Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘aftermath of abuse’ Category

Full of Self Esteem

Full of Self Esteem

Hello Beautiful Ladies, Gents Girls and Boys,

This post is for all of you.  The photo above is when my daughter was younger, maybe 5 years old, she was full of confidence and knew she was beautiful, really, she would tell us this all the time and you had to pull her away from any mirror.  Sadly, now that she is about to turn 10, things have changed.

I was watching a talk on www.ted.com, one of my favorites places to learn and educate myself, check it out.  Today I watched a talk given by Meaghan Ramsey, it was about the self esteem and self image of our youth.  It reminded us of when we were little and would kiss our reflection in the mirror.  We loved how we looked, even with red cheeks, drool running down our face  and chubby little legs.  As we age, suddenly we never look good enough and we base how we feel on how others say we look.

This talk hit home for me because just last night my daughter told me with such excitement, “no one has picked on me at school since Monday.”  It was Wednesday.  She has been dealing with low key as I call it normal mean kids at school.  She is almost ten.  She had long hair and really wanted it cut to her shoulders recently.  After months of begging me as I loved her long hair, we let her get it cut.  She was so excited because as a benefit she found out her hair was long enough to donate it to locks of love so that a little girl or boy could have the joy of hair.

She got ready for school the next day, looking a few years older and super confident.  She bounced her new look as she headed off to school.  When I picked her up that day, she was another little girl.  When her sad little face got in the backseat I asked her what was wrong.  She told me that all day long she was picked on and told she looked ugly and that she looked like a boy.  Even her closest friends made fun of her.  My heart just sank for her.

I was always trying my best to teach her it was how she felt about her self that mattered, not the kids in school.  That is easy to say but when your child is devastated as she was, none of that matters.  I consoled her on the way home, empathizing with her feelings and weaving in the reminder that she loved her hair that morning, that she looked older and was always beautiful and that she was deciding how to feel, they were not making her feel that way.  I reminded her that only mean people would make fun of someone because of how they looked and that she was not that type of person and that made her more beautiful than any of them.

By the time we got home she was more confident, as we walked in the house, she was swinging are arms back and forth as we held hands, now swinging her hair back and forth because she loved how it felt, she said to me that those kids didn’t matter, she loved her new hair and they were just mean. This made me happy that she was able to bounce back.

The next few days the mean comments continued, I know in the moment they upset her, but her self esteem was something we worked on at home so she was able to handle it better each time.  She was learning the more she ignored them and continued to swing her hair and smile they seemed to lose interest in picking on her.

I let her know that people will pick on her the rest of her life, not everyone will like her and she will not like everyone.  I let her know that what was most important was how she felt about herself and how she chose to treat others.

This is an ongoing teaching for our children.  We can’t talk about self esteem just one time, it is like doing the math homework we hate or forcing them to read, we must address how others make them feel and how they feel about themselves daily to ensure they grow into confident adults.  It reminds me that she learns from what I say and do too.  I try to look my best and she tells me I am beautiful often, but I am sure she hears comments about my aging face or the fact that I need to drop a few pounds, but we need to be careful of how we model how we look and feel for them.

I did not grow up with the same message as she did, I was the ugly little girl with skinny legs, mad curly hair, I was picked on all the time, as an adult I did not realize the impact that must have had on myself esteem.  This would impact my life as I did not have real confidence in me until late thirties.  When I met my husband, the fact that he thought I was beautiful was enough, then when he beat me down later iwth how ugly, fat and useless I was and that no one would ever want to be with me but him, I was fully brainwashed.  I truly felt that what he said was true.  It took years before I could look at myself in the mirror and not turn away quickly. To read an older post I wrote about being able to see yourself in the mirror after abuse check out this link or search the site (mirror) http://wp.me/p1giU-9y

How do you help your children to be confident to deal with how others may perceive them?  Are you focusing on the entire child?  Imagine if we all looked the same, we could be judged on what we did, how we acted.  It should be this way.  If you teach your children to think this way, they won’t pick on others and they will focus on who they are, not how they look.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

Read Full Post »

Jim and Cindy have a lot in common, they have never met but both are in counseling to help them stop being abusive and learn what is causing them to be so angry and out of control.

