Thank you for leaving me for her. Thank you for setting me free from your abuse and constant mindfuckery. Thank you for making me a stronger woman than I ever dreamed of being. Because of you, I am the warrior queen that I am. Strong, beautiful, sensitive, passionate, and full of love.
Thank you for giving me the gift of motherhood. Because of you, I have the three most incredible sons and granddaughter that a woman could ask for.
Thank you for teaching me. Because of your hatred of me, I have learned how to love deeper than I ever dreamed possible. Because of your constant mindfuckery and coldness, I have learned how to be strong and independent. Because of the way you treated me and our children, you have shown me the kind of person that I NEVER want to be; bitter, hateful, cold, distant, unloving, and cruel.
Because of you constantly telling me that I’m disgusting I have learned that I can lose weight, workout, and have a better body. But external beauty rarely lasts. Because of your constant cruelty, I have a soft heart. A heart that loves and forgives.
Because you left me for her, I have learned just how committed I am to my marriage and family. I would have held on until the pain of holding onto you killed me. Thank you for leaving me for her and setting me free.
Because you literally replaced your wife and children with a new woman and children, I have learned the truth about just how sick and fucked up you really are. It’s only a matter of time that you will do the same to them as you did to me and the boys. If only they knew the kind of monster you really are.
My mother never cared about what I wore to school. If I liked the clothes I saw when shopping, she bought it. Even if it was too provocative for a teenage girl to wear.
I remember that in middle school I had a reputation as a slut. Even though I was a virgin. I was sexually harassed by the boys and body shamed by the girls. I had a very mature body for my age and I dressed quite provocatively. The boys were paying attention to me and not them. So naturally, they hated me.
I remember being spit on, having my hair pulled, being tripped, and pushed into the lockers just about every day.
Seventh grade. In comes Starr, the nightmare from hell. I remember in choir class Starr’s step-sister gave me a dirty look. So I returned the favor and shot her one right back. After class, just as I walked out the door, Starr shoved me into the brick wall and began punching me over and over in the face and chest. The principal came and broke up the fight. Starr was suspended and was supposed to leave. She didn’t. After school, my friend Kara was walking with me to the bus stop, Behind us was a mob of hundreds of students. And Starr was their leader.
When Kara saw them, she ran for help. Starr threw me into a telephone pole and began punching me repeatedly in the face and chest. Luckily my mother made me carry military tear gas, so I reached into my pocket, grabbed the can and sprayed Starr in the face, and ran. I ran to the only open door which happened to be my sixth-grade homeroom teacher.
However, I didn’t make it without being sprayed in the face with mace. Byt the time I got to Mrs. Cooney’s classroom, the principal was there waiting for me. I was taken to the office and my mother was called. She didn’t want to come to pick me up from school, so she sent the next-door neighbor. As I waited for her to come and get me I could hear dozens of students in the hall shouting, “Kill her! Kill that bitch! I’m gonna kill that fucking bitch! I’m gonna’ kill that fucking slut!”
After that day, the bullying only got worse and worse with each day. The death threats continued. I was constantly being hit, spit on, tripped and shoved into the lockers. It went on for months. I was becoming depressed and afraid to go to school. I was afraid to go to the bus stop alone. So I began cutting class and walking home. I can’t remember how far it was, but it was about a three hour walk.
One day, my mother was supposed to come to the school with me to talk with the principal about the bullying. We got on the bus and sat down. Then Starr and some of the other bullies got on the bus. My mother got off the bus and left me to the den of rabid wolves.
Eventually, Star was expelled. But the bullying never stopped. By the time I reached the eighth grade, I had stopped eating except for maybe a few bites of food each day. I was depressed and cutting daily. Each day I felt so sick and weak, I just couldn’t get up to go to school. Life was unbearable. My mother was becoming increasingly abusive, girls at school wanted me dead and the boys wanted nothing more than to torment me and beg for me to fuck them. I was hopeless that life would get any better. Everyone hated me and I wanted to die. Thoughts of suicide began to flood my mind.
That was when I met A. When I found out that I was pregnant, I was terrified to go to school. I was terrified that if I continued to go to school I would lose my baby. My baby was my only reason to live. I begged my mother to let me homeschool and she agreed. Finishing the eighth grade at home was the best decision we could have made.
My weight and relationship with food has been a problem for as long as I can remember. As a child, I can remember being normal-sized until around the third grade. That’s when I started gaining weight. By the time I reached the fifth grade, I was wearing a women’s size 14.
I remember the summer before entering the sixth grade. I was so preoccupied with my weight. I told my mother that I wanted to go on a diet. I remember telling her that I was afraid that the boys wouldn’t like me or think I was pretty because I was fat.
My mother didn’t know the first thing about dieting. She never cared for her body, and she never taught me to care for my own. But she did her best to help me in my dilemma. She bought some SlimFast, and that is when I started dieting for the first time. I stuck to the habit of replacing meals or just not eating throughout my middle school years. I remember my mother being concerned about anorexia and took me to the doctor. Standing at five feet, eight inches tall, and weighing only 115 pounds, I was diagnosed as anorexic.
Becoming a teenage mom may have saved my life, but it was also the beginning of a cycle that would remain with me for the rest of my life. During my pregnancy with my first son at the age of 14, I gained 90 pounds. After my baby was born, it took me nine months to lose the weight. Then I got pregnant with my second son and gained another 90 pounds. This time it took me two years to lose the weight. I was eating pretty healthy and working out every day. I was fit and strong. Then at 18, I became pregnant with my third son. This pregnancy was difficult. I stopped working out and eating healthy. We ate at Burger King nearly every day. This caused me to gain a massive 120 pounds during my pregnancy.
