Cut It Out Certified

I am now certified and on the Professional Beauty Association at a certified trainer of Beauty Salon owners and employees to recognize DV, as well as assist the victim.

I am beyond pleased that I can offer this service!

Solving DV starts seeking out where it hides: behind closed doors. Hair stylists and beauty consultants are where a victim might confide.

If you are a beauty professional, please contact me! I’m happy to schedule you all a presentation! 💜

Spectrum of Success, Part 2

I didn’t want my post about my son from the other day to sound like getting things turned around (after being in 23+ years of abuse and being out of abuse for over four and a half years), was easy. It definitely wasn’t and I’m STILL working on it. My youngest is four years away from graduating high school.

Financially, I’ve had to change jobs a few times since I left, in order to get to the monetary level and insurance level I needed for my family to survive AND comply with court custody. I had to declare Chapter 13 bankruptcy because I was left with ALL the marital debts. I had to have a full-time job AND a part-time job at the same time (currently looking for another part-time job), in order to survive after the bankruptcy took half of my paycheck each pay day. I had to streamline expenses and cut things out entirely. I had to figure out how to repair things myself or trade favors with someone who did know. I’ve had to sell some of my things for money. I’ve thrown out a lot of things that triggered me. I’ve applied for public assistance and grants. I’ve stood in food lines and gone to charities for free clothing. This joy that I reported on the other day has not been easy and still I struggle to maintain and overcome.

Healthwise, I had to change my diet, I’ve had to amp up exercise, not to mention modify it. I’ve had to start medications I didn’t have before, to help cope with new and/or recurrent issues. I’ve had to see specialists, and change healthcare systems entirely. I’ve had to modify my insurance benefits by choosing services that cater to myself and my son better. I’ve had to pay out of pocket for things, paying overtime and in multiple payments to get what is needed.

Family wise, we’ve had to pull together and live together in order to combine expenses. I’ve had to modify my work schedule to make sure my youngest gets to and stays in school. We’ve had to share vehicles when one goes down, in order to get to work and school and appointments. My adult children have had to help me get my youngest to school and appointment things. I’ve had to take my adult children to appointments. I soon expect to babysit/watch my grandson.

This is a labor of love and I don’t mean to “toot my own horn”…or maybe I do? I love it when you work your ass off and people only see the success of your efforts and say, “It must be nice.” How about, instead, people say, “Good for you! Well done! I’m happy of you in your Spectrum of success!”

#dvsurvivor #girlpower

Spectrum of Success

I need to brag for a moment on this young man…he survived abuse right along with me and is now doing awesome! He’s almost done with junior high school, which has been rocky, let me tell you…now, he’s just joined Planet Fitness’ summer program, signed up to start community college which will go right along with his high school classes, has started studying for his driver’s exam, and hopes to have a job by the end of the summer. I am so relieved, to be honest, yet so proud!

You see, he’s on the Autism spectrum…nothing wrong with that, but I’ve known since he was an infant that he was different. His Dad, my Abuser (and his Dad) constantly stated there there was “nothing wrong with my kid.” However, the Abuser noticed VERY quickly that yelling didn’t do anything but freeze this kid in his tracks and/or make him run away. He processed his feelings in an explosive way, because he didn’t understand why he and his family were being treated in such a violent manner.

This poor child had to watch his Dad beat me during our final episode and was the kid that acted out and flipped desks and cleared classrooms. He is now polite and respectful, but still struggles academically. When he found out that his upcoming high school classes could double as college courses to get him an Associate Degree by the time he graduates in 2026, he begged me to sign him up. I was DELIGHTED to, to the point of crying…

I praise God for the maturity that my youngest is coming to…it’s been frustrating, but worth it. He struggles with staying up too late (but has figured out how to change the time limits I’ve set on his cell phone and the Internet, on our home network), struggles getting up in the morning, struggles with pacing himself and cleaning up after himself, but he IS still fifteen, so that figures…

Love does conquer all! He’s on a ‘spectrum of awesome’ and I’m going to do everything in my power to help him succeed, as I’ve always done, but will put a lot of things back on him as a nearly-adult person, so we can set boundaries and hype up responsibility.

