Sunday, January 29, 2012

TRUTH

I WAS a victim of domestic violence. 
I hate the word "victim." 
People use it out of context or make it something it isn't.
This has and will forever change my life.
I just went for a walk with someone I care deeply about.
We talked about future plans and goals - and the importance of having a relationship with God in our lives.

I was told once that I should wait to talk about my experiences until I have completed "so much" therapy and "so much" time has past. 
I disagree.
Talking to others has helped me more than any counselor could.


I have been consistently asked, "Why did you let that happen to you?"  And have heard several comments of, "Well, I would never let that happen to me," or "I would have left that situation a long time ago," or "What did you see in him, he looks like a thug."
Well, I am sorry, but I have never been a person to judge another, especially based on looks and tattoos. 
I realized, however, that until you have lived the terror I succombed and been exposed to the things things I saw and experienced, getting out of the relationship was not so easy. 
What is the saying?  "Easier said then done." 
For me personally, my family supported me, but it was only conditionally.  They judged me without talking to me. 
I know that they tried to help in their own way,
but it unintentionally caused more harm then good. 
At Christmas time, I received many cards from family and most of them said, "You need to find God in your life." 
But what my family doesn't realize is that God was with me and he helped me to find the strength to get away. 
I remember times when I would pull out my Bible.  He would get so angry, but when I had my Bible in hand and read scripture over and over again, for some odd reason, he would not touch me during those times. 
It was those moments, that I felt safe in an unsafe situation.
What my family and friends do not realize is that
I was trying to protect them
I cared more about their safety then my own. 

Lately, I have had a recurring dream that has opened my eyes to the reality of what I went through. 
In my dream, I was looking down on a funeral. 
My children were there, my family, and my friends were there. 
But where was I? 
Then I saw my name on a wreath next to the casket. 
It was my funeral. 
In my dream, I could feel the hurt my family felt,
and I could feel the anger of how I died. 
I died because I chose to stay with a man who hurt me in everyway. 
I recalled the feeling of wishing I was dead during the abuse. 
But then, to see my own funeral - my heart sank. 
In my dream I began asking myself, "Why? Why was I not stronger?  Why did I not find a way to leave?  Why did I allow this man to tear apart my family?  What are my kids going to do without me?"
Then I wake up.

God gave me the strength to make a move and get out of a bad situation.  God has given me a second chance. 
How am I going to use this chance? 

I have seen an evil like no other, and unfortunately, the evil is everywhere.  It is in selfishness and greed.  It is in words and hurtful thoughts.  It occurs with substance abuse and fear. 
It encaptures victims and allows hate.  I hate evil.

I have a second chance.

I know that talking about a situation that is harming one's self is VERY difficult, speaking out can proivide a healing power that nothing else can.  I am not alone and neither are the women trapped in this horrible epidemic that has been occuring since the beginning of time.

No news channel or one person can even fathom, nor expose the true damage that occurs when someone you love is hurting you - physically, sexually, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

I am turning this over to God.  I pray that one day, I can help at least one person get out of a dangerous and hurtful situation - just I was helped.  But just getting out of the situation is not enough. 
No one will ever be able to simply take away the trauma and hurt that a person experiences when they feel their life or their family's life is in danger. 
It is the power of healing that makes its true mark in your life. 

The journey I have been through is still tramatizing to me -
but I have chosen to speak out. 
If you support this cause, please follow my blog. 
Feel free to post comments and questions.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012




Last evening, I spent some quality time with a friend of mine from high school.  Thinking back, we both agree that 15 years ago, we never would have imagined that we would be such close friends.  

This honorable man has never lied to me, he has never forgotten me, and he has become a mentor and counselor to me.  He knows more about me then my own family.  

I shared with him my most inner feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.  
He recalled a little piece of me I used to know so very well.  

Today, I woke up with a different attitude because of his 
wisdom and compassionate words.

This man has always been straight with me, even when it hurts.  
As we were sitting and talking, he said to me, 
"I am not going to let you wallow - 
even if it means making you upset or angry enough to persevere."  

God Bless you and Thank you.

This is a true friend.  You know who you are....thank you for seeing me for me, accepting me no matter what, and always caring.  Love ya.



Now, I am going to push through....I don't care what anyone else thinks of me or says about me.  
I am doing it, and I will find the light.  

Last night, I was also reminded that I am lucky enough 
to have a second chance - there are many women who don't.  

So, ladies - Let's talk.  

Please no names, but post away.  

Share your troubles.  

Allow me and others to pray for you, reach out to you, and walk along-side you during the hard but meaningful movement to 
TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE, YOUR INTEGRITY, 
AND YOUR HUMANITY.  

Post a comment, or send me a personal email if you would like.  

"You are not alone, he said".  He is right.



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Signs of Domestic Violence


Facts About Domestic Violence
 
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, occurs when one person causes physical or psychological harm to a current or former intimate partner. It includes all acts of violence within the context of family or intimate relationships. Besides being the leading cause of injury to women in the United States (a woman is beaten every 15 seconds), it is an issue of increasing concern because of its negative effect on all family members, especially children.


While accurate information on the extent of domestic violence is difficult to obtain because of under-reporting, some aspects of the problem are known:
  • Domestic violence is not confined to any one socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, racial or age group and knows no geographic or educational boundaries. It also occurs within teenage relationships and among same-sex partnerships.
  • About one out of every four women in America will be physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. In fact, American women are more likely to be assaulted, injured, raped or killed by a male partner than by any other type of assailant.
  • Estimates of assaults on women by partners range from approximately 2 million to 4 million annually in the United States.
  • The majority of women killed at work are murdered by a current or former intimate partner.
What are the signs of domestic violence?
If you believe you may be in an abusive relationship, here are some questions to ask yourself:
  • Have you ever been physically hurt, such as being kicked, pushed, choked or punched, by your partner or ex-partner?
  • Has your partner ever used the threat of hurting you or members of your family to get you to do something?
  • Has your partner ever injured or abused your pets?
  • Has your partner ever destroyed your property or things that you care about?
  • Has your partner tried to keep you from seeing your family, going to school or doing other things that are important to you?
  • Do you feel like you are being controlled or isolated by your partner? For instance, does your partner control your money, transportation, activities or social contacts?
  • Have you ever been forced by your partner to have sex when you did not want to or to have unsafe sex?
  • Is your partner jealous and always questioning whether you are faithful?
  • Does your partner regularly blame you for things that you cannot control, or for his/her violent outbursts?
  • Does your partner regularly insult you?
  • Are you ever afraid of your partner or of going home? Does he/she make you feel unsafe?
There are other signs of domestic violence that observers might see in a relative or friend who is in an abusive relationship. They include:
  • being prone to "accidents" or being repeatedly injured
  • having injuries that could not be caused unintentionally or that do not match the story of what happened to cause them
  • having injuries on many different parts of the body, such as the face, throat, neck, chest, abdomen or genitals
  • having bruises, burns or wounds that are shaped like teeth, hands, belts, cigarette tips or that look like the injured person has a glove or sock on (from having a hand or foot placed in boiling water)
  • having wounds in various states of healing
  • often seeking medical help or, conversely, waiting to seek or not seeking medical help even for serious injuries
  • showing signs of depression
  • using alcohol or other drugs
  • attempting suicide
What are the health effects of domestic violence?
Besides the obvious physical injuries, domestic violence can lead to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. Abuse also might trigger suicide attempts or psychotic episodes.


How can you leave an abusive partner?
Leaving an abuser can be dangerous. In order to do it as safely as possible, you should plan ahead and take the following precautions:
  • Pack a bag ahead of time that will be available to take with you when you decide it is the safest time to leave. Include items such as extra clothes, important papers, money, extra keys and prescription medications.
  • Know exactly where you will go and how you will get there.
  • Call a local women’s shelter or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) to find out about legal options and resources available to you.
While making plans to leave, avoid making long-distance phone calls from home of using a cell phone. An abuser could trace long-distance calls to find out where you are going or intercept your cell phone conversations using a scanner. Also, be aware that the abuser may be able to monitor your Internet activities and access your e-mail account.


Where can you turn to for help?
In an emergency situation, call 911 or your local law enforcement agency. If you are not in immediate danger, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-Safe (7233), which provides crisis intervention and referrals to in-state or out-of-state resources, such as women’s shelters or crisis centers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Where do I even begin?  
I am coming out of a very bad domestic violence situation that occurred in Denver, Colorado.  In the midst of the event, I lost my kids, I had my car stolen, and I lost my home.  I had to relocate to a place where I have never felt as alone as I do.  I lost my family's faith in me and I had to relinquish many of the friends I had.  I am 32.  
A little piece of my story (from the publicist perspective), which has brought me to where I am at today can be viewed in the following links:


http://www.kdvr.com/kdvr-man-accused-of-holding-denver-woman-hostage-for-months-in-home-20111009,0,5871373.story

http://www.9news.com/rss/article.aspx?storyid=223962

Or just search online for "Eric Barney, Colorado, Aggravated Assault."
There are so many different links, it is not even funny.  
The story not only made local news, but national and international news.  

What a nightmare.  
Yes, most of what the news stations reported was accurate, 
but then things were also skewed or left out at one point or another 
in order to draw attention.  
Then, I love it(sarcastically) how so many people had comments to make on the news channel online blogs regarding looks, 
tattoos, or what I "supposedly" did to "deserve" it. 
Lies and misjudgments all around. 
Everyone has their own opinion I guess, but only I know how it all happened.

 So, now here I am.  I am simply here.  I can hardly breathe.  
I am lost on the inside and outside.  I don't know how to feel happy anymore.  I search and I search, but I don't know what I am looking for.  
I don't trust anyone....I don't know anyone.  
I don't know me.  
I know I am depressed, I have General Anxiety Disorder, and 
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  
I have nothing left....
and I have lost my integrity....
all because I didn't want to be hurt anymore.

I met him, we talked, we clicked.  
I fell head over heels for a man I didn't know.  
I trusted without thinking.  
It felt so good to have someone there who wanted to be with me.  
He looked different then, different then those mug shots, he looked clean.  
He seemed nice and genuine.  
He made me feel important and needed.  
He tricked me.

Now, I am lost in a world that I no longer know.  
I blame myself to the extent that I don't want to be here anymore.  
My heart is in pieces and my life is in shatters.  
The thought of a job....scares me.  
I apply and I apply for work, but no one answers.  
It is not because of them or my credentials, 
it is because of my thoughts and fears.  

So, where do I go from here?

I face the reality.

 I need to help other women who have been or are going through what I faced. 
I need to make sure that more resources are available for women in these situations. 
I want to develop in-home services for women who are really struggling - like me.  
I want to see the light and hold the light.