This time, losing the weight wasn’t so easy. And my relationship with A was becoming even more toxic and abusive. He was constantly making hurtful comments about my body. I became depressed and started turning to food and candy for comfort. But the more A body shamed me, the more desperate I became to lose weight. So I began dieting with pills and meal replacements again. I would do well for a short time, but when I could no longer afford to pay the outrages prices for the products, all of the weight came piling back, plus some more.
I was doing pretty good for a short while, a couple years ago. But then my life really started to crumble and fall apart. My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and A wanted a divorce. After my mother died and A left me for another woman, I went numb. I completely gave up on myself. This caused me to gain a ton of weight.
Let me tell you something. I am absolutely fucking DONE living like this! I’m sick and tired of feeling so ashamed and disgusted with myself. It’s time for me to take back my life and my health. I need to be held accountable this time. That is why I have decided to document my body transformation journey. And hopefully, my journey will inspire someone else on theirs.
I have been blessed to meet a lovely woman through Facebook. She is taking me under her wing and coaching me. She’s creating a program for me to follow, and keeping me accountable. She’s pushing me and motivating me to change my relationship with food and my body. From working on my mindset to working on building and awesome ass, she’s become my coach, my friend and my guardian angel.
***TRIGGER WARNING!!! EXPLICIT DETAILS OF SEXUAL ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE***
Absolutely NOTHING about the relationship with my ex was normal. It was toxic and abusive from the very beginning.
I was just fourteen-years-old when I fell in love with the boy next door. Looking back, I believe the reason I fell into this relationship is that I was desperately searching for a hero to save me from my miserable, fucked-up life. All of the abuse I had already endured. More abuse at home. And I was being bullied constantly at school. I was depressed and suicidal. I was desperate to be loved. I was desperate to be saved.
If only I had known the hell that awaited me.
In the beginning, all of the signs were there. Red flag after red flag. Yet, somehow I just didn’t see them. In a previous post, I explained how A would compare me to his ex-girlfriend while having sex. I explained a toxic pattern of him breaking up with me, and coming home drunk or high on cocaine begging me to take him back. I always did. I took him back EVERY time.
A had a problem with pornography. He also had a fetish for using toys, banana’s, and cucumbers on me during sex. I hated it, but he just didn’t care. If I didn’t comply, he would get angry and ignore me for days.
The first time A used a toy on me, I had no idea what it was. All I knew is that it wasn’t him. A had gone to the adult store without even bothering to consult me and bought a dildo. In his sick, twisted and demented mind, he reasoned within himself that I wanted it and I would like it. He became angry with me when I got upset.
For years, A would force me to watch porn with him during sex. A would demand that I look at porn, (often lesbians or threesomes) while he was at work. When he came home, he expected me to have something for him to watch just so he could be turned on enough to fuck me. He would constantly compare me to the women in the videos, making me feel ugly, disgusting, and completely worthless. This pattern of porn, toys, and items from the produce aisle continued throughout our entire relationship. A would often beg me for threesomes, but I refused. I just couldn’t bring myself to do such a thing. Of course, A became angry and threw a tantrum whenever I refused. He would always act as if was my duty and obligation to give him whatever he wanted sexually. He never once cared about how I felt. I was just an object to him.
It often seemed that the only time’s A ever wanted to have sex with me, was while I was either asleep, sick, or recovering from surgery. He would often rape me as I slept, or force me to have sex with him when I was sick or in pain. I was never allowed to refuse him. If I did, he would punish me with the silent treatment and withholding affection for days and sometimes even weeks on end. I asked him once why he did this. He answered, “I like to feel in control.”
He liked to feel in control. My feelings didn’t matter. I was just an object to be used. Not a human. Not even a woman. Just a rag doll used over and over and tossed aside.
It was a crisp fall day. My best friend and I were sitting out on the basketball court watching my new next-door neighbors play a little one-on-one. That is when I noticed him. I mean REALLY noticed him. I turned to my friend and declared, “I’m going to marry that guy someday.” She looked and me and retorted, “What if he wants me instead?” I fired back, “What would he want a flat-chested little bitch like you for when he can have me?”
To this day, I still have no idea what it was about him that I was so drawn to. But somehow I just knew I was going to marry that guy.
When I was thirteen, my mom and I would babysit my younger cousins. Our new next-door neighbors would bring over clothes that their kids had outgrown for my cousins.
One day when I was sitting at the bus stop on my way to school when A approached me and introduced himself. Then he left for his English class. It was a game of cat and mouse over the next few months until my fourteenth birthday. I was standing outside in the freezing cold with my new pet iguana perched on my chest. I was waiting for my mother to come home. Just then, A was coming home. He stopped to talk to me for a minute before going inside. He was interested in my new pet, and a little shocked to see that green lizard perched so contently on my chest.
It was Christmas day when I decided I wanted to be nice and thank A and his cousins for the clothes they gave my little cousins. So I bought a card in Spanish and a single yellow rose. I tucked it carefully into A’s newspaper box, knocked on the door, and ran inside.
Later that night A came and knocked on my door. I stepped out into the cold December night, and he handed me a letter along with an amethyst necklace with a little man hugging the stone. Then he left and went to a party.
I went inside and read the letter. It read:
“Dearest Clara, I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”
On that letter, A had drawn a picture of God’s hands putting a broken heart back together. On the bottom of the page was a rose with a scroll. Inside the scroll, it read, “I love you.”
Enamored by A’s declaration of love for me, I waited up for him to come home. When he did, I could hardly speak. So I handed him a little pink teddy bear holding a heart that said, “I love you.” He kissed me, then went inside.
