Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’

I have spent a great portion of my life allowing others to make my decisions for me.  When I was a child, I did everything according to what my parents dictated.  As I grew older, the peer pressure kicked in and off and running I went with the pack.  Then it was in the work place where I acquiesced to all of the rules and regulations of the office.  And at the same time, my social life was governed by all of the usual ways of meeting and getting to know others.  That was until I started to see that all of the tried and true methods of existing with others didn’t work for me.

The first thing that I had decided to tackle was religion.  I had been raised to believe that God was someone/something to fear.  This worked for all of the time that I was under the thumb of my parents and religious studies but once I was on my own, I started to question this premise.  That wasn’t my God – my God loved me and helped me and I was made in his image.  Ding, ding, ding!  So what everyone else had told me was true was not my truth. 

That wasn’t the end by a long shot.  As I moved through the work place, I worked very hard and was able to work my way up through the ranks in a segment of government dealing with taxation.  When I reached the top position that I could attain without a political appointment, I knew that it was time to move on but that did not happen until I learned another very important lesson.  There were rumors going around that said that the only way that I could have achieved what I had was because I was “sleeping” with someone higher executive.  I was having a really hard time dealing with that and I chose to discuss it with my dad.  His response to me was that at the end of the day, I had to answer to myself and if I wasn’t doing anything wrong, then it didn’t really matter what anyone had to say.  Now that was something that fitted with my thinking.

Well, I guess I still hadn’t learned my lesson because the next big event in my life was my marriage to a controlling and abusive man to whom I gave my power for 10 years.  It took me that long to understand that I did not deserve the abuse that I was receiving and that all of the things that I was told that were wrong with me just weren’t true.  I believe that that was my true turning point.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I still do ask for people’s opinions especially when I need to make a decision in an area where I don’t have any expertise.  But, I will take that information and do my own research and if something doesn’t make sense to me or doesn’t feel right, I will not stop until I can reach a decision that feels like the right thing for me.  This has ruffled more than a few feathers along the way but if my relationship with another person has to be based upon what that person thinks about me, it won’t take long until we part ways.

So to anyone who comes my way in this lifetime, I don’t care what you think about me.  I will appreciate you for exactly who and what you are and I expect the same in return.  I will support you in any decisions that you make and I will accept nothing less in return.  And should you choose to talk negatively about me or do things that are harmful to me, I will not do anything in retribution but will quietly remove myself from your sphere, knowing that what goes around comes around and you can set up any karma for yourself that you choose.

Read Full Post »

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I am honored by all of the responses that I received from a lot of really strong, courageous women who took on the fight and got out of their abusive situations no matter what the cost to them.  I think that there is one aspect left to discuss before moving on to another subject and that deals with starting over.  Here again, I am only sharing what I chose for myself and this is not to say that whatever anyone else chooses is wrong.  My choice is what worked for me.

I will never forget the day that I left.  The feeling of freedom was indescribable.  I felt that I had been given a new life and I had every intention of doing the best with it that I possibly could.  Although there were the immediate matters with which to deal, I knew that I had to handle them quickly and put them behind me if I was ever going to be able to start over. 

I got a divorce and ultimately left the state.  My ex had no idea where I was and I was pretty sure that he did not have the resources to find me.  I spent all of my time and effort securing a new job, new friends and a new life.  Whenever something from the past intruded, I made every effort to put it aside as quickly as possible.  I had spent enough time living the nightmare and I did not plan to keep re-living it for the rest of my life. 

Although my experience was really bad, I have chosen to learn from it and never held on to any hate and/or anger.  I understand that my ex was an extremely troubled person who felt that it was okay to take his anger and insecurities out on me.  I had to reach the point where I realized that there was nothing that I could do to change the situation and that there was nothing that I was doing to cause his behavior.  I needed to leave in order to survive and that was it.  I did learn that he died a few years ago, all alone, on Christmas Day.

The bigger lesson that I needed to learn was that I could learn from the past but not live in the past.  I could not change what had happened during those years but I could allow the lessons of that time to shape a kinder, gentler me.  I had the ability to structure a whole new life in which I could treat people with all of the kindness and love and understanding that I had not received in my marriage.  I also learned that all that I have is today and that when I go to bed at night, I wanted to be proud of the day that I had created.  The lessons that I have learned have become the basis for the lyrics for the music CD that my husband and I have created.  Not surprisingly, it is titled “Let Life Happen” and was the pre-cursor to my blog and the website.  Please feel free to share the music on this website and you will have a better understanding of the lessons that I have learned from that abusive time.

If you or anyone you know might need help, Check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.

Read Full Post »

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the big story in the news regarding the violence that occurred in the relationship between Chris Brown and Rhianna, the question that keeps surfacing is why Rhianna would go back to Chris after that beating.  Was she just that dumb, stupid, crazy, etc.?  Many people think so and everyone has lots of advice to give but unless you have been in that situation yourself, you have no idea about the dynamics that are in play.

I have no idea why Rhianna has chosen to stay with Chris, if, in fact, that is the choice that she has made.  However, I can share my particular situation and the reasons that I stayed in my abusive relationship.  But as no two people, and therefore, no two relationships are the same, I can’t begin to advise someone else about what is best for them.

I was married the first time at the age of 24.  My husband and I dated for a year and although he did tend to drink a bit too much on occasion, it was never a problem.  We both worked and loved to play tennis in our spare time.  We lived together the last 3 months of that year and decided that marriage was good for both of us.  The honeymoon lasted 4 months.  I don’t know what brought about the change but he did become a different person.  He stopped working and began drinking and smoking pot on a regular basis.  And within a very short period of time, he decided that rather than defending his actions, he would go on the offensive and started to accuse me of cheating on him when it was he who was cheating on me. 

When he did come home, he started with the accusations and progressed to slapping and punching me.  I never raised a hand to him nor did I verbally abuse or even yell at him.  I was afraid to do so because I was afraid that he would get even more violent.  Things escalated to the point where I had a loaded gun in my face on a regular basis and he threatened to kill me.  As a result of my fear, he was able to control my comings and goings.  He would show up at my office to check on me to be sure that I wasn’t flirting with someone.  When I got home after work and on weekends, he would call to make sure that I was home and it didn’t take long for me to follow the rules in order to avoid the repercussions.  If he returned home at 3 a.m. and wanted something to eat, he dragged me out of bed and would verbally and physically abuse me until I did what he wanted.  And, most importantly, with a gun in hand, he regularly reminded me that if I ever decided to leave, he would hunt me down and kill me.

The day after our 10th wedding anniversary, I moved out.  I had reached the point where I felt that if he did come after me and kill me, it would be preferable to living as I had for so long.  I had returned to him every day during all that time because I had made a commitment to spend the rest of my life with him.  I returned each day because I thought that I could find a way to fix things.  I returned each day because I loved him.  I returned each day because I couldn’t imagine abandoning another human being who had no job and no money.  And I returned each day because of the fear of death.  But, the day that I left, I knew that regardless of whatever may come my way in the future, I would never have a bad day now that I was free.  And I have never had a bad day since.

If you or anyone you know might need help, Check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.

Read Full Post »