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Posts Tagged ‘mental-health’

Domestic violence, noun

“violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner” ~ Oxford Dictionary love, forgiveness, hope

Until you are there, until you are the one who is lying on the floor being beaten, being kicked, being degraded. Until you are the one who sits while tears flow down his cheeks as he begs for your forgiveness and explains how sorry he is, how much pain he is in and how it will never happen again. Until you are the one who truly believes that you can help, that you can heal this person if you just knew how. Until you have walked in those shoes, be careful not to judge us, be careful not to criticise us.

Rather ~ give love, allow forgiveness and offer hope.

So often you hear of people who are in relationships where domestic violence occurs, this can be physical, mental, emotional or simply neglect and so often you hear people say, why doesn’t he/she leave? Why do they put up with it? I agree, on the face of it, it doesn’t make sense, there’s nothing logical about allowing someone to hit you, swear at you, demean you but yet, so many of us do. You see, it’s just not that simple.

The healthy man does not torture others. Generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers. – Carl Jung

I have been beaten, I have been neglected and I have been mentally and emotionally abused and I stayed. I would describe myself as a strong, intelligent independent women. I know right from wrong, I understand what self-respect is and I know that no-one has the right to harm me, no-one has the right to abuse me, be it physical or mental, but again, I stayed. At the time I believed the stories, I believed that I had provoked the situation, it was my fault. I was strong and independent, I was intelligent and knew my own mind, somehow I made him feel small and insignificant and this was his way of dealing with it. I can’t honestly tell you how many times it happened, it wasn’t more than a handful and I remember always being clear that I needed to make sure he never hit my face (or at least I thought it was me making sure), that way “we” could deal with it in private, “we” could work through it together, no-one would understand – or so I thought. I believed that he was “tortured” and that was why he behaved the way he did. I believed that I could make him “healthy” and in doing so, I could stop the abuse, I could make him a better man. Well, I didn’t’ and in reality, I couldn’t.

I wish I could say I made the decision, I walked away, I was strong enough to say no, but even though I believe I would have reached that point at some stage – it wasn’t how it ended. I had suspected there was someone else, I had a sense that he was cheating on me, but I could never be sure. This carried on for a while and then one evening we all went out, he was drinking, he was drinking Rum & Coke, a drink I now associate with violence and aggression. When we got home, we got into an argument, it ended up with me on the floor and him kicking me, over and over again. At some point it stopped.

The following morning, I had a call from a close friend, she wanted to talk, I knew then that he had been cheating and that it was with my friend. I made the decision to tell her what he had done, I wore clothing so that she could see the angry bruises forming on my body, so that she could see what he had done. She told me she loved him, she told me it was just our relationship. I warned her, but she, like me, felt it would be different for them – she could make him “healthy”. It wasn’t different, it was the same. He beat her as he had beaten me and she married him, she knew and she stayed. It didn’t’ last but I don’t know how it ended, I can only hope that she has found her value, understood her worth and realised her importance.

So yes, he may have been a “tortured” man, he may have had his own demons that led him to be the abusive human being he was, but he had no right to do what he did to me or anyone of the other women in his life, regardless of his pain or unhappiness. And I was wrong to believe I could help him, make him “healthy” or make him “happy”. Regardless of how much a man or woman is tortured, they have no right to torture another.

Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.  ~ Soren Kierkegaard

I have come to understand that I expected relationships to be bad and so I “chose” to have someone in my life that would affirm that for me, I did this twice and then I gave up. I decided I would rather be alone than be disappointed or be right about how I believed all of my relationships would end up. This wasn’t because I hated myself or because I was weak or unable to believe that I deserved more. It was simply because I didn’t know any better at the time. I think that this is very common in all relationships,often friends and lovers are chosen to meet a need, to fill a void we feel – somehow to make us whole.

