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.

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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 2,033 Of Domestic Violence – Home Is Not A Place It’s A Feeling!

Recently I said good bye to the last place I considered home. It was a home I lived in about a decade ago full of fond memories I will cherish forever. I am officially an orphan now and it’s sad to not have that safe place to return to when I need a break from the big bad world. It seems that with finally breaking out in my own has come to the point of no return.

It seems as if that had been happening a lot in 2018. Earlier this year I lost my own home, the first one on my own and one I wanted to share with my son. My Nana’s home was sold as she went into a nursing home as well.

Christine Avenue Varsity Lakes was my home for a few years in 2008. It was the last remaining place that I ever felt a part of a family. It was safe but now that place it set for sale and the occupants to move on to a simpler life away from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast’s bright lights.

I lived with a very load family. This family consisted of Mum and Dad (substitute parents), my boyfriend at the time, adopted brother and myself. Let’s not forget the family Pet, Spike!

Just like all naughty children we kept our parents on their toes. No wonder they needed a stiff drink somedays.

This family left an ever lasting impression on me and I will hold them all dearly in my heart forever. I remember terrorizing my adopted brother much like I would had he been my real brother. I love that him and I have stayed close over the years. Some famous words from the wise old adopted father who loves country music are ‘for f**k sake Scott…..’, ‘what’s the f**king point?’, ‘oh f**k off’ just to name a few. In fact I have already named one of my previous blogs in honor of him (‘what’s the fucking point’, on 7th May 2018) I regularly use terms made famous by him in my dad to day living. I remember that afternoons consisted of Bold and the Beautiful at 4.30pm and a glass of wine before my substitute mother yelled ‘guys dinner is ready’.

Apart from occasionally at my Nanny’s house this was the first place I ever consistently sat at a table to eat a meal. Growing up my dad fed us McDonalds or nachos in front of the tv. My mother was always at work so my sister and I sometimes ate at the table together but I remember it being really quite and lonely just the two of us until my stepdad walked in the door between 7 and 7.30 and after catching public transport home by which time we had usually eaten.

Eating dinner at a table as a family might be ‘just a thing’ for some, for me it was massive. It is something I tried to implement in my own life after having my son.

Now this family may have had there issues but I have never felt so much love in one room before in my life. It was almost immediately after moving in that I felt like one of them and it’s a feeling I will hold close to my heart forever. Eating as a family was consistent and everyone knew their rolls, the cooks (parents) and cleaning crew who got fired and rehired every night (three naughty children who snuck off after dinner only to be found smoking and put in their place).

Even though I broke up with this particular boyfriend almost 10 years ago now I have visited this home many times over the last 10 years. On these occasions I have sat at the same table, in the same seat, not alway with all the members as one may have been ‘away’ on a vacation. I even brought my son here when he was a baby to meet my adopted family and see my old house because it was a place that I always treasured.

Saying good bye to it has been a roller coaster of emotions so for the occupants I can only imagine how emotional it will be as they pack up and say good bye.

Officially having no safe place scares me and I hope the future works out in the end. more often than not I have received the raw end of the stick so anxiety sets in when I think about the future.

I have found another new job that if all goes well should result in a more than stable future for my son and I. It’s exciting being part of a business starting at ground zero. With a tight budget and individual fueled with an idea and a whole lot of passion is exciting. When I look at my new bosses face throughout the day I can tell that the old me is returning. I have always been capable, driven and someone talented beyond most.

It reminds me of a show I watched a few years ago, ‘Hold and Catch Fire’. So far it seems like two misfits led by a gentle yet sometimes mad genius who looks somewhat like a teenage kid when he walks around with a backpack on.

Domestic violence took away a lot of my confidence. It began in a subtle way through comments and ended in scary violent scenes. Just as I didn’t see it in the beginning I didn’t see it when they took my son. It has taken time to get back my confident self and I know in time my son will return. When that happens I will make sure that is the last time.

Never before have I heard the advice on how to deal with your daughter upon discovering she is in a domestically violent relationship is to throw her out in the street, attempt to move her violent partner in and use her as a scapegoat. Never have I heard that even though you were a first hand witness, you should lie about what you saw and refuse to tell the police what you saw. Never have I heard that you should write letters of support for the man you saw with your own eyes violently slamming your daughters head into a window sill while she attempted to shield her child underneath her. Never have I heard that you should take away her rights as a mother by exposing her demons and covering up her violent partners. Never have I heard that you should take away two years of her seeing her son grow up because she no longer wants to live with your controlling behaviors. Never have I heard of a mother even thinking such cruel and damaging things. You don’t deserve to call yourself a mother as you are more of a monster who seems to enjoy breaking a person. Your actions have in the last driven your daughter to want to end her own life to escape the pain you inflict upon her and her son first hand.

