Tag Archives: Asking for Help

Sometimes a person has to ask for help

October Is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

Do we really need to make people more aware of domestic violence? We have had many public service announcements, sports celebrities speaking out against domestic violence, and the victims of abuse, some celebrity victims are speaking out. I think everyone is aware it exists, it is no longer considered to be a “private matter”. 

The legal system; police, judges, etc have made some strides in how they deal with the victims of abuse, but any progress is slow. 

Stats actually show an increase in the number of domestic violence cases, which just happens to coincide with government cutbacks to programs and services for the victims of domestic violence since the economic crash.

The Guardian
In Canada, if a woman wants to leave an abusive relationship and calls one of the shelters she is told there are no beds available. When I was looking there wasn’t space in any shelters from Chilliwack to White Rock and certainly nothing if you had a pet.

And as I have mentioned numerous times before; welfare rates are sorrowfully inadequate, extremely so if you are a single woman. There is a bit more help for women with children but let’s be serious; all mom’s want their children to be happy. The prospect of taking them to a shelter or struggling to provide for them is scarey and the last thing a mother wants to do. Then the courts rule that the dad gets visitation, he is on a slander campaign and playing the victim. More than likely the children miss their daddy and he is putting on pressure to “put the family back together”. 

On top of everything else the victim has to deal with, she probably has PTSD, and also is dealing with the prejudices and misconceptions of not only society but those closest to her; her friends and family. Old stereotypes die hard and when you are struggling to find the strength to get up every morning the last thing you should have to listen to is the judgements of others.

All the “awareness” in the world is not going to put an end to domestic abuse. Until we can breakthrough old stereotypes I am afraid we will continue to repeat history. What old stereotypes am I talking about?

Stereotypes people don’t even realize they have; which makes them so hard to break through.

I am almost 7 years out of the relationship and can still feel the sting when someone says something off the cuff that they don’t mean as an insult. I know they would be surprised if they knew how much it hurts. 

Let me clarify, I correct their erroneous belief but I don’t tell them how much it hurts; for a couple of reasons

1. I don’t want to make a huge deal out of it and make them feel bad or embarrass them. 

2. These people have known me my whole life and been with me through the past 7 years. What is it that makes it so hard for them to “get it”. 

I have to dig deep to not let it get to me and I am not freshly out of the relationship with raw emotions and shattered self esteem. 

In the past few months I have dealt with extreme anger because I had gone back numerous times. The same fact was used as justification for someone I trusted to screw me over and lie about me, telling people the reason they did what they did was because I had gone back to my ex. I said to them that I hadn’t gone back to my ex and they said, “But you had gone back many times.” 

My reply, “Yes, I had gone back but not that time. Not until you turned everyone against me and I felt totally deserted and thrown to the wolves did I go back.” 

It seems when the victim is at their lowest they end up being subjected to mistreatment by the very people who should have their back.

The other false assumption is that the victim is stupid, can’t handle finances, and is emotionally unstable. 

I was voicing some concerns for a young lady who recently started dating a guy I picked up some red flags on. I was shocked when someone who I have known 30 years said not to worry about her, she’s not the “type” to get involved with a narcissist. She is level headed, got her priorities straight and not about to fall for an asshole. 

This is so much bigger than telling women to not be ashamed and it wasn’t their fault because if we don’t change beliefs that are deeply embedded in our psyche we will keep inadvertently shaming the victim into silence. Women feel forced to try to solve or fix the relationship on her own. A strong woman will be more likely to stay and try to figure out how to fix things because up until now she has always been capable an able to solve situations. She usually has strong communication skills and keeps trying to convey her feelings thinking sooner or later she will be able to explain, to the N; why she is so hurt and he will have an epiphany and go back to the sweet man she met. 

A strong woman will stick it out longer in hopes of saving enough resources to leave without help from anyone. A strong woman will try to just “get over it” without talking about it because she has always been able to land on her feet in the past. A strong woman is much more likely to keep silent because she is embarrassed to be in the situation she finds herself in.

Silence pertetuates the problem.  

What preconceived beliefs do you or did you hold about victims of abuse? What prejudices have you encountered?

A final thought; 

Yes, I know men also suffer from abuse. I am not saying they don’t.  But! Women are 4.2 times more likely to be abused or die at the hands of their intimate partner.  