Jim has already lost everything and knows that he is ready to change.  He discovers in counseling that he never confronted the physical and sexual abuse he and his brother endured at the hands of their father.  Jim wanted to be a tough, strong man, he now realizes even though he’d buried the memories, they still controlled him and his life.

Cindy has only recently accepted that she is abusive to her husband and children.  After a recent separation from her husband, she knows she doesn’t want to end her third marriage in divorce.  Cindy had always been jealous woman, but the the anger  she was inflicting on her family was new to her and she had a hard time accepting it.  She doesn’t want to live this way anymore.

Jim and Cindy aren’t their real names but I receive countless comments from those being abused and abusers themselves, both wanting it to end.  We all want the cycle of violence to stop, but in the end, you must either be the one that leaves the abuse or the abuser must make the decision they want to change.  Most abusers have already lost everything that mattered to them when they come to the realization that they really want to change for all the right reasons, even if they can’t get their old life back.  This is the key, they are ready for the change, not you.

I had thought for many years that if I loved my husband and endured his anger, which would indeed show my loyalty by staying, someday I would be rewarded and he would stay sober, deal with his demons, stop being abusive and we would live happily ever after.  How many of you are clinging to this pipe dream today?

Well, I am  living happily ever after, but he isn’t.  His anger killed him, at 42 he died of a heart attack.  His years of abusing his body and mind killed him.  I often felt that he had wanted to die for such a long time that this must have come as a relief to him.  He too had wanted to change which I said is key, but the next step has to be actual making the changes and committing to them. This is the one thing that can’t be done by anyone else but you.

Everything has a lesson, the lesson in this for me is that it is hard enough to get myself to follow through on things that are important to me, I have a hard time breaking bad habits.  I learned to realize that I could never change anyone else.  I would want it, wish it and pray for it, but that would never be enough.

My point, you can’t insist, force, plead or pray for someone you love to stop being abusive or to make any other change for that matter, they are the ones that have to want to make that change.

Put yourself first, don’t let the abuser change you!

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

Read Full Post »

set goals and move beyond domestic violence

set goals and move beyond domestic violence

Hi Ladies,

I recently created a facebook page to gather us as a group in moving forward from this point, it will not be a place to share our horror stories, we can do that here, the page will be for moving forward, sharing what you did to move past the abuse, what do you do now to keep your life on track. Help me show those here that finally left abuse and wonder, now what, how do I live my life now?  Show them your strength o encourage them in knowing they too can do this.   Please join the page, once you do you will have access to free ebooks that I will be adding, come today to get Inside the mind of Winners, great stories that inspire.  Please like the page to encourage others to follow.

https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.burns.967422

I want to see this community grow into the next stage of healing and support for others, help me do that.

I will launch my new site soon, it will be an amazing resource for you, join me on facebook so you will be the first to know it is ready to visit.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

Read Full Post »

I received the following comment from a young man that came to the site recently.  He wrote the following:

Hello.

My name is J. i have recently became a domestic abuser. please don’t automatically judge me. i think the fact that im actually texting on this site shows that im a good person. i just make bad choices because of my anger issues. anyway, i hit my girlfriend once on two different occasions. although both times i was hit first, i still didnt have a right to hit her. i just reacted after i was hit. i need advice. i know i need counselling. i really love this girl & i dont know what to do. i know we might not get back together & im prepared for that. i just need my best friend back. i would kill myself right now if i knew it would get her to forgive me. thats all i want. please give me some advice. i dont know what to do & i dont have anyone to help me. thats why i went searching for this site. please treat me serious & answer me as soon as possible. im really lost right now & i just cant stop crying. o & please dont take my message as if im going 2 commit suicide.

I responded with what I could, telling him that he must deal with his anger and offered some resources.  Most that I have spoken with that have anger issues lived in some type of abuse as a child, went through something that causes this anger.

