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Mirror Mirror on the Wall – how staring down that woman in the mirror can help you recover from abuse

One of my all-time favorite books is called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. If you never read another book of self-discovery, read this one. A dear friend gave me this book a few years after I was out of the abuse. It is set up to read a quote and then one page for the day, something to inspire you and make you think. I read that book front to back for over five years. To read more click here 

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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

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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

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Calling all bloggers, looking for great resources so share online. Do you have a blog or know of a great blog, or website resource to help anyone in the aftermath of abuse? I am looking for the sites that you have found to help support you or others in the aftermath from all forms of abuse ranging from child abuse, domestic violence, verbal abuse, rape, drug addiction, PTSD and the road to recovery I would like you to share.

Please post the blog or website name and link below for others to easily find, I encourage you to write a paragraph of why you wish to share this specific site. Due to the large amount of responses on this blog I may not get a chance to thank each of you for sharing, but once the site is verified as legitimate your comment will be approved to share with others. Don’t stop at just a site, feel free to list books you have read and others things to support others.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

I am a writer, dreamer and true believer that you change your life by changing your focus. My passion is helping those who never thought of setting goals to realize that by doing so, there is a dream inside them yearning to be discovered. With almost 50 years of life experience, 20 + years creative writing, marketing, coaching and goal setting, I live to inspire others to create the life of their dreams.

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This book was suggested to me by a reader on The Last Straw.  She wrote, “This book simply explains what & why & how abuse gets started in family’s. It also goes into detail of the Physcology of these men.”

You can find a copy for as low as $1.00. I encourage you to check it out, it listed around a 25 page preview and I gained much from just that and end lists resources for every state. Many think my man can and will change, this book will help to put that fairy tale to rest. Let me know your review on this book.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

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I received the following email and felt it would benefit her and everyone else to post it here.  Help me to support this young girl. I will call her Strength.

Sent: Sunday, July 18, 2010 5:07 AM
Subject: ABUSE SURVIVOR… FOR NOW. . . LONG EMAIL BUT PLEASE HELP ME.

Hi Rebecca,

I don’t know if I am suppose to email you or post a comment on your blog, but I dont know how to post a comment
so this is why I am emailing you. It is safe for you to reply here. I KNOW THIS EMAIL IS LONG BUT PLEASE HELP ME.
(the part i wrote in capital bold letters is something that happenned recently and this is why I am scared)

I am 21 years old, and I survived a very traumatizing experience.
I was in a relationship for 1 year and 4 months with a 23 year old guy whom at first seemed like the greatest guy ever.
After like 1 month he started becoming very jealous because he felt insecure that I went to a University and he wored at a feed store. I thought it was cute for him to be jealous at first, but then things got worse. He critized how I dressed, he hated my friends and didnt want me to hang out with them, he expected me to reply his texts in less than 3 minutes or he would get mad, he spent the night at my apartment every night (but i didnt care about that) He caused big scenes at a couple of parties I went to, and threatened to kill himself because I didnt love him. He started grabbing me really hard to the point where I got bruises. He pushed me, and didnt let me move, pulled my hair, and told me horrible things.   In our 6 months, we got into an argument and he pushed me to the floor, he said very mean things, and he BROKE MY LAPTOP in half even though I told him I had a school project I had been working on for so long and had to turn it in the next day. I was so depressed of everything he said and I just wanted to die so I took a bunch of pills and I passed out so the police came (and he told them that I was the one who broke my laptop because I was mad) and then I was sent to the hospital. I dont know why I was so stupid that I WAS THE ONE WHO BEGGED HIM TO FORGIVE ME! even thought I didnt do anything wrong.

After that things got worse.Two times he threatened to kill me and  ‘CUT ME TO PIECES.” I was scared of him, but when he said he was sorry I forgave him because I loved him.