Some stats:

1 in 4 women in North America and 1 in 3 women worldwide will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

In the US there are 960,000 reported incidents of domestic abuse annually.

On an average 3 women and 1 man die daily of domestic violence.

95% of domestic violence victims are female.

I speak out primarily for female victims of domestic violence because it is what I have experienced and women are at a much higher risk. Violence against women is at an epidemic level and it is not getting any better.

If you are a man who feels men need a spokesperson I encourage you to do that. I do not hate men, I do believe in love, and I believe there is nothing better than being in a loving, healthy, respectful relationship (except maybe owning a dog)

It is like Black Lives Matter and people saying All Lives Matter. BLM activists are speaking out for black people, they are not saying other nationalities are not persecuted. But each group of victims have their own unique challenges and prejuices to over come.

As a society we can all work towards ending violence and racism by simply speaking out and not turning a blind eye when we see abuse of any kind. Do what is right, not what is easy. Have the guts to speak up when you hear people expressing prejudice and racism.

Its time everyone realized we all play a role in how society functions and take an honest inventory of our beliefs and own how our actions or inaction affects others. “I don’t want to get involved” is no longer acceptable because by not getting involved you are perpetuating the problem. 


But I Can’t – But Yes You Can!

How many times have you said it? I can’t, I just can’t, don’t ask me to because I can’t, I hurt too much and I can not survive this pain.

I hate to break it to you, but no matter how hard you fight it, no matter how hard you wish it, you can go kicking and screaming if you want………….. but sooner or later you are going to have to get through this. OK there is one way out, you could kill yourself. I was afraid to say that in case it gave someone the idea committing suicide is the answer, but then I thought, “Who am I kidding? if they are really struggling with pain and feeling they can’t do this, they have already contemplated suicide.”

We read on the blog or elsewhere, victims saying, “That was it, I kicked him to the curb and I never looked back.”

“It’s been a year and I have never been happier, I am in love with a wonderful man and life could not be better.”

And we think, “what is wrong with me? Why can’t I be happy to be free from his abuse? Why am I still struggling?”

The worst thing a person going through struggles in life can do is to compare themselves to other people, we all heal at our own pace. As much as our experiences are very similar because all N’s got the same “how to” manual and follow the same prescribed steps to destroy their victim, each victim is unique. All narcissists and psychopaths are very similar, (it would kill them to realize how similar they are because they all feel they are so special and unique, when in reality there is nothing special about them at all) I think that is what we find so hard to accept too, we thought we had found someone wonderful and unique and then we learn the truth, that they are a counterfeit human being, no better than a counterfeit $100 bill, worthless.

Criminals have gotten really good at replicating bills but no matter how good they get and how close it is to the real thing to look at; it is never going to be worth anything. You can stand and scream until you are blue in the face, “But look at it! it looks EXACTLY like a $100 bill, it has to be worth something! I refuse to believe it isn’t real! so there! I can’t accept it is not real.”

I am sorry, but you have no choice, a counterfeit is a counterfeit no matter how much you stomp your feet and refuse to admit it.

Narcissists are all the same, they cannot change, no matter how much you scream, “But they seemed so real!!”

The victims ARE real and unique individuals so they are not going to heal at the same pace or in the same way. Real people have feelings, past experiences, different values, different personalities, so to compare the victims and expect all victims to follow a prescribed set of steps and to put a time limit on their healing is unrealistic.

It is a dangerous game to play, I hear it every single day. “You are so strong, I can’t wait to get where you are, it’s been 6 months, 1 year, (sometimes even a few weeks) and I am just not healing, what is wrong with me? when will the pain stop, I can’t do it any more.”

I never felt strong enough to “do it”, not one single day of the last year I was with him and the first year after leaving him. While I was with him I didn’t think I could ever leave, but I knew I couldn’t stay and live. Then I knew I could not go back but I didn’t think I could survive on my own. I didn’t want to face reality, I had no choice. That was the first big step in my healing journey, just admitting I had no choice.  I knew that to continue to live with him was killing me and I could not carry on that way but I had nothing to rebuild with and felt so helpless and hopeless I saw no other choice but to kill myself.

