Why I didn’t Report It….

People don’t report it because of B.S. like yesterday’s hearing, because of the weeks leading up to it, because in this society we seek sympathy for the attacker while simultaneously trying to discredit the victim and putting them on trial.

People don’t report it because rarely is justice served, especially if said person is in a position of power, a celebrity or athlete, or of “good moral standing” (basically rich white boys).

People don’t report because boys will be boys ( which apparently means they do not have to be taught to control their urges), because people change and they were just teenagers, she was dressed inappropriately, because “no” isn’t really no, because we don’t value consent, because they were under the influence, because they hooked up or kissed before.

People don’t report it because they are ashamed (being assaulted makes you feel dirty, makes you feel so many tumultuous emotions, no matter how many showers you take or how hard you scrub you can never wash it away, trust me I have tried), they are wracked with guilt (freezing is very common and the guilt of not being “strong” enough to stop it is very real and very hard to come to terms with), many times their safety is threatened, as mine was one of the times I was raped, I was told to shut up and be quiet or else he would go shoot my cousins in front of me and still rape me, he held a gun to my head.

I didn’t report any of the attacks after my first one because I never got justice.

My father molested me when I was 9, we sought justice, but because I was far too traumatized to speak at his trial he got to plea bargain and hardly served anytime in jail. We are talking he got out in less than 4 months because of “good behavior.” For months afterwards I had nightmares, I had to sleep with my mama, I checked every door and window several times to ensure they were locked, I was convinced it was my fault, it was because I wasn’t a boy (he always wanted me to be a boy, told me as much and cut my hair and dressed me up like a boy, even after my brother was born.) I was so traumatized and that incident as well as the ones which have preceded it have had a dramatic impact on every facet of my life, but especially my romantic and physical/sexual relationships.

So the first time my cousin assaulted me,he forced me to give him a hand job, tried to do more, but he only stopped because my other cousin saw and because I broke down asking him why he was doing this to me (this was within a year or so of my dad molesting me.) We never pursued it because I didn’t want to go through another trial, the first one was traumatic enough, because we chalked it up to childhood curiosity, because I didn’t want my family to hate me.

The second time when he raped me the morning of my mother’s wedding, I told no one… for years I kept it a secret. I was getting ready to leave for the Navy in a few weeks (I had worked my whole life to enlist, signed up for 8 years right off the bat and everything), I didn’t want to go to a trial, I didn’t want to have to recount that morning/night (it happened between 3 and 4 am) over and over again, I didn’t want to remember that morning, I just wanted to forget, I wanted to get away, to get as far away as I could. I wanted to go somewhere that he couldn’t touch me. The military could also give me the knowledge and ability to protect myself better (a definite bonus, although not my reason for enlisting)
While away at basic I had a massive nervous breakdown while there and ended up having to leave. I ended up losing out on my lifelong dream of being in the military, I had to choose to walk away from something I had spent my life working for, because I knew that I needed to process the trauma and wasn’t willing to risk my own life or the life of my fellow sailors (did not want to have a flashback during an important mission.) I had compartmentalized the whole attack which I thought would be enough, but the military is designed to break you physically and mentally and it shattered the fortress I had built around that fateful day. Losing the military nearly broke me, I lost a piece of myself that day, a piece I have yet to recover, I was devastated. It has been 13 years since I enlisted and not a day goes by that I do not wish things had turned out differently.

The only reason I broke down and told my mom, was because she had been thinking about allowing him to live with us. This was 2 years after the attack, 2 years of sitting in silence, 2 years of pretending like nothing had happened, 2 years of guilt, of shame, of flashbacks, 2 years after losing my whole world, 2 years of failed relationships, 2 years of a failed attempt at college, 2 years of so many emotions.

Even when I told her, we still decided to never take it beyond that point. My family had been through so much, I had been through so much, still I was trying to forget it ever happened. I wanted no one to know I had been violated, I wanted no one to know I had been weak, I wanted no one to know I was damaged goods once again….

