Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world my beautiful, vulnerable self!

Posts tagged ‘protection’

Triumph Over Adversity: Abusers Amongst Us

Exposing Abusers

I met a woman in one of my Facebook groups who has an incredible story of triumph after a larger helping of adversity than any 10 people I know, and continues to have what I can only call grit to keep fighting. She agreed to let me share a small part of what she’s overcome. I know it will inspire some who are struggling and thinking they can’t go on any further alone, and to realize, you aren’t alone, no matter who tries to tell you you are. I haven’t edited what she wrote, except to remove names per her request. I think it’s much more powerful to read her stream of consciousness.

A Woman Alone

10 years ago I was certain I wouldn’t make it to 18, and not necessarily by my own hands. I used to leave journal notes hidden around my room and in my locker about what was going on in life so IF I died people knew what led up to it. Abuse was just life; just normal. I had had chronic pain for 2 years at that point and spent 10/30 days a month zombified or in too much pain to speak.

9 years ago I would date and beg for affections from red flag after red flag we won’t go into, much to mainly my brother’s chagrin, and was financially independent selling under the table hoping to get emancipated. I had my first miscarriage.

8 years ago my best friend died in a car accident and I wanted to follow him. Badly. I got in 3 car accidents within like 50 days after and didn’t drive for a year after his death in fear. I finally talked openly about how I was treated by others, someone broke the law to keep me under control longer. I was raped for the first time. I started spending every minute I could socially as a form of mood control.

7 years ago I tried out and was accepted into a performing arts high school for my senior year; I transferred to ignore my grieving. I worked full time, paid my bills alone, and was still denied emancipation.

6 years ago I graduated, my uncle/father figure died, still worked full time, sold work on the side, and my health issues (pain, constant infections, strange pink dots, you name it) had me living in hospitals under “acute stress disorder,” and I traveled to 7 European countries. I was not considered social anymore, but bubbly when I came around.

5 years ago I moved across the country, had a second miscarriage, moved home, had a third miscarriage, used weed to cope temporarily, became a bit of a gypsy, bought my first car, and completely shut myself in from the physical world.

4 years ago I was raped for the second time, moved home again, escaped a date-rape drug situation, lost a best friend because he threatened to rape me, bought a brand new car, worked mainly 12-16 hour days to avoid my life, was molested on at least 3 occasions in my sleep by someone who skipped town after confessing. I was getting social again, I was Not the good crowd, and I started living with someone that was the peak of my self-sabotage.

3 years ago I got married to my villain, started college, got pregnant, had to stop going to college and running my own businesses, and 9/10 days couldn’t walk. Things got Bad; I ended up in a hospital for sucidal ideation. We separated for 2 months and I had major preterm labor issues. He hoped to push me back over the edge and I’d have happily complied.

2 years ago I gave birth, was immediately a single mom, crawled to get around to take care of him, was hit for the first time by a partner in 6 or 7 years, my chronic pain vanished, diagnosed with PTSD, separated again, stalked, sent to a private shelter, my son started having internal bleeding on top of his medical issues, I got my health back enough to walk and perform small tasks, and I was dealing with the most heartbreaking and terrifying situation of my life thus far; in my opinion.

1 year ago my son recovered from being poisoned, was fairly used to life 90% of the time with mommy, had a stable home with good family and more loved ones than I could count. I still deeply pined over the loss potential for non-violence and kindness, I took measures to minimize stalking and violence but it felt like the system really couldn’t have cared less. Still, we were thriving for the situation and I became “me” again. More social, happy, and business centered; starting to reject self-sabotage like that useless heartache. My son started improving medically too.

9 months ago a legal safe-than-sorry loophole let my son get kidnapped for 5 days, I became a shut in again, I decided to look for my birth parents and found my dad who was never told of my existence – But we get along and I’ll get to meet his side of family in person soon. My son spent 4 straight months with just me and started to undo symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and progressed so far ahead of his age group intellectually and socially I was going to start him in preschool this year. I became paranoid; I never knew when life could strike again. But things seemed generally on the rise and I haven’t accepted any red flags of friendship or otherwise in my life.

Less than 4 months ago things worsened again by a new/old presence. They’ve been steadily physically and mentally getting worse for the both of us for this. I’m not going to sugar coat it; I’ve made it obvious. I’ve felt like my needs for safety and support have scared friends off. My therapist moved. I’m re-winging it.

1 week ago I was told we’d have temporary safety.
It was the first I’d been so happy and relaxed in 9 months. My son started showing improvements already.

Late last night I was told this safety is being stripped but we can defend why we’re asking in court at a later date; details to follow. My lawyer, confused, pointed out that was very surprising and they’re normally Immediately approved and protected with Less proof involved. And the court hearing is something highly abnormal to be done that way too.
I pointed out the system’s history in letting my family specifically slip through their cracks despite the constant fight for safety.

Within the next few weeks there will be a Lot of court cases I’ll have to be present for. Including charges for violence against me/in front of my son. Investigations are still pending. I’m trying to cling to a hope the system will change and give a damn.

In coming months, no more than a year, mine and my son’s fates are decided by strangers who’ve already shown how much our lives mean to them.

I have made 10 years of mistakes, learning, growing, changing, and progressing and I feel like I Have made progress overall. Bouts of homelessness vs bouts of wealth, bouts of health vs bouts of sickness or abuse. I’ve come so far and and I’m still alive, and even in days when my body will shut down to keep me from pushing my triggers farther I still TRY.

There is no pause, no rest, no breaks within the justice system and I’m still hunting down the justice as well. There is stay fighting or quitting with no middle options, and I’m still fighting.

