Click on the link 'The Everyday Girl Magazine' below to read some of my story about domestic abuse and how I overcame. My pictures and story are on pages 58-62.
Please get help if you or someone you know is suffering from abuse. You may not even realize that what is happening is really classified as 'abuse', but if it feels wrong, please find out what you can do. Many lives are lost each day because of domestic /sexual violence.
Get help today!! http://www.thehotline.org/ or call 1-800-799-7233
I just found out last week that one of my Facebook friends committed suicide. My heart is hurting. It hurts not only for her death, but for her life. She and I had way too much in common.
I will not say I knew her well. I didn't. But the bond we did share is that we each were abused in domestic violence related attacks, we were each not believed within the court system, we each lost access to the ones we loved the most (our children), we each battled the fear of it happening again, and we each went spiraling into depression and lost identity the day they left.
I loved her because I KNEW the pain she went through. We instantly bonded, as so many other victims of domestic and sexual violence and I have done over the last several years. I knew her fear. I knew her distrust. I knew her hatred for what wouldn't leave her alone and continued to torment her. I knew her heartache and that is what makes me cry even now. I know that place of wanting to die because it feels like the pain is too much to handle. Justice doesn't reign in so many cases of domestic violence or other types of abuse. Losses come and so many people and professionals look to the victim like they are the one at fault.
I know how hard it is to lose your children because of someone's else's hatred and lies. I know how hard it is to feel like everyone is blaming you. From a person who knows the struggle, I know how hard it is to keep going when everything begins to feel like it's your fault. I felt crazy and many people were telling me I was.
My friend lost access to her son a few months ago. She killed herself because of it. I have spent years in therapy and at the footstool of Christ trying to make sense over not being able to see my own children, not being able to hold them and raise them and show them my heart. I spent years wanting and praying to die. My life withstood the pressure and I came out on the other side. I cry because I don't why my friend didn't make it. I cry because I know how hard it is to withstand that kind of pain in losing a child. I cry because I know the injustice that is felt and the disbelief that people can't see the truth. I cry because she's gone and her children will never know her in person on this earth.
If you are in a situation where you feel suicide is your way out, please reconsider. Please call me or contact a suicide hotline. Our children are only children for a time. They grow up and God has showed me in the last several years that life isn't about whether we lose or we win. It is about Him. He stepped into my gap of loss with seeing all four of my children. He stepped in and gave me life despite what the court system and the people of this world took from and said about me. He is the One we need most of all and I give my friends life to Him, even in her death. She was a believer and I know she was loved by Him.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
People that want to hurt other people are everywhere. I expect that some have been hurt themselves, some are just mean and some are probably disabled with mental illness. Some do it intentionally and some do not.
I watch so many people lose focus on their own life because of how others are mistreating them or oftentimes how they think others are mistreating them. They lose their own hopes and dreams and become lost in the drama and chaos of others and how they are treated.
How do you move past this? It isn't always easy, but it is possible. My life changed the day I decided that I wasn't going to focus on what was 'lost' or what I didn't have, but on what I did have. I was going to be positive, not negative. I stopped trying to 'prove' my innocence and decided to live. When bad things came, I dealt with it and moved on. When triggers from my past came, I prayed and learned to let things go. I faced my fears with the help of Jesus Christ and moved on. The Lord changed my heart and my perspective on my own life. Without Him, I don't think I could have ever found myself again. Without Him, I know I couldn't have found life again.
At first glance, I didn't see that I had much to be positive about at that time in my life. I had one suitcase, was living in a hotel room in another city and had little to no access to my children. My parents weren't really talking to me, I didn't believe that any of my friends were still friends and I was wandering around lost and feeling completely alone. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I had bought the lie that those hurtful people were saying about me. I bought the lie and didn't think I had anything to offer to anyone. I bought the lie that my mistakes made me someone awful. Lord help those that really think that about themselves and feel they must put others down to life themselves up.
What I didn't realize at that time, is that others can't hurt me if I don't believe the lie. I had been telling myself this same lie since I was a young girl. I have no idea why. My parents never minimized me in this way. They didn't speak these negative words over me as a child. I still have no idea why I thought so little of myself as a little girl, but I did. The change in my heart began when I stepped back into my childhood and realized that I was loved. I was adored by Christ at that time. Even if I didn't know Him, He knew me. Even if I never felt it from my parents, Jesus did love me and this was most important of all. Once I realized I was loved and that I mattered, things began to change. Once I began speaking life over myself instead of death, I started knowing that I was important. Everything began to change.
I think one of the hardest things in life is to face our past and to face our fears. If we don't know the truth and aren't willing to face it because of fear, I think we live in a life that isn't the fullest we can have. I think it's impossible to live in 'freedom' until we face those things that haunt us. Many can't face these things, I believe, because they don't have an advocate to do it. People in life fail us, and we think there isn't anyone to help. This isn't true. Jesus is our advocate and He is there. It isn't always comfortable and it isn't always fun, but I do believe He works things for our good. It's up to us to seek Him and ask Him what He thinks about our life and the situations in it.