Yet, even when he had a breakdown (while in the military himself, such ironic bullshit I lost my own chance to serve due to the trauma of his attacks, and yet, he who decided pretty much last minute to enlist unlike myself who worked my whole life for it, managed to serve quite a few years) and admitted to detectives that he raped me, I still received absolutely no justice, instead I was put through a year plus of hell while he changed his story, while I had to recount that night several times, while I spent my 25th birthday with a detective giving him every sordid detail from that night/morning, while many of my family turned on me (most still believe him over me). Because of the trial I was unable to go to my grandfather’s celebration of life ceremony, he was the most important person in my life, next to my mama, I still haven’t fully processed his death.

The others times before, between, and after those incidents, I didn’t report it because the justice system has proven over and over again they do not care about the victims. To me there was no point.

Traumas like this don’t just affect one part of your life, they weave their way into the deepest and darkest of crevices. Even when you think you have healed, you have processed it, you have moved on, it is ALWAYS there. They do not go away because of therapy, they do not go away after years, they are never forgotten, they become a part of you.

It is for those and so many reasons we don’t report it.

Unless you have been a victim you cannot begin to fathom the emotions that come with being assaulted.

Unless you have been violated on such a deep and personal level you do not understand the depths to which that shame, guilt, and fear can run.

Unless you have had someone make you feel dirty, weak, and like nothing more than an object you can never begin to grasp how that affects you for years, it leaves deep scars that will never heal. To this day, even after tons of therapy, writing about it, and having a very open discussion and dialogue about my own experiences I still feel all these emotions and more. I still get flashbacks, I can still feel their hands upon my skin. While it is better than it was, you never forget.

Even if you have experienced this, everyone processes trauma differently, it is not your right or your place to tell them how or when they should process their trauma. You do not get to decide their way of coping.

***TRIGGER WARNING- This section of this post may be very upsetting***

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It was the summer of 2006, I had just graduated high school early, had returned home from spending a few months back home in California with my family, and was getting ready to leave for the Navy. Several of my family members were visiting because my mom was about to get married to my stepfather. It was supposed to be a happy time for us all, an occasion we could look back on with joy, but for me that joyous occasion has been tainted.

It was the morning of my mom’s wedding, somewhere between 3-4 A.M., my cousins and I had been up playing manhunt, hanging out, and just spending as much time together as we could. With my leaving for the military soon and us all living on opposite ends of the country, we valued the time we got to spend together. With the hours quickly dwindling until the big affair a few of my cousins decided to try and sleep, while the rest just hung out and relaxed in the house. With a lot on my mind from my moms pending nuptials to the love of her life to my leaving for the military in a few weeks and having just ended a relationship with my partner I had quite a bit on my mind. Sitting down just inside the tent where we would be having the reception for my moms wedding, I stared off at the pond, took a few deep breaths, and allowed myself to just relax and be in the moment. All thoughts of the Navy, of my partner and their drama, of the jitters for my moms big day drifted away as I sank further into a state of relaxation.

After several minutes my cousin, who was 3 sheets to the wind sat down next to me, sat down next to me. We sat there talking for several minutes after which he leaned in and tried to kiss me, I turned away, but he pushed my down onto my back, putting his full weight on top of me. I told him to stop, I fought back, I tried everything to get him off me. But he had at least 50 lbs probably more on me and he was all muscle, I weighed maybe 100lbs. Pulling my pants off with his one hand, while his other had mine pinned above my head, he inserted his penis into me as he proceeded to rape me. Tears streaming down my face, I fought back with every ounce of myself, I thrashed around until finally I managed to slip out from under him. I scrambled to my feet, my pants and underwear still around my ankles, I tried to get away. He grabbed me by my ankles, yanking my feet out from under me, as I feel face first onto the ground. Mind you there is a small hill in my parents back yard, so it is already kinda difficult to go up without this. He flipped me over, pinning me down again, he went back at it. Again, I fought back with everything I had, and once more I managed to get away. But, that wouldn’t last as he grabbed me a 3rd time, slamming be back down on the ground nearly knocking me unconscious. This time he managed to keep his hold on me until he finished, although thankfully he didn’t finish inside me. When he was done, he just got up like nothing had happened, while I sat there in a crumpled heap, unsure of how to process this. The first 2 times were about 5-10 minutes before I managed to get him off me, the final time was over 15 minutes.

