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Archive for the ‘domestic violence’ Category

Change the record already – 15 tips to survive an anxiety attack and how to stop them (photo by Kinga Cichewicz)

Okay, I hate my life, my job sucks, the kids are fighting, I have no money, I can’t breathe, my chest hurts, Oh my God I think I will die, I can’t breathe ….

Does that sound familiar? It sure does to me.

I could work myself up into quite a tizzy on a moment’s notice and didn’t realize that I had the control to stop the anxiety attack. Granted taking medicine for a short time helped but the trick to stopping the attacks completely was to learn what to do before one came a knocking. To this day I am thankful that I found the ways to grow stronger as a woman, especially in the aftermath of the abuse I lived through for years.

 
Without this coping skill I never would have become the strong woman I am today, some 20 years later. Today I wanted to share some of the things that I did and still do today to relieve anxiety and just stay in a focused state of mind and body. I am stronger than my past. I am not my past and neither are you.

 

Change the record already – 15 tips to survive an anxiety attack and how to stop them (photo by Kinga Cichewicz)

Be prepared for the storm:
Knowing how to relieve your own stress is a priceless gift. Everyone in the world can offer up ideas but like anything else, you need to find what works for you. The key is to know ahead of time what will snap you back to reality. Know before hand what you will do when you feel an attack coming.

 

Talk yourself out of the attack before the attack takes you out!
Today, I allow myself to stress for a bit, just enough to know I need to take some action, then when I realize that what I am thinking about is causing me to be anxious, I count to 5 and then force myself to think of something else, it doesn’t have to be something crazy, just maybe my son’s face, a happy memory, something to tell my anxiety, nope, ain’t going there with you.

To read 13 more tips and find additional resources click here

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

Grab your FREE Goal & Progress Worksheets to help you set Obtainable Goals as well as the additional daily checklists to keep you Focused and Successful!

 

 

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Dedicated to slain officer’s Tom Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz, their families, co-workers, community and pets, especially Ace.

Violence is not the problem; it is a consequence of the problem – Jim Wallis

I wrote this around 6 years ago but never posted it, while looking at some past writing I stumbled on it and felt that this was something I needed to share as nothing has changed over the years. I decided to post this on January 24th, on the anniversary of this event.

That night, some 6 years ago on January 24, 2011, I sat glued like the rest of the state as we saw a house being turned to ashes; even wood beams and concrete were not safe from what happened today. Riddled with bullets, tear gas and death, for the safety of everyone involved, the house was destroyed. Within a few minutes after turning on the local news; it didn’t matter which station, the story and images were all the same.  Chances are you know most of the details so I won’t go over them again, except to say that three St. Petersburg Police Officers were shot in the line of duty, two of which died from their injuries, during the process of trying to serve a warrant.

This photo is not of Ace as I never heard back if I could use the photo so this is a police dog.  They are so kind and beautiful.

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Dedicated to slain officer’s Tom Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz, their families, co-workers, community and pets, especially Ace.

What sticks in my mind is the reason the warrant was being served in the first place. I write about getting out, staying out and preventing domestic violence. My mission is to bring awareness to those that think domestic violence will never touch their life because they’re living in a stable, loving home; sadly, that dream has been shattered. After listening to the news reports for a few days I was reminded how much domestic violence affects the truly innocent. The wives of the fallen soldiers, their children, family, friends and fellow officers, now without someone they love because of domestic violence.  These men were not violent, yet in helping to protect a woman and serve a warrant to a horrible man, they were murdered.

Tell me now, doesn’t’ domestic violence effect us all?  Even if no one in your life is violent or being abused, sadly, we know that your life can be pulled into the vicious cycle of domestic violence.  Your child could be shot in the crossfire as he is walking into school when a man shoots his wife. Your husband can die when he goes to work because an abusive wife decides to go to her husband’s business and shoot him and his coworkers. Or, like today, your faithful, loving husband can run the lights on his squad car for your little boy, and then drive off to a job that he loves, protecting his family and community and never come home again because a weak man can’t face the wrongs he has committed.