Start today. Move forward regardless of what you have or what you don't have. Move forward regardless of what has happened to you, what others say about you, or even what you believe. Choose to live and be positive. You can't change anyone but yourself, so start today. Ask Christ for help. Live the best life you can live for as long as you are here. The worst thing isn't death to me if you believe in Christ, you have eternity. I believe the worst thing is to waste your life and everything in it because of the fear of what you can't control anyway.
So many people are struggling with symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from various traumas they have endured. Here is one woman's viewpoint of how things feel when you are locked deep inside these emotions that come by suffering from PTSD. There IS HOPE for healing and recovery from these feelings. If you or anyone you know is suffering, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or go to http://www.thehotline.org/ for immediate assistance.
You may also contact one of our life coaches for help in healing with Jesus Christ. Change can come. Don't give up and never stop believing.
Rachel Lehman RN
By Metta Mo
The walks I’ll never take, The hand I’ll never hold
The laughs I’ll never share, The stories never told
The bonds I’ll never make, The jokes I’ll never hear
The ever looming presence of trauma related fear.
The years I’ll never get back, The love I have never had
The good moments that have been overshadowed by the bad
The peace that never seems to come, The help I never get, but need
The endless nights I cry, The hope that's fading fast
The memories never made, The nightmares of the past.
The anger, The disappointment, The success I may never know
The hurt, the hurt, the hurt, The hurt that left a hole
The anxiety, the nervousness, The lost and frightened soul
The talks I never get to have, The time I’ll never get to spend
The joy I seldom feel, The many times I beg God please let this pain end.
The years that were stolen, The songs I’ll never sing, The dance I’ll never get to do,
The picture perfect family, All ruined because of you.
The trust that was betrayed, The fault that is my own, The wrong decisions that I made,
The love I cannot give now, The walls that I have built,
The lonely that I live with, The overwhelming guilt.
The broken heart that beats inside me, The smile gone from my face
The pieces that are missing, The youth that cannot be replaced
The energy I never have, The wounds that just don’t heal
The never ending sadness and the tiredness that I feel.
The lack of understanding, The people that I’ve lost
The burden that I carry while your life is so carefree
The children that don’t have a Dad, The Mom that I just can’t be
The many lives you’ve damaged, because of what you did to me.
The apology that will never come, The struggle to forgive
The brokenness the emptiness, The life that I now live.
The uneducated opinions of those who think this is a choice
These are the words you would hear if PTSD had a voice.
by Journey Starke
He can be pretty mean. “But It's okay… Because he doesn't yell at me.”
He yells. “It's okay… Because he didn't cuss at me.”
He cussed. “It's okay… Because he didn't embarrass me in from of my friends.”
He makes you feel worthless in front of your friends. “But it's okay.. Because he isn't controlling you.”
He starts controlling where and when you do things. He calls and texts repeatedly when you're gone. “But it's okay.. Because he doesn't isolate me.”
He loves you so much that he wants you to spend time with only him, no one else. “It's okay… Because he loves me and he's not violent.”
He smashed his phone and punched a hole in the wall next to your face during an argument. “But it's okay… because he hasn't hurt ME.”
He grabbed your arm so hard it left a bruise. “But it's okay… Because he didn't really mean to and it wasn't a punch or anything.
He punched you in the shoulder and you cried. “But it's okay… because it wasn't my face.”
He backhanded you across the mouth and gave you a fat lip. “But it's okay.. Because he says he won't do it again. He loves me. And He's sorry.”
It's not okay. He will do it again.
These are all things that happened in my relationship and all my excuses that followed them.
Until I realized that NONE of that was okay.
It's okay that you love him, but it's not okay how he treats you. It's okay to miss him, but you don't want him back.
There are many resources and people to help you if you ever fall into this awful cycle. I didn't realize how bad my relationship was until I wrote this. I am trying to get out & writing some of my story this was was very therapeutic. All of you are so strong and so inspirational.
I'm finding my strength, I hope you are too. ❤️
Thank you to my husband for always being there and supporting me in everything I do. You truly are a gift to my heart!
My life has been littered with unexpected turns, disappointments, trials, losses and much to learn about some choices I've made. Many have hurt me and I have hurt many others. I have laughed, cried, struggled and thought about dying way too often in some seasons of life. I learned to overcome through the power of Jesus Christ. This took many years of my life to learn. It's called a process and does not happen overnight.
Some know me, many others do not, but judge me from a distance. Some are jealous of me and I found myself in a place of jealousy for many others. Why, I would ask. Why is my life a mess? Why did I lose what I always wanted? Why do I so often find myself looking in from the outside? Like looking into a window, but never being able to find the door to just go inside.