The next day we were outside talking. A kept asking me to come to his room. When I told him “no”, he got angry and told me he was going to Lollipops, which was an under-age strip club. That was the first red-flag that I didn’t see.
Over the next several months, A would repeatedly break up with me, just to come back drunk or high on cocaine and beg me to take him back. Like a naïve and foolish little girl, I did. That was the second red-flag that I just didn’t see.
Over the next couple of weeks, A continued pressuring me for sex until I broke and gave in.
One time while having sex, A had the audacity to tell me that he was imagining me as his ex. The one who gave him blow jobs.The one he wanted to marry. I was crushed. Yet, I did nothing. I stuffed the hurt deep down inside and ignored yet another burning red flag.
Fast forward to our first Valentine’s day together. A wanted to spend the night with me. ALONE. He and my mother agreed that he would pay her $100 to let him spend the night with me, ALONE. One more flaming red flag that I stuffed down and ignored.
The pattern of break-up-and-make-up continued throughout our entire twisted relationship.
***TRIGGER WARNING!!! EXPLICIT DETAIL OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE*** Is it fair that at fourty years old, all I can really tell you about my life is that my earliest memories are of being sexually and physically abused? Pretty fucked-up, don’t ya’ think? My entire life has been plagued by the memories of heinous and insidious acts of sexual abuse, as well as physical and emotional abuse and neglect. (CPTSD really fucking sucks!)
I was just two-years-old the first time it happened. I was an innocent and helpless baby girl, still in diapers. His name was Daniel. And he was a monster. I think he was my mother’s boyfriend at the time. I remember sitting naked in the bathtub with him. He was naked, too. I remember he was masturbating. He ejaculated into his hand. He told me it was candy and he forced me to drink the hot semen from his filthy hand. Then he proceeded to sodomize me. He told me that he would kill me and my mother if I ever told anyone what he did.
At just five years old, I was sexually abused multiple times, by multiple people. There was Steven, my mother’s boyfriend. I have vague memories of being in bed with him and my mother one night. I remember him rubbing his penis all over me. That’s all I really remember about that incident.
There was Tammy. She was the daughter of a family friend. She was just a teenager. But she was sick, twisted and certainly not a normal teenage girl. I remember she was babysitting me one night. She wanted to “play doctor”. Her demented idea of “playing doctor” with a five-year-old little girl was laying me naked on a table. I remember her spanking my vagina with a tennis-racket-shaped coffee coaster and inserting a bulb syringe into my vagina and rectum. That’s all remember.
Then there was Samuel. He was about five or six years older than me. He was the son of mom’s drinking buddy and lover, Rosalie. Sam abused me several times. I remember one time I was staying with Sam and Rosalie. Sam and I were in his room. We were both naked. He kept running into me ramming his penis into my vagina. Another time, I remember mom and I were staying on the ranch with Sam and Rosalie. Mom and Rosalie were drinking in the trailer. I remember them giving me whisky mixed with eggnog so I would pass out. They made me sleep in the back of the truck with Sam that night. Everything went black after that. I don’t remember what he did to me. But I know he abused me that night.
Then there was Norman. Satan in the flesh. Norman was evil to the core. He was a convicted child molester and a drug addict. Mom knew that, but she let him move in with us anyway. I remember the night he raped me like it was yesterday. I was only eight. Mom was passed out drunk in the bedroom. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of the T.V. I went out to the living room and saw Norman on the couch naked and pretending to be asleep. I turned off the T.V. and went back to bed. A few minutes later, Norman started calling to me, “I want a hug, Clara, I want a hug.” So back to the living room I went. This time, Norman was masturbating. I did everything an eight-year-old girl could do to try to avoid what this demon wanted to do to me. I told him, “NO”, he retorted with, “Aren’t you going to do what your “daddy” says?” “I’ll tell your mom and she’ll be mad.” I tried bringing out every single one of my stuffed animals to introduce to him, to no avail. I told him that my legs and stomach hurt. He told me my panties were too tight and demanded that I take them off. He was getting angry and I was scared. I had no choice but to obey. I took off my panties. But that wasn’t enough. He wanted my nightgown off too. Then he started demanding that I sit on his lap. I didn’t want to. I tried so hard to stop him. Just as he was lowering me onto himself and starting to penetrate me, my mother woke up and came out to the living room. She yelled at me, “What the hell are you doing out here? Get your ass back to bed!” Then she took Norman to her bedroom and they had sex. Yes, you read that right. My mother fucked the monster who had just raped her little girl.
Ahhhh… my mother. She had an issue with pornography. I remember her watching R-rated movies with nudity and sex scenes that she would pause and rewind over and over, right there with me in the room all the time. I remember a few occasions where she sat me on her lap and showed me her Playgirl magazines and tried kissing me on the lips. It’s a far cry from normal for a mother to do that to her little girl!
This is what I remember from my childhood. My innocence was stolen right along side my entire childhood because my selfish mother chose to exploit me. I have no doubts that my mother knew what was going on long before I ever told her. But she chose to do nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing.
Despite my mother doing absolutely nothing about what these monsters did to me, I know that one-day justice will be served. Every one of these monsters will have to stand before God and face judgment for their sins. And because of that, I can have peace of heart and mind about what was done to me.
Let me see if I can actually put into words just how good God has been to me.
It’s raining blessings!
Although I have been struggling, I am blessed beyond imagination.
I’ve changed jobs several times. But now, I have a job with an agency that is paying me more than I have ever made. I’m working in a facility that I really like. And I enjoy being there. The workload is very lite compared to other facilities I’ve worked in.