I just laid there for a few minutes trying to collect myself, because I didn’t want anyone to know what had just happened, I didn’t want to ruin my mom’s big day. I cleaned myself up, wiped the dirt and mud from me, wiped my tears away, gathered my strength and went back inside. I briefly stopped to talk to my other cousins, but then went to my room to finish collecting myself because my mom was getting married in only a few short hours and I wanted to make sure she had the best day possible.

The wedding went off without a hitch, I had to pose for picture with him, my family stuck around for a few more days, most of which I spent trying to avoid him, but not fully being able to because I didn’t want anyone to suspect anything. In the weeks after my moms wedding as the photos came back and we recalled that day, I had to put on a brave face whenever I saw his picture, or his name came up.

As Always My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses,

I Hope You Have A Magical Day

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Connecting To My Power Through Masturbation

As part of this new journey I am on, where I am focusing on loving myself completely, there is one area in which I struggle with greatly. That would be SEX & MASTURBATION. Masturbation has always been a very sort of taboo subject, especially for women to discuss, but it was never one I shied away from. I had always been very open about my sexuality, about my likes, my dislikes, about my masturbation habits. To me, sex and masturbation are perfectly natural and we all do it or want to do it (unless of course you’re are Asexual, in which case you don’t feel the same inclinations we do. Which there is nothing wrong with either, as we all have our preferences), but society is still very much hush hush about sex and masturbation. It weird though, because I am still very open about my sexual fantasies, my masturbation, and all that extra curricular activity, but the actual act of masturbation has changed so much for me over the last several years as has the pleasure I derive from it.

Sex for me has always been a bit of a complicated endeavor, as I am the type who cannot get off without an emotional connection to my partner. Yet, masturbation for me was never really a struggle, that part was always easy for me. I loved it, I relished in pleasuring myself, in connecting with myself, in bringing myself to climax. I loved exploring my own body, I loved touching myself, I loved every aspect of masturbation. I loved getting new toys, loved trying new methods, loved the art of discovery. I remember a point in my life when I didn’t need the assistance of toys (albeit, I enjoyed them, but they weren’t essential to my pleasure), of partner filled fantasies, of videos, of all this other stuff to get me aroused. To me, masturbation was the best part of my day. It helped to relieve stress, it helped me sleep, helped me to wake up in the morning, it helped me with so many different things. I will openly admit that I masturbate at least once a day, if not many times most days. Masturbation has always been an essential part of my daily routine, but it doesn’t bring me the same levels of pleasure it once did. Something happened in the last few years to me and now I just cannot seem to gain any sort of real lasting pleasure without assistance of some sort. Even when I do gain pleasure, it isn’t the same as it was, it is such a struggle and it never really lasts that long, and I certainly don’t climax. Some of the things that kills me the most is all my sexual fantasies involve a partner of some sort, is that my own fingers do nothing for me anymore, and my toys barely do anything. I am really good at sexting and if I choose to masturbate while sexting, then I can generally get myself off pretty damn well, but when it is just me with myself, no fantasy, no messages, no pictures I cannot get the job done. Somehow along the way I became so focused on pleasing my partners, so stuck on the idea that true pleasure could only come from a partner that I forgot how to please myself. I forgot what felt good, what felt right, what my own touch felt like, I forgot what it was like to be the one who made my vagina wet.