I had tried, my truck was in the shop again, my ex had sabotaged its repairs by calling the shop and telling them to take out the parts they had just installed and he would deliver to them the parts for free and then not done it, meaning my truck was down a whole week without me making money. It meant my bill for labour was going to be more than doubled because I had to pay to have the parts installed twice and take out once, a few thousand dollars, not a huge amount of money but it might as well have been hundreds of thousands. It was money I did not have and as long as my truck was down, would never have.  All the money I had was in the form of coins, maybe $2 or $3, my cupboards were empty, my ex had promised he would come and see me because I had begged him and told him I was hanging by a thread. I didn’t feel I could call anyone. My mom had disowned me over a year prior, I couldn’t call my son, he had his own life and was worried enough about me, that was part of the burden I was packing; I hated being a burden to him, I hated that he worried about me. I was living day to day, what I made in a day gave me enough to survive a day or two at the most, I had no safety net. And I had one thought running through my mind like the needle stuck on a scratch in the record. “I can not do it.”

When I woke up after trying to kill myself and decided I had no choice but to “do it”. I knew I could not do it on my own and that is why I started the blog. To make myself accountable to someone, to declare to the world, “I CAN do it.”

You have to change your inner dialogue, instead of saying, “I can’t do it.” “I wish I was where you are at.” “I wish I was strong like you.” practice saying, “I can do it.” “I will do it, one day at a time, no matter how long it takes.” “I will overcome this.” “I control my destiny and I will do what it takes to learn how to get through this.”

I used to be a real Neil Diamond fan and always loved the song I am I Said not that the words really fit but it kept playing in my head. I almost felt invisible and no one was listening to me, I was literally falling apart in front of everyone’s eyes and no one cared or believed me. I felt as alone as a person can feel I think, well I had Kato, and felt guilty that I was so preoccupied with my troubles I wasn’t loving him like he deserved. I remember I did tell my neighbour that I couldn’t do it any more, I was ready to give up and she had said, “Don’t be ridiculous.”

It is especially scary for a person who has always been self sufficient and strong. I left my ex thinking, “Yeah my heart is breaking but I will overcome this like I have overcome other obstacles in life.” and then it didn’t come together, it wasn’t just losing my ex, it was being broke, having no momentos, no family, no credit. I had never had to face life with nothing.

Some victims are battling the ex for custody of the children, or over property, some have supportive family and a group of friends who rally around them, some have financial means to live comfortably and others (the majority) are left struggling to just put food on the table, others fear for their lives, some had a lousy childhood and some grew up in a loving nurturing home. Don’t compare yourself with others, just because they got through it sooner than you doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.

There are many victims who move on quickly, get involved with another man and it appears their life is perfect and other victims look at them and lament why they can’t find a wonderful man and be happy. You don’t know how the story ends. I hear the same story from women and men all the time, “this is the 2nd or 3rd time I have been involved with a narcissist, I am an N magnet.” If you go looking for the quick fix, a man who will love you for who you are, a man who makes you feel sexy, perfect, and loveable you can almost count on meeting another N. They are out there, waiting for someone like you, they want nothing more than to be the man of your dream; you become an N magnet because you are looking outside of yourself for your self worth. You are still believing the myth that you are only valuable if you have a man in your life.

It may hurt like hell, growth usually does, quick fixes seldom last.

I used to get flat tires all the time on my truck, the job I was doing it was a guarantee because I was driving into the scrap yard, I was sure to pick up screws in my tires. I would walk past my truck and hear the hiss of air escaping from a tire and my truck was so big and heavy I never packed a spare tire or jack because a regular jack was not strong enough to hold my truck. If I got a flat it meant calling a tow truck and not just a regular tow truck because if they tried to pick me up the front end of the tow truck would lift off the ground, so they had to send their biggest truck which meant I waited for hours and it cost me hundreds. So I had to find a way to stop the leak until I got to a tire shop and could get it fixed. That inflate a tire stuff didn’t work on my big tires and with the weight of my truck with a load on but I always kept an assortment of screws in my glove box. I would find the screw causing the leak in my tire and find a screw a couple of sizes ligger with a flat broad head on it. I would use a screw driver to remove the screw that was in the tire and replace it with a bigger screw, screw it down tight and 99% of the time it would stop the leak. Brilliant, right!? But once it stopped leaking I would forget about it and it might take a couple of months but eventually it would start to leak again. I would curse at myself for not getting it fixed sooner, find a bigger screw and pray it worked. Sometimes it did and I would get more time and believe it or not a couple of times I procrastinate a 3rd time. (some people just do not learn) No matter how many times I procrastinated, eventually I would end up at a tire shop and getting it fixed properly.