But every now and then the universe doesn’t grant our wish and someone comes into our life who doesn’t fit the mould, who is willing to take a risk and share their honesty, who doesn’t tell us what “we want to hear”, someone who will share their love – someone who will stay no matter how much you push them away.  I have been in my current relationship for 17+ years, we have had highs and lows like any other healthy relationship. Over the years and as time goes on we learn more about each other and we work at making our relationship even “healthier” and happier. I believe there is no perfect formula, it is simply trial and error.

What I have learnt: I do know better. I know that a relationship is based on mutual respect, it is based on friendship and acceptance, it is based on love and support, it is based on compromise and negotiation, it requires communication and commitment and it requires a lot of looking after from both sides. I have learnt that no-one has the right to cause me harm, be it physical or mental and I have learnt to trust more deeply, hope more openly and love more freely. But most importantly, I have learnt that I have a voice and I have choice.

Footnote: Making the decision to write and share this post did not come easily. I have two daughters who I am trying to raise into two strong, stable, happy human beings. Every time I share my experiences I stand back and measure the impact that they may or may not have on my daughters. I am proud of the woman I have become, my past has moulded me but it does not define me, it has guided me but it no longer controls me. I believe these are lessons worth sharing with my daughters.

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I shall imitate the dolphin
And ride the waves of laughter
I will invade the world with joy
and conquer everafter

The song of the greatest whale
is the lullaby of tides
my soul sings in love and hope
who said love’s dead, has lied

I will flow with the water of time
Take care, collect my answers
I shall dream my dreams and own them
My thoughts will soar, like dancers

I’ll shun the deception in the wind
I’ll listen to my heart
I will not weep for days gone by
I’ll not be torn apart

I’ll float upon the world of the sea
Caress and gently rock my soul
Ride the high waves with my love of life
It’s mine, It’s mine, I have it all

By Barbara Thompson

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Everybody has the right to have a voice, their reasons are their own. For some it is simply to say what they need to and in doing so it allows them to share the weight of what they are feeling, for some it is to give courage to others and for some it is simply to get it off their chest. Thank you for sharing your story. 

This is Mary’s story. To brighter futures

There has been 2 stories in the news lately that have really affected me. Firstly, Allison and then this Italian family. I have decided that I want to share some of my story, if you wish to read it, but mainly to get it off my chest.

I will try not to bore you completely but it went really downhill in December 2011

I hadn’t seen my son for 4 days and when I called to speak to him, I was refused or my calls went unanswered. On the day my ex dropped him back to me (at a friend’s place close to his father’s) at 4pm he was dropped at 7:30 which had left my partner and I at a Xmas party my son had been invited to, without my son, for 3 1/2 hours. To put it nicely, I was cranky and let my ex know!

Anyway, Christmas Eve comes around and we hadn’t heard from him for days and the kids are waiting for him to turn up to spend the day with him. He never shows up and doesn’t answer his phone all day. He then calls on Xmas day and tells the kids he was busy yesterday and they then ask to spend an hour or so today being Xmas Day with him and again he says no as ‘your Mother won’t let me.’ I am standing right there and had already told the kids they could go. So then another excuse was forthcoming.

I then contacted him again on the 30th December to ask if he had any intention at all of seeing his children over this holiday period and as we are going away on the 1st did he want them overnight that night? He had to ask Caroline and then let me know. He did have them overnight that night, but I had to take them there.

Then the penny drops!

I have the police call me at while I was away to say they are looking for me to serve me with a DVO (domestic Violence Order) as my ex has said that I punched him in the nose and in the mouth and also told him to ‘grow a penis’ on the 18th December.

He had requested that an urgent order be served on me as he was in fear of his safety.

There were other people there that night and he did not take a photo of himself, see a doctor or report it to the police. He waited 3 days and then has his ‘piece of work’ solicitor lodge it for him.

There were events in my marriage that had things gone a little too far, I too could have been an Allison, but I would never have used them legally to gain an advantage or use the law as in the Italian case, to get my own way.