I have a link on the site to Family Violence Intervention Program

Please share what you will in support of this young man, as I said, violence must stop with the abuser, how else?  If you have managed to calm your anger and want to offer first hand advice to the young men and women out there please do so now.  Do you run a site that supports those dealing with anger issues?  What books can you recommend?

We all have a role in stopping violence.  Let’s start with this young man.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

Read Full Post »

I know this site is often focused on sad things, healing and moving on.  Today I wanted to write about living in the grateful of today.  For some of you, I know there seems like nothing to be grateful for, I have been there too.  At times the only grateful I had was that I was holding my rosary in my hand so that if I died it would be with me. He broke my Rosary out of jealousy one night, to this day I never had it fixed, not sure why, maybe just a reminder of what was and will never be again.

For those of you that are out of immediate danger just being able to breath is something to be grateful for.  I can remember how happy I was that I could open the window shades and let sunshine into my home as he always had them shut, it was a depressing home to say the least.  Now, the first thing I still do every morning is open the shades and let the light in.  Sitting and having a cup of coffee all to myself, no one talking to me, forcing myself to stay focused on the hot coffee and smell, clearing my head for the day.

I am sitting now with that same broken rosary grateful for this moment as I think of the full circle moment I had yesterday.  I had listened to Martina McBride’s Independence Day for years, during some of the most difficult times in my life, I was not selecting the song it would just happen to play on the TV country station  my husband would have on all the time.  I would pretend to not really be interested as I went about my day but would focus on every word she sang.  I was in the midst of the abuse she was singing about and that song was like someone else knew I was there and knew what I was going through. I was always worried he would know what I was thinking when this song played.

Even during the ten or more years I have been free that song will still stop me in my tracks. Well for my full circle, I went to a baseball game tonight, my guy made sure it happened as Martina was singing after the game.  When she sang her first song, the survivor one about breast cancer, I began to cry.  It was such an odd release, I wasn’t sad but I knew that she would be singing Independence Day soon and I was emotional.

The song came, I rarely cried, only a little towards the end.  It was surreal as my now 23 year old son was sitting in the row behind me with his little 1 year old boy and wife nearby.  I had the people I love most in the world sitting around me, all knowing what that song meant to me.  They saw me crying and just smiled lovingly at me.Watching her on stage, how strong she was and how strong I had become was freeing. The song now had new meaning to me, it means for me to keep strong, never allow abuse back into my life, help others to see they can be free too, just a song from Martina to remind me where I have been, to be grateful for what I have today, safety and freedom and true love.

You may not have all of this today but find one thing that you do have to hold onto.  Find the little things to inspire you, reading with your children, being outside in the sun, writing in a journal, certain songs, that one always does it for me, certain music.  Find something to get you through whatever you are dealing with.  You will make it one day, why not today? Be grateful for something as little as opening the windows and letting the sunshine in.I think of everyone that comes here all the time, if I were given magic powers or maybe one wish it would be that domestic violence was something that used to happen in the world, something we talked about in the past tense, something that once was, not something many deal with every day.  It would be that you be free, happy and safe.  May that one wish come true for all of you.

Please share what you are grateful for today, it often helps others to see what they may be taking for granted.  What are you most grateful for today?

May you have your full circle moment, your Independence Day.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

Read Full Post »

photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

It has been sometime since I really put out a heartfelt post.  I felt compelled to do so today.  It was random as I don’t watch too much tv anymore but I happened to find myself watching a Dr. Phil episode.  I was happy yet sad to see he was doing a show about how to escape a violent abuse marriage safely.  He had a woman from a shelter there to let woman know what to expect if they called for help.  They talked about safety, the woman called the line, got in her car and left.  She had a camera crew following her as she had been on the show for a substance abuse.

While I was thrilled to see the topic so out there, I couldn’t help but think of the woman, myself included that didn’t have a camera crew there, that may not have had access to a car or a phone to get away.  For me, he would redial the phone when he came home, I was scared to breathe or even think of leaving.

