Does it take time to heal? Yes! Even after 5 years there are still bumps and little glitches that I need to contend with, whether it is a nightmare, anxiety attack or just a reaction that is programmed from my past.

April is Child Abuse awareness month. If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse please get help! Or listen, be a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen.

Stay safe Dear Reader!

BIG HUGS!
Mel

Friday, March 14, 2014

Call me Master- Chapter 1 My personal story of surviving Domestic Violence


*Warning! The language used is for adults over age of 18 years old*
Call me Master

Chapter 1

Spaghetti night

It was a cool fall afternoon in 2006, inside the house, there was a thick layer of steam is covering the windows from the huge pot of spaghetti on the stove. She lifts the lid on the rich aroma of garlicky tomato sauce; she stirs the pot and pauses to blow on the wooden spoon before it reaches her lips for a quick taste to make sure it’s just right.

She enjoys cooking. It is a form of stress release and a way of escaping the thoughts of worry that cloud her mind.

The TV is blaring in the background, with kids whooping and hollering about the funny commercial they just saw. Three kids ranging from age of 11, 8 and 7 years old are racing around the corner of the kitchen nearly knocking her over. She just smiles, they are growing so fast! With a quick glance at the clock, she starts to get a bit nervous. Soon he will be home and she will have to alert the kids to chill out in case he is in a bad mood.

The dog starts barking madly! Everyone freezes.

He’s home. 

She panics. 

The kids scurry to the front room, turning down the TV and shushing one another.

She braces herself and hopes for the best. She pastes on a fake smile and greets him. He’s in a foul mood.

He begins to tell her to undress him. She takes off his coat, takes off his flannel shirt, and unbuckles his pants and hurries to unlace his shoes. She smiles and looks up to ask him how his day was. He ask her, “How the fuck do you think my day went?”

She tries to stay positive with doom entering her now heavy heart. She smiles again as she helps him take off his boots. He kicks her away. She absently slowly crawls backward.

He stomps upstairs to the kitchen, pauses at the top and sniffs the air, “What the hell! I can’t even come home to good food on the table and what did you burn?!”

Oh my gosh, the garlic bread! She forgot all about it!

She races to the oven. She keeps silent. 
Grabbing the bread quickly and inwardly feeling shame and knowing he would get upset. Then she remembers the spaghetti was still cooking on the stove. 
Crap! The noodles are super overdone. He’s going to be mad.

Hopefully he won’t notice. Of course he will.

She quickly emptied the pasta pot with tears stinging her eyes. He was quiet and watching her.

His eyes smoldered.

Courage took over and she asked him why didn't he call that he was so close to home? She says, “I’ll hurry and pop more bread in the oven.”

He just stood there watching. His hands clinched the counter that separated them by 2 feet, of which he would have no problem with reaching over and hitting her. The kids were silent in the other room.

He blows up and says, “Call you?! What so you have time to get the dick out of your pussy? I know your fucking someone.”

He yells she’s useless!

She burned his dinner!
She must have done that because she was busy talking to her boyfriend or fucking him.

The words are stinging.

She tells him he is being silly. He comes around the counter and angrily dumps the contents of the colander in the garbage. He then whips around and tells her to eat the garlic bread as it is, since she burned it.  And demands her to make him his dinner and not to burn it this time.

He throws the colander at her and she throws her hands up in defense.  She could hear one of the kids crying. He spins on his heels, yells that she must have told the kids not to talk to him because they did not come to give him a hug and kiss when he came home.

He pushes her.

He pushes her again.

She falls to the ground, scrambling to try to get back up, in an instant, he stops by the plates on the counter that were to be set on the table for dinner, and throws them at her. 

She gets hit, stifles moans because he would get more enraged. 

Broken glass surround her. 

She catches the kids as they are quietly trying to sneak up to their rooms undetected and she breathes a sigh of relief.

She doesn't like when they see her like this. 

Huddling in a corner, bruised, crying, whimpering and ashamed.