Now, most times when I masturbate I hardly ever even get wet, which had never been an issue for me in the past. During these last several years, I have been put through the ringer emotionally and physically and all of that has taken a serious toll on who I am at my core. Where I once found so much enjoyment from masturbation, now I am so self-conscious that I can’t truly get into it. Where I once was able to take myself all the way to climax with my fingers, now my fingers feel foreign to me, they feel unsure, they feel almost disconnected. This struggle has left me feeling broken, discouraged, and dissatisfied, and quite frankly frustrated and fed the fuck up. Men do not realize how dang easy they have it when it comes to masturbation or the struggle that we women face. Masturbation doesn’t hold the same joy it once did for me, but I want to get back to the woman I was before all this, the woman who was unapologetically herself, the one who enjoyed pleasuring herself, the one who had a deep connection to her higher self.

I know much of my struggles comes from the fallout from my abusive marriage, as that rocked me to my very core. It was not physically abusive, but emotionally, and during that time I lost all myself, lost my confidence, my voice, my power, my everything. It has been a long journey over this past year plus to put the pieces back together, to find myself, to reclaim my power, to silence the voices he created. I also know much of it comes from this insane idea that I must have a partner to climax. Which is beyond ridiculous I know, but at this point I am unsure how to retrain my brain to believe otherwise. I used to be a pretty dominate take charge kind of personality, especially in the bedroom, and I have always much preferred the more dominate roles, but that marriage took that from me. It turned me into someone meek, someone unsure of themselves, someone who questioned every aspect of who they were. I want to regain my power, my presence, my confidence.

So NOW….

I am on a mission.

I am on a mission to reclaim my SEXUAL POWER, to be able to PLEASURE MYSELF again. A mission that will help me to reconnect with myself, that will help me to manifest my desires, a mission that will help many different aspects of my life. I know that when we, especially as women, embrace and are unapologetic about our sexuality amazing things happen. I am on a mission to pleasure myself without the use of outside sources, tools, or anything. It is my mission to be able to get myself off using only my fingers and to rebuild that connection and that deep understanding I had with my body.

 

As Always,

My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses, I Hope You Have A Magical Day!

We are NOT Unworthy!

Our past, the relationship with our parents, with previous partners, with friends, with ourselves define so much of who we are, of who we become, it defines the ways in which we see ourselves, the ways in we speak about ourselves, the ways in which we perceive the world, the ways in which we interact with others, it becomes a part of our very soul. Many times these lead to deep seeded feelings of unworthiness, of being unlovable, of powerlessness, of fear, of so many terrible things. After time we start to believe these projections of the insecurities of others, the times we were abused, the times we were made to feel broken, made to feel invisible, made to feel like a burden, made to feel underserving, the times we were spoken down to, the times our power was stripped from us, all the horrible things we have endured become a part of our identity. We take all of that from relationship to relationship, from childhood to adulthood, from friendship to friendship, we allow it to define us, we lose sight of our value, we forget our magnificence, we dim our lights, we build up walls, we send the wrong messages to the Universe.

Feelings of unworthiness do not simply happen overnight, they are created from years of abuse, years of being told you are too much this or too much that, years of people tearing you down, years of people breaking you, years of harsh words, years of so much trauma, so much pain, so much turmoil. But, we have the POWER to change the effects of that, to break that cycle, to heal, to recover, and to discover our love for ourselves again. We have a choice to how long we allow that to control us. Life always presents us with choice and we as humans have this amazing thing called Free Will, which means at any point you can decide that enough is enough and choose to change. I am not saying this will be an easy journey, for undoing years of negativity, of anguish, of feeding yourself these lies will take time, it will require some serious work on your part, there will be set backs, and even when you have made progress, you will find moments where you still need to make improvements, but it can be done.