I have been in court 3 times this year and spent over thousands of dollars fighting this. I did end up a DVO against me, but a very mild one (must not swear at him or commit domestic violence) as I did confess to the ‘grow a penis’  but at least he and his solicitor did not get their way which was the whole intention anyway, to have my children taken from me.

Ironically, after all this rubbish and over the last 3 years being harassed, bullied, blackmailed etc he has now written letters to the children that he won’t be seeing them anymore as it is in their best interest. Even though I had a parenting agreement done where he can have them every second weekend he has decided on this….

I have always encouraged the kids to see their dad and have a relationship with him but maybe he is right and it is in their best interests not to see him?

Well at least I am starting to get my life back, the kids are doing really well and we have some exciting plans in the wind.

Take care

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Just waiting

I will wait for you
until no others wait
I will wait like a sentinel
ever silent, ever watching
I will wait forever
or until the end of time
I will never give up
I will never give in
and next when you look,
when you look around the corner,
looking for a friend
you’ll find me
always waiting, just for you

By Barbara Thompson

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Nothing is perfect

Nothing is perfect, except maybe the stars and snowflakes
And only God may point a finger
You have no right to open my wounds
So go now, please don’t linger
I refuse the guilt you want me to feel
I refuse the hatred you send my way
I refuse the contempt and lack of compassion
I refuse your pity each and every day
The way you behave, breaks my heart
The foolish things you say and do
Look in the mirror, when you judge so harshly
The person looking back, surely can’t be you
I feel as though in a dreamlike trance
In waking, will I be rid of the pain?
I love you more than the sun and the moon
Please bring back the sun, please shut out the rain
I am the walking wounded
I am the broken loser
I’m alive, but really dead
A foolish self abuser

By Barbara Thompson

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Be at peace
Be still
Be one with the world
Be one with your fellow man
Love overwhelmingly
Love everything
Forgive instantly
Let go, Let God
Don’t question nature
Embrace it
Celebrate life
Set your soul on fire
Find fulfilment
Find joy, find happiness
Find the wonder that is you
Protect the weak
Guide the lost
Love the lonely
Be at peace
Be still

By Barbara Thompson

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If making love is the small death
then I now believe the betrayal
by ones emotions is the big one
To find out someone you have adored
for years has feet of clay
To perceive them in what must be the reality like the shattering of glass
To watch someone who always
seemed larger than life
shrink before your eyes, to regress
to crass emotions and endeavours
This is the the ultimate betrayal
This is that loss of love

There is nothing new under the sun
Life is a dress rehearsal
Dream your dream, it can be done
It’s all there for your perusal
One night, the stars dress up for you
Next day a tempest rages
and there’s nothing you can say or do
To turn, torn and dirty pages
This, to shall pass, wise men say
There’s no pain that you can’t bear
It looks, like life is just a cliche
The cloth you cut, is what you’ll wear
Why was I for, what am I living
Cries the heart thats badly broken
What happened to the world forgiving
Has my life been just a forgotten token

I remember so clearly the day I was
Abused
I remember the man, dark hair, moustache
Brown shirt, yellow tie and shiny knife
Seven other children watched in shock
No-one tried to move, scream or help
I remember the police and they scared
Me as much as the man
I remember being seven and I remember
The feeling of being absolutely and totally alone
There were no conversations about it
No-one explained, there was no help
I had nightmares for years
Only in the last years have I
Managed to confront it – The reaction
Was the same, so what, who cares
And I remember, the fear and the
Old guilt that somehow it was my
Own fault
Do we ever get rid of the old shadows
in our lives?
Are we allowed to dine in peace?
The books and and Know-it-alls say yes
But is it really true?

By Barbara Thompson

Footnote: This is the most I have ever heard about the abuse my mother endured, she never spoke of it. I knew something had happened when she was a young girl, but I never knew her age, I never truly knew her pain.  

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