Domestic Violence

How to handle constant verbal abuse

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Hey all,

Wanted to chat today about that feeling of never doing anything right? Feeling the smallest thing with become a problem. The never ending anxiety of what will happen next? Will it escalate? Will they just yell this time? Wondering what names and insults will be hurled my way. Not being able to defend yourself because you know it will make it worse.

They can be just words but it is still 100% abuse. When I first starting talking about my story I would always say that I would rather had hit hot me each time than the verbal. The sting of the slap or punch went away but for me the words stuck with me. Some of them still do. We all handle things different ways but for me that was my truth.

My ex could fight or say something hurtful every time I opened my mouth. Everything could be a fight. I did something wrong in his eye. I didn’t move fast enough. I said something the wrong way. I looked at him funny. No matter what I did or said it was an opening for him to break down every part to tell me how I effed up.

Living with that constant assault on you and your mental health can be exhausting. I was a walking zombie most days. My mind and body was on fumes. The little times he was not around me was so breathtaking. It was a minute I could breathe. I could be myself or what I remembered of myself. I took those little moments to try and reset and get back to a place where I could go back in recharged.

There were days where it was an all day thing and I didn’t know if I could get though the day. Other days he was gone and I was in the house alone. Holy Shit you guys…it was like I was on vacation. I watched my tv shows I never could. I would call my friends with out him listening and questioning everything. I took care of bills, personal things on my laptop and most important I took care of me.

I am by no means a therapist but here are a few things I did to help me on those really bad days.

  1. Find little pockets of time to be alone. Take a long shower. Take the dog out for a walk. Go get the mail. Whatever you can think of to steal a few moments to yourself to breathe.

2. Find something you find joy in that you can do. I wasn’t really allowed to work or go anywhere. I had to get creative on my own so I taught myself how to knit. He of course would criticize it but the joy I felt doing something and feeling accomplished when I finished. Coloring books, plants, baking..whatever you love do it!

3. Try and do a bit of self care. It can be hard to actually want to do ANYTHING when your feeling down. I totally get it. I tried to at least get up and changed clothes each day. I would brush my hair and teeth. Put lotion on and try to do what I can to feel presentable for the day. Just having that little thing for YOU can lift your spirits.

4. If safe to do so try and join a Facebook/Reddit or any online support group. There are a bunch of us out there that know what you feel and we are here to listen and help. You are definitely not alone in this.

5. This ones a hard one but no matter how hard it gets please remember what they are telling you is NOT TRUE! They are meant to make you small and weak. YOU ARE NOT! I would always try and remember how I was before I met him. I was strong and independent. I survived and thrived before him and I will after too! Let them ay what they need to say. You can process and feel awful…that’s normal but then please remember who you are. Their words do not define who you are. What they say is not set in stone. Just right now is not the best but the time will come and you will break free when your ready and able to do so. Just believe in yourself and mentally plan for your amazing future.

Verbal abuse is not a lesser abuse. It’s painful and extremely harmful to your mental health. Please know if you need to chat I am here and no judgement. It’s tough out there so it’s good to have an ally.

xoxo

Amy

Author Stories, Domestic Violence

The goodbye letter to my ex I will never send

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Hey all,

I have no idea how long I have been putting this off. It’s been 2 therapists, 1 rape counselor and a domestic violence advocate ago. But they encouraged me to write a closure letter to my ex. I am to tell him everything I would have loved to say to his face but was too scared to do so.

My abuser actually left me without warning and took everything with him while I was out. No goodbye, no break up note nothing. Just gone. At the time I was still feeling like I was nothing and I was terrified how to survive and what my next steps were. He actually did me a HUGE favor. It was hard and I still struggle picking up the pieces but I am out of the toxic relationship and I’m not quite sure I was ready to do it myself.

So I’m going to just publicly write this letter since it gives me a small peaceful feeling that it’s out in the universe and I can close this part of the healing process.