I can survive, much to my own surprise sometimes, anything. And I’m not going to back down now, even if people are actively avoiding helping me. Eventually someone has to care and defend us. Eventually someone has to demand we’re not going to be ignored and slip through the cracks. I refuse to let my past, my trauma, or my bad decisions/self-sabotage make my son a statistic. I’m not a statistic. And somehow we’re getting the Hell past this in one piece.

Solutions Start With People Caring

When I started writing openly about my parents’ suicides, I started becoming an ear for people like this, though I’m not entirely sure why. Still, I’m grateful to be able to listen, even if I have no solutions, or no direct understanding of abuse. It’s sickening to learn how many women and children are or have been in abusive situations they couldn’t escape. More sickening to realize some didn’t stop at suicidal thoughts, while others succumbed to their abusers, paying with their lives.

What I do know is it’s up to us as human beings, and as a society to protect these people in any way we can. They don’t deserve to be abused physically, mentally, or emotionally. If nothing else, let’s share their stories so more people are aware they’re not alone. So more will speak out and stop allowing so many abusers to go unpunished.

About the Author

Ordinarily, I’d post the author’s bio here, but as this story is being shared anonymously, I’m putting my own in. This isn’t my story, but it is a subject I feel passionate enough about to share the stories others need to tell.

 

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

August 10, 2015 On Gratitude

How Can a Heart Help but Overflow with Blessings?

My daughter and son-in-law are sound asleep after a long day for me and a longer one for them. He left the house at 2:30 AM to go to his job as a Culinary Specialist with the Navy. She was up not many hours later completing the tasks which precede a few days away from home. Until a few moments ago, the only sounds were the fan in the bathroom, the humming of my laptop and of course, my fingernails tapping away at the keys. But since we’re within shouting distance of Disneyland’s main gate, the silence was broken by the explosions which accompany the nightly fireworks display. Something tells me the kids will wait until the end of the fireworks before trying to go to sleep for the remainder of our stay.

Though my day started earlier than normal with an unplanned trip to the vet for my 18-year-old calico whose claws had curled around and embedded themselves into her paw, I can still claim at least an hour more of sleep than my daughter, so here I sit, typing away in the not so dead of the night. And I’m realizing once again just how fortunate I am.

Today is the third anniversary of the kids’ wedding, and in spite of a boatload of challenges, they are still very much in love and very committed to each other. I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am that my daughter found her best friend and had the good sense to marry him. She did not follow in my stumbling footsteps, but learned from her mistakes early on. To share in their celebration as well as enjoying a belated (or should I say, extended) celebration of my own 60th year makes me feel loved and cherished.

Funny, but as the fireworks continue to explode outside, a line from ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ popped into my head. “…and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air…” I can only imagine what is going through my son-in-law’s head after being in the Persian Gulf for 6 months, and in Afghanistan a few years ago. I do know that the explosions woke him from a sound sleep and he’s now sitting up, waiting for the show to end before going back to sleep. I can’t even imagine the thoughts and visions it conjures for him, or for that matter, for any of our service men and women.

So again, I feel blessed and very grateful that he and others like him choose a path which may put them in the line of fire, but they do so because they love our country and want to keep it and their loved ones safe. It isn’t an easy path, either for those serving or for their families. The hours are long, they spend many months away from home and their lives can change without any say on their part. When the orders say ‘go here’ or ‘go there’, that is what they must do. There will be family crises they can’t be there to handle, so wives, husbands and children have to call on loved ones or friends to fill the gap. I know I wouldn’t want to be on a ship somewhere in the middle of the ocean knowing that my wife/husband/daughter/son was having emergency surgery and I couldn’t be there. It must be torture knowing they can’t be there to help.

Yet again, I’ve gone off on a tangent. My topic of choice tonight was ‘Gratitude’, and it seems to have turned into a gratitude-fest for the men and women who serve, not only in our armed forces, but wherever there is danger or the need to protect, be it firefighters, police, or anyone else who willingly steps out against things which might cause us harm. Though other humans might constitute the biggest threat, Mother Nature can be as volatile as a PMS’ing woman (and face it, most women have been there at )least once in their lives! If you ask my kids, though, they’d probably say it was menopause that sent them running for cover). Just look at the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, or the wildfire which engulfed a good part of San Diego not long ago. Not to mention tsunami’s, earthquakes, and volcanoes which, in their day, turned cities and towns into so much rubble.

We have a lot of people to thank because any one of these, as devastating as they were at the time, could have been so much worse were it not for the people who stepped in and slowed the destruction despite Mother Earth’s best efforts to rid herself of a few of those parasitic humans who are heedlessly poisoning her water, air and soil.

While I’m enjoying a lovely few days with my kids, eating too much, soaking up the sun along with the water of Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Run, watching parades and fireworks and riding as many rides as we can fit in, I will find time throughout the day, reminded by the sacrifices these kids are making, to send up a bunch of gratitude for those who make it possible to live a life like mine. Won’t you join me?

My gratitudes tonight are:’
1. I am grateful for the people of this country, and in fact, all over the world who are essentially good.
2. I am grateful that there are some bad eggs from whom, if we’re smart, we’ll learn so that we can make this world a better place for everyone.
3. I am grateful for the evil in this world without whom I’d have to struggle to find believable traits for my antagonists.
4. I am grateful for a few days with my kids when we can all behave like kids again ourselves. Being an adult can be so overrated!
5. I am grateful for abundance, childish joy, giving, caring people, love, kindness, compassion, dedication, devotion, happiness, silliness, health, harmony, peace, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

I hope you’ll take a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

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