Without warning, it as though a veil seems to have lifted, he smiles at her. He asks how much longer for dinner and he walks to the other room to watch TV. She is still on the floor, achy, befuddled, teary-eyed and stunned. The tirade from start to finish was 10 minutes. It seemed like an eternity.

“Hey, Honey bring me a Diet Sierra Mist.” He also tells her to have the kids come down to watch The Simpsons.

He looks at her and asks for a kiss as if nothing happened minutes before.

Fast forward to November 30, 2013

Yes, you guessed it that was me.

At this time, I am sipping a delicious cup of coffee, looking out the window and watching the shadows from the trees change as the light comes through the window from a glorious morning.

It’s my birthday. 

I can honestly say there was a time that I didn't believe I would see another birthday, due to the dire situation. That seems like a life time ago!

Those years seemed as though would never go fast enough and now it is hard to believe that those times are a mere fraction of the life I am living at presently.

From time to time, I share posts about me and my past on a social media page. After a particular blog post and update about my divorce proceedings, someone had asked, “Why are you just digging up bones? Why bother?” 

I interpreted it as, “Why are you whining and harping on this again! GEEZ!” She didn't mean it that way and after I explained myself I did have to step back and think that, sometimes it seems as though it would be easier to leave the past in the past. 

Ignore it. Perhaps it will just fade away.

Sharing, providing information on the subject of abuse can open up flood gates that would otherwise remain closed for a victim suffering in silence.

Why me Lord? I had screamed in my mind during or after an assault.

Even through all of this, my faith held strong and I knew God would get me through this storm. 