So, yes you  can go for the quick fix, but at some point in time you are going to have to deal with the pain and heal properly; isn’t it better to deal with it now and avoid all the hassle of ending up in the exact same situation time after time?

I watched this TedxTalk this morning about very basic steps to overcoming adversity but they work, check it out here.

How Many Victim’s Hide The Truth From Friends and Family?

I may have not touched on this fact yet, but I hid my relationship with my abuser for years.

I had left him and got set up in an apartment and then he would call and I would meet him, he would pour on the charm, be the loving man I had first met and eventually we would be a couple again. I had done it a few times so I just stopped telling my son and family that I was seeing him.

At Christmas I went along, but that was ok because him and I never did anything anyway, but I hated lying and it was hard to not slip up and say something. It worked well for him though because when he was abusive who was I going to tell? I couldn’t go running back to my family, I didn’t want my son to know because he would kill James. So I saw him in secret. I did get smart and not let him move in but that was a minor technicality, I was still seeing him and he was still disabling my vehicle and still screwing around on me but now he used that as his excuse, we weren’t “together” so it was ok for him to see other women.

I read someone else’s story of hiding the relationship from their family and that is what reminded me. Here it is.

I know the temptation to hide it from family and friends but it really puts the victim in danger, it is vitally important that the victim has a support group and people around her to tell her it is not her fault and she is not crazy. The less support she has the easier it is for the abuser to whittle away at her self confidence and make her feel crazy.

How many of you have hidden the fact that you went back to your abuser?

Why Can’t We Just Lock Them Up?

domestic-violence-md-newI was asked the following question in a comment the other day.

“didn’t these people get placed in psych hospitals in the past, so they couldn’t do the damage in society? Now they wander free among us…devouring all that they can.”

I understand what you are saying, Why should they run around destroying people’s lives without any consequences for their actions and the victim is left trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. On top of trying to put their lives back together they also have to be strong enough to remain no contact because the narcissist doesn’t leave them alone. But it isn’t that easy.

They used to burn witches at the stake also and lock people in stockades in the centre of town or behead them. In many third world countries they still stone women for infidelity, or cut off a robber’s hand for stealing.

Unfortunately, the “civilized” world in it’s attempts to be fair and not punish an innocent person; has swung too far the other way in many cases and has made it easier for a narcissist to do what they do. Unfortunately, if we locked up narcissists for hurting people; we would have a lot of victim’s behind bars because the narcissist almost always accuses the victim of the exact crimes he/ she committed. Much of the damage they do is a case of “he said/she said”, and they are careful to cover their tracks because they have a criminal mind and know what they are going to do so plot it very well. The victim is unaware of what the narcissist is doing so does nothing to protect themselves, they are not collecting evidence to prove their innocence whereas the narcissist is building his case the minute he meets the victim.

If we are going to lock a person up because they act crazy, for sure it would be the victim that gets locked up because a narcissist can act the victim and appear sane better than the true victim.

Who would we assign the responsibility of discerning who is lying and who is the victim? While with James I often felt I was living in a courtroom and he was the lawyer defending himself and all he had to do was instill “reasonable doubt” in the jury to be proven innocent. I have often wondered how defense lawyers live with themselves when they know a person is guilty but they get them off on a technicality but I see why the laws have to be that way otherwise we would have to take someone’s word for the fact that the person did what they did with malice and intent to harm. And then one of the big traits of a narcissist is lack of remorse but they can put on an academy performance of being remorseful and guilt ridden.

They can be the epitome of calm and rational, the definition of sanity while the victim is emotional, irrational and appearing the definition of insane. Who do you think they are going to lock up? 

Yes I know we can do brain scans to determine if a person is a psychopath but do we make a law stating that all people must submit to a brain scan and if they have the brain abnormalities of a psychopath do we just lock them up, sterilize them so they can’t reproduce or leave them to rot on a deserted island or in prison? For one thing we don’t have enough prisons to house them all and where do we draw the line? Until there is a crime committed how can we lock people up? Then, if we start to lock up narcissists where does it end? It leaves it wide open for a Hitler type holocaust.