ON JULY 4TH, OF THIS YEAR, HE TRIED TO KILL ME. HE WAS DRUNK AND AT ABOUT 3:30AM HE DRAGGED ME AND FORCED ME INTO HIS TRUCK AND DROVE INTO SOME FIELDS. HE ACCUSED ME OF ‘CHEATING ON HIM’ AND HE SLAPPED ME, GRABBED MY JAW REALLY HARD AND TOLD ME HE WAS GOING TO BREAK IT, HE PULLED MY HAIR, HE CHOKED ME SO HARD UNTIL I COULDNT BREATHE. HE CALLED HIS FRIEND AND ASKED HIM FOR A GUN AND EVEN PUT HIM ON SPEAKER PHONE SO THAT I COULD HEAR THEIR CONVERSATION. HIS FRIEND ON THE PHONE TOLD HIM THAT HE SHOULD NOT KILL ME, BUT INSTEAD THEY SHOULD PAY SOMEONE 500 OR 1000 DOLLARS TO KILL ME SO THAT HE WOULD NOT GET IN TROUBLE. MY EX BOYFRIEND ANSWERED BY SAYING THAT HE WANTED TO KILL ME BY HIMSELF BECAUSE I BETRAYED HIM. HE THEN TOOK ME TO ONE OF HIS FRIENDS HOUSE FENCE AND HIT ME MORE, MADE ME GET OUT OF THE TRUCK AND FACE THE FENCE AND HIT ME. THEN HE MADE ME GET BACK INTO THE TRUCK AND DEMANDED ME TO TELL HIM WHO I CHEATED ON HIM WITH. I TOLD HIM I HAD NEVER CHEATED ON HIM AND HE HIT ME MORE AND TOLD ME HE HAD A GUN AND WAS GOING TO KILL ME, AND EVEN ASKED ME WHERE I WANTED MY BODY SENT. I BEGGED HIM NOT TO KILL ME, AND A MIRACLE HAPPENNED AND HE STARTED DRIVING UNTIL I SAW THE CITY AGAIN (BECAUSE WE WERE IN SOME ISOLATED FIELDS BEFORE THAT) AND HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO TAKE ME TO MY APARTMENT. HE SUDDENLY STOPPED THE TRUCK AND SAID “NEVER MIND, I WILL JUST KILL YOU AND THEN KILL MYSELF BECAUSE IF I LET YOU GO YOU WILL CALL THE POLICE, SO MIGHT AS WELL KILL YOU NOW” SO HE STARTED GOING BACK AND WHEN I SAW A GAS STATION I DECIDED THAT I WOULD RISK IT AND JUMP OUT OF HIS TRUCK. I JUMPED AND STARTED SCREAMING FOR HELP, AND I WAS IN LUCK BECAUSE TWO PEOPLE WHERE AT THE GAS STATION AT ABOUT 5AM! AND THEY HELPED ME. MY EX BOYFRIEND TRIED TO PULL ME BACK AND EVEN RIPPED MY SHIRT, BUT THE TWO GUYS HELPED ME GET HIM AWAY FROM ME AND I RAN INSIDE OF THE GAS STATION AND THE GUY AT THE REGISTER CALLED THE POLICE. I CALLED MY MOM WHO LIVED 4 HOURS AWAY (I WAS LIVING AT THAT CITY JUST FOR SCHOOL)  AND SHE CAME AND PICKED ME UP FROM A SHELTER I WAS SENT TO.
WE WENT TO MY APARTMENT TO PICK UP SOME CLOTHE AND MY EX BOYFRIEND WAS ALREADY IN MY APARTMENT, SO I CALLED THE POLICE AND HE TRIED TO ESCAPE BUT THEY GOT HIM. HE WAS CHARGED WITH KIDNAPPING AND VIOLENCE. SINCE HE IS AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT HE IS WITH IMMIGRATION RIGHT NOW, BUT I FILED A RESTRAINING ORDER AND HE WILL HAVE TO BE AT COURT ON THE 23RD OF THIS MONTH (IF HE HAS NOT BEEN DEPORTED YET)

MY PROBLEM IS THAT I LOVE HIM STILL BUT I AM MORE SCARED OF HIM THAN THE LOVE I FEEL. I HAD TO WITHDRAW FROM MY UNIVERISTY BECAUSE IT IS NOT SAFE FOR ME TO BE THERE BECAUSE HE KNOWS EVERYTHING I DO AND WHERE I GO. HIS FRIENDS ARE ALSO INVOLVED IN DRUG TRAFFICKING AND THAT MAKES ME MORE SCARED. I HAVE BEEN SO DEPRESSED. I SENT HIM EMAILS ASKING HIM WHY HE DID THIS TO ME, BUT NOW THAT I HAVE BECOME MORE INFORMED, IM SO SCARED AND I THINK HE WILL WANT TO FIND AND KILL ME AFTER HE IS DEPORTED. HE KNOWS WHERE MY MOM AND BROTHER LIVE (WHICH IS WHERE I AM RIGHT NOW)
AND HE KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT ME. I DONT WANT TO DIE AND I DONT WANT HIM TO HURT ANYBODY. HIS FRIENDS ARE DANGEROUS AND THEY ALL KNOW ME. EVEN THOUGH HE IS NOT FREE RIGHT NOW, HIS FRIENDS ARE, AND HE WILL PROBABLY BE DEPORTED SOON SO I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO.

