Relationships

Domestic Violence in public: What should you do?

Hey All,

So today I wanted to chat about something that happened to me just the other day. A form of domestic violence out in the wild and in a VERY public setting.

It was a bit of a trigger for me only because I actually have not been around anything resembling my past since my relationship ended. I see things here and there in movies and I totally feel a type of way or change the channel or look away because it’s not actually happening to a real person. But this…this one was very much real and right in front of me.

So here is what happened that has me so upset..

We are in Florida so of course we have an annual pass for Disney. The happiest place on freaking earth. Maybe slightly less happy in August and 90 degrees with 100% humidity. But whatever. Still happy. We were walking around and enjoying the day and all of a sudden I hear “Shut the fuck up you stupid bitch” OMG ,my head whipped around so fast and I see a man screaming at his wife/girlfriend. She was also pushing a maybe 6 year old girl in a Minnie Mouse stroller. She had the face I know so well. Defeated and stone faced while trying to hold back tears. She was trying to be anywhere but there in that exact moment. Trying to hide and extremely embarressed.

It’s human nature to stop and stare so the amount of people that saw this was going to be expected. And it’s Disney so they are known for crowds anyway. Knowing there was eyes on him he kept going so that was not even an issue for him. He was calling her every name he could. Yelling at his daughter as well calling this child selfish and he could not believe she could be so inconsiderate. A FIVE YEAR OLD. He had a backpack and started throwing things out of it on the ground, threw his hat and the babies had into the bushes and stormed off. The poor woman had to pick up all the items off the floor, repack the backpack and soothe the now crying child. It was heartbreaking.

So what if anything should we do in moments like this? If you’re like me, I was taught to mind my own business. Do not stick your nose in things that does not concern you. Should you say something? Should you help her pick up all her things? Do I not make eye contact and just go about my day and pretend I didn’t see it? At what point do you intervene? Yelling, Throwing things at mom and baby, if he was punching the mom? What about the baby? What the hell should we do in this situation? It’s very murky waters to be surrounded in and most of us feel like we would do the right thing but at what level would you let it go to?

I feel most of us if we saw the guy hitting the child a bunch of us probably would have tackled him. But what about the mom? I’d say we’d lose about half. If he was just yelling and throwing things most of us wouldn’t have said anything at all and kept moving.

I’ll tell you what I did and why. Mom and I made eye contact. I mouthed are you ok? She mouthed back “yes and thank you”. I stayed back until she had her belongings and baby was ok and she moved along. I asked from afar. Made sure she knew I was there if needed and kept my distance.

Here is why.. We do not know her family or what’s best for it. We may want to run over and confront the guy and help but it could completely make things worse for her later. Asking her from afar if she is ok and acknowledge you are here to help if needed is really all you can do in that moment. Her guy could become even more enraged if she was talking or getting help. We don’t know the dynamics. She gave me a response that was was going to be ok. She didn’t have to and that would have been on too. I wasn’t entitled to an answer. She got herself together and baby was good. Emotionally it could not be easy but she was good enough for her to move forward.

My ex would become extremely jealous and angry if I spoke to strangers. I would get in so much trouble and it always ended badly in private. You have no idea if us going over there would do later. We respected her boundaries. As stated if physical harm to child or mom and she was trying to protect herself you have to make the call. But she let us know her boundaries and we were ok with that.

It’s totally ok to feel bad, upset, sick about it. That’s normal. You can worry and hope things get better but we are not there to fix it right then and there.

I still think about this woman and baby a full 48 hours later and hope everything is ok. Everyone has a different path and just because some of us are out or close to it she could just be starting her journey.

Have you seen things like this in public? How did you handle it. Has anyone helped or offered to while it was happening to you?

XOXO,

Amy

5 Types of Domestic Abuse: Sexual Abuse

Hey All,

So today it a tough one. I’m concluding my series on the 5 types of domestic abuse with the hardest one for me. Sexual abuse. I purposely kept pushing it to the side and did the others first but I can’t keep running since I have no choice but do it to finish the series.

To be completely honest with you I have been starting and stopping this post for the past 3 days. I’d sit down to write and then the triggers would start and then the nausea and then it was just easier for me to quit than to push through but today is the day and I’m going to move forward. Let’s get in to it.

First up what is it:

  • Intimate partner sexual assault and rape are used to intimidate, control and demean victims and survivors of domestic violence.
  • Intimate partner sexual assault could be rape, body shaming in a sexual nature, exploring your body for profit, forcing you to do uncomfortable things, and really just plain anything sexual mid body spirit that you say no too but it keeps going.

As we were going through all the 5 types I think I said before that I was in the unfortunate club of having my abuser do all 5 to me but by far the sexual abuse is the hardest for me to get over. It completely consumes me and is actually one of the biggest challenges in my current relationship.

