Dear Readers, I am Back

Dear readers, I am finally back.  Things have been a tad chaotic as of late, to say the least. I recently moved into a new house.  It is a beautiful house, and I have so much to be thankful for.  The move is bitter sweet, however, as I had to put my sweet senior cat, Momo to sleep in the midst of the move, due to organ failure.  I shall be writing a blog post dedicated to my dearly departed feline friend in the near future to celebrate her life.  She gave me ten wonderful years!  She was the most loving little cat I have ever seen.  All she ever did was love.  She is deeply missed.

After a three year long custody battle, I am delighted to say that my little one is finally safe, and home to stay!  Three long, grueling years!  I am ecstatic!  I deeply apologize for my recent absence.  I am happy to be back, and look forward to catching up with all of you later this evening.  Sending much love your way, dear friends!

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Calling All Domestic Violence Survivors to Unite!

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Dear readers, on behalf of my mentors, and dear friends at Two-Lifestyles Women’s Empowerment Program, I invite you to join us for this year’s 3rd Annual D*ASH walk on APRIL 14th, 2018 in Palmdale, CA.  This event is named after two special ladies who are very dear to the heart of the Two-Lifestyles team, the ‘D’ representing Denise Battey, and ‘ASH’ representing Ashley Glick, our fallen butterfly.  These beloved ladies lost their lives to horrific crimes, one to Sexual Assault, and the other to Domestic Violence.   In honor of them, we vowed to keep their memories alive by educating, and bringing awareness of Domestic Abuse to our communities.

Often, victims of Domestic Violence stay with their abusers, because they have nowhere else to go.  The money Two-Lifestyles obtains from this event shall be utilized to build Ashley’s Safe House, a house built in, Ashley’s honor to provide a place of refuge, a safe haven for those that are still in shackles seeking escape.  There is hope, there is tomorrow, and you do have a future.  Let us march together in unity!  Let your story inspire others!  Let our numbers instill courage!  Let your voice be heard, and remind others that they, too have a voice!  Will you join me?  Let us break the shackles of domestic abuse together my friends!

For more information on how to be a part of this amazing event, please contact my mentor, Adrianne by email at adrianne@twolifestyles.com, or call her at 661-402-3076 ext 102.  The two Lifestyles agency is located at 1224 E. Avenue S Ste. B Palmdale, California 93550.


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The Lasting Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

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Dear readers, I wish to discuss with you a topic of dire importance today.  Our children are society’s most vulnerable citizens, their very survival depending solely on us, their parents.  Our children rely on us to provide them with the tools they need to grow into thriving young adults.  Ultimately, the environment we subject our children to can impact them drastically well into adulthood, and continue to do so throughout their entire lives.  I cannot stress this enough.

Children exposed to domestic violence in their households exhibit the same pattern of brain activity as soldiers exposed to combat.  Children who live in households where domestic violence occurs tend to feel isolated, and vulnerable.  They witness horrific events that no child should ever see, and hear things no child should ever hear.  They live in a domestic warzone, being exposed to  bloodshed, rage, trauma, and terror on a daily basis.  What should be a place of refuge is a living nightmare that they, themselves, are powerless to escape.

Studies relay that approximately 3-4 million children between the ages of 3-17 are at risk of exposure to domestic violence annually.  Common behavioral responses in children that witness domestic violence include acting out, emotional withdrawal, and anxiety.  They may exhibit developmental delays in speech, as well as delays in motor, and cognitive skill development.  Children that live in domestic violent households are at substantial risk of being abused as well.  Abusers  will begin targeting the children as a means to control, and hurt the other spouse.  This dance for power and control is deadly, with approximately 1,500 women being murdered by their significant other each year.   Girls that witness domestic violence in the home are at high risk of choosing abusive partners when they enter adulthood.  Likewise, boys that witness domestic violence are more likely to become abusers themselves, thus, continuing the vicious cycle into the next generation.