I got a puppy a couple weeks ago. He’s a four-month old pit bull/mastiff mix. He’s such a sweet and gentle boy. He’s naturally protective and a great guard dog. It was love at first sight with this handsome boy! I’ll be registering him as my ESA, ( Emotional Support Animal) as well.
My love will be coming home from deployment in a couple weeks. I’m so excited and completely terrified to finally be meeting face to face! We’ve been talking a lot about getting married once my divorce is final. And we’re about to try to buy a beautiful cabin nestled in ten luscious acres of forest. I’m a little uneasy about the idea of moving so far away from my kids and grandkids. But, I’m ready to write the next chapter of my life.
Although I am still struggling to make sense of my crazy life and get up on my own two feet, I am so blessed. I am grateful to God in heaven above for loving me and showering me in blessings.
I have to be honest. I’m really struggling. This journey I am on is not an easy one. The weight loss has been really slow. And I only have myself to blame. I haven’t been 100% on track with my plan.
I am struggling with this new shift in mindset. This new lifestyle I am creating is not meant to be a punishment because I hate myself and my body. Instead, it is because I love myself and my body for what it can do.
Though you may never see my body on the cover of a magazine, my body is pretty amazing. Sure I still have weight to lose. I have scars from self-harming. I have stretch marks that I am learning to love and accept. I am a mother. My skin had to stretch to make room for the growing babies that I carried. And because of that, I also have loose skin on my belly. I’m learning to love and accept that too. It’s pretty amazing what a woman’s body was designed to do!
Though I may not be the perfect size, whatever the hell that is, my body is strong. My Body allows me to work hard and care for my patients.
My freckles are a beautiful reminder that my skin has been kissed by the sun. I no longer hate them. Instead, I embrace them, as they are a part of me.
And cellulite? I have plenty! Who cares if it’s not sexy! It’s NORMAL!
I may not be 100% on track with my workouts each day, but I am learning to enjoy them again. Working out is not punishment because I am overweight, or because I ate too much; I workout because I love myself and my body. I workout because I love how good it feels to get those endorphins flowing. I workout because it makes me feel strong, confident and sexy.
This journey is difficult. But it is beautiful. I’m learning a lot about myself on this journey. And I’m learning how to love myself, appreciate myself and to accept myself, just as I am.
I am learning that I don’t have to be picture perfect. I’m beautiful just as I am. My body is beautiful, strong and amazing. And it’s the only one I’ve got! It deserves to be loved, respected and taken care of.
There are two very distinct reasons that I have absolutely hated and despised Valentine’s day.
Reason Number One:
I was just twelve years old. A neighbor passed away from a massive heart attack. My mother was looking for his name in the obituaries. Instead she found my father’s name.
Valentine’s day was the day my father was laid to rest. It was the day that my sister and I met our father’s side of the family.
Valentine’s day was also the day my sister and I learned that our father had taken his own life just days before we stood staring at his lifeless body in the rose-drapped casket.
After the funeral, my mother made me attend the school dance. I did NOT want to be there! All the girls bullied me and the boys just wouldn’t leave me alone.
No, not a happy or romantic at all.
Reason Number Two:
Just one year after my father’s funeral was another shitty Valentine’s day. It was the day that somehow my mother and my ex figured that it would be a great idea for him to pay her $100 to spend the night alone with me.
My own mother pimped me out to my then boyfriend. And in their twisted and fucked up minds, this was totally okay.
So between them, they decided that my overall worth and value was a measly $100.
Definitely not a day worth celebrating. Nope. Not a happy or romantic day at all.
So there you have it. The two reasons why I find Valentine’s day to be the absolute shittiest day of the year.
The last several months have been rough. Really rough. I’ve changed job three times in just a few months. Sadly, this is typical for me. I rarely stay at a job for more than a few months before something or someone pisses me off and I quit.
So far my new job is okay. It’s just going to take a while to get my first paycheck, which leaves me relying on my ex again just so I can have food to eat and put gas in my car.
Can I just say that I absolutely fucking HATE having to rely on him. I know he enjoys it, seeing me struggling while he’s off enjoying life with his new family.
I’m a hot mess of mixed emotions. I just don’t understand why in the hell I’m having such a hard time getting on my feet. It’s driving me fucking nuts!
I’ve given myself until June to get my shit together and get on my feet and to get my own place. The longer I stay here the more hopeless and depressed I feel.
I’m trying to keep my head above water and stay positive, but damn! Can I just get a break? I mean I know I’ll be okay. But when? When will it be my turn to enjoy life?
Enough of the pity party. I may be broke, but I’m not broken. I’ll get through this. I’ve already made it this far! I won’t give up! I’ll keep keepin’ on! Come June, life will be sweeter, and less chaotic. I’ll be okay.
The first time I filed for divorce was when A walked out on me on September 29, 2015 and I had gotten a second restraining order against him.
After everything that happened during the six weeks we were separated, he faked a stroke so that I would feel sorry for him and take him back.
Sociopaths are dangerous and devious. They are soulless and only care about themselves.
The second time I filed for divorce was when I went to Idaho after my mother died. I had no intention of ever going back to Tijuana. But.
But, sociopaths are masters at mindfuckery. And God help me, I was mindfucked.
Although he had just openly admitted that he was cheating on me, he still managed to wrap his tentacles around my mind, reminding me of how committed I was to my marriage. He convinced me to come back.
It was a trap.
The abuse was worse than ever. He was flaunting in my face that he was fucking another woman all while labeling me as a whore.
I may be stuck here, but I found an affordable attorney online that does the entire divorce online. I can make payments and the entire process will be finished in weeks instead of years.
