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 2,125 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 2,026 Of Domestic Violence – Juvenile Love

Earlier this year I had the heart breaking decision to give up on someone that is loved for half my life.

He was a serial pest when it came to woman and keeping it in his pants. The sad reality is he was someone I met in my late teens, dated in my early 20’s and after we broke up we happened to stay friends. He was also the only partner I ever had who wasn’t physically violent toward me and while not always being the sweetest, in fact he did call me names a lot jokingly, he was not abusive in any of the classic ways. He was also the exception to them all and actually bought me a birthday gift a few times and while you couldn’t class him as a romantic he unfortunately was the benchmark I have set it seems. I look back now at how low the standards were set for what seems my entire dating career. I now wonder if by chance I ended up with this guy by accident because he was actually nice to me once or twice. If you look at my history it’s as if I have vetted the men in my life and only ever chosen the worst of the worst. My father. (I know I’ve talked about my ‘daddy issues’ before but these posts start with an idea and have a mind of their own and this is where this one has chosen to go)

Back to my story;

All those years ago I became really close with his family as we lived with them while saving up for our own place. I was not close with my mother or father so I became to his parents. They weren’t without their issues but it was always foreign to me, the family dynamic. I was close to my stepdad but the relationship I had with both of my parents was always one that had a distinct coldness to it. It always felt awkward so it was avoided it as much as I could. Even when I tried to reach out or see a movie or anything it was hard worn and had to be forced rather than occur naturally.

So after all this heart break and all of the grieving I did for this ‘love’ I lost, I ran into him last night at the pub. Just like his ‘juvenile’ self he was dressed like a ‘shady character’ if you catch my drift? He had his ridiculous shoes and sunglasses accompanied by his bum bag around his neck. I asked why he was like all those years ago putting every cent through a machine and wouldn’t sitting down and having some dinner and a drink be a better option? He said ‘I just gotta put this back through this machine’.

I suddenly realized he was still 19 it seems. They do say when you introduce drugs to an adolescent male brain they no longer progress mentally and he clearly hasn’t gone anywhere. What devastated me earlier this year suddenly became a god send because I dont need this in my life. I am not attracted to 19 year old boys anymore in the future I am looking for a man of my own ago. I know within myself I have changed since then. My priorities have changed, my looks have changed and I’m ok with that. I don’t want to be the 19 year old girl still and the plus one to this thing I see before me. I’d rather walk around the markets with someone or play outside with my son. The time has passed for acting like a stupid teenager. I am a mother and now an adult.

Although my life is a mess still I am working towards something stable. I get since having my son that life is more about experience and less about money and stuff.

Like I said take me to Eat Street Markets any day of the week. I’d rather walk around while laughing and getting to know each other ‘weirdness’ instead. Maybe this is a subtle hint to someone lol you know who you are! You’re wasting time right now waiting until you are in a position to take me out somewhere and buy me dinner or to be the hero. I’m not looking for a hero and I can buy my own dinner because I am my own hero! I’m looking for someone to be my friend and my equal fundamentally not my savior!

While we are so smart on one hand it seems we are dumb at life! Thanks for continually trying and taking the time to challenge me as I do more than you know learn from life experience! In the end if nothing I will be a little bit closer to a more healthy minded me and that gets to be more and more of case as each day passes.

To my past love I don’t know what else to say other than thank you for help shaping who I am today. Thank you for being the exception to them all as you gave me a glimpse of what it could be like if I just had a better option of myself. I wish you all the best wherever you end up but for the 19 year version you seem to still be it won’t be with me.

Carly XoXo

Letter From A Not So Typical Male – His Observation

A friend recently showed me something he wrote. He handed me his phone and said ‘here this is how I see you’. I was suddenly interested as I love an opportunity to learn something about myself.

What I found was something insightful and sweet. The way he describes me is exactly how I see myself at times. Not a false sense of self though. I have always felt like a strong and independent person who although damaged by certain thing is overall a good and honest person. I guess as much as I wish it was different and the damage wasn’t there, realistically it’s true and others can see it. The silver lining is that the perception I have of myself is real and I feel that with each day I become stronger and a little less broken so maybe that is the real truth?

Here is what he wrote;

‘Have you ever found someone that makes it worth getting out of bed for? Someone who makes you feel alive, someone who is kind, caring and thoughtful? I did, but she is so damaged.

When you open up she closes off and she can’t bare to be near you all because some monster did terrible things to her.  Things a human should never have to bare.  I would love nothing more than to help her and be there for her to fix this damaged soul as she has been so good to me.  Better than any woman.   She put a roof over my head when I was homeless, she never gave up on me and made me realise I am worth it and I am capable of loving who I am.  She gave me the drive to make me want to better myself and move on with my life and I could never thank her enough. 

She is independent and doesn’t need a man.  She is a mother who needs her child, she is a daughter that never felt loved and was never hugged enough by her mother and father which makes you think that all these things have contributed to her not showing normal emotion. 

I know it’s in there but it’s buried so deep down. Can it ever be found and how do you bring back this soul from the depth of hell?  So she can understand and process feeling like you should because this woman deserves happiness and to be loved and cared for cause there is so much good in her. 

It seems to be the good ones that always get robbed of happiness and get walked on by people who are monsters and don’t take no for an answer.  Men that won’t leave.  Men that make her uneasy, that beat her down and drug her up.  Its not an easy life when you have been through so much trauma and pain.  When every man seems to walk all over her. 

I hope she finds happiness and gets rid of all them demons that suck the life from her constantly.   It’s a long way back but I believe she is capable of coming back from that dark cold place but every now and then you can  see it there.  Its such a beautiful thing and makes you feel like your in a cloud. 

I can’t wait until the day she finds herself again and I hope I am there to see it.  It would make me smile and probably cry to see the angel standing in front of me with her boy in her arms. Completely at piece with the demons that haunt her.’

 

Sent from my iPhone

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.