Court records show that Hydra Lacy Jr., the man being served the warrant, failed to show for his scheduled trial on November 1st, 2010 for aggravated battery charge against his wife. Lacy was convicted in 1989 of armed burglary, resisting arrest with violence and other charges. After being released in 1991, he was soon convicted of sexual battery with a weapon which sent him to prison until 2001. Look at the difference in these men’s lives, there really is no comparison; one man did all that he could to protect others, while the other, violated the rights of everyone that crossed his path.

As I searched Google for more information about this tragedy I was drowned with link after link covering every angle of what happened from the shootings, the loss of fellow officers, interviews with family and friends, reports of why the house demolished and where the dog will stay.

I called my boyfriend on the way home from work today, we live in St. Petersburg and discussed the police cars that were everywhere throughout town, especially on 9th Street and Gandy where the funeral was held. Parking lots that normally sat empty had a car parked in every square inch of them. Like many, we had never heard the officer’s names until the last few days, but we were unable to get them, their families or the tragedy that never should have happen, out of our minds. The last thing that my boyfriend said really stuck in my mind on my ride home, he was heartbroken at having seen one of the officers dog, Ace at the funeral. He said the dog barked throughout the entire funeral and was completely lost, obviously wondering where his partner Jeffrey was. For everyone else, even though the news was devastating, at least they knew somewhat what had happened, even the children understood that daddy was a police officer and never came home because of a bad man; but Ace only knew that all of his best friends friends were gathered today, without Jeffrey.

As I visualized Ace sitting sadly and waiting for his best friend, it made me realize the shear depths of denial our society is in to think that domestic violence doesn’t’ affect us all, even our homes and pets. What happened in St. Petersburg Florida is the trickle down affect of domestic violence.

Let’s not let Officer Tom Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz die in vain, together one day at a time let’s stop violence of any kind so that our loved ones can all come home at the end of the day. It is not our destiny to have domestic violence in the world, but it is our destiny to put an end to it.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

 

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ReBecca Burns Empowering Women

Hello everyone, I wanted to share that my new site, the one I have been working on forever and a day launched a few days ago. While some spots are rough as some things not showing, the content is there. I was not going to share this news yet but the soft launch has already generated a response so I wanted to share with you what the new site was about.

 

Special thanks to everyone that has already reached out, especially CM for reaching out today to tell me how my words over the years have helped to get her through a rough day.  That comment made all the nights of wondering, it this was helping, did my words benefit anyone,this made it all worth while.

 

That is what this is all about, being there to support each other.

I created this site to help me deal with a horrible abusive past and to help others (if that is where you are, stay here for a bit.

My goal has expanded to now help you with this new site, when you are ready, to take back your life and not be hostage to a past you tried to hard to be free from. I hope you will check out my new site at www.ReBeccaBurns.com and comment.

While you may see some posts from The-LastStraw.com most will be new and focused on helping you promote and market your #1 business – YOU!

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

I am a writer, dreamer and true believer that you change your life by changing your focus. I search the web day and night to bring you access to Motivational & Inspirational Resources to Promote & Market your #1 Business – YOU!

Come check it out, I would love your feedback, while you are there grab your FREE Goal & Progress Worksheets to help you set Obtainable Goals as well as the additional daily checklists to keep you Focused and Successful!

 

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Photo-Bigger-Tolerations

Stop Tolerating – Start Living. My favorite time of the year is the week between Christmas and the New Year, during that time I decide what my major 3 goals will be for the following year, one thing I strive to do is have them all written down and set in Stone by New Years day or that week at the latest, by set in stone I mean they have been written in my goal journal and entered into a Power Point that I update yearly and as my goals change, posted on the bathroom mirror and written somewhere so that I see them from my bed.

Yes, I have a PowerPoint for my goals, even though I am not an A type personality I find that if something isn’t visual, I will forget to look at it and with goals, we all know we must look at them often.

Finding a way that will keep you focused on your goals is important so find something that works for you. This post contains several things that I do and have done in the past to keep me focused, my goal and hope is that one or more work for you.

I started writing down my goals down over 20 years ago, thanks to my younger sister who knew exactly what I needed to move on after my husband had been removed from my home. I was suddenly free from a man that I begged God to free me from for many years and now I sat alone with my four year old son and I was clueless on what to do next.