I feel good. I feel confident. I’m one step closer to being completely free of him. One step closer to living my own life in peace and freedom. One step closer to experiencing real love.
My mother has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been struggling with flashbacks of her death. It hurts so damn bad.
My mother had a very difficult and traumatic life. And the way she died was just brutal and so unfair. She suffered more than any human being deserves to suffer.
Despite her abuse, and all that she allowed to be done to me I miss her like crazy.
My mother was a victim of incest and suffered a lot of abuse from her parents. She survived being beaten nearly to death twice by two ex boyfriends.
I am haunted by her death.
My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in August of 2019. She died October 7, 2019. She had no chance to fight it. It was just too late.
In just two short months, my mother endured pneumonia that could not be cured. She suffered a fractured collar bone, hip and tibia.
My ex flew me out to be with her twice. When I first arrived in Cleveland, my mother had been sleeping in her wheelchair and was unable to use the restroom by herself. I tried so hard to help her and take care of her while I was there. But I just couldn’t care for her by myself.
She ended up in the hospital with pneumonia and I flew back home.
But mother was declining rapidly and the hospital called me. I had no other choice but to place her in a nursing home. The one thing she always begged me never to do.
While in the nursing home she continued to decline a lightning speed. She called me to tell me that she had fallen out of her wheelchair and hit her head pretty hard. Somehow her hospital gown had gotten caught in the wheels and literally pulled her out of her wheel chair.
She ended up back in the hospital and I got the call that no one wants to get. “You’re mother is very sick and she doesn’t have much time left. You should fly by as soon as you can.”
I flew back to Cleveland and those few days were agonizing. To see her unconscious and yet so restless was nothing short of torture. The first day I was back, she kept crying, “I don’t wanna die, I don’t wanna die”. All I could do was hold her hand and cry.
The night she left me will haunt me for the rest of my life.
She started gurgling on infectious fluid and she couldn’t breathe. I held her close to me as dark green fluid began pouring from her nose and mouth.
I held her tight and wept and wailed bitterly as the chaplain prayed.
The nurse came in and pronounced her dead. I cried and cried as I cleaned her up.
In my career as a nurse aid, I’ve done a lot of hospice work. Never have I seen anything like that. My poor mother literally drowned in infectious fluid.
Needless to say, I got pretty drunk that night. But the chaplain stayed with me as we waited for my aunt to fly out from Utah.
She didn’t have a chance to fight. The cancer had ravaged her entire body. CAT scans showed lesions on her brain, bones, liver…everywhere!
PTSD really sucks! It’s been over a year, and I still can’t keep the images of her dying from haunting me.
Mother’s birthday is next month. It will be a sad day of missing her terribly.
Despite the brutal way my mother died, I have found peace in knowing that she made peace with God and she is with Him. Finally free from pain and suffering. Finally at peace. And that is all she ever wanted.
And I have peace in knowing that one glorious day, I will see my mother again.
I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately. Not really in a bad way. Everything has been going rather good. I’m doing well in my new job and my residents have been telling me how much they love and appreciate me. Words cannot express just how much it warms my heart to hear this. It keeps me going, pushing past pain and fatigue and all my frustrations.
I’ve fallen in love with a wonderful man. We met a few months ago on Facebook and we just clicked. We’ve been talking every day. The hardest part of it all is that he is deployed overseas. It will be a while before we get to meet face to face. But he’s worth the wait.
I finally retained an attorney for my divorce. Everything is being done online, so hopefully it will be done and over with soon.
Little by little my life is getting better. I’m happy with the direction my life is heading right now. I’m healing. Slowly. Very, very slowly. But progress is progress and I’m so excited to see what my life will look like at the end of this year.
I plan to have my own place in the mountains. I want to get back into hospice care. I’ll be caught up with all my bills and financially independent. I’ll be loving on my honey, and he’ll be loving on me!
Are you or someone you care about in an abusive relationship? Learn to recognize the signs of domestic abuse and get help.
What is domestic violence and abuse?
When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence. But domestic abuse includes any attempt by one person in an intimate relationship or marriage to dominate and control the other.
Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” An abuser uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb.
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone; it does not discriminate. Abuse happens within heterosexual relationships and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels.
And while women are more often victimized, men also experience abuse—especially verbal and emotional. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether from a man, woman, teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe.
Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal assault to violence. And while physical injury may pose the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe.
Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your relationship is abusive.
Signs of an abusive relationship.
There are many signs of an abusive relationship, and a fear of your partner is the most telling. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around them—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive.
Other signs include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.
To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.
Are you in an abusive relationship?
Your inner thoughts and feelings Do you: feel afraid of your partner much of the time? avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner? feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner? believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated? wonder if you’re the one who is crazy? feel emotionally numb or helpless?
Your partner’s belittling behavior Does your partner: humiliate or yell at you? criticize you and put you down? treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see? ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments? blame you for their own abusive behavior? see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your partner’s violent behavior or threats. Does your partner: have a bad and unpredictable temper? hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you? threaten to take your children away or harm them? threaten to commit suicide if you leave? force you to have sex? destroy your belongings?
Your partner’s controlling behavior. Does your partner: act excessively jealous and possessive? control where you go or what you do? keep you from seeing your friends or family? limit your access to money, the phone, or the car? constantly check up on you?
Physical and sexual abuse
Physical abuse occurs when physical force is used against you in a way that injures or endangers you. Physical assault or battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside or outside of a family. The police have the power and authority to protect you from a physical attack.
Any situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and domestic violence.
Furthermore, people whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.