You

I am writing you to have you see and read my words. It’s the closet thing to having a voice with you that I’ve had in the 6 years we were together. With you I was scared to speak. With every word I would brace for impact. If I got through a conversation without an “issue” I would walk away with a huge exhale of a breath. I used to section off the days like most people. Morning, afternoon, night is normal, but for me I would just try and make it though to the next section. Breaking out little pieces without anything made me feel I was in control of even the littlest thing.

Each and everyday you made me feel worthless. The verbal assaults on my weight, personality, how I said this or that, how I cleaned wrong and sometimes you just flat out called me names. These names and thoughts still stay with me to this day. Every outfit I put on and when I look in the mirror I hear your voice telling me that I look fat and should be ashamed of myself. My self esteem is completely depleted because of you. I cannot even take the simplest of compliments these days without downplaying it. Telling them they are mistaken instead of just saying thank you.

You have made me completely shutdown when it comes to romance. It took me a long time to even have a man come near me let alone hold my hand. I was scared that if I let any man in they would eventually want to have sex and because of you and your repeated sexual assaults on my body I hated the thought of being so exposed and vulnerable.

You have made me trust no-one. My first instinct is they are nice but they will probably turn into an asshole. I’ve misjudged little comments as full blown jabs. I take EVERYTHING the wrong way and most of the time I am at fault for starting something when nothing is even there.

You have made me second guess everything. I sometimes get overwhelmed picking out big decisions but even the small ones like picking out a damn shampoo. I am not strong in myself to choose. You made me depend on you. I had to ask you for everything. When I had to do it alone it was overwhelming.

You have made super simple things full blown triggers. Still to this day when I hear a garage door open I am overcome with panic and fear. The garage door meant you were home and things were about to get really hard.

You made me have to have hard conversations with my friends and family. For the whole time we were together I lied to them. I covered up my injury’s and used a lot of concealer. I learned how to divert conversations away from myself. My friends had to try help me after you left but also hearing for the first time all the things that happened. I hurt them as well by not asking for help.

The day you left we were going to move for the 12th time. Everything was packed and you made me run a last minute errand. Little did I know you would take the truck full of all our belongings and leave without me. No trace of our life except just me sitting in an empty room.

I wanted to let you know that you actually made me stronger that day. I didn’t even know it until 3 years later but you did. You helped me get out. You did something to me that I would dream about each night but didn’t have the means or the strength to do it.

I want you to know the fear of you is still there. Your small attempts to still reach out makes me fall to my knees in tears. I need you to leave me alone. Move on like you did 3 years ago and disappear from my life for good.

I am in a healthy relationship. I have a great job, people in my life that love me and am surrounded by others who have been there and understand. I am thriving each and every day. I do have setbacks and not so great days but they are slowly fading away but the scars remain.

Do I forgive you? I can’t say just yet. I cannot say a definite yes. I’m working on trying to do it. I know in my heart it will be easier if I do but I’m just not there. You cut deep but they are healing nicely.

Me

Domestic Violence

5 high profile celebrities that have experienced domestic violence Pt 2

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Hey all,

On Tuesday I started my list of 5 high profile celebrities that have gone down the road many woman have. It does not discriminate nor does money or fame fix the emotional toll it can bring. We talked about Rihanna and the legend Tina Turner. If you want to catch up you can read it here…

Let get on with the list.

3. Madonna

So this one is a bit of a roller coaster so buckle in here we go..

Madonna called Sean Penn her soulmate when they were married in the 80’s. They were married 6 months after meeting and everything moved quick. Her soulmate quickly became jealous and controlling. There are two huge rumors that have been following the pair around and it’s a bit confusing.

In 1987 he allegedly hit her in the back of the head with a baseball bat where she had to be hospitalized. Constant cheating allegations with co workers is to blame. She quickly filed for divorce since during this exact time he was also facing jail time for an assault on a film extra. But she quickly retracted the divorce and they were back together.