Years I waited. Years I prayed. For years my life was an unintentional mess with many turning their backs on me, telling lies about me. Passing judgement and being critical about things they never even tried to understand about me or my life. I struggled with people's words against me. After praying for myself and for those others that were being hopelessly mean, I lost even more things in life and even more of my self. I couldn't find the light or the purpose for my life. I thought I must be the problem, I must be the one God is really mad at. I waited, I prayed, I waited. I was tired and the wait seemed endlessly hopeless.
Things I prayed for didn't return. I felt I had no reason to be alive. No reason to live. No family to embrace me. No one at home to smile and hug me when I arrived. I kept turning to Christ and crying out to Him for an answer. I kept crying out to Him for a reason to be alive. In these times of hardship, one thing began happening. I began finding joy despite the things in the world. A light was emerging inside of me and I didn't even know it had arrived. I began finding joy inside my own heart. I began healing. I began laughing. I began to understand how to overcome the struggle, despite the pain, despite the loss, despite the past. I once again began to live, but this time was different. The same things didn't get to me. I was stronger and not as emotionally bound to the negative things in life. I was becoming bolder and more courageous. More able to stand on my own, without a man dictating my actions or my beliefs. I was finding myself to be a woman, no longer feeling like a child inside needing love that never came. My inner child was relearning how to love without regret. How to love with innocence. How to love because I am lovable regardless of what others say about me.
God had recreated my heart and my life. He did this through the struggle. Just like a caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly. He created my life to show Himself in a whole different way than when I began the struggle. My life was now different. I don't regret the past, but embrace the future. I now have an amazing, courageous, kind and generous husband who supports me in everything I do. He is likeable and very trustable with not only myself, but with all things. He is not without mistakes or weaknesses, just like me, but we have learned to grow together. We both love Christ and were willing to try again, willing to trust again, and willing to give our lives to the One who created us. This was truly a marriage to remember. My hope is in Jesus and I will never be the same.
The life of domestic abuse oftentimes leads us to places we never dreamed we be. We find ourselves amidst chaos and uncertainty. We find ourselves seemingly lost, but are we really found? Never give up hoping. Never give up dreaming. Never give up in this thing called life. You will find yourself again. Just be patient and keep moving towards the light.
by Metta Mo
We are the apple of His eye.
The core of your true self is never really lost, it doesnt really matter the circumstances or the storms that you have been through. At the core of who you are is everything you need to grow and thrive it has been planted from the beginning. Your true self is who the Lord intended for you to be, who He created for you to be. Jeremiah 1:5 states, Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. God has always had a plan for each of us. The trials we face, the suffering, self inflicted or not causes pain that changes how we live life daily, but it does not change who we really are. Abuse, trauma, grief all those things can cause us to take on characteristics that we form just as a method of survival. But if we are able to heal and accept the process then all the walls, defenses and layers we have built up to guard ourselves, can be peeled away, and we can find our true self at the core. From there we can stop pretending to be what we have become through the pain, and just be who our heavenaly Father planned for us to be all along. From early on the seed was planted, from day one you were meant for more. The one thing that will make a difference is when God is at the core. Because when we didn't, God did, when we wouldn't, God would, and when we couldn't God could. Now it is our turn, If we will, He will...if we will turn to Him, trust in His word and have faith that His promises for us will be fulfilled, then He will Save us, love us, help us, deliver us, and free us. That is the kind of love our heavenly father has for us, and as the children of God, we are the apple of his eye.
No matter where you are in life, just know a change can happen. Life is a journey. It comes with ups and down, forwards and backwards. We don't always pick what happens. We can't always get out of what we find ourselves in. But Jesus knows the way. Rely on Him today. Ask Him for strength and direction. Ask Him for wisdom. Ask Him for help.
No one else may understand where you are. Your friends and family may think you are crazy. Your co workers may be against you. Jesus is always there.
In my walk of healing, I have found that Jesus was many times the only One who understood me. He never condemned me. He often didn't even convict me. He wanted my love. He wants your love. He wants us to rely on Him for direction and help. He turns us in ways we may not have expected.
Church isn't Jesus. I found that many times people within the church didn't understand me or what I was going through. I thought they would be there. I thought they would understand. It doesn't always make them bad or against us. They may just not be able to see what you already know. That you are in danger. That your life is in turmoil. They may blame you but Jesus won't. He wants your love. He wants you to turn to Him even now in prayer and ask Him for help. He will lead you in the right direction even if you can't immediately see it. He hears your prayers and He will answer you.
Life is a journey. Give yourself a break and don't expect perfection. Learn to love and appreciate the small things. Laugh more. Find ways to encourage yourself. You will get through this. Just keep pressing forward into His love for you.
Rachel Everhart RN