Dear friends, our children are our greatest treasure; they are priceless!  The choices we make as parents today pave the road that our children shall travel tomorrow.  The environment we subject our children to is the very foundation of the future that awaits them.  Domestic violence is a cycle; it is up to us to break this cycle!  Every child deserves a champion, a hero, a protector.  Our children need us to step up to the plate, and be the champion that they seek.  Let us raise strong, confident children that believe they can take on the world!  Let us raise independent, self efficient young adults that need not recover from their childhoods!  Let us weave a brighter tomorrow for our children, a tomorrow that is free from the shackles of domestic violence!


You Hold the Pen

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Dear readers, as we enter a shining new year, I wish to offer you some words of encouragement.  How often do we, as a society, permit the judgements of others to affect our choices?  How often do we conform our dreams to fit the expectations of those we hold most dear?  How often do we allow the perceived limitations bestowed upon us to ensnare our psyche?  How often do we allow said perceived limitations to become reality, denying ourselves the very opportunity to reach our full potential?  For how long shall we continue to hide our true light from the world?

Dear friends, I wish to remind you today that YOU are the author of your own life!  For far, too long, we have unwittingly permitted the world around us to handle our pen, and write in our Life’s Book.  The time is now, to reclaim your pen!  Dare to dream!  Dare to write the story so many have long deemed to be impossible!  You hold the pen; you hold the power.  You, and only you, are the author of your life.  Happy New Year, my friends.  I believe in you.  May your dreams come true!

 

Re-blog: Kiss From Death — A Thomas Point of View

He appears before you when you least expect it. The embodiment of your heart’s deepest longings, you are enchanted. Like a Siren luring her victim with her song, so too are you caught within Death’s grasp. You greedily drink his words from his goblet, so tender and sweet. Enthralled by his promise to fill the void, you are intoxicated […]

via Kiss From Death — A Thomas Point of View

Crushing Labels

Dear readers, I invite and encourage you to participate in an eye opening activity with me.  You will need two sheets of paper, and a pen for said activity.  Take the first sheet of paper, and place it in front of you; tuck the second sheet away to the side for the time being.  Now, take your pen, and write a list of every label anyone has ever bestowed upon you.  Every crass judgement, every name, every anticipation of failure, every single perceived limitation anyone has ever verbally thrown your way, write it.

Once finished, take the list of labels into your hands, hold it out in front of you, and close your eyes.  Permit the mental images to enter your mind, and all of the painful memories associated with each label written upon the paper in which you currently hold.  For a mere moment, let them awash you.  Now, open your eyes and crush them!  Crumple the paper, and discard it into the trash bin.

Take the second sheet of paper, and your pen in your hand.  You are now going to write another list.  In this list, I want you to write all of your goals, your dreams, your favorite personal traits, and every personal achievement in which you are proud of.  Every single solitary one, write them down.

Once finished, take your new list into your hands, just as you have done with your first list prior; hold it out in front of you, and close your eyes.  I want you to imagine, imagine yourself doing what so many have long perceived for you to be impossible.  Visualize yourself, as if on a track field riddled with intimidating hurdles blocking your path to victory; imagine as you conquer each hurdle with leaps and bounds.  Imagine your very own personal wishing star glowing as a beacon in a pitch black night sky; visualize yourself standing boldly with your arm held outstretched, claiming what is yours.  Imagine your light within your lantern enshrouded by a dark cloak, your light hidden from the world around you; visualize yourself, as you remove said cloak, and forever discard it.  Now, open your eyes once more, and see your true self, the labels forever destroyed.  For you, and only you, hold the power over your life.

 

 

You are Someone’s Reason

To the person reading this, right now, at this at this very moment,

I wish to convey to you just how amazing you are.  You are deeply loved and treasured.

I assure you that you are needed by so many, that you are indeed valuable, a priceless gem.

You are a true blessing, and inspire countless individuals that you are not even aware of.

Your story impacts others whom you cannot even touch, nor see.

I wish to convey that you are someone’s inspiration to arise each morning to face the day, and brace Life’s storms.

Your story is someone’s reason to finally be able to believe in themselves once again.

You are someone’s reason to be able to smile once again.

Your story can significantly alter someone’s life that you haven’t yet even met.

Your story can rekindle someone’s ashes, to alight their fire, to inspire them to chase their dreams.

You are amazing just the way you are.  I implore you to never hide your light, for you are someone’s reason.