Sure I would love to see them all herded up and put on an island to kill each other off but it isn’t reasonable or civilized. Our prisons are already full of narcissists and it is a huge cost to society to keep them alive in prison but I certainly would not want the responsibility of decided who should live and who should die, Would we kill all narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths? There are people out there who are admitted psychopaths, like Sam Vaknin and James Fallon; who are admitted psychopaths but doing a lot towards educating people about psychopaths. Not all psychopaths are murderers, yes they are born that way but their upbringing does play a major part in how they function in society as an adult.

It is too ambiguous, too atmospheric, too hard to prove. BUT I DO feel the laws need to change.

I feel that if the police are called out for domestic violence the police should be in control of laying the charges and the woman should have no right to drop the charges. Too often the abuser pressures the woman into dropping the charges, with promises that he will change or threats to her, the kids or her family. it is proven that women do not act in the best interest of the children or her well being, so it has to be taken out of her control. I think that the abuser must be sent for evaluation with an expert on psychopathy and a brain scan be done. For one thing if the abuser is a psychopath no amount of anger management is going to help and many normal therapy actually arms the psychopath with more ways to manipulate. The victim needs to receive immediate support from an expert on domestic abuse and psychopaths, if the abuser is determined to be a psychopath the victim needs to be educated that there is no cure. Right now the victim is handed a bunch of pamphlets and left to their own devices, the abuser is out in a few hours and not enough time goes by for the victim to see things clearly.

Not that I think it is the victim’s fault they were abused but I feel they should be required to attend some support group or counseling also and be taught about what they are dealing with. So far there is no forced education and I really don’t think the victim is in the mindset to make wise choices for herself and her children when she is in the midst of domestic abuse.

I think she needs a team of people who not only educate her on psychopaths but also the resources available to them, I think the government has to provide them with education in order to get better jobs, more money than basic welfare so they can provide for their children. They need life skills coaching, help with becoming independent and regaining their self esteem and also to deal with any issues from their past, abusive in their childhood etc.

I also think there should be an international registry for domestic abuser, not just the ones who have been charged but any complaints should be registered. Who can access it is a problem but I am sure some kind of regulations could be devised so it is not a breach of a person’s  right to privacy. A woman might make a false claim of abuse but if a guy has numerous complaints by different women it is pretty obvious he has issues. If when the police attend a call of domestic violence, they run the guy’s name and there is a history of abuse complaints I think they should inform the woman and how the whole situation is handled needs to be ramped up. 

Would it prevent women from phoning the police because she doesn’t want him to get in trouble? I don’t know, maybe.

How does everyone else feel? What solutions do you, as past victims of abuse; see to  the problem of domestic abuse? What would have helped you get out or not get invovled to begin with?

My Thanksgiving Wishes to You

For months now every time I hear this song I think of everyone here on the blog. In my imagination I see us all fist pumping the air and saying to the Narc,

“Its our time now
this is not a funeral this is a revolution, our tears have turned to rage
We are holding our heads high and we aren’t living on the bottom any more. together we can do this!!”

I love you guys, this Thanksgiving I am thankful for all the wonderful people I have met through here, I am more grateful than words can ever express for the encouragement, emotional and financial support. People say they don’t know what they would have done without this blog; I feel the same way. I may have started it, but it is much bigger than me; it’s the people who come here who make it what it is.

God bless you all

I want some fist pumping happening when you play the song and when you get down and want to make contact or think you can’t do it play this song and picture all of us behind you, or holding you up if that is what it takes.

“People Like Us”

We come into this world unknown
But know that we are not alone
They try and knock us down
But change is coming, it’s our time now

Hey… everybody loses it,
Everybody wants to throw it all away sometimes
And hey… yeah I know what you’re going through
Don’t let it get the best of you, you’ll make it out alive

People like us we’ve gotta stick together
Keep your head up, nothing lasts forever
Here’s to the damned, to the lost and forgotten
It’s hard to get high when you’re living on the bottom

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
We are all misfits living in a world on fire
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

Hey, this is not a funeral
It’s a revolution, after all your tears have turned to rage
Just wait, everything will be okay
Even when you’re feeling like it’s going down in flames

People like us we’ve gotta stick together
Keep your head up nothing lasts forever
Here’s to the damned, to the lost and forgotten
It’s hard to get high when you’re living on the bottom

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
We are all misfits living in a world on fire
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
You’ve just gotta turn it up loud when the flames get higher
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

They can’t do nothing to you, they can’t do nothing to me
This is the life that we choose, this is the life that we bleed
So throw your fists in the air, come out, come out if you dare
Tonight we’re gonna change forever