He would keep me safe and keep me from losing my sanity. 

~~~~~
If you know someone that could be suffering in silence from Abuse please share my story! 
There is help for those trapped. I am currently working on writing my experiences from my past to help those that are struggling with any type of abuse, so they know they are not alone. 
If you need help right away call 911! 
You can also contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at- www.thehotline.org/

*By the way, the above is a draft, not anywhere near a finished product, but I am working on it! I have some tweaking as well as research on how to publish on my own. Thanks for all the support! 
Please know you are never alone in your struggle!*
God Bless!
Mel

Monday, March 3, 2014

Writing, memories and used tissues

When I started this journey I had friends, family and kind blog readers suggest to write a book about my story. Flattered and slightly hesitant to do so in the beginning, despite urging from a great number of loved ones, I waited, waited and waited.

Each time I opened a Word doc or even just with pen in hand, I couldn't seem to get the words down. For some big reason, blogging about the experiences to some extent had been much easier to do and I am not even entirely sure why, though I'm sure there is a cosmic or psychological reason. For me to relive by digging deep, memories from childhood to present has proved to be very intense.

A great sense of relief comes from finally getting these experiences out. I am able to brush off the gathered dust from my past has opened up a deeper sense of understanding how I am the way I am.
Waiting to write my story has given me clarity, focus, confidence and drive to keep finding joy in little things is greater that I never felt before.

There are still moments of crying spells, dried tissue that seem to fill my pockets or the work area around me, as I pound out several pages, I notice that my spirit is feeling more uplifted and free!

I sometimes am amazed at the words appearing from my eyes, telling the story about my memories I believed that I had buried so deep down long ago or lost.

Telling my story and blogging gives me hope that if I can reach one person that they are worthy of living a life that can be normal, then it's all worth it. I wish to inspire others, with faith, hope and a strong resolve, many can leave the bondage of a violent relationship. It is not easy and can be dangerous, but Dear Blog reader, you have to begin to realize that you are a beautiful person deserving of normalcy and love!

If you know someone that is in a broken relationship, please help them find help, a shoulder and ear to listen to. Remind them they are not alone.

God bless! I will keep you posted on more info on my upcoming book! Thank you for all the kind words and prayers since my journey began, I appreciate it.

Much love and happiness,
Mel



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

5 years ago

 



5 years ago I fled my home with my children and a few meager belongings gathered in secret for a few weeks prior to our leaving.

It hit me on my way home today. As I was driving I realized how much I miss my oldest Son. It will be 5 years in September since I had seen him.

I called my Mom. I needed to vent and cry. Who best then Mom? She is incredibly hard to nail down as she works 2 jobs at least 6 days a week. Luckily, I had gotten her on the phone and I balled my eyeballs out, whining and bellyaching.

She listened.

She reminded me I did all I could in the situation we were in.

She told me that maybe someday he and I would reunite but sadly due to being in his Dad's care, his view of me is more then likely not a very nice one.

She told me to stop crying, it's over and done. To go home and hugs my baby- The big one, Terry.
I wiped my tears, quit feeling sorry for myself, remembering how far we have came and I was going home to a peaceful home, to those that loved me unconditionally.

She said she loved me and we said good bye. That's Mom. No punches held back. In the short conversation we had there is truth.

I usually keep much of these feelings inside. I don't share with everyone. I keep a smile on my face all the time, deep down, I feel unsure of myself. I lack confidence in myself. My self esteem is getting much better, though I still look in the mirror and can still sometimes hear an all too familiar voice, of my ex putting me down, saying I can't do anything. I will never amount to anything . . . Blah! Blah! Blah!

I met someone recently, she is in a relationship that is volatile. With tear filled eyes, she asked me how I did it? How did I escape? How did I stop loving him?

It took a LONG time. Even though many of my feelings were not as hers are, I still mourned my breakup.

Feeling as though it was my fault that I was unable to keep the marriage going.

Feeling that I somehow failed.  It took a very long time to stop these feelings.

Those feelings eventually were replaced with anger, regret, remorse and then clarity.

Clarity?

Yes indeed!

I had clarity that all my faults were not mine. They were his! After being told I was a screw up, I made those spiteful and mean spirited things my own.

I began to dig deep. I absorbed all I could about Abuse, reading blogs, books, survivor experiences to remind me that I was not alone. At the same time I began to sink into a deep depression. I had to stop reading these things. To understand abuse is one thing, but I felt a sadness for those that were suffering.