Shackles

I never before realized just how domestic violence ensnares its victims, how it ensnared my mother; I was in shackles, not just on a physical level, but emotionally…  

I remember my early childhood days, the horrendous beatings my sweet mother endured, and how she slaved away working to pay for my father to attend law school.  I recall the countless nights she would wait for him to return home to us, and how she would retire for the evening in a cold empty bed in solitude.  I remember the look of sheer betrayal in her eyes when she answered the phone one day, only to realize it was one of my father’s numerous girlfriends on the line.  I remember the many attempts we made to leave the house after his drunken rages.  I remember begging my mother at the tender age of three not to take Father back when he wept, that he would only repeat his actions.  I remember each time my mother granted my father one last chance, and how said chances always turned into several dozen.  I remember the night I was violated, the night I was forever changed.  I remember the day Father’s wrath was finally directed at me also.  Oh, how I remember still.

Growing up, I held such resentment towards my mother.  I was angry at her for failing to protect me.  I was angry at her for not leaving my tyrant of a father those countless times I begged her.  I was angry at her for loving my father still, despite her knowledge of the deeds he dealt me.  Most importantly, I was angry at her for never being the mother I so desperately needed her to be.  Many an occasion I felt as though she chose my father over me, and to this very day, I honestly know not as to what the extent of her love for me actually is.

As a child, I never believed I was loved, never felt wanted, nor needed by anyone.  I was a problematic child, experiencing emotional outbursts often, due to the trauma I endured for so long.  My sister on the other hand, was always well behaved; she was highly favorable, whereas I was unfavorable.  How I too wished to be favorable, to feel lovable.  My mother most certainly loved me, yet, despite her best efforts, said love was not able to reach me.  There was a deep void in my soul that I desperately longed to be filled.  Said void ultimately set the stage for history to repeat itself, and for the cycle of domestic violence to continue into my generation.

I had always sworn that I would never permit myself to be in the same situation my mother had been in during my early childhood.  I remember boldly declaring to her that I would never repeat her mistakes, that I would never be like her.  If only I knew how wrong I was.  I now deeply regret those statements I threw her way, for I now know just how painful they must have been.  Surely my words were daggers twisting into old wounds that never quite healed.  If only I could take them back.

I met the man that was to be my abuser in the year of 2008, at a Christmas party.  He was exceedingly charming, and had the ability to make you feel as if you were the only one present in the room with him.  He displayed such a sweet disposition, and had a certain charisma about him, making me feel as if, for the first time in my life, I might actually be wanted by someone.  All my life I had yearned for a sense of belonging.  I had never truly felt as if I belonged anywhere, and that innermost desire to feel accepted led me to make a devastating mistake, the very same mistake I had vowed I would never make.

Looking back, there were so many red flags present at the very beginning of our relationship.  Within a mere week of meeting him, he asked me to become his girlfriend, to which I foolishly agreed to, despite it feeling rushed.  Only one month thereafter, he asked me for my hand in marriage.  Again, I foolishly agreed; at this point I was feeling almost as if I was suffocating.  Everything was moving fast, so very fast, much too fast!  Yet, I chose to dismiss this fact.

For the first time in my life I felt wanted, needed, loved, cherished, and important.  Thus, I willingly placed a veil over my eyes, choosing to ignore the alarm bells ringing in my subconscious.  Each passing day, I was slowly loosing myself.  His goals became my goals.  His dreams became my dreams.  My income was relinquished to be controlled by him.  My gifts and talents were used solely for his agenda.  Day in and day out, I watched as I lost what little freedoms I had left, until I no longer even had a voice.

My abuser began to degrade, and belittle me, claiming that no one else would ever love me.  He knew all of my innermost secrets, all of my insecurities and weaknesses; by verbal means, he was destroying my very soul.  Nothing could ever please him, despite my best efforts.  I was constantly walking on eggshells, just wishing to keep the peace.  The verbal abuse continued all throughout the pregnancy and birth of my beloved daughter.  It wasn’t until my little one was eight months of age that my abuser first struck me.