2 years later in 1989 is the doozy. Allegedly Sean scaled the side of the home and got into Madonna’s bedroom and told her he basically owned her. She fled but was quickly tied to a chair for 9 hours and beaten and was threatened to have her hair cut off. He must have gotten tired since he had a time out to leave the house to go get booze all the while she was still tied to the chair. Once he returned it started again. He only let her go if she performed a degrading sex act on him. She immediately ran to the Sheriff’s office and they filed a report. Next day she dropped the charges but they

In 2015 Madonna said herself that all the rumor’s were false and he never laid a hand on her. To be honest it is 100% her choice weather to address it or not. It is also her choice if she wanted to press charges. The report was made but if she says no then we need to let that be the story.

4. Robin Givens

Robins Givens married boxing legend Mike Tyson in 1988 but it didn’t last long. 8 months later she filed for divorce citing physical and emotions abuse. Slaps punches from any man could be very painful but what about coming from a professional boxer that can knock someone out in seconds?

When she first came out she received a lot of backlash. Liar, gold-digger, trying to ruin his career. So she retreated and kept it to herself mostly. Even after the divorce was final he still continued to control her wellbeing. He would leave nasty messages on her phone. He let her know that he will not kill her but he will make her life so misrable that she will kill herself.

In 2009 in a surprise joint interview with Oprah Tyson admitted to “socking” Robin but only immediately followed by she hit me too. Her words was it was pure hell. Robin still says she can get triggered by certain things but for the most part is trying to live her best life. She is very involved in helping others with similar stories and even does shifts with the National Domestic Abuse hotline.

5. Whitney Houston

Oh Whitney..

So many thoughts and opinions I have and I’m sure you do too. But at the end of the day we lost a true talent.

Whitney and Bobby Brown were married in 1992. Everyone thought it was a bad idea. He had a past and she was squeaky clean. Love was intense and I really do believe they were infatuated with each other. They loved hard and fought even harder. Drugs, Booze and very strong personalities got the best of them I think. Whitney does admit she hit Bobby as well. She felt the emotional, physical was alot to handle but she did try and stand up for herself. She admits after Bobby spit on her in front of her daughter she hit in in the head with a phone.

In 2003 Bobby was arrested for domestic violence for slapping Whitney. Whitney escorted him to court and supported him throughout the whole process. Charges were dropped.

They divorced in 2007.

We all know the ending of the story. Bobby denies ever hitting Whitney. He says she did the majority of it. Bobby has had other run ins but he is now wanting to build a domestic abuse shelter in honor of his daughter Bobbi Kristina.

Ok folks, there you have it. I decided to highlight these 5 ladies because they each have a unique story. A few common threads though is that they all felt protective of the men in their lives. Some went back, some denied the abuse, others took a stand and spoke about it and is committed to helping others. That’s real life. That is the norm that we see. It does take a while to leave. It hurts when the man you love hurts you. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe it was a pattern. Either way they did understand at some point they saw their self worth.

If you or someone you know needs to talk please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 24/7 these fine folks will be there.

XOXO Amy

Domestic Violence

5 High profile celebrities that have experienced domestic violence Pt 1

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Hey All,

We all know that DV can hit anyone. It does not matter if your Rich or Poor, successful or just trying to make it. Everyone one of us has a different story on how we were forcefully made to join this awful club. Some of us left right away. Others took more time to plan to be safe. Some went back and forth on if we should go or not. Regardless on how we made it through or if your still in and working through it we are all the same.

Celebrities are for sure no exception. I’m sure most know the stories of these 5 strong ladies but here is a quick reminder that even at the top of your game you are not alone in this. We are stronger together. And unfortunately as the People Magazine pages say.. “Stars.. They’re just like us”

  1. Rihanna

In 2009, on the eve of the Grammy awards Rihanna and Chris Brown had a moment that would have the world buzzing the very next day. By daylight Chris Brown and Rihanna’s performances were cancelled. One was arrested and the other was black and blue and a photo of Miss Rihanna’s face was ALL OVER the internet.

You can for sure read about it all in detail and see the photo’s with a quick internet search but since it could be a trigger for some I will leave that for someone else to discuss.