Everybody loses it, everybody wants to throw it all away sometimes

People like us we’ve gotta stick together
Keep your head up nothing lasts forever
Here’s to the damned, to the lost and forgotten
It’s hard to get high when you’re living on the bottom

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
We are all misfits living in a world on fire
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
You’ve just got to turn it up loud when the flames get higher
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
We’re all misfits living in a world on fire
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
You’ve just got to turn it up loud when the flames get higher
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

One Hundred Years of Domestic Abuse

My Grandma Mary died a couple of weeks ago at the age of 93. I have started numerous posts in an attempt to commemorate her near century on this earth but haven’t finished any of them.

She was a sweet woman, whose quiet demeanor belied her strength.

The things that stand out in my memory are silly little things like how she ironed everything, towels, sheets, t-shirts, everything!! How she would wash and wax the floor and then lay out  newspapers over the floor and my cousin and I running through the house, hitting that newspaper and landing on our asses, arms and legs flailing. The plastic was still on the furniture and lamps and scraps of carpet made a pathway throughout the house to protect the carpet. My cousin and I spent many hours in the forest around her house and without fail we were given the same warning, “Watch out for ticks” I still don’t know what a tick looks like but when I go in the forest I am on the lookout for one.

My mom and Grandma were very close, Grandma divorced her first husband and as it turned out; her and my mom married brothers and got pregnant 8 months apart so my cousin and I were very close and my mom and I spent a lot of time at my grandma’s. She would come over and help my mom clean house and starch the doilies with a sugary concoction. Grandma was happiest if she was cleaning. She never watched TV and no one was real sure if she knew how to read.

From what I gather she was quite the looker when she was younger and would go dancing with her sisters. My mom remembers watching her mom getting dressed to go dancing in pretty dresses, her tiny waist cinched in, gloves, and high heels.

While walking at Cultus Lake years ago we walked past the old Pavillion and she told me how she had danced there during Prohibition with the soldiers.

In recent years she was lost in dementia sliding farther and farther into her own world, it was horribly sad for my mom to go visit her; then one day the old age home had a band come in to play old dance tunes and my mom noticed grandma’s feet keeping time to the music. When they started to play a jive mom asked grandma if she wanted to dance and she said it was like she was with her mom 30 years earlier dancing in the kitchen. Grandma danced like a young woman and didn’t miss a beat. It was the last time there was any recognition there.

My grandma was always very good to me, she helped me buy my first house, a little cabin at Cultus Lake, I had asked to borrow $2000 but she said to consider it my Christmas gifts for the next 5 years and then proceeded to give me money every Christmas anyway. Whenever we had a gathering Grandma was there and without fail I would hear her saying to someone, “Isn’t she a doll? that’s my granddaughter, isn’t she beautiful, such a good girl, she’s always been so good to me.” she’d call me over and pat my arm and say,”We never fought did we dear?” I’d say of course not Grandma. She’d say, “A doll, an angel, I tell you, just beautiful.” One Christmas at my mom’s I was sitting beside grandma and she was telling the room what a doll I was and with every second word she patted my leg with her bony little hand. Her diamond ring was much too large on her tiny finger and the diamond dug deep into my leg with every pat and after a while it started to really hurt. Finally I grabbed her hand and said, “Grandma, hit me one more time with your diamond and you’ll lose your hand.” She looked at me and said, “A doll, such an angel.”

There was something about Grandma not many people knew and it was never talked about. Her first husband was a horribly violent man and treated grandma and my mom like hired hands, he beat my grandma and other horrific things that were never talked about. In those days domestic violence wasn’t talked about or even acknowledged. My grandma had a nervous breakdown, no doubt because of the mind games these assholes use to keep you off-balance; and was sent to a mental institute called Crease Clinic where she was subjected to shock treatment. I can only imagine the horrors she experienced and then had to go home to worse abuse. Even though she had no money, and there was no help from police, or support groups, she didn’t drive, she knew she had to get away. My mom remembers grandma taking her and running into a nearby corn field and hiding for hours. They could hear grandpa looking for them as they hunkered down in the corn field barely able to breathe, knowing if he found them there would be hell to pay. Finally the sun went down, he gave up his search and they snuck out of the corn field and walked miles to my granny’s house where they hid in the attic.