My ex used sex as a way to stay in control and intimidate. I’m not 100% ready for all the gory details to be out there yet, and for sure do not want to trigger anyone else but the things he did made me wish I would have died right then and there. I used to go to a different place in my head and wait until he was gone. I wished so desperately the hands around my neck would make me pass out and I could just wake up and it would be over.

The physical acts of course hurt but the shame and mental pain hurt was worse, shutting down during the act would help me get though the present but I really didn’t know how to handle the aftermath after. The shame of feeling used. The humiliation. I remember after a particular episode he made me get up and get dressed because we had to go get dog food. All I could think of was you just completely raped me and there is blood everywhere and now you want to fucking go get dog food like it’s no big deal? I remember walking into the pet store so sore and defeated. I wanted to scream at the random people to help me. I was in the dog toy isle feeling the soft plush toys for my Chihuahua and the lady next to me looked over and said “these are so soft and cute”. I wanted to scream “I was just raped to an inch of my life less than an hour ago” I just remember I smiled and nodded. She went about her day and I gave the pink bunny a hug before I put it back on the shelf. I guess I needed that bunny more than my dog did.

I still have my physical scars I can see each and every time I take a shower. My mental triggers are there on certain things that can pop up out of nowhere but nobody really get the toll it can take on your next relationship when it comes to sex.

One thing I have noticed is that I have let myself go health, beauty, weight wise. It’s like the fatter or uglier I get nobody will want to touch me. I seriously didn’t plan this or do it intentionally but I just gave up and the weight kept coming on. The fat was my buffer.

I currently struggle to be intimate with my current partner. My therapist says it’s normal and valid and all the theripisty words they like to use to get me to understand that because of the trauma I received it will take time. I also feel extreme guilt that I’m not a sexual goddess to my new partner. I sometimes feel my ex has ruined sex for me and now I guess for my current partner to. I have no desire to want it. When we are doing it I feel nothing. I go back to a place far away but my current guy is not doing anything harmful. There should be no reason to even want to disappear during but I do. To me sex is stressful and something I feel I have to do because that’s what couples do. I love my guy with all my heart but it’s just that’s our biggest issue. Whew! That was hard to write.

My only advice for you if you are going through something like this is to keep continuing to make a plan and try and get out. I know it’s not easy. Fuck it..It’s extremely hard. Like you just finished a marathon hard and then you have to do another one back to back hard. It consumes you when you’re awake and when you’re asleep. Baby steps and keep moving forward. Try one little thing of self care a day to keep you focused on the end game which is to leave. You could be close to the door or the door looks a million miles away but at least the door is there. Little by little you will reach it.

I know I’m not the best writer or the best at processing information in a educational way for my readers but I will always speak my truth and try and help anyone that may need it. That’s what this blog is about for me. A little bit mental healing for me and a little bit helpful hopefully for others to let them know you are not alone.

Ok that’s all for today. Love you all and thanks for sticking with me on the hard ones.

XOXO

Amy

5 Types of Domestic Violence: Emotional and Psychological

Hi all,

Getting back on task after having to say goodbye to our Lucy has been rough but it’s time. I wanted to continue talking about the 5 types of domestic violence.

Last time we chatted about physical. If you would like to revisit you can here…

https://swearingtotallyhelps.com/5-types-of-domestic-violence-physical/?amp=1

This time I want to talk about 2 out of the 5 since they can be interpreted as the same sometimes. They really are two distinct categories but they totally intertwine. Emotional and psychological abuse can hurt and cause damage if not more long lasting than the physical kind. My emotional scars have long since overpowered my physical ones. But let’s break it down.

Emotional abuse refers to the type of abuse that affects how someone feels. Being put down, isolated from friends and family, constantly criticized, being blamed for something you can’t control. There is no emotional growth between you and your abuser. You will always be in the wrong.

For me, my abuser started with minor things like commenting on an outfit not looking right or my hair was out of place. He would show concern everytime I went out with my friends or had drinks. At first I thought it was cute, but when it progressed to me not spending enough time with him or I was cheating everytime I went out..I just stopped going so there wouldn’t be an issue.

There was even a time if I needed to go to the store I had to ask if it was ok. If he was out of town or at work he would assume I was up to something because I didn’t want to wait until he got home. I would be in the house most days because going out meant a fight.

When we did fight that’s when the name calling kicked in. I swear he called me a fucking idiot more that he ever said my name. Stupid, crazy, dumb, idiot. Shut the fuck up was also the phrase of choice in our house.

