Day 1,187 Of Domestic Violence – Lie To Me

I often wonder what it is about the masses and their need to lie to each other. To make up stories and better yet lie to themselves. Is it really that hard to own up to your shit? I know I’m not perfect but I do try to be as honest with the rest of the world and most importantly myself.

Life seems to me more than not filled with one liner crap that is both not helpful and to me patronising. ‘Be the bigger person’, ‘enjoy the little things’, ‘follow your dreams’, ‘two birds in a bush’ and the list honestly goes on. How about ‘bored of being bored because being bored is boring’. There you go now life all fixed. No? Why not? I thought saying generic crap just fixed everything? Like ‘why didn’t you just leave your abusive partner’. Wow thanks that’s where I went wrong ‘I baked him a cake instead hoping he’d stop physically, verbally, emotionally abusing me and destroying anything and everything he could in an attempt to exhaust me and drive me to the brink of mental breakdown so that I would stay in the relationships and endure more torture because he get off on that shit’. Sometimes life isn’t black and white. Sometimes people have a shitty day and have the right to feel like they have been treated unfairly. Sometimes they are just venting and not looking for a hero so can we all listen a bit more and suggest shitty obvious answers a bit less? Is this why we give up on relationships so easily? The honeymoon period is over and things get tough? It’s a fact of life and I think we throw people away too easily.

I want to find another human who is simply just a nice person, confident in themselves (in a healthy way), independent and will stand beside me and support me when I need it and for me to do the same. The biggest things in this life that make me furious and are an absolute dealbreaker are liars, cheats and people who will step on others to get what they want. I never thought it would be this difficult.

Now I am human which means I am not perfect. ‘I have never been exactly this old before so give me a break because I’m doing it all for the first time’. I mess up and I can’t expect to be justified in feeling wronged if I can’t first admit that I have, whether on purpose or not wrongs someone before. Otherwise we are all right but we are all wrong and let’s face it it’s not working currently is it?

Sometimes I snap and overreact to situations. Sometimes I just take things out on the wrong people because the right ones are not around to feel my frustration. I’m sure that everyday I make a mistake and I hope that I at least own up to it, especially if it effected someone around me I cared about.

Since when did it suddenly become ok to do just about anything we want, right or wrong as long as you lie about it and that lie sticks? It’s ridiculous really, I’ve heard some top shelf ones including, ‘have you ever heard of Bowen Hills Liam?’. I had to ask this ‘dickhead’, ‘did you actually just say a suburb followed by your name?’. The answer is yes. Wow! He also told me his mother was a prostitute who lived in Central Australia and dying of cancer. He told me how he grew up in the streets, doing it tough amongst other things. Turns out 2 years ago ‘Bowen Hills Liam’ was happy and healthy, play fighting with his siblings in a delightful photo on his happy and healthy mothers Facebook page. He had no tattoos, his mother did not look like a prostitute and she wasn’t in Central Australia dying at all. What do I say to that? Seriously if I told a story like that and people found out I’d move countries. I would be mortified beyond belief but here he was casually strolling around pretending everyone didn’t notice. I’m sorry but what the fuck? His mother was in his friends list so he didn’t hide her too well. I still tell that story because I can’t even believe it happened it’s so stupid!

This is what I mean. Why the hell do people make up these crazy stories and think no one noticed it wasn’t true?

Why are we all lying to ourselves so much though? Do these people actually believe their own stories in the end? Is this where it’s going wrong. Kinda ‘fake it till you make it’ but on steroids. Don’t you want to live an honest life or at least live one we want to share because we are proud of who and what we have become? If not, doesn’t that just make us our own puppets in our own pretend Hollywood blockbusters lives we’ve made up because it sounds better than our actual life, you know the one we’ve actually lived.

So when it comes to teaching children about domestic violence I’ve been hit with comments like ‘oh no, year one is way too young to be talking to them about that’. This concept completely perplexes me as I am not sure if people realise that some kids in year one actually live in a domestically violent environment and have never known any different. Does that mean a lot of people don’t believe the existence of domestic violence or is it that not until we are 18 that we can become potentially susceptible to it?

Ok let’s stick our heads in the sand then shall we. It’s not working the way it is now why the hell should we try something new?

How about if trying this way doesn’t work we can go back to the way it isn’t currently working and we will be no worse off?