From the beginning all she asked for was the support of her family. Just the space to get the help she needs and only knows what she needs. In the end I promise you I will never give you the opportunity to know the new me. You deserve so much worse but all you will get is a good bye from me. To live out your days alone and the day you die it will not concern me. You made me hate myself and made this journey so much harder than it needed to be. There is no excuse but if you think you have won the war then just you wait and see.

To my son, one day this will all make sense to you and you will see the truth. Then you can make an informed decision about who you want in your life.

Home is not a place it’s a feeling!

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

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.

Day 1,864 Of Domestic Violence – The Yin And Yang Of Love ❤️

I met someone who spoke about an important relationship in their past not working due to the fact they were almost yin and yang when it came to the way they lived their lives. It was suggested that a relationship between two polar opposites was impossible and doomed right from the start to ever work due to that fact. So is it possible for the police officer and the career criminal to make it work? Or is that example too much of an extreme? Possibly Romeo & Juliette? Now they were from two opposing families but essentially their upbringings were in line with each other. The issue being their feuding families placing them in opposition to each other.

Fundamentally we all seek out a partner for the same reasons, or at least most of us do. To fulfill our desire for things such as experience greater connection, security, love, support, comfort, sex etc. When you have the addition of someone completely different to yourself I would think it adds a sustained levels of passion and possibly excitement to things? I would think that if you are a person who is strong willed and opinionated it would keep the ‘fight alive’, thus making it exciting for an extended period of time?

What could be wrong with finding someone so similar to ourselves when relationships are involved? I know I have almost met myself just in male form before which was scary. I took away from those chance encounters an insight into what people deal with on a daily basis having had to put up with me!!!

I would however think that a couples core values would have to be in line for it to work! Possibly this extends to something like religious beliefs? I am not too sure as I have been subjected to years of catholic school and walked away with an agnostic view on the issue. All but one ex partner I have had in the past were non believing. I was ok with him having a belief but I wasn’t pleased about it being rammed down my throat! It was a case of ‘keep it to yourself’ and obviously as I am single it didn’t work out for us. I would say children and the importance of them to a relationship would be a big one? As well as marriage, money and what importance it is place upon as well. A big one for me and probably others is the issue of fidelity. I am sure there are more but these are the ones that immediately come to mind.

Now I am in no way an expert on relationships and to be honest, I completely suck at it! So when it comes to my past failed relationships, it is them or me? Well both probably. There are a few of the above I place importance upon but in my opinion, I have always struggled with being able to ‘do my own thing’ within a relationship. I have a long history of men who have been quite jealous, possessive, controlling, angry, unfaithful and really unhappy with themselves. I have struggled to be myself, or at least feel uncomfortable to be myself. I found that more often than not I was always apologizing when I haven’t done anything wrong. They have come from all walks of life, none of them have ever looked similar but I guess the one thing hey had in common was they were funny! Is that humorous side hiding the darkness though?

So in our quest for true love and that happily ever after where are we going wrong? What is the recipe for success? Whether it’s similarities or polar opposites that are the key to success, then what needs to exist for it to have a chance? What are the right questions we need to ask someone we think might be the one? What traits do they need to embody to make the recipe just right?

In my opinion and what I believe for my own situation is that it’s a ‘best friend’ type I need to find. Someone who gives me the space to do my own thing when it comes to working and really the stamp I leave on the world. At the same time I want them to have my back when I need it. Someone I can tell all the gossip and secrets to without feeling judged or betrayed. I believe that as I am strong willed and opinionated that my other half should be the same. Knowing what I need means that I also need to be able to offer that in return. I know I don’t want to dominate someone, change who they are or be in a relationship where I am the centre of the universe.

Whether I actively or better yet subconsciously search for my best friend type is questionable sometimes! They talk about common denominators and yes it is blaringly obvious that the main one is me!!

Is any of this the key to ending the cycle of violence in my life thus far? So to my new friend, 1985, also unlucky in love. Whilst giving me food for thought on my 40 min train ride to work this morning what is your opinion? Should you be so brave to speak out! Or are we both just destined to scratch our heads while telling our friends ridiculous tales of love gone so horribly sideways for eternity?

Do we really teach people how to treat us?

If so, why is that the outcome they arrive at in the end?