It is still domestic abuse if… The incidents of physical abuse seem minor when compared to those you have read about, seen on television, or heard other people talk about. There isn’t a “better” or “worse” form of physical abuse; severe injuries can result from being pushed, for example.
The incidents of physical abuse have only occurred one or two times in the relationship. Studies indicate that if your spouse/partner has injured you once, it is likely that the person will continue to physically assault you.
The physical assaults stopped when you became passive and gave up your right to express yourself as you desire, to move about freely and see others, and to make decisions. It is not a victory if you have to give up your rights as a person and a partner in exchange for ending the assault!
Physical violence has not occurred.
Many people are emotionally and verbally assaulted. This can be just as frightening and is often more confusing to try to understand.It’s a bigger problem than you think. Not all abusive relationships involve physical violence. Just because you’re not battered and bruised doesn’t mean you’re not being abused.
Many men and women suffer from emotional abuse, which is no less destructive. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often minimized or overlooked—even by the person experiencing it.
The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence—leaving you feeling that there’s no way out of the relationship, or that without your abusive partner, you have nothing.
Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming.
Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior are also forms of emotional abuse.
Abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don’t do as they want.
The scars of emotional abuse are very real and they run deep. You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with physical wounds. But emotional abuse can be just as damaging—sometimes even more so.
Economic or financial abuse:
A subtle form of emotional abuse, remember, an abuser’s goal is to control you, and they will frequently use money to do so. Economic or financial abuse includes: Rigidly controlling your finances. Withholding money or credit cards. Making you account for every penny you spend. Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter). Restricting you to an allowance. Preventing you from working or choosing your own career. Sabotaging your job (making you miss work, calling constantly). Stealing from you or taking your money.
Abusive behavior is a choice. Despite what many people believe, domestic violence and abuse do not take place because an abuser loses control over their behavior. In fact, abusive behavior and violence is a deliberate choice to gain control.
Perpetrators use a variety of tactics to manipulate you and exert their power, including:
Dominance – Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They may make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as their possession.
Humiliation – An abuser will do everything they can to lower your self-esteem or make you feel defective in some way. After all, if you believe you’re worthless and that no one else will want you, you’re less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-worth and make you feel powerless.
Isolation – In order to increase your dependence on them, an abusive partner will cut you off from the outside world. They may keep you from seeing family or friends, or even prevent you from going to work or school. You may have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone.
Threats – Abusers commonly use threats to keep their partners from leaving or scare them into dropping charges. Your abuser may threaten to hurt or kill you, your children, other family members, or even pets. They may also threaten to commit suicide, file false charges against you, or report you to child services.Intimidation – Your abuser may use a variety of intimidation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The message behind these actions is that violent violent consequences will follow if you don’t obey.
Denial and blame – Abusers are adept at making excuses for the inexcusable. They may blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, or even on you and the kids, the victims of their abuse. They may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. Often, they will shift the responsibility on to you: Somehow, their violent and abusive behavior is your fault.
Abusers are able to control their behavior—they do it all the time Abusers pick and choose whom to abuse. They don’t insult, threaten, or assault everyone in their life who gives them grief.
Usually, they save their abuse for the people closest to them, the ones they claim to love. Abusers carefully choose when and where to abuse. They control themselves until no one else is around to witness their behavior. They may act like everything is fine in public, but then lash out instantly as soon as you’re alone with them.
Abusers are able to stop their abusive behavior when it benefits them. Most abusers are not out of control. In fact, they’re able to immediately stop their abusive behavior when it’s to their advantage to do so (for example, when the police show up or their boss calls). Violent abusers usually direct their blows where they won’t show.
Rather than acting out in a mindless rage, many physically violent abusers carefully aim their kicks and punches where the bruises and marks won’t show.
The cycle of violence in domestic abuse
Domestic abuse falls into a common pattern or cycle of violence:
Abuse – Your abusive partner lashes out with aggressive, belittling, or violent behavior. This treatment is a power play designed to show you “who is boss.”
Guilt – Your partner feels guilt after abusing you, but not because of their actions. They’re more worried about the possibility of being caught and facing consequences for their abusive behavior.
Excuses – Your abuser rationalizes what they have done. The person may come up with a string of excuses or blame you for provoking them—anything to avoid taking responsibility.
“Normal” behavior – Your partner does everything in their power to regain control and ensure that you’ll stay in the relationship. A perpetrator may act as if nothing has happened, or they might “turn on the charm.” This peaceful honeymoon phase may give you hope that the abuser has really changed this time.
Fantasy and planning – Your abuser begins to fantasize about repeating the abuse. They spend a lot of time thinking about what you’ve done wrong and how they’ll make you pay for it. Then they form a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality.
Set-up – Your abuser sets you up and puts their plan in motion, creating a situation where they can justify abusing you. Your abuser’s apologies and loving gestures in between the episodes of abuse can make it difficult to leave. They may cause you to believe that you are the only person who can help them, that they will change their behavior, and that they truly love you. However, the dangers of staying are very real.
The full cycle of domestic violence:
An example: a man who abuses his partner. After he hits her, he experiences self-directed guilt. He says, “I’m sorry for hurting you.” What he does not say is, “Because I might get caught.” He then rationalizes his behavior by accusing his partner of having an affair. He tells her, “If you weren’t such a worthless whore, I wouldn’t have to hit you.” He then acts contrite, reassuring her that it will not happen again.
But later he fantasizes and reflects on past abuse and decides to hurt her again. He plans on sending her to the grocery store, purposely choosing a busy time. She is then held up in traffic and returns a few minutes later than expected. In his mind, he justifies assaulting her by blaming her for having an affair with the store clerk. He has just set her up.
