#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou #MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou

A powerful campaign has been around for awhile #maybehedoesnthityou.  Women are tweeting how their intimate partner emotionally abuses them and it is making more aware of the dangers behind emotional abuse.  I think it extends far past just men and can and should include women #MaybeSheDoesntHitYou.  Being a domestic violence survivor of emotional, verbal, physical and sexual abuse has shaped me to become who I am today, but it does not define me.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he tells you that you are fat and your BMI is only 19.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he controls your joint money and tells you you don’t work hard enough or you are working to hard and need to spend more time with him.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he engages in domestic violence by proxy with your child.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he blames you for having an affair and makes you feel responsible for the affair that he was actually caught in.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he berates you in front of your child because the bed wasn’t made even though he was the last one to get up.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he tells you that you can’t pursue your dreams and you aren’t good in business.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he won’t let you see your family members and makes you feel guilty for wanting to and not spending your family time together.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he makes you feel that those sexual assaults and rapes were your fault because you didn’t give him what he needed.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou and #MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because you are an amazing person who has been taken to hell and back by him.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because you have so much to offer this world and he is so jealous that he is only holding you back.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because you are an amazing parent and you want to raise your child in a toxic free environment.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because you will be able to find a way out from underneath his grip and your will become that butterfly who flies with grace and finds herself.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because he only deserves himself.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because your are awesome and he doesn’t deserve to be a part of your life.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because you are beautiful inside and out.

Empower yourself and let yourself be heard.  Intimate partner violence is no laughing matter and can do years of psychological harm to you and your children.   #MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou.

 

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PTSD is Real

My heart is breaking
I see you disassociating
I see the fear in your eyes
The sea is not calm and your heart is broken

You hear noises, but they remind you of the past and not the present
You go to a dark place
You are hiding and crying
I hold you as tight as I can
I tell you that you are safe

Your screams are real
The monsters are real
They are going to get you
Your world is so real

My heart is breaking
I see you disassociating
I see the fear in your eyes
The sea is not calm and your heart is broken

You are my baby
This was never supposed to happen
I know the signs all too well
PTSD is hell

You are referred to another doctor
No one understands this thing called PTSD
No one understands the impact of domestic violence on you
They say you were too little
Yet you can recall the most minute detail

Your screams are real
The monsters are real
They are going to get you
Your world is so real

The courts won’t believe you
They say you are too young
Yet you can recall the most minute recall
The sounds, the smells the memories they are so real

You are my baby
This was never supposed to happen

 

 

 

 

Posted in children and DV, court reform, domestic violence, PTSD | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Mending a broken heart

I see your heart is aching, but I don’t know how to fix it.
I see your young eyes looking up to me for guidance and it hurts.
Your innocence was taken to young.
You are triggered and no one around you understands, but I do.

I see the fear in your eyes when a man yells.
You cower under a table or bury yourself in my arms.
I can’t tell you it will be okay, but I can tell you that you are safe at this moment.
My heart aches to watch you go from laughing to screaming all in a moments notice.

I know your screams are real.
Your screams are not about what is happening at the moment, but something in the past.
I hold you tight and say that you are safe, but I see the way you look at me.
Your eyes are full of fear and don’t know what is happening to your mind or body.

You know you are safe when I hold you, but you can’t break free from this fear.
This fear has engulfed you and is real.
My heart is aching and I pray that it ends.
I pray that this monster leaves you and that this thing called PTSD that has engulfed your mum doesn’t have a hold of you.

Too many fears, too many worries
You will be okay and I will always be there for you.
Your fears are real as the day that they happened.
Your innocence was taken to young.

I wish I could go back and change the past.
I wish you didn’t see what you did and that you found peace and never lost your innocence
I wish that you could tell me what you are feeling, but I know that you may not know.
I wish that you could tell someone else what has happened to you.
I pray that the monster leaves you, Landry, and that this thing called PTSD  that has engulfed your mum doesn’t have a hold of you.

 

 

 

Posted in children and DV, domestic violence, DV by proxy, PTSD | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Parental Alienation Syndrome or DV by Proxy?

Through my journey with Landry I have had learned several things I never intended to know about mainly: PTSD, parental alienation, domestic violence by proxy and Cluster B personality disorders and a horrible court system.  We have navigated these uncertain waters.  These waters that were once filled with hope only to be filled with doubt and helplessness.  Thinking that a system that was built to protect would help us.  Was I foolish, naive?  Some may think so, but I refuse to give up and believe that this is the best for Landry.

Parental alienation is a new buzz word that is being thrown all around, but what it really means is domestic violence by proxy.  Parental Alienation Syndrome or PAS is often a term that many don’t understand.  It is not recognized by the American Psychological Association, but often used by psychologists who are doing court ordered evaluations.  Often these court ordered evaluations often side with the abuser, because the abused is too weak to stand up or the abuser has a personality disorder namely Cluster B or anti-social. In my life, the parental evaluator sided with my ex and to this day I am not sure why.