Why Not Me?

I’ve always admired the Judds and their voices, so I took some time to think and reflect on how I wanted to post, out of respect for Naomi Judd. Mental illness is not something that is to be trifled with, so I will tread lightly. I posted my favorite Judd song above, for all to enjoy.

My heart is saddened that she chose to commit suicide, but I definitely understand her and the dark place that she arrived at. I have suffered depression and the thoughts you think while under its cover are not rational. It is as though the devil is whispering into your ear and his arguments sound VERY convincing. I know, firsthand, that finding your way out of depression is nearly impossible without help. There is no light in depression. NONE. The light comes from help received and love/care given.

I was also taught from the time that I was a young child that people who commit suicide, commit the murder of themselves and cannot be received into the Kingdom of Heaven. Just know, I DO NOT believe that the Lord would not admit these people into Heaven, because they are not in their right state-of-mind and because they no longer have the control over their thoughts/reality — they just want the pain to stop and for peace to overtake them. I will probably get A LOT of flack and grief for this statement, but I don’t mind. I believe that the Lord knows this and loves them and gathers them anyway. It is what I believe, so do with that information what you will.

I believe depression grabbed hold of Naomi after she “retired” and Wynonna went out on her own. I know she wrestled with many health problems and after a time, these burdens can really beat a person down. I realize that she had made plans for a reunion tour, but she may have also been struggling with if she would be able to perform as she once did, which may have scared her too. She was in her 70’s, although looked still looked amazing. Hard to say…you cannot see mental illness, necessarily.

If you don’t know who Naomi Judd truly was, instead of in name only, I highly recommend you read her story. She was one helluva woman! She was an honors student who fell in love and became pregnant at age 17. She was abandoned by Wynonna’s father and married another man to raise her and later have actress Ashley Judd. The girls’ step/father and Naomi divorced later and she and the girls had to exist on welfare and multiple odd jobs. She even survived DV in a later relationship! If you want to read more about this awesome woman, please go here for a synopsis:

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-judds-mn0000086312/biography#:~:text=The%20Judds’%20story%20began%20in,man%20who%20abandoned%20her%20immediately.

I understand how hard things are when life gets stacked against you, but you carry on. Her burden became more than she could bear, and she became weary. I’ve always heard that those that entertain people and are the helpers and caregivers, carry the heaviest burdens. She was a nurse, a single mother, a singing star, and a survivor, so she took on the World. Just look at Robin Williams – both gone too soon and too tragically. They definitely changed the world for the better!

Rest easy, Naomi. You survived and weathered so much. I just know she’s teaching the angel choirs a thing or two…

I know the darkness I survived, but nearly didn’t overcome it…so, why not me? It very well could’ve been me…

Settling Down the Trauma

I am wanting to get back into therapy. I’ve been through over 23 years of abuse, so I know the year of therapy I’ve been to isn’t going to heal me. It’s definitely helped, but I’m not done…

I had to stop because my therapist was a man…he didn’t do anything inappropriate, so please don’t think that…I just could NOT comfortably tell a man what another man did to me and there were no female therapists were available for months and months out. I live in a rural area, so therapists are VERY limited, without having to go 1 hour away (in one direction). As a single Mom, I simply do not have the money for gas or the office visit both — or the time away, to be honest. I had to start to explore others options…

I spoke to my insurance and they have tele-health visits with semi-local professionals (thanks, Pandemic!). There are also phone based ones like Better Help, that I’m checking out as well. I will keep everyone posted on that progress.

However, I did find a trauma therapy group through https://traumahealinginstitute.org/events. If you’re looking for something like this, be mindful of the location, time/date, timezone, and cost! At first the group I chose told me they were full, but then I was notified yesterday that someone backed out. Praise the Lord! I attended the first session, via Zoom, last night and I am VERY impressed! It was very calm and laid back and healing, as well as informational. I think this is just what I was lacking!