Recognizing the warning signs of abuse
It’s impossible to know with certainty what goes on behind closed doors, but there are some telltale signs of emotional abuse and domestic violence.
If you witness these warning signs of abuse in a friend, family member, or co-worker, take them very seriously.
People who are being abused may:
Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner.
Go along with everything their partner says and does.
Check-in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing.
Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner.
Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness.
Warning signs of physical violence.
People who are being physically abused may:
Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”.
Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation.
Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors).
Warning signs of isolation.
People who are being isolated by their abuser may:
Be restricted from seeing family and friends.
Rarely go out in public without their partner.
Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car.
The psychological warning signs of abuse.
People who are being abused may:
Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident.
Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn).
Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal.
Speak up if you suspect domestic violence or abuseIf you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up!
If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or that the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save their life.
Talk to the person in private and let them know that you’re concerned. Point out the signs you’ve noticed that worry you. Tell the person that you’re there for them, whenever they feel ready to talk.
Reassure them that you’ll keep whatever is said between the two of you, and let them know that you’ll help in any way you can. Remember, abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims.
People who have been emotionally or physically abused are often depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, and confused. They need help getting out of the situation, yet their partner has often isolated them from their family and friends.
By picking up on the warning signs and offering support, you can help them escape an abusive situation and begin healing.
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Narcissistic behavior ruins relationships. Finding out you’re in a relationship with a narcissist is like discovering you’re on a dead-end street — eventually, you’ll have to turn around and start over.
Until the end, the narcissist in your life keeps taking and taking while you keep giving. It could be a professional relationship, it could be a friendship, or it could be an intimate relationship. Narcissists have no problem engaging people in any of these.
The dead-end street of narcissism is the extreme version. Each narcissist is part of a spectrum that ranges from mild to severe — severe narcissism is pathological, a disorder that, if it goes unchecked, will rage out of control for the majority of a person’s life.
Mild narcissism is the kind we come across most often.
Signs of narcissistic behavior:
This disorder can be hard to spot; if you’re concerned that someone you know is a narcissist — or you may be wondering if you have narcissistic tendencies — look for these behaviors.
1. They make everything about them.
Here’s the deal with narcissists: they absolutely love talking about themselves. Susan Heitler, a clinical psychologist says: “Narcissistic functioning at core is a disorder of listening. ”When you’re talking to a narcissist, they’re not really listening; they’re waiting to talk about themselves. Anyone is guilty of this from time to time, but the narcissist will take the conversation and steer it in their direction consistently. The narcissist could ask you about your day, but it’s more of a way to start a conversation in which they will become the subject. They also tend to interrupt and change the subject. On the extreme end, a narcissist will get angry when you try to assert your opinion. The narcissist is always right even if their conclusion is illogical.
2. They want control and power, and they want to lead.
Narcissistic behavior often lands the narcissist in leadership positions because it looks like confidence. But be careful before you label your boss or your congressperson a narcissist. Charisma and the ability to lead are not necessarily signs of narcissism. According to Rutgers University: “A politician’s leadership skills often come across as narcissism.” But statistically speaking, politicians don’t possess other narcissistic traits more than anyone else. To spot whether your boss or representative is a narcissist, look out for overtly controlling behavior and grandiose statements.
3. They make grandiose statements all the time.
You know a grandiose statement when you hear one. Narcissistic behavior is about using these statements to attract attention and earn other people’s confidence and admiration. The grandiose narcissist feels entitled. Instead of saying, ‘I still have a lot to learn, but I’m fairly confident I can succeed,’ the narcissist will say something like, ‘I honestly feel I deserve to get a raise more than the other people in my department.” On the severe side, narcissists who make grandiose statements are prone to delusions of grandeur. They are the ‘best.’ A pathological narcissist believes they can become the most famous person in America (they’ll drop a famous person’s name and compare themselves to that person, or assert they have a personal connection to a celebrity), they are well-suited to rule the world and other delusions of this nature.
4. They cheat on you.
Narcissists tend to cheat because they get gratification from exploiting others through sexual encounters. Cheating feeds the narcissist’s sense of self-validation and power. Author Anna Cherry reports that sexual narcissism is directly correlated with cheating. According to Cherry, researchers did two longitudinal studies and published the results in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. Out of 123 married couples, the partners who did the most cheating displayed the highest levels of sexual narcissism, which includes “sexual exploitation, sexual entitlement, lack of sexual empathy, and grandiose sense of sexual skill.”
5. They manipulate you until they get what they want.
There are two faces of narcissism: The extraverted, egotistical, and charming type we’ve been discussing so far. And a type that seems completely the opposite — the vulnerable, hypersensitive, anxiety-prone narcissist displays a lack of confidence, and may seem introverted, but is actually harboring grandiose fantasies, and will use their vulnerability to exploit others. Both types of narcissists share the tendency to exploit others by manipulating their emotions. The extraverted narcissist will charm you and flatter you until he gets what he wants (the pronoun “he” is intentional — psychologist Fred Stinson found that males are more likely to be narcissists. The introverted narcissist will evoke your empathy and pity. Both types of narcissists will exploit you to gain emotional, sexual, social, and physical validation. One manipulative narcissist tactic is to tell you they have other options but they still choose you; watch out for that one.
6. They swear at you a lot and use sexually gratuitous language.
No joke — narcissists are more likely than others to be verbally aggressive and confrontational. Profanity and sexually explicit language tend to draw attention to the narcissist and shock people. They’ll swear more than normal on a regular basis, they’ll cuss profusely when they argue with you, and they’ll use exaggerated gestures to emphasize their point. In very heated moments, a narcissist will say just about anything to maintain power.