I did learn through the process that the evaluator lied, he violated many ethics and even the law.  I also learned that often cluster B parents are favored because it will be “easier in the long run.” I will be launching a formal complaint, but in the process I have learned so much about a broken system.  I have learned that if a person truly has cluster B,  as in the case of my ex, that his or her true colors will show.  Patience, as hard as it may be, is our option right now.  I have learned if I launched a complaint immediately then the likelihood that it would have been dismissed would have been higher.  Now, I truly have “evidence” as the courts call it and I can proceed.

I often ask myself when the evaluators knowingly side with the abuser, who it will be easier for. Easier for them, the courts or the child? The child who will grow up in a house with at the very minimum psychological, emotional and verbal abuse? The child that will begin to lose his or her voice or the child that has stated their desires and they are dismissed because shared parenting is always best?

During this time, my ex “got himself together” and by that I mean, he sobered up for a month during his daily testing and put on his narcissistic charm that woos so many people.  He even tried to accuse me of hurting Landry. The one who has hurt Landry.  In his case all it did was buy him time and take my focus off of trying to show his true colors to trying to defend myself.  I have never hurt Landry, except I did not leave soon enough.  I will take responsibility for that and that is a guilt I will always carry with me.

I wanted out so bad that money wasn’t even a concern.  I would rather be a single mom in school working her way out of a failed system than get anything from him.  I was advised by the Guardian Ad Litem, not to file a restraining order because it would look like parental alienation syndrome.  Really? I want to protect my child and myself and you are court ordered to protect my child, but you won’t either?  Ironic, how he causes a public seen roughly every three months and now Landry has been referred to trauma therapy for domestic violence.  Landry is now talking about what Daddy did to Mommy, but you thought it best for Landry and that I not be accused of something that doesn’t exist?

I have learned through my journey that what Landry’s dad does is impose domestic violence by proxy on Landry and myself.  He tries to use Landry as a scapegoat or pit Mommy vs Daddy.  He abuses Landry and me through Landry by withholding telephone contact, not telling me about events that he signs Landry up for,  expecting me to do all of Landry’s homework with Landry and the list goes on.  I have learned to show support through Landry and continue to be the loving parent. I continue not to lower myself to his standards and will not talk bad about Landry’s father in front of Landry.

I have also learned that PAS is a term that was first coined by someone who associated it with pedophilia so if you have been a victim of domestic violence by proxy then I urge you to do your own research and make sure you are not hopping on a false bandwagon and instead encourage court reform and awareness of this very issue.  At the very minimum, please look at the basic definition of alienation. According to Merriam-Webster.com, Alienation is “a withdrawing or separation of a person or a person’s affections from an object or position of former attachment.”  From what I have learned on my journey, I have never tried to detach or withdraw my affections from Landry nor did I ask his father to do this.  His choices are what have led to detachments by Landry.  It is not something that I cannot control nor do I chose to control.  I don’t want that burden.

What I can do is help Landry.  I can make my shared parenting time with Landry extra special and I can fight for what is in Landry’s best interests.  I can help Landry understand Landry’s feelings through psychologists that are trained and have a child’s best interest at heart. Not my best interest or my ex’s best interest, but truly Landry’s best interest.

For more information on DV by Proxy, I have compiled a list of websites for more research and there are plenty more websites out there.

https://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/DVP.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joan-dawson/parental-alienation-and-d_b_811738.html
The Domestic Violence Variant
http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2008/01/pas-syndrome.aspx

Posted in court reform, Parental Alienation/ DV by Proxy, PTSD, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Breaking the Silence- The Final Act

So this will be my last piece on my former physical and sexual domestic violence.  I am still entrenched in trauma as we share Landry together and their have been multiple emotional, verbal and psychological traumas and domestic disturbances.  He has come close to physical, but stops at the very last moment.  At least I can say for the time being I have not been physically harmed since the day after Thanksgiving in 2013.

This is the day my world came crashing down, the memory of my rape resurfaced and I was with him.  It was very odd.  We were trying to reconcile after his latest affair and the greatest blessing happened- my memory surfaced.  I had a flashback so vivid and the worst thing was that I was with him and he did the very same thing he did then and so many other times, he grabbed my wrists and Landry was present.  I told him to get out, but he wouldn’t.  Then I started to see the big picture, it wasn’t his alcoholism that was making him do this, it was him.  One month earlier he tried to suffocate me.

I think that is what triggered my memory and I was starting to get stronger little by little.  The events were so similiar.  Another sexual assualt and this time an attempted rape. I was able to get him off of me somehow this time. I began to use my voice even more and was screaming in the last two events.  Probably why he tried to suffocate me.  I remember thinking that Landry was right next to us in a toddler bed and hooked up to medical equipment.  I didn’t know how to get out.  I prayed and screamed.  I can’t tell you what it is like to be suffocated by a man twice your size and they just put all of their body weigh on you and then try and rape you.  Somehow this time I had the fight to get out.
I can remember not being able to breath, gasping for air and wanting to grab my phone so bad to call 911, but I couldn’t.  I had to get out, but how? He was next to the door and I was on the opposite side of the room with Landry.  I fell asleep holding my phone too afraid to move once I was able to get him to stop.  The final act was the memory of my rape.  He never apologized was confronted again, but never denied and said we would get through it.  It was the past.

