Court and Overnight Stays

A few years ago it took us several months to agree on the custody arrangement for our kids, and several more months to agree on child support… Mostly it took him a long time to bother paying anything. He just kept putting it off. He’d wait for the court to force him. He’d do anything in his power to ignore his subpoenas for information. It was frustrating. Grueling. Annoying. I could barely pay the bills and I often had to choose to let something go unpaid or buy electricity or water for the house. I’d have to choose between paying the mortgage or buying clothes and food for the kids. It sucked. That man did his best to suck the life right out of me and he nearly did.

Now skip forward a few years…

This morning I had to deal with the ex. Honestly, I don’t know why it still upsets me. (But I don’t give myself credit when I say that.) It still upsets me. He sued me back in October to change the child support payments because I am finally employed (Yay!) I didn’t mind, sure, we can change things around. No problem. But then court was delayed, mostly because of him ever since. Today (Thank God!) we finally were able to get everything done. It’s laughable though! There’s always just one more thing that really doesn’t make sense. He made a proposal that if you added it all up was acceptable, but then added on that “he wants to be able to have overnight guests at the house”… (this means he wants his girlfriend to be able to stay the night when my 11 yo daughter is there.) Ummm… NO. Not going to happen. Sorry. She’s eleven, that’s ELEVEN. If you want to go ahead and get married, no problem. If that wasn’t laughable enough, he’s the one who insisted that provision be in the child custody plan in the first place. He was thinking he was stopping me from bringing in another man. (I don’t have another man, don’t want another man, and am not looking for another man. I don’t want any man.) And now he wants to change it up. Funny how that particular line has come back to bite him instead of me. I’ve already decided I would never bring another man into my house so long as my kids are young. I’m not saying no to dating, nor even having a relationship. I’m saying no to exposing my children to that.

God has made me their mother and I will do my best to be the best example I can for them. Since leaving my husband, I have found friends, fun and an entirely wonderful life. Why would I want to risk that? I used to be lonely when I was with him. I used to hate life, hate going home, hate everything about who I was. That no longer happens. Now I love who I am and who I am becoming.

What’s going on? I have no idea. Sure, I could make up a story or something but it doesn’t really matter to me why he wants to let another person stay overnight with my child there. And yes, when he wanted that added in it explicitly meant a lover. My youngest had said that her father had talked of them moving in this spring, which instantly translated to marrying her. If that’s the case, no worries. Marriage changes the conversation. Until then, though, I will do all that I can to protect my daughter and to raise her as I see best. At least one of her parents cares enough to fight for her.

thank you for reading my rant,

me

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Would You Stand?

I have a question.

If you were in the midst of uncountable numbers and someone asked you to stand up if you had ever been abused (taking in all possible kinds), would you stand if your answer was yes? Would you be willing to be the first person to stand? Would you stand if thousands stood at the same time as you? Do you have the kind of courage to stand so that others are willing?

I often think that abuse is prevalent because the first person will not stand.

Imagine you are in church and the pastor asks for you to stand if you have ever been hit, touched inappropriately, ridiculed, or otherwise bullied? Then would you stand? Would you be willing to stand if the person who did that to you was your father? Brother? Sister? Mother? Wife? Husband? Or would you remain in your seat?

Is it easier to stand and say yes, I have been bullied than it is to say yes, my boyfriend raped me? I imagine it is a thousand times easier to admit to being bullied than it is to admit to being raped. Why?

What are we afraid of? Bullying is so vague, rape, though? Wow. Rape is intimate, private, a secret. What if you were raped by a relative? How much more private is that? Why hide? What are we afraid of? Rape, by definition, is an assault or unwanted sexual encounter, that is really a form of control… ie. it is not our fault. Why would a person who has been abused or raped not stand and yet one who was bullied is much more likely to?

Being bullied is okay, being raped is not? In both cases the victim was a victim, he or she did not want it done, did not like it, and has probably suffered immeasurably because of it. Why must one remain a secret and the other not?

I’m not discounting bullying. I know of many who have ended their own lives because of it. What I am wondering is why are we so afraid to admitting that we have been raped? Why do we feel soiled, unclean, defiled, unworthy, by it? It was not in our plan, it was not asked for. Why is the victim made lesser because of something he or she was unable to stop?

Now the question, again. If someone were to ask you to stand, would you? Imagine if we all stood up. How many in that congregation would stand with us? We live in a broken world because of secrets. If the rape victim could stand as easily as the one who was bullied and survived, then I would guess that I would be one of many who stood.

I would also guess that things would change. The more people speak the more others realize there is a problem. If it were in church and if your abuser were there, and if you were able to name him or her, then would that church rally behind you and help? That is my hope. My hope is that people are good, yet my knowledge is that secrets kill. It is a very dangerous place to be.

Would there be ridicule? or would there be mercy? Both? I don’t know the answer, I only hope for the one, though. Mercy. Mercy for the victim and correction for the perpetrator. Peace in the understanding. Knowledge in the acceptance. And most of all I hope for change. I yearn for the day I can speak freely so that others may find their strength so that they can speak their truths as well.

Join me. Let us be willing to be the first to stand.

thank you for reading,
me

Reading and remembering

I wrote the other day about keeping my book to myself. It’s difficult letting it go. There are so many things in the book that I grudgingly place in to the hands of the public. My history, my story, is mine. I know others have theirs and I want to be a light to others, helping them to see their way to a better life. I want people to be able to read through my book so they can see how I managed to make my way out of chaos. I want my book to be something that gives others hope, peace knowing they are not alone, and courage to act.

Action requires courage, if you weren’t courageous you wouldn’t act when you are scared. Being courageous is not a feeling. It’s an action despite (or because) of fear. My book shows how I acted in the face of all that was going on. No matter what I felt, I kept on moving. I was reminded of the Psalm, though I walk ‘THROUGH’ the shadow of death. This requires moving, walking, acting even in the face of fear.

As I reread my book, I’m finding small typos, and less than optimal wording at times. The purpose of reading it was to fix it and make it better. It’ll never be perfect but that’s not the goal. The goal is that people don’t stop reading because they get tired of something I say. I want them to make it to the end so that they know that I made it.

Well, I’m reading it again, for better or worse. It brings things back to me, flashbacks I suppose. It makes me cringe, cry, and be angry all over again. But mostly, I am reminded of my journey. I am reminded to take care of myself, and to be kind to myself.

New fears arise while reading as well. I wonder how certain people will take it. I wonder if it will get into the wrong hands somehow… I wonder if there are wrong hands. I worry about being judged and about what others think and say. I worry that I will be challenged. And if so, if I can handle it. I may lose friends or family because of some of the things I wrote. But is it my fault that they may take it wrong? It is my story, not theirs.

In the midst of my worries, I remind myself: be kind to yourself, remember to eat, remember to read, remember to write… take care of me, be gentle, sleep enough, drink my water, exercise… In short – I must practice self-care and I must practice it consistently.

Back to the book, I’m in the midst of the most climactic part. I feel vulnerable, yet still I keep moving. Reading it over is difficult, but worth it.

thank you for reading,

me

Empowering Women to Trust Their Hearts

I want to empower women to trust their hearts. I want to be a shoulder to lean on, a person to speak the truth. Recently I wrote a book. More like, I allowed a book to be written through my hands. Once I allowed the words to flow, they poured out of me. I was honest, brutally honest. I allowed myself to write without regard to what others would think. I allowed myself to be vulnerable, and I can feel it. I remain hesitant to tell the world of my book because of that vulnerability. It is difficult for me to trust and yet I continue. The book is not perfect, it never will be. I worry about certain people seeing it and so I hesitate.

But why should I worry? Why shouldn’t I speak my own truth? If someone does not like what I say, let them write their own rebuttal. Let them pick up pen and paper and write their own story. My story is multifold. I speak of my marriage, my divorce, my school, my friends and family; I speak of my past and how it shaped me. I hold nothing back, I tell all the secrets. So why do I still hide?

I published the book so that others like me could know they are not alone, and yet I withhold it by not letting them know it is there. This book is my dark closet. It is the diary of a beaten and raped woman. It is a part of who I am, who I will always be. Can I stand tall and allow myself to be questioned? Or will I stand tall and not allow others the freedom my story provides? I write what many are scared to write.

This book is my gift to the woman who is lost, the mother who doesn’t have a way out, the teenage girl who faces a new hell… this book is what I went through before I finally decided to believe in myself. It is my story. Parts of it may be yours, parts may not. But my story is not going to change whether I hold it close to my chest or on open palms for others to see. It’s mine. I should not be ashamed of my past, and neither should you. It is today that matters most after all.

thank you for reading,

me

ps. Conversations with my Therapist is the book.

My first book – Conversations With My Therapist

I wrote a book that touches on many of the common issues of women today. It’s not written just for women it’s just that I am one, a woman. I speak on abuse, both emotional and physical, divorce, and abortion. I show the reader my transformation from a timid lost girl to a woman with power. I let the reader experience my feelings and thoughts throughout the process. My goal is to empower others to find their own strength.

I’m new to publishing, and once in awhile I feel a streak of fear run through my system; but, my story is the same as many others’ and the world needs it. The more people who know the secrets and the better others understand, then maybe it can stop. Maybe reading my story will help another escape his or her hell. Maybe.

Please let me know if you’re interested. I’m an open book now.

Thank you for reading,

me

conversations with my therapist

My Book – Conversations with my Therapist – A Path To Freedom

Imagine for yourself what it would be like to be free. Truly free. I allow you to be like a fly on the wall listening to the many conversations I had with my therapist. You get to read my mind as I go through some of the most intimidating, intimate, and private times of my life.

I’ve never written a book before now. It was definitely a daunting task. I believe, though, that all of my time and energy was more than worth it. May you be blessed in your journey.

Below is a link to my book, it’s available through Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2/135-8495823-2278467?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+my+therapist

thank you for reading,

My book is finally done!

It’s done! My book is finally finished awaiting publishing. I’ve been writing it for five years, but only knew that I was writing it for a little over one year. That’s what happens when you journal. My journallings have been a consistent way for me to get my thoughts out of my head. With so many things going on, my head was noisy! I could barely hold a single thought longer than a few seconds, my thoughts would race from one event to another and I couldn’t breathe, let alone sleep. Journalling provided my means of escape.

My book? It’s a good book. It still makes me cry, smile, and laugh. It brings back terrible memories yet provides proof of how amazing my life is now. It shows how a person can climb her way out of chaos and create a life that she loves. It provides proof that life is changeable, no matter your age. If I can do it so can you. It shows determination, fear, love, peace, and hate. It is my first written masterpiece and I’m excited that it’ll finally be published.

I will let you know how to purchase it, hopefully within the next week. It’s terrifying letting my secrets out of my closet for millions to read. Yet it is so freeing, knowing that I can be authentically me. No more hiding, no more lies, just me. Thank you for being a sounding board as I struggled to find my way to air. May you, my readers, be blessed beyond your wildest dreams.

thank you for reading,

me