7. They argue with you constantly.
Severe narcissists are always right — always. As your relationship with a narcissist progresses, the veil drops, and he or she begins to stop saying what they think you want to hear. Then, arguments grow more frequent and more intense. There’s no winning the argument because, again, narcissists do not respond to logic. The only time they do is when it serves their purposes.
8. They are in and out of relationships frequently.
While studying narcissists in relationships, psychologist W. Keith Campbell noticed a trend: Their relationships peak after about four months, then they’re typically over. People in relationships with narcissists report a high level of satisfaction for the first four months, and then a quick decline. This reflects the narcissistic tendency to exploit people until the good times are gone. After four months, the argumentative tendencies, the prevailing need for control, the infidelity, the exploitation, and overall shallowness spell the end of the relationship.
9. They pay too much attention to physical appearance.
Simine Vazier and other researchers note that: “Narcissists are more likely to wear expensive, flashy clothing, have an organized, neat appearance requiring a lot of preparation, and (in females) wear makeup and show cleavage. ”Narcissists typically score higher in evaluations of physical attractiveness, and narcissistic men tend to go for women who are considered good-looking. Narcissistic men spend more time working on their muscular definition, while narcissistic women spend more time preening. This explains the short-term nature of romantic encounters with narcissists. The immediate attraction is there, but the emotional aspect proves frustrating.
10. They change the subject when emotions come up.
In particular, grandiose and extraverted narcissists do not want to discuss their emotions with you because it puts them in a position of vulnerability and weakens their power over you. If a narcissist does bring up their emotions, it’s disingenuous. They’re using an emotional appeal to get closer to you. The emotion they identify could not be farther from how they’re actually feeling.
11. Their eyes glaze over and become distant when you’re talking.
They might nod, say “uh-huh,” and “yeah,” and act like they’re listening, but you can tell by their eyes that they’re not. You’ll notice the glaze, the distance when you’re talking about your own experience, or about anything not related to the narcissist. The narcissist glazes over because they are indeed not listening to you. They’re thinking about what they’re going to say. To listen to you is to give you a modicum of control.
12. They are a terrible sport.
No one likes to lose, but when the narcissist loses, they’re unable to accept it and walk away. If they win, they rub it in. You’ll know the difference between a normal person’s competitive impulse and that of a narcissist by just how excruciating it is to compete with the narcissist, no matter what the outcome. Once you tally the score, you’ll understand that the narcissist is more in it for domination than fun.
13. They love to cross your boundaries and break rules.
This is a certain sign of narcissistic behavior: When you assert a boundary, they break it. You ask them not to have anyone over while you’re out of town and they throw a party. You tell them not to touch your hair — they touch it. They may make unwelcome sexual advances that count as harassment. They also look for social norms and rules to break, almost as if it’s a game. They don’t tip, they run red lights late at night, they make fun of a handicapped person behind their back. This is about building an image of superiority and autonomy.
14. They collect trophies and status symbols.
Even if it’s a story about a celebrity, a rock star, or an absolutely perfect party (at which the narcissist was the star), the narcissist dwells in a world of status symbols. Sleek, cherry-red sports cars, guitars on walls with autographs on them, selfies in stunning locations, gorgeous, scantily clad women hanging on the arm — these are the stereotypical hallmarks of the narcissist, but watch out for more subtle ways in which the narcissist converts everything they do into a trophy.
15. They absolutely worship that perfect person in their life.
Although the narcissist will paint themselves as superior to others — which can come off as pretentious — they will also find a person to worship. The narcissist’s idol represents perfection in their eyes. This is someone they want to emulate and it has a lot to do with their childhood. Childhood emotional neglect (CEN) can be a cause of narcissism. It’s not uncommon for the narcissist’s idol to be a status or sex symbol.
How to deal with the narcissist in your life:
Don’t put up with it. If you play games with the narcissist or expect that you can change this person by appealing to their humanity and emotional intelligence, you’re playing right into the narcissist’s plan.
Rather, be calm and firm and call them out; assert yourself, your autonomy, and the validity of your emotions.
The narcissist needs professional psychological help, which includes a diagnosis. If you’re in a relationship with this person, offer to attend couple’s therapy with them, but not before they’ve taken the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Even if they manipulate the Inventory, it’s important that they see a counselor. If they don’t work on changing, their relationships will continue to fail. Even the narcissist can change, but they must step away from the mirror and face who they truly are inside
That was 27 years ago. If only I had known the hell that awaited me. I never would have batted an eyelash at him. If I saw him as the preditor he was and not my knight in shining armour, I would have begged my mother to move.
But God clearly had other plans for my life. Yes, my entire life has been littered with trauma and pain. But that doesn’t mean that God cannot use it for His glory. Some day, God will use me to take all of this pain and use it to help other people on their journeys towards healing from abuse.
So although today would be my 27th anniversary, I’m not going to spend this day alone and depressed. I’ll be celebrating the birth of my Savior today. I’ll be spending today with my kids and grandkids.
Today, I will focus on love, and continued healing, while being grateful for God’s mercy and abundant blessings.
To those of you who are struggling this Christmas, know that you are not alone, and know that you are loved.
And as you are unwrapping presents and enjoying all sorts of delicious food, remember that no matter what you have been through, no matter how much you are hurting, or how alone you feel right now, Jesus Christ was born on this day, so that He could hold you in the palm of His hand and love you back to life.
May each of you my beloved friends have a very safe and merry Christmas. Enjoy this special day with your loved ones. May God bless you all.