He was right about one thing I will get through it.  I contemplated for two weeks on what to do and then I made my decision and wanted out.  Little did I know he had a personality disorder on top of his alcholism and 6 months later I would be diagnosed with complex-PTSD for the monthly attacks and everything that comes with it.  I remember thinking something is not right, I was afraid to sleep and depressed.  I couldn’t understand any of it, but that I needed far away from him.

I could have done it better and protected myself and Landry better, but I was naive and hindsight is always hindsight.  I would have, could have and should have doesn’t help me now.  I will never forget visiting my doctor and telling her what was going on. I had severe headaches where I would lose partial vision and I told her first about the rape.  She looked at me and cried as she knew she was giving me a horrible diagnosis.  Not a death sentence at least for me, but a life altering and shattering disease where I will never be the same.  Something that was caused by someone’s actions and not because I did something.  Just like any other disease, PTSD is real.

This was the final act of our life together and I am forever grateful that I am out.  I still struggle with PTSD and everything that goes along with it, but I made a conscious choice for myself and Landry to get out.

 

 

 

Posted in abuse., court reform, domestic violence, PTSD, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Breaking the Silence- Act II

This piece is a continuation of the Breaking the Silence Blogs.

He left from college and I began to see a different person.  He got on medicines for depression and I thought he was changing.  It was hard being apart, but when we did see each other it was meaningful.  He came to see me, but then would go out with his friends at night and on the weekends.  It was like he was two different people.  He would be kind and devoted during the day and night I was what he came home to.  I then graduated from college and he would return 5 months later.

I had a job, I was making good money and having fun and we were still together, but then he convinced himself that alcohol wasn’t any good, but he could smoke marijuana.  It wouldn’t interact with his medicines.  He began to use multiple times a day and our relationship was more of a convenience aka co-dependence.  I had my life and he had his and we enjoyed to be together.  I began to get frustrated with him smoking, but for whatever reason I thought he wasn’t drinking so he is doing better.

The next few years of my life with him was mixed with emotional, psychological and verbal abuse for me, but not physical that I remember during this part.  I was being gaslighted and had no idea.  Affair after affair and I wasn’t pretty enough or I didn’t have to dress so business like.  Show some skin etc etc.  I had the job and was paying the bills caving in to his needs and then finally he got a job.  I thought it would be good for him, but it just brought on another depression.  He was in sales and had to make quotas etc and couldn’t handle the pressure.

Meanwhile, I was getting promotions and the questions started being asked.  Why were you late coming home from work?  Um because I was working…  He slowly began to change my behavior and soon it began to feel like I was walking on eggshells in my own house.  Little did I know that the next tornado of emotions and experiences was going to hit me hard and fast.

I started my own business and the jealousy became apparent. I worked long hours and I wasn’t there to have dinner waiting for him.  The house was not cleaned to his standards and the list went on and on.  My business turned the corner in the first two years and it was time for me to ease up my hours and start thinking about a baby.  We both agreed timing was right and it would take another two years for me to become pregnant. He later told me 3 years after Landry was born that he didn’t want kids.

The drinking increased, but it was hidden.    Then the complications began to set in.  My pregnancy was high risk and I started preterm labor at 23 weeks.  It began to change my perspective on life and that I wasn’t just living for myself anymore or for my (ex) husband. I was living for this tiny human being in my body.  I went on strict bedrest and Landry would be born to term.  Little did we know that Landry would have many medical complications.

I thought that was a tornado in itself, but as I look back at the storm I have weathered it was only the beginning and maybe a tornado is not the only thing that I went through, but I have pulled through it.  I didn’t think one person could go through so much, but as I have learned from so many of you, we are survivors.  The final act will be my final and last act on this chapter of my life with him.  To be continued…

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Silence

They tell us not to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Words hurt more than anything.
If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all.
We grow up in this world believing that silence is the way.
It’s best to keep it to yourself and figure out how to deal with it.
Is this best?

Are we teaching our children what is best?
I tell my child to walk away if someone is being mean.
Is that the best advice?
What if that person is in my child’s life daily?
Am I repeating that silence is ok?
Am I justifying another’s actions?

Silence will become a demon.
Silence will latch on and eat you alive.
Silence is not the way.
Why are we taught at such a young age that silence is the way?
We are taught not to stand up, but to walk away.
What if they won’t walk away?

The victims get blamed.
We acted and they did nothing to provoke us.
It’s her word against his.
Silence is a demon.
Silence will latch on and eat you alive
Silence is not the way.

Silence is a cycle perpetrated by the bully
Don’t tell anyone or I will hurt you, your mom, your loved one.
Keep your mouth shut and you will survive.
They tell us not to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Words hurt more than anything.
If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all.

 

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