For me, it started with removing toxic people and toxic situations from my life, for I understood that as long as I kept myself in that sort of negative environment I would never truly be able to escape, I wouldn’t be able to grow, to change. Let me tell y’all that was not easy by any means, because it meant leaving my marriage, leaving my friends, leaving my family, leaving my entire life behind, it meant leaving what was left of my support system. In the weeks after I began cutting out the toxicity I could feel myself finally being able to breathe again, I could feel myself finding myself again, I could feel my fire starting to roar back to life, I could feel my power seeping back into me, this was of course little by little, but progress was still progress. As time progressed, I felt myself growing, I felt the vice grips that once suffocated me loosening, I could feel my inner goddess itching to be free. But I was SCARED, I was still so scared, to let her out, to step into my power, so I regressed back into my hole of self-loathing, of negative self-talk, and of self-sabotage. I wrapped myself up in a blanket of the lies I had been working so hard to forget, I allowed the demons I had fought so valiantly to regain their power positions, I took solace in the darkness and dimmed the light I had built, I allowed the weeds of self-doubt to take over my garden once more. I allowed myself to fall back into my old patterns, I let that vicious inner voice drone on and on for months, as I sank further into my castle of self-hatred, of feeling unworthy, of feeling sorry for myself.

You never truly realize how much all those words, all that you have endured affects you until it has taken over you, until you are sitting there alone at night bawling your eyes out, until you take time to stop and really listen the way in which you speak about yourself, until you pay attention to how you react when others compliment you, until you find yourself wanting so desperately to escape, but then running scared when you start to taste that freedom. But, I had to change, I knew it with every fiber of my being, I knew this was not who I truly was, I knew I had to face all the pain and really allow myself to work through it, I had to face the demons and slay them one by one once and for all, I had to stop speaking such venomous words about myself, I had to get comfortable with being myself, I had to and still have a lot of work to do.

With the toxic people and toxic situations behind me, with a newfound determination to face my fears head on, with a renewed vigor for true progress I delved into mantras, into journaling, into discovering myself. I trudged through the trenches of despair, hacked at the bushes of anger, and hiked the mountain of self-sabotage. When I arrived at the top, before me I saw all of my potential, all that I had forgotten, and all that I had yet to discover. Along the way I saw the strength I had gained from all I had endured, I found my voice amidst the screams and echoes of those who tried to silence me, I recited mantra after mantra until I started to believe them as reality, I realized all the amazing value I had to give to the world. I finally started to open my heart to love, to open myself up to the Goddess within, to be proud of who I was, of all that I had accomplished, of what I had to give.

For me, that realization hits me, a bit more each day, as I delve further into this journey of self-development, of self-love, of soul work. Each time I think I have worked through it, each time I feel like I have found my acceptance for myself, each time I think I have moved on, I have healed the wounds from my past, I am reminded that there is still work to be done. This is becoming especially evident in recent weeks, with all that I have been learning about people from my past, about myself, and with my current status in life. Each day I discover more stuff which I need to work through, I find areas where I still struggle with my worthiness. Yet, unlike before I refuse to run and hide, to make myself small, to fall back into my own patterns. Instead I choose to work through it, to deal with it, to change my mindset.

For the first time in my adult dating life and honestly, in my dating life as a whole, I have found and am with a partner who respects me, who sees all of me, who doesn’t judge me, who makes me feel worthy, who makes me feel beautiful, who makes me feel like what I say matters, who makes me feel intelligent, who makes me feel the way that so many others should have made me feel, but never did. I have a partner who sees the darkness within me, who experiences the mood swings that come with my battles with mental health diseases, who knows of the wounds of my past, and rather than shaming me for it all, rather than adding to my pain, rather than belittling me, he instead embraces it. He allows his light to shine on my darkness, he gives me understanding and patience when my mood fluctuates, and he caresses my wounds with words of comfort, of empathy, of healing. I am lucky, but I also know that the reason he came into my life when he did, is because I changed the way in which I view myself, the way in which I speak to and about myself, the message I send to the Universe.