What makes this close to home for me and probably many others is that she went back to him. She felt he made a mistake and just needed help and she felt very protective. This is a very common reaction. On average it takes 8 times to leave before it sticks.

The other thing that is hard but so common is that Chris Brown is remorseful but in an interview after the incident, His verbiage was she did this and she did that. He acknowledges his wrongs but it was almost like… If she didn’t do this I wouldn’t have done that. Victim blaming at it’s finest. CB was sentenced to 5 years probation, 1 year of domestic violence counseling and 6 months community service.

Both Rihanna and Chris moved on and had successful careers. Chris has had his ups and downs since then. He is now a father and Rihanna is expecting her first child.

2. Tina Turner

Oh miss Tina. We all know the fierce woman we see today but very early on in her career she met a man named Ike and her world changed forever.

Ike saw the talent in her early on and took her in and taught her the business. Soon he began to control every aspect of her life. Her finances, her clothes, her hair, her sound. Beatings and sexual abuse followed.

The band and staff around her all knew but they felt powerless to help. Whenever they did she got it worse. She has been quoted saying that she felt the only way out was death. In 1968 she felt that was the only option and had a scary attempt at her own life.

While driving to a show in Dallas in 1976 she suffered a bad beating in a car and once Ike fell asleep that was her chance and she finally took it. With .36 cents in her pocket she ran into a nearby hotel and decided enough was enough.

Being free is one thing but she had a tough time bouncing back. When a partner controls every aspect of your life you need to start 100% over. Record labels were scared to sign her as a solo artist. Too risky since she bailed on Ike. Little did they know the abuse she suffered.For 6 years she was out of the spotlight. Cleaning houses and singing in small clubs to get by. No one would still touch her as an artist so she decided to tell all. In 1981 she wrote a tell all book and laid it on the line. That book became a movie in 2013 that had a #1 single with the same name. What’s love got to do with it told her story and she was ready to make a new one. We see her now as a strong kick ass woman and a survivor. National treasure type level for sure.

Ike died in 2007. She met an amazing man that loves her and after 24 years she got married again in 2013.

On Sunday I will break down the last 3 wonderful ladies. Madonna, Robin Givens and Whitney Houston.

XOXO

Amy

Author Stories, Domestic Violence, Mental Health

Baby It’s Cold Outside: Creeper anthem or just a holiday classic

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Hey all,

It’s that time of year again where everyone brings up this song and if it’s the date rape theme song for all creepers. It’s been debated over and over so I’m not going to get into all the arguments but more the take of a domestic violence victim.

As someone who has been through some “stuff” I have to admit the song really doesn’t bother me much. Some would think I’d be waving my hands up in the air and saying it’s super offensive and we need to cancel all the things that it plays on. To be honest I’m just indifferent.

As a kid I remember hearing it all the time and singing along not really understanding why the guy wants her to stay. As a grown ass woman I now understand that a man has needs but is he going about it the right way? Men begging is never going to change and in a playful way it’s kind of cute.

Some may say the lady is protesting too much because back in the day it was frowned upon to stay over as an unmarried woman. If that is the case I’m sad she felt that way. If she wanted to get it on while it’s snowing out the window she should have that right. But I will say if that dude tries anything funny she should dropkick his ass and walk out the door.

In the video of the song it does give off a bit of a creeper vibe though. I’ll chalk one up to the creepers in that aspect. But the chorography is fantastic.

John Legend and Kelly Clarkson remade the song into a more PC less rapey version which I think is good. Two powerhouses coming together can’t be all bad but it’s still not giving me that classic feel from the original.

So what do you guys think? I will never downplay anyone’s feelings about the song. Triggers are real and can be brought on by many different things. Just my old school Christmas nostalgia kicks in and I like the original. But please know if anyone gets any weird ideas keeping me from leaving in a snowstorm we will have problems:)

I truly am OBSESSED with the holidays and I hope you all are enjoying the magic as well. It can be hard for some so please reach out if you need an ear. I’ll have my antlers on!

XOXO

Amy