That fateful morning, my abuser had instructed me to finish writing an essay he had started, and asked me to submit it to his college professor by school email.  I did as requested, submitting the finished product to his professor by email using the college website as he had instructed.  When he arrived home later that evening, however, he was exceedingly fretful that the document didn’t send properly.  I attempted to calm him, assuring him that everything was taken care of; that’s when he first struck me.

I was in shock, completely bewildered at what had just occurred.  It almost didn’t seem real, as if I was dreaming.  I just couldn’t believe it.  My distraught abuser then threatened to commit suicide if I was to leave him.  He displayed such extreme sorrow for his actions, and I dearly wished to believe in his promises.  All I could think about was my baby girl, how she needed her father.  I never wanted my little one to grow up in a broken home, and I never wished to subject her to the same environment I had experienced as a child; yet, that is exactly what I did!

Again, second chances became third, fourth, fifth, and so on.  I had vowed to never repeat my mother’s mistakes, yet here I was.  I never before realized just how domestic violence ensnares its victims, how it ensnared my mother; I was in shackles, not just on a physical level, but emotionally.  As the violence continued, each battering episode increased in intensity.  It wasn’t until my abuser’s wrath was finally aimed at my sweet daughter that I finally left; I have never looked back.

I am so grateful God did not permit my abuser to succeed in harming my daughter, that he was not allowed to follow through with his plan.  As I shielded my daughter with my own body, my abuser wrapped his hands around my neck, and the world around me grew dark.  I prayed a silent prayer, repeating it over and over again like a mantra, “Please, don’t let him harm her!”  Just when I thought I was going to pass out, I was released.  I fled with my daughter in a desperate attempt to move her to safety that very afternoon, something I should had done long before.

I filed a police report, testified against him in Court, obtained a restraining order, and was granted divorce from the Court by default. Yet, despite my protective measures taken, the damage was already done; while my abuser never physically struck my little one, she had witnessed what no child should ever witness, and heard things no child should hear.  To this day, my baby is still deeply affected by the environment that I, her mother, subjected her to.  My beloved daughter is plagued with night terrors, and is affected deeply on a psychological level.  My heart is broken for her; I am filled with such sorrow and regret.  I cannot change the past, but I can ensure that I never subject my little one to the nightmare of domestic violence again, by learning from my mistake.

Our situation could have been worse, so very worse.  We very well could have ended up being one of the many casualties of domestic violence; we could have been dead!  I now know that I was so easily ensnared in the shackles of domestic violence, because I had never learned how to love myself properly.  I have now learned to recognize the red flags, as well as gained a knowledge of the different types of abuse.  Most importantly, I have come to know and accept myself as I am.  I encourage each and every one of you to take the time to know your true self, to love and accept yourself.  I promise you, you are loveable just the way you are.  Be knowledgeable of your value, and self-worth.  Love yourself, respect yourself, be kind to yourself, and never be with anyone that treats you otherwise. Never settle for being mistreated, for you deserve so much more. By doing so you will set yourself free from the shackles called the cycle of abuse.

 

 

Kiss From Death

             He appears before you when you least expect it.  The embodiment of your heart’s deepest longings, you are enchanted.  Like a Siren luring her victim with her song, so too are you caught within Death’s grasp.  You greedily drink his words from his goblet, so tender and sweet.  Enthralled by his promise to fill the void, you are intoxicated by his poison.

            Ever so gracefully, the phantom whisks his prey onto the dance floor of twilight’s masquerade.  You notice not the talons that dig deeply into your flesh, for you are bewitched.  A veil he places over your consciousness, which you gladly accept.  Numb to the wounds inflicted are you, as you dance this dance with Death.

          Ensnared in his clutches, you desperately cling to idle promises.  Weary you become, as your light slowly begins to fade.  Once a star burning ever so bright, now a mere ember you are.  A shadow of your former self, you feel your spirit drifting away.  A mere shell you have now become, and you are dying.

        You are drowning, engulfed in despair.  Yet, as you struggle to lift your head above the water, you manage to catch a glimpse of the phantom behind the mask.  Choose to release yourself from his enchantment, for you hold the power.  Give not into his sweet illusion, for it is merely a mirage.  I beg you, ignore not the phantom’s true identity.  For by doing so, you will be given a kiss from Death.

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