Working on shrinking down my trauma impact and doing some self-care. I’ll get it down to a manageable size yet!

Love and light! <3

Guilt Gifting

***TRIGGER WARNING!*** References to past abuse present in this posting! <3

What is “guilt gifting,” you might be asking yourself? Guilt gifting is when someone gives you a gift, specifically because of the direct result of how they feel about what they did to you or how they treated you. Narcissists do this ALL the time. I’ll explain…

Guilt usually implies some form of regret on the side of the party who did the wrong, specifically the abuser. If they are a true narcissist, they don’t “feel” guilt like you or I would. However, they do know the difference between right and wrong (crazy, huh?) and they know when they’ve done something that was perceived as wrong to the other party (AKA the victim). So, they give a nice, seemingly thoughtful gift so it soothes the victimized party’s feelings and “smoothes over” a volatile situation.

An example: I caught my abusive husband cheating, even though he adamently denied it. I was so angry and hurt, I told him (not asked) to leave and go somewhere else. I was upset and crying and shouting. He finally did leave and I calmed myself and went to bed. The next morning, I had flowers at work. A dozen red roses, to be precise, with lilies too. Another example of guilt gifting was when I received a beating for leaving a little bit of toothpaste spittle in the sink. Ironically, he left his beard trimmings all in the sink, but that was besides the point. I received this abuse BEFORE I went to work, so I cleaned up the offending area, composed myself, and went to work. That evening, I received the most heartfelt apology and a beautiful necklace.

I’ve fallen prey to guilt gifting one too many times — so much so that I question regular people when they want to give me a genuine, thoughtful gift. It’s sad, but I have a whole standing jewelry box full of pain and anguish that I am thinking of selling or giving away. He even gave me the damned jewelry box, but on the same holiday gave his mistress diamond earrings. SMH.

If you are in an abusive relationship or even one where your significant other has screwed up in a major way…no matter how lovely the gift, refuse it. PLEASE don’t do that if your safety is in question, of course. Just know that accepting that gift is accepting their screw up as acceptable. It’s acceptable to forgive them in due time, but accepting the gift makes that deed “acceptable” or “okay,” and they’ll do it again — mainly, because they know you can be bought. A simple “no thank you” or “please keep your gift, I don’t want it,” will suffice. They’ll be insistent, but be firm and unbudging.

The buying their way out of bad behavior stops here.

NOTE: I’ve even taken back a gift before and bought something the family needed, because he was dumb enough to leave the receipt in the box (mainly because he wanted me to see how much he spent). I bought a week’s worth of groceries one time and a family-pack of tickets to an amusement park and hotel stay on another. Needless to say, he stopped doing THAT!

Snubbed and Unloved

I saw someone the other day, that I greatly admire and whom I thought was a friend. We were standing in the same line and I was ahead of her with two people between us.

I called out to her and she saw me, but then tried to pretend she didn’t see me. I was confused. She had looked away and then looked to see if I was still looking in her direction. By this time, I had a confused and disappointed look on my face. She then says, “Oh, hey” and stares straight ahead. I had to leave, or I would’ve stopped and asked her why she was treating me in such a manner.

My brain bubbled. What on Earth did I do to deserve that treatment? Did she hear and believe my Ex-abuser’s smear campaign?? Did I wrong her somehow??? I really wanted to ask her, but then again I didn’t. I’m not into confrontation. But now my anxiety was up. Great.

All I can do is still admire her, but leave her alone and mentally send love and light her way. Yet, I still swim in mild disappointment. And so it goes, when you survive DV. Today, I’m a causality. *Sigh.*

I am a Beautiful Disaster

I used to describe myself as more of a “hot mess”…at least, until recently…

I discovered the Beautiful Disaster website a few years ago and was instantly impressed with the founders and their stories of survival. I also thought the merchandise was unusual and intriguing. The first sale I saw with a “mystery” selection for a hoodie and pants had me try it and I’ve loved the quality of their items ever since! I also took a chance and sent them my story, never even thinking I’d ever get a response.

