Domestic Violence ‘it’s not a male dominated sport’

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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.

Day 2,186 Of Domestic Violence – Friday 18th January 2019

Friday 18th January 2019. I want to remember this date. Why? Because today was a really good day! Today was the first time I consciously acknowledge that my life had turned a corner. Whether it has been happening for a while now and I’m only realising it now or maybe it was a phone call with someone from my past that did it, I’m not sure?

Although I don’t have my son back yet I do have some supportive and loving people in my life which I have been lacking for quite sometime. There’s my gorgeous little roomie whom I spent the morning pottering around the house with and chatting about anything and everything. Two amazing friends at the Gold Coast who always make sure I’m fed and have somewhere to stay, not to mention helping me with my books. I went on a ‘kinda date’ last night with someone who is hilariously funny. It’s hard to tell who’s addicted to ‘making it awkwardly uncomfortable’ more, him or I? But he did take me to see the most amazing $17 rainbow and blushed a lot and called me weird ha ha, it was very nice! Someone told me I need to get used to people being nice to me! I’m pretty sure he is a nice one so that’s a weird feeling for me to experience. Nevertheless this weird chick had fun!

I also have other some other people who have been amazing. I will name them because they are the ones that keep me going & have helped out when I desperately needed them, Clint, Mandy, my amazing godfather Petro, Tracy, Phil, Bull, Brendan, Boz, William, John, Karen, Jarrod, Queenie, Alex and a few others.

Finally and this being the one that made me realise the shift in my life. It was a phone call from someone I’ve known almost my entire life. Someone who was probably supposed to be my best friend and not an enemy. Listening to this person talk I realised we are nearly exactly the same. Almost like we were meant to be twins. This person was also set up and sabotaged by their darling mother their entire life too. Knowing that I’m not alone is an amazing feeling. Also proud that despite our terrible mothers who have set us up and the horrors we have endured, fuck we are strong and a lot of people wouldn’t have made it this far so we should be proud!

Although this process hasn’t always been glamorous it has at least been real. In my upcoming family court trial I can at least rest easy knowing I have no skeletons in my closet. I am supposed to take down a video I made which have photos of my son in it but no I won’t. The video is all real and a depiction of some of the ‘not so nice’ moments over the past few years. If anyone can prove that any of it is untrue or made up by me then I will take it down. Until then no I won’t be swept under the rug because it doesn’t look good or makes you uncomfortable. I lived it, how about you try it sometime and then tell me if you’re angry. ‘I am what I am’ and that is a good person, amazing mother and worth so much more that you think I deserve.

Who are you?

Well I’m referring to you mother! I know you will be reading this. You read them all don’t you? Well I promise you the world will see you for what you are. That is a nasty, manipulative, neglectful control freak who has spent her children’s entire lifetimes setting them up to fail and then publicly humiliating them so you can play the victim of your children. You don’t try at all where were you while I raised myself and younger sister? That’s right making sure the world thinks you’re an angle!! I often wonder who I could have become or what I could have achieved had I not had to endure a miserable existence with you as a mother and that vile emotionless and abusive man I’m supposed to call my father. What makes you think you could raise my son any better? I will tell you that you got one thing right and that was marrying a man who you never loved let’s face it. He was a cash cow for your but the best father I could have asked for.

You do realise he is my son? You don’t even talk to him about me as his mother, just about me as a child. HE IS MY SON and not yours. I will never forgive you for this. I was a good mother and you know it! I learnt from your mistakes already and you will see that in the end you are alone while I am closer than you and I have ever been to my son.

You will be seeing me soon.

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 2,044 Of Domestic Violence – Confidence In Me

On the days leading up to releasing a video to help promote my fundraiser I feel nervous about letting it all hang out there. It’s one thing to tell people in passing but it’s another to expose myself to the world.

I have not been an angel whilst on this path but a lot of really unpleasant and unfair things have happened to me. Some that were out of my control.

I was talking with a new friend about the mistakes we make along the way. He felt bad for giving up and detouring from the path of getting his kids back. I’m of the belief that beating ourselves up constantly causes us to spiral even more. How someone deals with their pain or trauma is personal and it annoys me when the world and it’s finger pointers ask us the obvious questions like ‘why didn’t you leave?’. Thank you Captain Obvious!! I sometimes think it’s an attempt to make us feel bad or maybe to portray themselves above us. My answer to that is usually ‘really because I baked him a cake, I didn’t even think of leaving!’. Can’t people just quietly listen or give us constructive criticism?

I personally like the line ‘you can’t change the past but you can prevent the future from being any worse’. Let’s face it we are the ones that have to live with it, we are the ones who have to do all the hard work to change it and we are the ones that have to look our kids in the eye and tell them the whole thing one day, no one else.

So here I am. I’m still in one piece, little bit shaken but for the most part ready to take on the world. I am still very much unlucky in love but my want to be the best mother I can be has not changed.

To my boy I love you more than you will ever know. In the end it will all make sense and this will all be a distant memory.

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.