I never understood the strength that must have taken until I experienced abuse and the feeling of helplessness. How scared she must have been, in those days domestic violence was something that no one talked about and if you did try to talk about it you ended up in a mental institution getting shock treatment.

Her second husband was alcoholic but I don’t think he beat her and she stayed with him until he died in his sleep of a heart attack in the bed beside her.

We have come along way since my grandma hid in a corn field but we still have a lot of work to do in the battle against domestic abuse, there are still myths to be dispelled, stereotypes to be corrected, and silence to be broken. For every women who has feared for her life, for every woman who has been told she asked for the abuse or deserved it, for every woman who has died at the hands of the man who promised to always protect her, for every woman who hid the marks on her neck or wore sunglasses to hide a black eye, for every woman and child that lived in fear of daddy coming home, for every child who has witnessed their mother being beaten and felt helpless to stop it, for every woman who has been told it isn’t abuse if there are no bruises I will keep speaking out.

I ask you all to end the silence, silence = shame, silence enables the abuser. In 2010 there were over 102,500 reports of domestic violence (that is just the reported cases) of those incidents 51% of the victims suffered physical injuries.

In the past decade more than half, 65 %, of spouses accused of homicide had a history of violence involving the victim and most of them were after the victim had left the abuser. That is why it is so important to report, charge and not minimize the abuse.

Even the victims minimize the abuse, question themselves, and believe they are special and it won’t happen to them. The really shameful thing is that women partake in the abuse of other women, so needy for a man’s attention they believe his lies that the woman asked for it and he won’t abuse her because she is special, her love has changed him. Wake up people! What is it going to take for society to recognize abuse and shame the abuser and not the victim? When are we going to start raising our daughters to believe they are beautiful from the inside out, that their worth is not decided by a man and they deserve respect? When will our sons be taught that infidelity is not a birth right, that a woman’s place is not in the home catering to his every whim and that a woman cries because she is hurt and not because she is manipulating him, that when a woman says, “That hurts me” , stop! When will people realize that “I’m ok you’re ok” does not mean accept me as I am and if you don’t there’s the door and when will the victim realize that given that choice they should walk out that door and they will survive and thrive. When will women stop asking for respect and accept nothing less than respect for their boundaries?

This is not something that doesn’t affect you, it affects everyone because it is a problem with society, this is not “her” problem, it isn’t “his” problem, it is “our” problem.

Rest in peace Grandma Mary

Love and hugs to my little angel.


The View From Beyond Hell on Earth

morning view

I woke up yesterday morning and did what thousands of people do every morning; I turned on the tap and filled a kettle with water, turned on my stove and boiled water; not to wash in but to make coffee with. I also buttered a cinnamon roll that had gone a little stale and popped it in the oven, then I stood at my back door and watched 3 little ducks swim in circles and a couple of Heron standing in the swamp waiting for a tender morsel to swim by for their breakfast. Nothing too noteworthy or exceptional unless a person has lived without the luxury of running water and cooking facilities; then it is enough to make you cry. I suppose the day will come when making a cup of coffee will no longer be an emotional experience and become as routine as it is for most of the world but right now it is just one of the many blessings I am grateful for every day.

When I count blessings I always include my two faithful little companions so I went to check on them in the bedroom.

puppies sleep

How beautiful is that picture? A small little bedroom filled with warm sun light, with two shar-pei’s snoring peacefully snuggled up on a real bed; the bed I just got out of. Its a small bedroom, with barely enough room to walk past the bed on two sides, but doesn’t it put a smile on your face? Do you notice what is attached to the bedroom? that is a bathroom, a bathroom that contains a tub, shower, toilet and bright window. Where I am going to have a nice hot shower as soon as I finish this post.

There isn’t an hour in the day that I am not grateful for something, I laugh easily, make jokes like I used to, my quick wit has returned and I find humor in the stupidest things, I dance by myself in the kitchen, I sing at the top of my lungs as I drive, I laugh at myself and I want to stop people on the street and hug them and explain why they should be happy for me. I want to stand on a street corner and yell, ” I have been to hell and I am back, I have slept with the devil and it almost killed me but I survived! Look at me! I am alive!!” I know that most people would think I was crazy, but I know how many of the people who come here feel so broken they don’t think they will ever laugh and be grateful to be alive again.