I AM DEPRESSED BECAUSE I WAS ABOUT TO GRADUATE IN A YEAR AND NOW I WILL BE BEHIND BECAUSE I WILL MISS A SEMESTER (MY MOM WANTS ME TO GET THERAPY AND JUST HAVE TIME TO HEAL) AND I AM SO DEPRESSED BECAUSE I REALLY WANTED TO GRADUATE FROM THAT UNIVERSITY! (UT AUSTIN) AND NOW I DONT THINK IT IS SAFE FOR ME TO EVER GO BACK THERE! I AM ALSO DEPRESSED BECAUSE I LOVED HIM SO MUCH! AND I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY HE DID THIS TO ME!
I CAN’T SLEEP! WHEN I TRY I HAVE NIGHTMARES. AND I AM VERY SCARED THAT HE WILL TRY TO FIND ME AFTER HE IS FREE OR GET HIS FRIENDS TO KILL ME. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO.

I DONT EVEN FEEL SAFE IN MY HOUSE (IN DALLAS) BECAUSE HE KNOWS WHERE MY HOUSE IS. WE ARE GOING TO SELL THIS HOUSE AND MOVE TO ANOTHER ONE BUT THAT TAKES SOME TIME.

PLEASE HELP ME. WHAT SHOULD I DO!! 😥
I FEEL MISERABLE

– ——-

My response: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 8:26PM

Dear Strength,

It was heartbreaking to say the least to read your email.  It is fine to email me here just know that for the sake other others I post everything online too.  I will remove the names when needed for safety.  I am sorry to hear of all that you have been through and that you are feeling so miserable.

You are so young to have been through so much already, that makes me so sad.  I was so sorry to hear about everything that you have dealt with lately.  I hope that by sharing your story that you will help others to leave when the beginning signs of abuse start instead of waiting too long. Being overly jealous is a big sign that you need to run, fast. Next is if he begins breaking your belongings.  He has no respect for things, let alone you.

Give yourself some slack, I understand that you still love him, even though this is hard for some to understand you don’t have to explain yourself to others.  You must know in your heart though that the love from him to you is not real, no one that loves you would treat you that way, every.  You do not deserve any of this and from your stories, are extremely lucky to be alive. You will never get the answer from him that you long for, why did he do this, you will never know for there could never be a good enough reason to treat someone the way he did you.

You have every right to be scared, and I know that looking at things now you really wish that you could finish school but your well being is so much more important.  If you don’t take the time now to heal you will carry this for the rest of your life.  It will hold you back from all of your hopes and dreams.  School can wait, it will be there when you are ready.

You have been through hell and back, take the time to deal with what has  happened to you and how this has changed the life you thought you had.  I would suggest being as far from him and his friends as you can.  He doesn’t sound like a really nice guy or the group that he hangs out with.  I do not want you living in fear every moment.

You asked me, what do I do?  You get into counseling, you get to a place that you feel safe.   Start being really open with a counselor, it is the best way to deal with what has happened.  Start to  journal, it will help you deal with the love that you still have for him.  Allow everything else to go to the back burner while you take the time to heal and feel safe again.  He has taken so much more from you than you realize.

Write again so that I know you are safe.  You can post on the blog too, I will post your letter to gain support for you too, it is a very supportive blog, we are here to help you. Let me know what I can do for you.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

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I was going through some old emails to finish my book and came across a very important email about abuse towards men. I feel that the writer puts it perfectly.

——————-the email is as follows —————————

As to the topic of whether or not a man can be abused, some studies have suggested that in cases of physical violence, women hit men more often then the reverse. However, 1) These cases are vastly under reported, 2) the physical damage is usually less severe. Obviously, though, emotional scarring from that and from psychological abuse is still significant, and I can testify to the latter.

It would make sense to me to write a blog not about can a man be abused, because the question to me is similar to asking “Can a black man be president?” It implies an existing prejudice. Instead, I think the more valid question is, “How prevalent and how severe is abuse of men?” If you consider that child abuse is not that gender-specific, it would be unfortunate to believe that it is eliminated for one gender when that person reaches adulthood. The children get older, the abusers get older, and the patterns continue. In fact, while I was writing about a specific person, it was certainly not the first abusive female in my life; that’s been a pattern for me, one which I hope to change.

Since I don’t believe I’m in any physical danger from my ex, I don’t think there’s any harm in using my full name if you wish.

Thanks,
Matthew Leichty

——
The following site was sent to me, a man’s story of being abused http://mencanbeabusedtoo.wordpress.com/my-story-part-1/

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