I couldn't fix the world, but I can fix myself.

I read my Bible. I prayed. I prayed for God to work in me. To heal my mind and shattered spirit. To bind up the tattered broken pieces of my heart. I was able to lift my spirit with many great verses, enabling me to get through the day.

I began to seek out positive affirmations again. To picture the life I wanted. To erase, "Can't" from my vocabulary. To see the wipe away the small worries. The small stuff.

I wrote a Bucket List.

Created a Vision Board

I didn't bar hop or go nuts partying after I left my ex. I'm not a party person.

I did reconnect with my kids. Going to parks, the beach, the city (Chicago), exploring and playing games.

I have done things I read about in magazines and books- Law books to help me learn Pro bono workings of the court room. I'm pretty proud of myself for this.

I dove into doing things such as, Bee keeping, more gardening, Chickens/Ducks, Canning, Author, hosting Vision Board workshops, Reflexology, Herbs, Crystal healing, Aromatherapy, Meditation (I'm still working on this!), a Doula, teaching myself to crochet (I will have to post my first afghan on here, it is extremely crooked but I did it myself! ), hosting antique sales out of the house- I do have a booth space now.

And more, I do whatever else tickles my fancy! Most of these things are inexpensive or free. If you can find someone to teach you then go for it!

I found articles online and in books about rediscovering me! Finding my Inner Goddess, so to speak. Anytime I felt crappy I would open my bible, call a close friend, share with the Hubster or journal.

I have my mantra- "Hope" I have had this for almost 8 years now. I moved onto other mantras, such as "Believe", "Inspire", "Dare to Dream". In all honesty I keep coming back to "Hope". I see it all over the place, in places I wouldn't even think about. Billboards, webpages, books, news stories.

Hope.  A little word with BIG meaning for me.

I'm not erasing my past. I have forgiven and let go. The past is what shaped me. Though I can't escape the memories or bad dreams, they have loosened a grip on me.

Now don't get me wrong, I still look over my shoulder to see if my ex is around. I make sure I am aware of my surroundings all the time. Our address and my work place are still under wraps. I still worry from time to time.

But we are safe. I am free! My kids and I are still a work in progress. Things are much better then they were 5 years ago today.

I'm not haunted by my past, I am moving on to a beautiful life. I don't have a flashy car or home. We are comfortable. I'm married to my best friend. The love of my life! I have 5 beautiful children- Terry's daughter, my oldest son, Jess, Alex and Kalven.

My situation is rare. Not everyone finds another love, quickly or that is not an abuser.

Please tread carefully when leaping into a new relationship! Rediscover you!

There can be a happily ever after! You have to want it! You have to desire to be more then a doormat.

Brush off your dreams, wishes and sorrows, soar like a butterfly! You can do it!

If someone you know is still struggling with leaving an abusive situation, please do not give up hope. Check in from time to time. The drama can be very intense, if you dig deep, it can drag you into a roller coaster. Step back if need be. But do let the victim know that if they ever need help you will be there or can direct them to someone that can help!

It was nice for me to know that despite it all, my family and close friends never gave up on me! It actually did encourage me to find the strength to leave.

I'm cheering for you! BIG HUGS and prayers!

Mel








Monday, December 16, 2013

White lights on a Christmas tree and positive affirmations


Now I haven't lost my mind. . . Yet! What do white lights on a tree have to do with anything?! On my path to healing my spirit, there are glimpses of my past. Hurts and these dang burning memories that come bubbling up like water from a spring from the desert. 

We are decorating for Christmas, we were gifted a Christmas tree that someone was going to throw away at the end of yard sale this past summer. Terry was so proud of his find and he didn't have to rummage through the trash! (A playful jab because I am the Queen of trash re-purposing- a gentle title I like to use rather then garbage picker)The only thing wrong with the tree is the lights aren't working, so he very patiently at checking and changing each light. 

As we had surveyed his work last night, thus far, and while admiring the tree, I trailed off in mid "Your doing a awesome job!" and must have had a funny look on my face because he thought something was wrong. I replied that I just realized that I had never had a Christmas tree with white lights! 

My ex had hated the way white lights look on a tree and I was not allowed to hang anything but multicolored lights on the tree! EVER! Now those lights had to be strung by wrapping each branch with lights. I would have over 1,000+ lights on the tree! It would take me hours to get the tree done. No short cuts while doing this or I would have to start all over in his presence.
  
As I mentioned in previous posts I began to dislike the holidays. So, last night was like reopening an old scab. When these thoughts or memories come up I have found opening my heart and feelings to my loved ones or blogging has helped me tremendously.  