Tolerations_Goal_Setting

Back to the goals, I had never really heard about goals and didn’t know where to begin until my sister gave me an Anthony Robbins 30 day program to get my life back on track.

I honestly listened to each cassette tape and wrote the exercises in a notebook daily. Some days I would listen to 2 tapes as I could feel the change in my mind.

The powerful realization that I could control what I thought about was like discovering the reason for my life. It had never occurred to me that I could somehow control what I thought about and focused on.

Like many of you I had lived a life of daily, sometimes hourly survival that I never had the time to sit and reflect on what I wanted my life to someday be, I just knew what I didn’t want it to be. Setting long term goals was the furthest thing from my mind. I was happy when the first thing that I was asked to do was to write down a list of what I would no longer tolerate, so that is where I would like you to begin today if you have never set any goals.

Take out a sheet of paper or open your computer or print out this Toleration_List_Worksheet and write the things that you will no longer tolerate from this day going forward, write until you have completely emptied out your head. Way back when I first started I wrote things like, no more anxiety attacks, never letting my husband back into my life, no longer being afraid to sleep in my bed. Since I was not yet ready to focus on a long term goal, deciding what I would no longer tolerate was something that I felt I was able to control. This is like baby steps for taking back control of your life.

Next, go through the sheet of toleration’s and pick the top 3 that must happen in order for your life to move forward. Save the others for another time, when you have removed the first three. Then write out the top 3 toleration’s on the top of a page as your top 3 goals. Underneath each one write why you will no longer tolerate this item, be clear on how if they are removed your life will change, Clarity is King. Finally, write what you will do to remove this toleration from your life.

For example, I knew that I needed and wanted to stop having anxiety attacks as I brought most of them on myself. I would continue to play the same record repeatedly in my head until I was unable to function.

By removing this from my life I would be able to take control of my life better.

I made a plan that I would allow my self to the count of 5 to dwell on something that upset me, then I had to stop thinking about it. I know that sounds silly, but after a few weeks at this it seemed to work, not always but most times I succeeded on changing the record in my head.

To help others that are trying to set goals, please share what 3 top toleration’s you will remove from your life starting today. For me, in the year 2018, my toleration’s are: no more chunks of wasted down time, I will make sure this doesn’t happen as I will consistently plan my 15 Minutes to Thrive where I write out what I will spend at least 15 minutes on each day that week to reach my goal.  I will no longer tolerate not being in peak health at 53 and I will no longer tolerate working for someone else. This helped me create my top 3 goals, for some of you there may be no need to create a list of tolerations, you may now with certainty what your top 3 goals are, great, have at it.

Decide today, will you tolerate and waste another day of your life by allowing things you don’t want to continue or will you remove that toleration from your life today? Please share your toleration list to inspire others.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

 

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Do you suffer with the anxiety of wanting something so much that you yearn and crave to be doing it every minute of every day?

I do. I admit that I am a writer wanabee. I think about writing, I fall to sleep at night thinking about writing, I talk about writing; sadly, the only thing that I don’t do is actually write on a consistent basis.

Are_Your_A_Wannabee_Procrastinating_Dreamer

Are you a Wannabee Procrastinating Dreamer?

This procrastination doesn’t affect anyone but good old me. One of my biggest fears in life was growing old alone, which doesn’t seem something that I need to worry about anymore since I have been blessed to meet the man of my dreams, but not writing is something that is allowing my life’s dream to slip away, one unwritten page and word at a time.

What do you go to bed wishing you had done?

Do you want to paint, write, read, discover new recipes, do crafts, sing or become a pole dancer?

No matter what it is the fact that you keep thinking about it means that you either have to let the dream go, or face it head on and buy the damn pole already.

If you could see me you would laugh, I am writing on my laptop, my new Toshiba tablet sits charging next to me and my new do everything phone that I can even type on sits to my side. I have a notebook in my pocketbook at all times and a pad of paper near my bed. There is also a small tape recorder in my pocketbook so that if a song or writing idea comes into my head I can get it recorded. The only thing that I am lacking is the persistence that is needed to make my writing dreams come true.