I remember how those names made me feel. Worthless, empty, I even started to believe it. I would go into the shower and just cry my eyes out. Then he would always see my puffy eyes and ask what the hell was I crying about. He told me once he’s the one who should cry because of having to deal with me!! WTF?!?!

Psychological abuse falls close to emotional but psychological abuse involves trauma to the victim through behaviors that are used to “control, terrorize, and denigrate” victims. I guess I think of it as taking the emotional abuse up a notch. Next level stuff. Examples are gaslighting, (meaning making you second guess yourself). Telling you that you are wrong or mistaken when you know your right. Using anything you’ve said in confidence against you. Using threats to spark fear. Feeding you negative thoughts about things to control you.

Mine would tell me bad things would happen to me if I left the house. Nowhere is safe. If I go somewhere he has to go too so he could protect me. Another example is using a past insecurity against me. I had an ex cheat on me when I was younger and it crushed me. He used to tell me I was the reason he cheated because I didn’t do things he liked. Then he said he would too because that’s what happens if they don’t get things. Ugh.

You can see they can be pretty similar but once has a larger manipulation factor to it.

Don’t get me wrong when I say this but for me the verbal/psychological abuse messed me up the most. The physical hurt like hell and can absolutely have devastating outcomes. My injuries healed but my mind has not. I’m 3.5 years out of the abuse but the pain of the words and memories are still right here with me.

This is hard to admit but it’s my truth.. I would actually hope he would hit me instead of the hours long verbal assaults. Typically the physical wound last less time. Ugh I can’t believe I said that but there it is.

I will ALWAYS say that any and all abuse is wrong and one is not worse than the other. It’s not a contest. I think that’s why a lot feel if they are not getting hit or have brushes then they can’t come forward for help. I totally felt that way too. Mine was all 5 categories but the physical came last.

My hope for you is you can recognize the 5 types and make a plan to leave when safe to do so. You deserve all the love and more.

XOXO

Amy

What to do when your partner sabotages your happiness and achievements

This has happened to me many times. Things are going great and I’m hitting my stride in something. I’m about to celebrate or start a new chapter and boom…a fight starts or silent treatment or whatever happens to dampen the mood.

Just how a partner can love bomb you to manipulate they can also turn the opposite direction and tear you down just as quick.

My abuser was the stereotypical narcissist. All about them but very rarely acknowledge what’s going on with you. In the beginning when he still let me work I was climbing upward in my career. Each job better than the next and a HUGE freakin deal for me. It never failed on the morning of my first day he would pout and huff and puff until I would ask what’s wrong. Then I would brace for a long tirade on how horrible I am and they will see they made a mistake hiring me. My first day jitters were just made 10x worse.

It seemed anytime I started to show self esteem and the threat of independence I guess it was time to tear e back down again. After a while I actually stopped trying hard for things. WTF!!!! I would decline job offers that were presented to me. I would stop sharing anything positive because I didn’t want to set him off.

In that time frame I was also going through a weight loss journey. The verbal abuse about my weight was increasing so of course I went on a diet to again curb the verbal assaults. With every pound I lost I did a little internal happy dance. So when my weight loss was getting noticeable it became a problem. I was getting healthy and becoming again more self confident. I noticed more and more fattening foods entering the house. Cookies,chips,ice cream and all the things that got me to my highest weight to begin with. Will power when I’m hungry is always hard for me. I cave so easy so keeping those things out of the house was a huge turning point. Playing into my weakness I caved and started getting lazy in tracking and for the most part gave up. I never got a you look good or I can see the progress..good job.

So what can we do when these kind of things happen? Here are a few tips I wish I would have done earlier to still celebrate my wins instead of hiding them,

1. If you have a small group of people that you can talk to about your big things let them in on it. I hid my abuse but I still talked to my girls about what I’m doing and how it’s going. Have a text chain that you all can share good news and can celebrate together with people that actually give a shit.

2. Never give up on your goals. Even if you have to keep them all in your head. Once I gave up on myself I slipped farther into the abuse. I started believing what he was telling me. If you still have the fire in you but just can’t pursue right now keep it lit! You will get there. Have a planning meeting with yourself each day on what little things can I do safely to move forward.

3. Daily affirmations. This one took me a bit to adopt. I just felt silly at first and to be honest I didn’t believe it. I had to truly fake it until I made it. Every morning and night when I brushed my teeth I would force myself to say 3 positive things about me. It can be the same every day but you need to give yourself a boost since your not getting it from your partner. Self love people

4. Never stop learning. Try new things if possible. Push yourself a little bit just to prove to yourself you can achieve whatever you need to do and crush it. Being in a funk is normal in these types of relationships so its important to still be true to you and keep bettering yourself. You are NOT a the words coming out of their mouth.

Hope this helps a little when your feeling discouraged.

Xoxo

Amy