Anytime I start bad mouthing myself, oh yes Dear Blog reader, you can put yourself down! That inner voice that holds you hostage by calling you names, making you feel worthless and weak. So when I find myself trash talking about myself, I pause, pray and say positive affirmations. I look in the mirror and remind myself that I am safe. I am a child of God. 
I am beautiful. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of happiness and joy! 

It can be hard to look yourself in the eye and tell you these things and you may even feel silly.  After time these will become really great mantras! Or create your own. 

Almost 5 years that we started this journey, while it is not the end to the craziness, the beginning of this wonderful, hair raising adventure makes me appreciate the small things in life. The sound of silence in the morning, actually conversations and laughter in our home. Love and companionship with my now husband, Terry. 

Don't give up hope Dear Blog reader, you can be free! Whether it is the realization of the color of the lights on your Christmas tree or how you live your life day to day. There can be happiness. It is a rough ride, tears, and sometimes scary. But all in all it has been worth it! No regrets and no apologizes.

If you are in a abusive relationship or know someone that is, please get them help! Surf the web for one of the many national and local organizations that can direct you to safety. Feel free to view some tips on safety tips and more here. 

God bless! Stay safe!
Mel
*Find me here- hopewhentherewasnone on FB or healingheartsreflexology- Soon offering Emotional release (Young Living essential oils) and more! Also collecting toiletries for  local Shelter- St. Jude House in Crown Point, IN. I do have a booth space at Treasures Hidden in Lowell, IN where 10% of proceeds will go to St. Jude House.



Sunday, December 1, 2013

In the midst of chaos

First let me say that if you are reading this blog, I'm sorry. I pray God gives you strength to carry on. I pray that you don't just give up or give in. That you dust yourself off and stand tall. Though it seems grim, dark or impossible there is a ray of light at the end of the chaos.

I have leaned of the Lord to get me through my life. I was abused as a young child, and a counselor believes I may have been sexual abused as well. Being a victim seems to be a pattern in my life at various cycles. But, it can be broken! I'm asking you go put your faith in God. Whatever your faith or whatever being you believe in, you have to place faith that you will get through this.

You are worthy of a life worth living. You are beautiful in the sight of God. Now I normally don't preach about religion, but I receive emails from time to time asking how do you do it? Or what is your secret to keep going? How are you so brave?

To be honest, my emotions are a swirl of anger, bitterness and sadness. I had to give all of it to the Lord. He is greater then these things earthbound. Also, I was blessed to be surrounded with angels both spiritually, family, friends and to have found a partner that builds me up, encourages me to grow.

I pray all the time! I pray for not only  my situation, but for others, our world, our nation and those in my life. I journal, blog and tell anyone about our story. I don't wish it to end here. I someday hope to get speaking engagements to discuss this subject in schools or groups. I have looked around to do so but do need either, training via a Women's shelter (that irked me I had first hand experience on how to deal with abuse!) or a education as a counselor or mental health field or a book. Now the book is something I have been going back and forth about because I'm unsure of myself and scared. Yup, I still get scared or terrified that my ex will try to sabotage something, kill me or send my eldest son to kill me or my new husband and youngest son.

After close to 5 years my abuser still looks for me/us. He still reaches out to my family and friends to inquire, rant and bash me.

Everything I whine or go on about here are things I practice, do or have looked into. I like to think that I practice what I preach!

I do the Positive affirmations. I talk to other survivors about what they are going through or ask thoughts on my situation. I read my Bible! I read self help books to help me with my spirit, self esteem and to help me heal myself. I cleanse our home with sage, oils and prayer. I take baths in sea salt or do a Salt glow to rid me of negativity.

I use crystals, essential oils, Bach Flowers (Rescue Remedy) garden, find things that soothe my soul and broken spirit. I am teaching myself dozens of things to help me grow in mind and body. (I'm trying to learn to meditate but my brain thinks about everything under the sun or think about the housework that needs to get done) I do these things to get my mind from running away from me about my situation.

I have seen a handful of counselors, overall I don't believe in them. Sorry! I am not on medication. I did that route. It was not for me. Not saying for others not to see or use medications to get through. I'm saying I did not feel it was best for me. I don't like the side effects of drugs. Now, for others this is the way to go and if it works for you then that is fantastic! I use visualization to get me through my PTSD symptoms or a bag works. I talk myself down during these times and pray. I plead the blood of Christ in my life A LOT!

Anytime the house seems alive with bad energy, I cleanse it. Much to the eye rolling of the kids and hubby. They go with it because the mood after I do so is lighter! I don't consider myself a "New Age person" but I am open minded to everything. I am a believer in God. He gives me strength!