I couldn’t have been more wrong! I was honored and blessed to be featured with two other DV surviors on their weekly email and their blog: https://www.bdrocks.com/blogs/tellingyourstory/lauras-story-can-finally-breathe-again. Plus, they want to send me the t-shirt of my choice? Whaaaaat??? Awesomeness!

Of course, naturally, I had to have a t-shirt with a skull. It says: “Hating Me Doesn’t Make You Prettier.” LOVE their brand! I feel like it’s so pertinent, they’re making the products JUST for me…please, check them out at BDRocks.com! You will be delighted that you did! 💜

#Bloganuary Bliss: #28

NOTE: I did this in January [2022] and it never got published properly. I share it now, as it is STILL pertinent.

I have a VERY eclectic collection of music. I love every genre, to a certain degree. If an artist or a song resinates with me, I add it to my iPod/iPhone. Then, I organize my songs into playlists. I have playlists for everything.

I have a playlist for ‘sad days,’ one for ‘angry days,’ one for ‘workouts,’ one for ‘sleep/relaxation,’ and one for ‘cleaning.’ Of course, if I have no preference, there’s always ‘shuffle.’

Examples of ‘sad days’ has a lot of Carpenters on it, as Karen Carpenters’ voice is rich and soothing. ‘Angry days’ has NWA, Ghetto Boys, House of Pain, Metallica, Staind — music like that. ‘Workouts’ has a lot of hip hop and up-beat music to move to, while ‘Cleaning’ is a mixture of the artists from the ‘Angry’ and the ‘Workouts.’

I also have a ‘Anxiety’ playlist, especially if it’s anxiety from past abuse or triggers. It features the likes of Ke$ha (Song: Praying, This is Me), Rachel Platten, (Song: This is My Fight Song), Ava Max (Song: Kings & Queens), Evanescence (Song: Bring Me to Life), and SO many more. Honestly, the predictability and familiarity of these songs in itself is soothing to my anxiety.

Music is salve to my soul.

I’m So Broke, My Mental Breakdown is on Layaway…

I’m completely sick of living paycheck to paycheck. I have been on financial survival mode since I’ve been an adult. Prior to meeting and marrying my abuser, I had money and saved money. Now, I have squatters that live with me, I mean tenants, I mean children…whatever, you get my meaning! I must love them, because it’s expensive to keep them, especially the teenage one!

I’ve been thankful, to an extent, for being broke as it made me creative and frugal. However, having money comes in handy for, say, emergencies. My current emergency? My stove died. The burners still work, but the digital back panel doesn’t, which turns on the oven part. Sheesh. I need a new lawnmower too (having to currently use a weed-eater to knock down the tall grass), and my vacuum is on it’s last legs — mainly like a shop-vac…ugh…

I really need to find an additional part-time job that will work with my full-time job and my family’s schedule. Currently, I’m considering plasma donation — not even kidding. I don’t mind working hard, but it’s difficult to shake the financial woes. I could totally make it comfortably on my earnings, but in order to escape abuse and survive, I had to file a bankruptcy. I have two and a half more years to go on this bankruptcy and it takes half of my income each month! I keep reminding myself that the peace is worth it…because it TRULY is!

I also try not to slip back into thinking about how financially easy my Ex has it now. Pays no child support. Lives in his significant other’s house. No responsibilities. I love the peace, but I have to hustle harder than I ever have before to maintain it. Honestly, I am ranting a bit because I am tired. But know this…I will NEVER trade it to go back into active abuse ever. That is why I keep grumbling and pushing forward…he is now someone else’s problem…and may the good Lord help them…

I’ll have a breakdown later…I currently don’t have the time nor the funds…

Love and light! <3