My dream is to actually write. Sure having books published and being on a best seller list would be free icing on the cake, but not the real reason that I yearn and burn to write daily. For me writing is like putting my soul out there for everyone else to see. Baring your soul can be difficult for most women.

Are_you_a_Wannabee_Procrastinatin_Dreamer

I am far from being a perfectionist but there is something about allowing others to read my writing that keeps the thoughts held back in my head at times. I get such a great response to my soul baring writings but at times I have to wonder, who cares about what you are writing about Rebecca?

Is it just you?

Then tonight I smarten up and think, so what, even if something is just for me, shouldn’t I do it anyway?

When I write to you it is not just to share my needs but to encourage you to share and pursue your own dreams and wants.

I had read a quote somewhere that said you must have a goal at all times to lead a really fulfilling life.

The quote didn’t go exactly like that but the meaning is that you should always have something in your life worth working hard at, once you reach it, you set another one. Most times we want something so bad that when we get it we are disappointed that we are not fulfilled. The key is to have multiple goals so that you are never without one.

What goals have you set for yourself today?

Are_Your_A_Wannabee_Procrastinating_Dreamer

Are you a Wannabee Procrastinating Dreamer?

What are you committed to doing to bare your soul? I have committed to sharing these thoughts with you which brings me one step closer to my dreams.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

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Over the last few years I have discovered that if I put certain things in place as rituals I didn’t stay in my self-induced funk as long as I had in the past. Man was I dedicated, I could make a funk last for days, and even weeks if I tried or rather didn’t try.

Anyway, one of the best rituals I have been doing for the past year or so has been listening to Joyce Meyers within the first 30 minutes that I am awake most days. While I don’t do this every single day, I find that on the days I do, I have more clarity, energy and focus and am less likely to let the little things bother me.

Joyce often reminds me that it isn’t what happens to me that is important, but rather how I react to those things.

I can’t count how many times I have been struggling and then listen it seems I somehow without thinking, reach out to listen to Joyce. I always feel that she is speaking directly to me about the things I am struggling with in that very moment. To me this is just amazing.

The experience I am sharing with you today took place close to 2 years ago but still feels relevant enough to share.  On this day, my thoughts seemed to stay stuck on some of the things she had said, she made me realize I had lost about a hundred pounds in the last week, obviously I don’t mean physical weight loss but for me, this loss meant even more as I had been carrying around enough mental weight to stop my heart, it was hard to breathe let alone move about my daily life with any type of happiness.

The invisible weight I had sitting on my heart and soul for the last 20 plus years was killing me, day by day, breath by breath.

Up until recently the fact that those within my inner circle were being hit with shrapnel from my self-inflicted abuse never seemed to stop me. While I knew for a long time that my daily thoughts impacted my life, I didn’t fully realize how much it was impacting the people that loved me today, loved ones that had nothing to do with the past that had damaged me do deep in my core that years later it still remained a big part of me, even if I didn’t know it.

I denied this to myself as I didn’t want to admit that I still feared the dark figure lurking in the shadows.

I find it ludicrous when someone whose life has never been touched by abuse says things like, “why doesn’t she just leave, “ or has the mindset that once someone is out of the immediate abuse they are now suddenly safe and should no longer either talk of the abuse or feel frightened in anyway. If only that were true I would shout it from the tree tops.

Someone wrote, “invisible fear,” for a reason, that is what the aftermath has in store, a fear that is all too real, invisible or not. For me personally this invisible fear has kept me trapped for just as many years as the initial physically, verbal and emotional abuse did.

To survive I was pushed to a survival way of thinking, my mind was always on guard.

My_Dramati_Mental_Weight_Loss_Mental_Stress_Anxiety

For me having been physically jolted from sleep many nights with a blade to my throat and being told, “scream, no one will hear you and if they do, I will slice your throat as the police pull in.” This alone has caused me to fear the shadows and for many years, just opening the closet in that same room, years after he was gone caused me anxiety.

Enough of that, back to that day, it was hard for me to realize or rather accept that my past, the one I was trying so hard to forget, was greatly impacting not only my daily happiness but those that loved me.

While it was never intentional I often blamed those around me for my bad days, “couldn’t they see that I was barely hanging on today?” I felt they didn’t care or they never would have talked back or argued with me about having to clean their room or take a shower, then again, if I didn’t realize how much pain I was in, how on earth did I expect them know.

This was a very thought provoking and even more important thought changing week for me. I know I can’t be the only one that hears something I really need to know or do and then I push it aside and never change.

You can lead that gal to knowledge but you cannot make her think, or is that something about water and a drink!

For the past year or two I have known something was wrong but I couldn’t or wouldn’t admit it to myself of those around me, after all, what on earth did I have to be sad about, great family, work, health and love.

While I was in a happy safe place, had the man of my dreams, great job, creative outlets and friends, but I was never living in the moment, I was always highly stressed and most days I took that out by nit picking my man and my little girl. I never saw or wanted to admit the issue was me.

You know friends that must live in a state of drama all the time? These are the people I have consciously removed from my life. It was a bit of a reality check to realize that in my own home, I was the drama.

At the time of this initial draft it was just a few days from New years which is my favorite time of year and I had already set my goals the weeks before. One of my biggest goals was that I was not going to allow my then 11 year old daughter to push my buttons, I was not going to yell and get upset. New years day I did great. She continued to push my buttons but I remained very calm. This lasted a few days and I really didn’t feel better inside as I struggled not to get upset, even though I was not showing my frustration, the struggle was still with me. Then something happened, she sat next to me on the couch and asked me why I didn’t’ like her? I just about died inside.

When I asked her why she felt that way she told me I bullied her and she never felt she could do anything right. She shared how hard school was then she came home and I was on top of her from the moment she walked in. I didn’t try to explain my reaction to things, my past, my inner demons, I just hugged her and told her I was sorry and that was the last thing I had ever meant to do to her. Yes, I loved her.

I have always been honest and told her age appropriate responses to life so I knew I wanted to share enough for her to understand I was not perfect. I told her this had nothing to do with her, her mother had some things happen in her past that just seemed to make her crabby and sad some-days and when she didn’t do what I asked time after time bit frustrated me and I took it out on her. I let her know that I was learning no matter what she did, I was the adult and should never make her feel this way.

Since that talk, I am not perfect, far from it, but it really made me realize that if I do not let go of the anxiety of my past, I will never fully enjoy and appreciate what I have today. We often hear success is the best revenge and that you need to let go of some things to let more into your life, both very true for me.

The good news is that it has been close to 2 years ago since that conversation on the couch and I honestly feel this is weight off of my heart and soul. I do not nit pick at my daughter or man (as much) . I think more before I say things, I think, do I really need to say that? When asking my daughter to do things, I ask, then give her time to do them, in her time, not mine. Our home is more peaceful than it has been in years. Don’t get me wrong, it has always been a happy fun home, just that my thoughts and anxiety would creep in and spoil things now and then.

The last thing that I wanted was for this beautiful little girl to grow up thinking her mother didn’t love her or bullied her. In order for her to grow up in that safe place I knew I had to stop bullying myself.

Learning to let go of a difficult past is hard, even after you think you have let it go your reaction to things, your sadness and thoughts may still bring you back to a state you became accustomed to living to survive. It is time for this next year to go from Surviving to Thriving. My hope is that you join me!

My story and your story will help and support another person that is struggling, do you still struggle years after being away from the abuse or have you found ways to feel more in control? Sharing as you know by now is the key to moving past many things in life.

Love & Peace,

Rebecca

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I just love Ted.com, I often just go there to find talks that will inspire my day.  Today I was very moved to shared a talk by Nikki Webber Allen about not suffering along in your depression.  Much of what she shares I felt too, feeling that being depressed and having what is labeled GAD, generalized anxiety disorder made me inadequate.  How was I supposed to share that and coach women?  Over the last few years I have finally accepted that this is part of me, it routed way back to when I was little and we dodged gunfire in our home, hid around corners and ran in the middle of the night.  Then, adulthood came and I learned more of life and feared my own shadow.

dealing with anxiety and depression after abuse

The point is, don’t be silent anymore, nearly everyone you meet is dealing with some form of anxiety and or/depression, some it goes quickly, for others like me, it becomes part of who I am, I just learn how to be in more control over it.

Do you have an inspiring video to share.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

 

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