I can ramble on and on.

Dearest? Please consider opening your heart to the Lord. If you are already a follower and are saved then don't lose faith the God is with you. Let Him work in your life. Give Him your worries!

It takes faith. You have to have faith. Before you open your mouth, act in a situation or even start your day, before you jump out of bed ask God to guidance. You are never to old for a happily ever after. Nor are you unworthy enough to call upon angels or God to help you through these tough times! I'm praying for you!

Now, God still wants you to act and be diligent to keep yourself safe. Don't shut yourself in the house and never leave, becoming a hermit. Take steps to protect yourself at all times!

Take a self defense class!

Leave a paper trail- emails, voice mails, text messages from your ex or even first hand accounts written by you or someone that has witnessed the abuse.

Practice self awareness while you are out.

Don't see your ex without someone else being present. And if you have to see your ex do so in a PUBLIC  SETTING! Call the police and let them know of the situations and that you would like an officer present during visitation exchanges or just because you don't feel comfortable. That's they're job!

Keep an emergency phone or change on you to make a call!

Let a trusted friend or family member know where you are at all times. I know you don't want to feel like a child but this could be life saving!

Try the other tips found in the blog to stay safe.

Learn to love yourself again!

Prayers, blessings and love Dear Blog reader! Stay safe!
Mel

*Side note- If you have any questions about God, faith, prayer or anything please feel free to contact me at hopewhentherewasnone@gmail.com . Or visit- http://purewordsoftruth.com/ for information about the Lord.*


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Me 4 years ago

I barely resemble the "Me" I was what feels so long ago. I have put on more then a few pounds. I feel much better in my own skin. I am free to be me!

An amazing transformation takes place when you leave an abuser. Not right away, first there maybe tears, anger, fear and regret~ in no particular order. Your self esteem is in the toilet, there maybe passing thoughts of a real love that may stroll into your life down the road.

"Can I do this on my own?"

"I can't afford to leave, maybe I'll let him think about it and he/she will change."

"What are the neighbors or friends or church or co-workers think?"

"Why is he/she telling everyone lies or that I am the cause or the break up?!"

These thoughts and more go through your head. Your not alone!

If you have read my ramblings, first thank you and secondly, you really need to start living again!

There is a great joy in life. Plenty to be thankful for and there are others in your shoes right now or that have been there. Tell! Tell whoever will listen! Vent! It feels good! I admit I look back with sorrow and a heavy heart of the things I went through. I share because I feel more courageous now then ever!

If this is the first time you have been here, my situation may be different then yours. In many ways it is the same. My abuser thought it was funny or just denied he ever:

Raped me
Choked me
Held knives to my body
Threatened to kill me or our children and there was a time he threatened to kill our pets
He spit on me
Kicked me
Pushed me down the stairs and out of a moving car/truck
Punched me
Called me names
Spanked me
BDSM
Attempted to run me over with a car
Smother me with a pillow while I was sleeping
Keep me awake at night for days on end
White glove the house to make sure it was clean
Various punishments if I disobeyed him or didn't stand up for him during family arguments in presence of others
Hired someone to kill me for $4,000.00- I had the persons involved come forward and sign statements at police station but he was never charged
Arranged for my son to burn my apartment down and kill me with knives as I slept
Arranged for my son to instigate a fight at court house with my then fiance

And more. . .

I am cautious, even now. I am living a new life then I was. It was not easy. It was was scary! Sometimes the judicial system is just as frightening! You can survive, but never let your guard down. Make sure you let someone know of your plans or happenings. Check in with family or a trusted friend. When you feel depressed, call someone! Call a hot line, clergy member, law enforcement agent, or perhaps get professional help. There is no shame in using these, and they could save your life.

Make a plan of escape or a list to get your life back on track! Keep a listing of calls, texts, email, voice mails or snail mail! Leave a paper trail! If need be ask for a Protective Order for you/children! Give copies to a friend or family member. Give code words to kids if something is not right. Arm your children with strength and knowledge that if a visit with Mom/Dad is scary or not right. Or maybe Mom/Dad told them not to tell you about something that happened while visiting. Please let a law official know! Or maybe your child(ren) is frightened to share with you. If you have someone they trust that is a outside member of your circle, encourage them to open up if there is ever a need to. I encourage you to view my other posts safety for you and your family. Do something to empower you.

Stay safe Dear Blog reader! Prayers for you and your loved ones!

Blessings and Love,
Mel