I am not saying it will be easy to leave, hell I know it won’t be, but staying isn’t easy either.  Leaving will be one of the hardest things you will ever do, I know for me it was, but once I left, I was able to breath, I still struggled but the freedom of not being abused was worth it all.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

Read Full Post »

As I writer I love a good quote, the one that has been on my screen saver the past 6 months or so, written by Ernest Hemingway reads:  “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

My true sentence will come a little latter.

Have you ever randomly read or seen something that is just what you needed to see or read at that moment yet you didn’t know it yet?  Have you ever read something that compelled you to take immediate actions you were so enlightened ?  Well I just did.  I was taking some down time tonight,  I was in bed with my favorite pillows and decided to watch some Ted.com.  This is an amazing site that offers informative ideas and talks.  Like normal I began to  randomly view the videos listed from top to bottom on my tablet.  The first one was about how the world is over mediated and over diagnosed, I agree with that one but that is another discussion.  It was the second talk that inspired me to get out of my comfy bed, right in the middle of a Rays game and post, almost as if I had no choice in the matter. Trust me, once in bed it takes a fire to get me out of it so I knew this was important to write while the topic was fresh in my mind.

The speech/discussion was by a lawyer named David Dow, he spoke about learning about life from a death row inmate.  It blew me out the water and bed!  I agreed with what was said and had thought of this many years before of the lives many must have had prior to getting to where they were now, on death row.  What was said makes sense and really hits home, for every death row inmate there was once a young child, either lived in abuse, witnessed it, was abandoned or lived on streets. I was blown away when I heard that 80% of death row inmates had been in the juvenile system, I believe the numbers were for Texas but don’t quote me.  The children, mostly boys, still had a chance to be helped, before they turned to murder and forever sealed their fate and that of someone else.  Once the murder was committed, it then became too late to help, after all, a murder was committed, an innocent life taken. Now, it is to late to turn back, but not too late for us to change it for the other children destined to have their last bed be on death row.

I encourage all of you that play that old record in your mind, “I stay with the abuser so the kids have a mother, father.” You are not doing them any favors.  The boy that is discussed in this speech didn’t know his father and lived with his mother who tried to kill him with a butcher knife when he was just 5 years old.  What brought me to tears and made me take action was the following truest statement I have ever heard when hearing about abuse as an adult remembering abuse when he was 5.

The night before the young man was about to be executed his lawyer asked him, “do you really remember your mom trying to kill you when you were 5 or do you  just remember others saying that she did?” The  young man said, “no disrespect, but when you are five years old and your mother is chasing you around the house with a butcher knife that is bigger than you are, when you have to hide and lock yourself away in the bathroom until the police come, you don’t forget what happened, ever.”  That is not word for word but you get the idea.

My true sentence, if you remain living with a violent person, your child has a greater chance they too will be violent, struggle with violence or in many cases, try to take their life, or they may become passive and will be abused by their girlfriend or husband, boyfriend or others in their life.  This is from my own experience as a child and then from watching as my son struggled with how to handle remembering his father trying to kill me in front of him with that switch blade to mommy’s throat as his father told him, he was around 3-4 year old, to say goodbye to mommy.  My son smiled and said goodbye mommy.  Neither one of us will ever forget that, but I know the memory is so different for my now 22 year old son.  It is a burnt in memory he can’t erase.

I encourage you to watch the video, then decide, is it really worth ruining the rest of your child’s life to stay where you are staying?  I can’t take care of telling you all the details of how to leave here, what to do, my heart right now is with the child that will never be the same.  I hope this made sense, it just rolled off my fingers tonight as it came into my head.

Please pass on this video, I greatly feel this is a step in the right direction to help stop the cycle of violence.  The story isn’t just heartbreaking but the speaker actually gives hope that we can stop violence and children ending up on death row.  Comment with  your experience and thoughts after viewing this video.

When something really moves a person and they share it with others, one by one, the world changes.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: