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I wrote this poem years ago and still read it daily to stay inspired and focused:

Dream Focused

Focus,
Focus,
Focus,
Look at nothing else
Put on all your blinders
Or what you want you will lose sight
Concentration is important
Even though it may not seem
If you wish to have what you want in life
You must focus on the dream
Live it
Feel it
Be it
or nothing you will have
For those without a dream in life
Wander down the path
Someday you will feel frightened
Lost and all alone
Close your eyes and search your soul
For something to pull you through
A memory
A dream
A promise of tomorrow
The fate is in store for you must first be thought by You!

 

Today I was reviewing advice online to help rebuild self-esteem after abuse and this article was to the point, don’t try to fix everything, be patient with yourself. I wanted to share the link to the article after reading this part as I have often shared the same advice:

Be patient with yourself. Think about how you’d treat a best friend who had just been through your same situation. You likely wouldn’t tell them to “get over it already.” Let yourself take as much time as you need to sort through your emotions, feel what you need to feel and slowly come back to a positive outlook on the future.

The site offers a ton of resources such as forums and groups to support you in the aftermath of abuse, for teens and adults.  My goal is to provide you with resources and this looks like a pretty good one.  To read the rest of the article click here Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem after abuse.

If you have a site that offers support or know of one please share it in the comments, we are here to help each other heal, if not, what was the point of all of this?

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

Dream_Focused_Inspirational_Poetry_children_adults

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Domestic Abuse resources by state: http://womenslaw.org/gethelp.php

The following was copied from: http://www.abanet.org/tips/dvsafety.html it will provide you with great resources/tips to leave

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Safety Tips For You And Your Family

IF YOU ARE IN DANGER, CALL 911
or your local police emergency number

To find out about help in your area, call:
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
1-800-799-SAFE
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Whether or not you feel able to leave an abuser,
there are things you can do to make yourself and your family safer.

IN AN EMERGENCY

If you are at home & you are being threatened or attacked:

  • Stay away from the kitchen (the abuser can find weapons, like knives, there)
  • Stay away from bathrooms, closets or small spaces where the abuser can trap you
  • Get to a room with a door or window to escape
  • Get to a room with a phone to call for help; lock the abuser outside if you can
  • Call 911 (or your local emergency number) right away for help; get the dispatcher’s name
  • Think about a neighbor or friend you can run to for help
  • If a police officer comes, tell him/her what happened; get his/her name & badge number
  • Get medical help if you are hurt
  • Take pictures of bruises or injuries
  • Call a domestic violence program or shelter (some are listed here); ask them to help you make a safety plan

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AT HOME

  • Learn where to get help; memorize emergency phone numbers
  • Keep a phone in a room you can lock from the inside; if you can, get a cellular phone that you keep with you at all times
  • If the abuser has moved out, change the locks on your door; get locks on the windows
  • Plan an escape route out of your home; teach it to your children
  • Think about where you would go if you need to escape
  • Ask your neighbors to call the police if they see the abuser at your house; make a signal for them to call the police, for example, if the phone rings twice, a shade is pulled down or a light is on
  • Pack a bag with important things you’d need if you had to leave quickly; put it in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative you trust
  • Include cash, car keys & important information such as: court papers, passport or birth certificates, medical records & medicines, immigration papers
  • Get an unlisted phone number
  • Block caller ID
  • Use an answering machine; screen the calls
  • Take a good self-defense course

HOW TO MAKE YOUR CHILDREN SAFER

  • Teach them not to get in the middle of a fight, even if they want to help
  • Teach them how to get to safety, to call 911, to give your address & phone number to the police
  • Teach them who to call for help
  • Tell them to stay out of the kitchen
  • Give the principal at school or the daycare center a copy of your court order; tell them not to release your children to anyone without talking to you first; use a password so they can be sure it is you on the phone; give them a photo of the abuser
  • Make sure the children know who to tell at school if they see the abuser
  • Make sure that the school knows not to give your address or phone number to ANYONE

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF OUTSIDE THE HOME

  • Change your regular travel habits
  • Try to get rides with different people
  • Shop and bank in a different place
  • Cancel any bank accounts or credit cards you shared; open new accounts at a different bank
  • Keep your court order and emergency numbers with you at all times
  • Keep a cell phone & program it to 911 (or other emergency number)

HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF SAFER AT WORK

  • Keep a copy of your court order at work
  • Give a picture of the abuser to security and friends at work
  • Tell your supervisors – see if they can make it harder for the abuser to find you
  • Don’t go to lunch alone
  • Ask a security guard to walk you to your car or to the bus
  • If the abuser calls you at work, save voice mail and save e-mail
  • Your employer may be able to help you find community resources

USING THE LAW TO HELP YOU

Protection or Restraining Orders

  • Ask your local domestic violence program who can help you get a civil protection order and who can help you with criminal prosecution
  • Ask for help in finding a lawyer

In most places, the judge can:

  • Order the abuser to stay away from you or your children
  • Order the abuser to leave your home
  • Give you temporary custody of your children & order the abuser to pay you temporary child support
  • Order the police to come to your home while the abuser picks up personal belongings
  • Give you possession of the car, furniture and other belongings
  • Order the abuser to go to a batterers intervention program
  • Order the abuser not to call you at work
  • Order the abuser to give guns to the police

If you are worried about any of the following, make sure you:

  • Show the judge any pictures of your injuries
  • Tell the judge that you do not feel safe if the abuser comes to your home to pick up the children to visit with them
  • Ask the judge to order the abuser to pick up and return the children at the police station or some other safe place
  • Ask that any visits the abuser is permitted are at very specific times so the police will know by reading the court order if the abuser is there at the wrong time
  • Tell the judge if the abuser has harmed or threatened the children; ask that visits be supervised; think about who could do that for you
  • Get a certified copy of the court order
  • Keep the court order with you at all times

CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS

  • Show the prosecutor your court orders
  • Show the prosecutor medical records about your injuries or pictures if you have them
  • Tell the prosecutor the name of anyone who is helping you (a victim advocate or a lawyer)
  • Tell the prosecutor about any witnesses to injuries or abuse
  • Ask the prosecutor to notify you ahead of time if the abuser is getting out of jail

BE SAFE AT THE COURTHOUSE

  • Sit as far away from the abuser as you can; you don’t have to look at or talk to the abuser; you don’t have to talk to the abuser’s family or friends if they are there
  • Bring a friend or relative with you to wait until your case is heard
  • Tell a bailiff or sheriff that you are afraid of the abuser and ask him/her to look out for you
  • Make sure you have your court order before you leave
  • Ask the judge or the sheriff to keep the abuser there for a while when court is over; leave quickly
  • If you think the abuser is following you when you leave, call the police immediately
  • If you have to travel to another State for work or to get away from the abuser, take your protection order with you; it is valid everywhere

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Domestic Violence Support by your state

The above is a wonderful resource that I was able to find from another reader here. It allows you to search for help in your own state. I hope this can become a great resource and have posted it under links too.

The main site at http://womenslaw.org/ shows you how to get a restraining order, get custody of your children to filing court documents. It is womenslaw.org, they have created an amazing resource for you. It is a place to start.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

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Aftermath of abuse and how to deal with your anger

I wanted to write about the anger most woman have after finally getting free from domestic abuse and domestic violence. I had a woman write me today saying that she is so angry at herself and family that tells her the dreaded words, “Get over it.”

For the life of me I can’t imagine telling anyone to get over it about really anything. Okay, maybe a stubbed toe or a bounced check, but not about being verbally, physically and mentally tormented, most times for years and years.

My first piece of advice: immediately stop worry about what others think.

This really applies to anyone in life but especially if you have been abused. If the person isn’t supporting you, I don’t care if it is your mother, sister or who ever, don’t talk to them about this at all. It will only make things worse.

Find others who understand. Not everyone will. Therapy, support groups, online support groups, sites like this one. Not one women on here would ever think of telling you to get over it because we have been there.

If you have car trouble you go to a mechanic, belly ache doctor, dealing with the aftermath of abuse, another abuse victim.