Why can’t we help educate children as early as year one as to what a domestic violence situation looks like? Don’t you think that getting to them as early as possible and educating them about how what they are experiencing at home is not a healthy way to live? Who knows maybe they will speak up and intervention and/or help for mum or dad might begin sooner and save a hell of a lot of trauma and future broken adults abusing substance, self medicating and generally having poor self worth due to an entire childhood of trauma and abuse?

Food for thought I guess.

I am not ashamed of what I’ve been through but it certainly won’t define me.

So to all those liars out there. It is not glazed over when you are caught out. You look stupid! It does not excuse shitty behaviour and it certainly doesn’t make it ok.

Love your life and be proud of the decisions you make and the person you are.

Anything less is a waste of everyone’s time.

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Day 2,144 Of Domestic Violence – Something To Remind You

Sadly I’m pretty adversed to heartbreak and the human condition letting me down. I have little experience though when it comes to people being who they say they are and coming through for me when I need it. Why? Simply because they care.

I realise that I have to get used to people treating me with kindness and respect. But can you blame me for resisting anything human in my life at this point? It’s so much easier to say than to put into practice which is a weird concept to get your head around especially when that is all I have ever wanted. What is that? A safe space to be me around people who don’t want to just gain from me or use me for a brief moment.

A little while ago a friend said to me ‘I think we might have found a life long friendship here’. I think he was right because as I find myself down in the dumps and in need of somewhere to stay again he gives me a big hug in the drive way and says ‘you know you always have a place to stay here for as long as you need’. Wow!

Wouldn’t that be nice had that been the fairytale beginning of the end? The chapter right before that song plays and I’m happy, my son is returned and ever after is in full swing. No f#*%ing way dude this is my life we’re talking about. Just as I feel like it might be a good time for me to breathe, life and the human condition come flying back at me with a vicious snake-like attack. Once again someone else shows me how much they really don’t care.

As an added bonus the daylight hours seem to be now bombarded with phone calls from my recent failure telling me he loves me and will I stick by him. It brings more meaning to my favourite phase ‘I would rather smash my face into the concrete repeatedly than continue this conversation’.

Wow is about the only word that comes to mind at this point. I’m unsure at this point if that means, ‘wow people are messed up’ or ‘wow you seriously still have faith in humans?’. Am I the crazy one or is it them? You know what they say about common denominators and ‘hello’ that would be me in this case.

I so want to find myself in a place where I am writing something even slightly positive! There’s nothing like a permanent resting bitch face to go with these very attractive emotional & physical scars! What a catch I’ve become.

Thank you world and screw you!

Day 2,125 Of Domestic Violence – My Head

When I think about how many times my worth has been proven to be less I feel deflated. It’s hard to keep getting back up each time even though I know who and what I am and what I have to offer.

From recently having dreamt an entire night? Albeit there were a few differences but only in the minor details. All that I know is that I dreamt the exact place, the exact people, the trip to the servo for fuel and the fact that the blonde chick in the back would offer to drive as it was late and I was tired and now meeting someone who appears to be my missing puzzle piece, I don’t really know what to think?

When things feel ‘off’ having to question whether it’s my own past failures setting this up for disaster or simply just another disaster waiting to happen is exhausting and I truly wonder if I will ever be happy.

One thing I have come to learn about humans is for most of them they fear the unknown or simply when they are unable to predict an outcome it causes high levels of stress and anxiety. Everything else in life you will find that the best way to assess the risk factors is to look to past behaviors or outcomes. However in love and relationships this can ultimately lead a couple into oncoming traffic. It seems however that they end up there for me anyway so what is the answer?

I’m finding I have less fight when it comes to my broken heart lashing out and sadly I think that is my self worth giving up the will to fight anymore. Time and time again the worse case scenario is the outcome and I’m beginning to wonder whether it is true and I don’t have as much to offer as I thought.

With this one though it feels different. For the sake of this all being for a reason I hope it turns out. Although we don’t share a similar taste in music, grew up differently and have had different lives it seems a case of that little person inside us is the same or searches for the same thing! He makes Aussie hiphop less horrible and he makes me want to try the things he likes because as well as myself now I want to see him happy.

Day 2,103 Of Domestic Violence – Pain Is Only Skin Deep

Pain. When I look around lately it’s all I seem to see. A sea of faces from all walks in pain. One thing used to numb that pain bringing people who ordinarily wouldn’t have crossed paths together with one common goal in life. To numb that pain.

So is it a case of the world and it’s people being in more pain than ever or is this just a different crutch we use and humans have always felt this much pain?

I read up on the Great Depression earlier this year as I met a lovely lady who was in her 90’s. She had been apart of the Salvation Army since then and credited much of her surviving the Great Depression. She told me how she would sneak off and have morning tea provided by the Army and without that much needed food probably would have starved as food was scares. To this day she was eternally grateful for the opportunity she was given and enjoyed every opportunity she got to pay that kindness back.

How does that translate to today? Do we as people care more or less about those in pain? How do we stop so much pain or is it something we need to just accept will always exist? Is this the key to our journey being easier?

How do I make this journey easier for my son. It pains me to think of him feeling anything close to what I’ve felt thus far. I almost feel guilt for his existence as I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

More and more I have less answers. They say that the older we get the wiser we get but I question whether that is true.

I guess this is where I leave this one.

Day 2,042 Of Domestic Violence – Where Do You Go When No One Cares?

Maybe I’m just extra specially unlucky or maybe no one really cares? At this point I’m not sure which one it is.

Recently I wrote to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) regarding failures I have been involved with first hand when it comes to the Queensland Police Service.

My complaint covered things such as:

– Police refusing to intervene surrounding the kidnapping of my then 6 year old son by a family member who was unhappy about my domestic violence issues being reported.

– My previous complaint to the Queensland Police Service which resulted in a phone call from the Sandgate Police officer in charge. I was informed that further training would be done and I would be updated but obviously was not taken seriously as I never heard back.

– Complaint about my ex partner who I was in a domestically violent relationship with was using a current officers who he went to school with to intimidate me. I phoned the officer who said this matter would have to be delt with and I would need to talk to them but I never heard anything.

– Break and enter resulting rape, documented by he GP immediately after and reported in the state members office with his office manager present as I made the statement. This was made to the officers who attended the scene and the same ones that told me to drive myself to the station. A station where they failed to log the call out and subsequently this is how I fell through the cracks and no one came to see why I didn’t attend the station as no one knew.

And the list goes on!

I received a reply! Insufficient evidence apparently. Isn’t it enough that I have documentation from Victims Assist classing incidents as rape? Letters from the GP documenting the incident moments after it happened? How about email and an official letter from the state members office stating I was in the office and someone from their office was in the room? How about he name of he detective that told me himself it was not recorded?

Excuse me but it’s a fucking disgrace. Insufficient evidence? Here are the photos taken moments before they attended the scene. Now tell me how you forget to record an incident?

So I ask you where the hell do you go when no one cares?

Day 2,025 Of Domestic Violence – The Human Connection And Hero’s In Red Shoes.

I work for the Salvation Army.  I have been tasked with doing a short piece each month in the newsletter.  I wanted to meet with certain groups that meet weekly and people within the corps to get their story and have a chat with them.   I wanted to share it with the rest of the corps in an attempt to reconnect with each other.

It seems strange to me that a person could sit beside say a coworker everyday for years but know nothing about them.  So earlier this week I wrote a short piece on my own story as I thought it might be a good way for everyone to get to know me before we meet up.  I guess my boss liked it so much he asked me to read it on Sunday…. in front of people!  Great!  I quickly said yes and I will work on my nerves for the rest of the week.

I decided to write it in my usual blog format as that is comfortable for me.  Plus I can read it straight from the sheet and not have to look up at all the quiet people staring at me.   Why? To be honest I have a lot to say but I much prefer doing it this way. Public speaking is not my thing, everyone’s quiet and looking at me, not my kind of fun. But I’ve sucked it up and agreed. I have written it here as this is what I am going to read out. That way I can stair at the paper and pretend they are not all looking at me.

Here goes nothing;

It seems the more technology advances the further we get from human connection, or at least true human connection.  Sometimes I feel people look at me as if I am strange because I’m interested in everyone. Some might say nosy?  For me at least I learn a lot about people and how they work. I also find I learn a lot about myself at the same time.

I am originally from Redcliffe and my family had a lot to do with the (blank) Leagues Club.  My grandfather was  and was Chairman of the Board for both the football and leagues club for over 30 years.  I grew up in Redcliffe and Brighton so this place is very much home to me.

I have a recent history of domestic and family violence and become estranged with my entire family who have chosen to side with my ex partner.  Alone I have had an uphill struggle with family court and custody of my son Evan who is seven years old.

Out of every situation though does come a positive and had it not been for that I would not have started my own business Through The Looking Glass Mirrors.  I rescue old casement windows and turn them into mirrors with custom designs in them.  Earlier this year I started a blog called Diaries From Domestic Violence which began as a bit of therapy for me but now has over 2,000 followers and woman from all over the country and world reach out and let me know how much my honest and open approach has made them not feel so alone.  I also came to work here and have met all of the lovely Salvation Army members.

Earlier this year my hero in red shoes, Major Keith Hampton found me crying outside Coles at Kippa Ring and offered me more than just assistance.  He offered me the opportunity to work again which sadly I had put on the back burner due to my domestic violence issues.  It has not been easy for poor Keith, saving this damsels in distress has not always been a glamorous one but never a dull moment.  Although it has been an uphill battle, getting the opportunity to work again has made a massive difference in my life.  I have always been very determined and loved working but over the last few years I had lost my confidence.   Today I help out in the office a few days a week as well as work on my recovery.

Through the help I received from Major Keith Hampton and the Salvation Army Corps Redcliffe I have gained a new family in you all.  The lovely Hewitt’s family, Barb, Ian and Rachel also have to be mentioned in this story as they have the pleasure of me adopting them as my new immediate family.  They opened their home to a young mother of one struggling and homeless and I will forever be grateful.  To them I want to say a massive thank you and I love you and unfortunately you are stuck with me now.  Also Anne Redman who attends another fraction has become a wonderful ‘role mother’ to me in my life.  I am completing the Positive Lifestyles Program through the Salvation Army with her which has also helped me make Positive change.  She has offered me so much of her time and love which is invaluable to me and it is nice to know that someone cares.

That in a nut shell is my story and I cannot wait to get to know you all a little more through this space.  In life shared experience is a wonderful thing and can greatly improve the way we live our lives.  Even if you have been attending the Salvation Army Redcliffe Corps for years or it is your first day we all have a story and can learn from each other.  Intern this can make us a little more understanding and connected with each other and can only be for the better in the long run.

Day 2,006 Of Domestic Violence – Stronger Than You Think

There are a few people who make me smile in this life.

To you Miss Alana whom I love very much. Although you are relatively new friends I think you are here to stay! It is very much like meeting myself or a close version of myself.

Soft, sweet and the kindest of souls, all that you want in this life is for lack of better words, ‘world peace’, cuddles and rainbows! Now while I think that’s a pretty easy ask seemingly the world and its creatures do not.

For them. Those who dare poke that bear. Poke one too many times and you better be willing to loose an arm…… and the rest.

With your brutal and honest truths, mostly about yourself that come so perfectly out of your mouth! The deep dark ones that no body owns up to usually make me think about my ‘own demons’ but more beautifully at times very important ones.

One such important lesson you have taught me is ‘to genuinely say a nice thing to another female everyday’. I have never consciously though about the fact that females can be more damaging to other females on a whole. Instead of building us up, we tear each other down which is a shame. We think in domestic violence situations that it’s the physical, emotional and all the rest damage us and render us unrecognizable. I often wonder if we had a support network of supportive woman around us building us up if their tactics to break us down would be so powerful?

So to you Miss Alana,

You are sweet and beautiful but this also comes with an unimaginable pain that not many understand. I do though. The world seems to think we should act one way because of this pain but it drives us to go the other way. This is out of it all being too much.

I wish for nothing more than our pain to be free of us and for our babies to be safe in our arms. That is where they belong but this is not possible due to external influences dragging us down. If only we were stronger so this wouldn’t effect us like it does.

Honestly I think we have enough strength for it not to but I know personally that I’m keeping that strength for when I get my son back. So that I don’t turn into one of those woman that have beaten us down until we are nothing. So that I can teach him I won’t be made to do as I’m told because I am an adult and I am a good person who should be afforded the right to make decisions and live a life I want to live. Free from judgement and criticism from people who think they can control what they want.

You and I will be fine in the end I promise. This can’t last forever. If we can hold on long enough for it to pass and for the system to see what is really going on then everything will be back in its right place!

For me at least and for those people who have used pain and damaging tactics to try and make me change and live up to their version of who I should be, well you have lost the opportunity to know who I really am and will not be a part of my future. You only have yourselves to blame and you will see that choosing to win in the short term will result in a loss in the long run.