I am here to tell you; believe in yourself, believe in your right to be happy and just make it through the day, one day at a time, or hour at a time on bad days because the view from top is breath taking and it will be worth the struggle when you get there.

I spent so many years being fearful, suspicious, and waiting for the other shoe to drop I forgot what happiness felt like; perhaps I have never known true happiness, maybe I had to lose everything in order to really appreciate the simple joys in life. Maybe I had to be torn into tiny pieces and left naked with my heart broken and my spirit shattered, my beliefs stomped on, in order to put myself back together – take the cards I’ve been dealt and make a decent hand out of it. Discard the crap I’ve been dealt and only keep the good cards; knowing I can make a better hand out of the good cards than if I keep my hand full of the crappy cards.

I fight fear, I fight that tiny voice that says “this isn’t going to last” because I believe it will last and you know the longer it lasts the more I believe it will last and less I sweat the small stuff. It is true; negative breeds negative and once you break that cycle and start on a positive path things just keep getting better. It isn’t that my life is perfect or that assholes don’t creep into my world; I still have money concerns, I still get angry but it doesn’t consume me any more.
I was stuck in that trailer and felt at a disadvantage, I felt Jim was trying to take advantage of my vulnerability, I felt disrespect and devalued, seen as nothing more than a pussy; that is what narcissist do, they dealue you, make you a comoditity, they treat you like a piece of property or a tool to get what they want. If they don’t get what they want from you (and we are mere humans, unable to provide the narc with everything he desired which is impossible because he can’t be happy) they simply toss you in the garbage and declare you faulty and worthless. Once they have stripped you of all your money, self confidence, possessions and support system it is very easy for other low lifes to move in and try to take advantage of your weakened state. The people who prey on the victim after they are discarded by the N are not as evil as the narcissist but they don’t have to be because he has done the damage, they just move in to clean off the bones, like vultures wait for the lion to have his fill and then move in. That was Jim, he moved in thinking I would be easy pickings because I had been gutted by JC. It is like the new woman rubbing the ex’s nose in how superior she is, not evil like a narcissist but egotistical enough to get off on kicking someone when they are down and terribly damaging when someone is already at their lowest. Its a hard battle back made harder by the people who purposely step on your fingers as you cling to the cliff of your sanity.

But once you survive that, and believe in yourself again, they lose their power over you. I did my best to get Jim’s trailer ready for him in time and had to leave alot of stuff behind because I was focussed on the trailer and thought I’d get my other stuff out of the barn the next week. He told me he saw a truck pulling out of the driveway when he went up to get the trailer and said the area is full of thieves, scrap haulers. When I went up to get my stuff there was nothing of value left. All my gardening tools were gone, well……at least $1000 worth of stuff was gone but strangely enough……..the metal was left behind and the spare key I had made for the barn was still in the door. I was ripped off by “friends”. When I told Jim all my stuff was gone he immediately started talking about the thieves up there, until I interrupted and told him that the “thieves” had forgotten the spare key (which I had put on an old key chain of mine) in the door of the barn. He sputtered something about talking to Paul, and I said,”You know what Jim, I don’t give a shit, it is the end of that chapter in my life and I am not letting the assholes from my past tarnish my future. It is just a little glitch, the end of the worst time in my life and I am looking forward and not back. That barn is so far behind me now, as are the people associated with that time in my life. I want nothing to do with anyone from that time, I refuse to be pulled back into their small world.”

He said he’d see me when he got back and I thought,”Not if I see you first”. I know he will talk behind my back because he talks behind everyone’s back. I am done with shallow, small people, he can talk all he wants.

Oh! to close on a positive note, one other little event in the flow of good things coming my way. One of my customers was au’tioning off a 1989 Ford F250 because the customer didn’t pay their bill and I made an absentee bid of $350 and got it! Colin checked it out and he says it is worth at least $1500 and I have heard from other people not to ask anything less than $1500-$1800. It has been really well cared for, is 4×4, not rusted, and runs great! I think I will put it on Craig’s List for $1800 or trade for a little import car and cash. I would like a little car that I can drive when I want to dress up and stay clean. We’ll see. If it doesn’t sell I can get my money back by scrapping it but I am sure it will sell.

I gotta get out of here and go to work.

The sun is shining, it would be so easy to stay home and just soak up the beauty of the day but I won’t have it for long if I do that.

Blessings to you all. Hang in there!!!! Life is waiting for you!!