Below is a portion of the email I sent to a reader that had left her abuser but was now dealing with unexpected anger, I hope her journey will give you guidance and strength: 

First, I just have to say you should be so proud you found the strength to leave at all, many don’t. You already stated most of the reasons you are so angry and they all come down to you.

You let this man in your life, you stayed with him and had kids, you blah, blah, blah.

When you close your eyes at night it is the woman laying alone in the dark with you that you hate the most. It is normal to have such regret and guilt. The guilt and hatred at myself was the last thing to go. I hung onto that the longest. Even forgave him before I forgave me.

This is just my take on things, but as far as your family goes, the hell with them. If they can’t support you now when you most need it most, don’t waste your much needed strength on trying to convince them of a thing.

You don’t owe anyone, anything. Find support with me, your therapy, message boards on here and off line groups. Your friends are the ones that will be there for you. I suffered alone for so long that opening up was really hard for me.

I had met two supportive gals that insisted I talk and boy did I. I was the one that had minimized so much of what happened that when I would see there shocked faces at things I said I really realized how bad things were.

I even made my therapist cry a few times. That was when I realized I was burying so much pain. You have hidden so much for so long that being allowed to talk will seem odd at first, then weight lifting.

The best way to move on (I never say get over it) is to write in a journal, read books that will help you heal, stay in the therapy and only concern yourself with the health and healing of those that matter, You and your daughter.

You have been through hell and back and I promise if you worry about everyone else you will never heal. I am sure that you have been or will be labeled with PTSD, Post traumatic stress disorder, realize that is what men and woman at war come home with.

You have been living in your own war and now you have to deal with the battle scars.

Try to always treat yourself like you would a best friend. Listen, never minimize and be kind. When you get angry at yourself think, would I do this to a friend?

I wish that I could wave a magic wand and take you down the road five years to see how far you have come but I can’t. Just imagine a day far from the pain you are in now.

It is normal to be so angry too.

Accept the anger, it wants to be heard!

If you ignore it and don’t deal with it, it will get worse and worse and you will blow up.Find a way to get the anger out. Kick boxing is great, or do something physical. Not only do you get to be angry but you work up a good sweat. Anytime you start to think of that awful husband, or family that doesn’t listen immediately replace it with, “What is something that I really want to be doing now?” Then do it.

Don’t allow yourself more than a few minutes to dwell on people and things that you can’t change. I would count to ten and then force myself to change what I was thinking of. Sounds really simple and silly but after a while it was normal and easy.

I went through so much of what you are dealing with now, anger, feeling alone, my son and I in therapy, depression and most of all my own guilt. After all I am the mother and should protect my son from evil people, not leave them with them.

The best gift that you can give yourself and your daughter is your health and healing. To remove the guilt that you have about how you lived shows your daughter how to move on from it by taking the time to be angry and to move through the stages.

She will go through much of the pain that you are. It is like taking the time to grieve a death, in a sense you are. A brutal death. Be angry, then cry and be sad, then get angry some more, than feel guilty, then cry some more and the days will stack on top of another and one day you won’t be as angry and the guilt will start to fade and you will realize that you are smiling just because the sun is out and that you aren’t having horrible nightmares as often.

I promise, if you keep the focus on taking care of what is important like you and your daughter, forgetting everyone else, you will make it out of the darkness.

Sad that often people, outsiders feel bad and want to get women out of abuse but many don’t realize that the aftermath can be just as damaging and traumatic.

Aftermath of abuse and how to deal with your anger

You are not alone, I will support you the best that I can and you will find the right people to support you in your daily life too. Really open up in counseling, it will free your soul to let some of this hurt go. Don’t hang onto it, it will keep you living in this violent self inflicted prison.

You are worth more than this world has shown you. Taking the courage to write a stranger as you have shows that. I hope to hear from you again. Take one day at a time and focus on what needs to be done for that day. Life will get overwhelming and you will breakdown, the trick is getting back up each time.

I would suggest reading some great self help books, the one I really enjoyed and have

now read 3 times or more is Dr. Phil’s “Self Matters.” It will help

you realize that your family won’t always be there and how to really dig deal to move past the issues you are having now.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

Please comment if you have advice to support women dealing with the aftermath of abuse, you never know how much your advice can help someone that feels so alone.

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