This is of course not to say, that I do not still struggle with those feelings, but rather that I now have the tools and support to deal with them when they come up. The entire reason this post came about was because some of those insecurities, of those feelings of unworthiness came rearing their ugly heads during the end of our conversation last night. He did nothing wrong, but the wounds of our past are not so easily forgotten. They still plague me, as we get further into our relationship, as I adjust to actually being treated with respect in a relationship. To me, the ways in which he treats me are so foreign to me, I am unware of how to react, of how to handle it, I still find myself looking for something wrong, questioning everything, fearing getting to close. But, I do realize he is sincere in his affections for me, he truly does love and respect me, so instead of allowing them to win as I have so many times before, instead of silencing my feelings, I was honest with him and myself about how I was feeling and decided to write it all out, so that I could work through it, so that I could overcome it, so that it wouldn’t consume me. Now here we are at the end of the post and I feel in a much better place than I did when I first started this post. I realize these feelings will always be a part of me, but at the end of the day I know my value, my worth, and I honestly do love myself, and I take great comfort in knowing that I have someone who loves me too…

As Always,

My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses I Hope You Have A Magical Day!

The Aftermath of Emotional Abuse

I originally posted this on my Facebook page, but I wanted to add it to the blog too because I feel it is an important message. While writing this post is far from easy, I understand the necessity for it. I have also added to and made some tweaks from the original Facebook post. Please understand this post can be quite triggering to some, as it covers abuse & the aftermath of it.

A little back story for y’all. My soon to be ex husband and I were really good friends for many years before we actually started dating, he had been in love with me during our entire friendship though I never reciprocated those feelings. Yet, as time progressed, with failed relationship after failed relationship, after seeing the way he stood by me through it all, the ways he was there to help me pick up the pieces, the way he respected me, I finally broke down and decided to give him a shot. We weren’t together very long when we go married, because he was planning on going in the military and we wanted to ensure we could live together on post. We had been friends for so many years, our relationship was amazing, while it had it’s moments there were no red flags. So we had an incredibly short engagement, he changed his mind about the military, and we moved in with his parents not too long before our wedding. That move changed everything, slowly he became someone callous, someone viscous, someone with a hair trigger response. Mind you he doesn’t handle change very well and we were going through several changes from my moving in with him, to him starting school for HVAC, to him finding jobs in his fields, so at first I chalked it all up to that. But things never got better, in fact that only proceeded to get worse. We went from this happy couple who had minor disagreements to the couple who was having all out wars constantly. One day while we were fighting, he had me trapped in our room (a common occurrence for him), I was crying, I was scared, I was done, I just wanted to escape, I wanted to be anywhere but there. I managed to get passed him finally, I had just the tips of my fingers in the door, when he slammed the door shut, I genuinely though he broke my fingers. Removing my hand from the door, I bolted. NO shoes, no clue where I was going to go (as we lived kinda out in the middle of no where, and I don’t drive), no clue what I was going to do. Only thing I knew was I needed out. Walking down our driveway (which mind you is quite long) he came running up to me, tears streaming down his face, apologizing relentlessly, I was shaking, clutching my hand, in a daze. I told him to leave me alone, I just need to be alone. He refused, he followed me. With shaking hands I pulled out my phone to call a friend to come grab me, but before I could hit send, he knocked my phone out of my hand. This was it, I was screwed. But I just kept walking away from him, I was prepared to walk all the way to town barefoot if I had to. It was at some point during this time, that his mother pulled into the driveway (she was quite the handful to deal with and many times responsible for a significant amount of our fights). I finally managed to get him to leave me alone, but as my fog was lifting, I realized there was no way I could walk all the way to town without my shoes. So begrudgingly I made my was back to the house to try to get my phone from him as well as to put on some shoes. Still he refused to give it to me, so I asked him mom for hers after telling her what happened, to which she replied “maybe if you weren’t so controlling, this wouldn’t have happened” Somehow, this all became my fault. Yet, she mind you she repeatedly got on for his anger, for the things that I “controlled” him, like his drinking, like getting him to go to school, like getting him to start getting life under control. I stormed out once again, this time at least with shoes and started my trek to town. He followed me, finally giving me my phone and my space. I dialed my friend, with tears streaming down my face, explaining to him what had happened. I was prepared to leave that day, but I had no where to go, not really. No one could take me in, and he knew this. I made it about 15 minutes from our house, with my hand still bleeding, I haven’t even really looked at it yet, when he pulled up in the car. I knew I had no other options, he knew it, so I let him look at my hand, I let him bandage it up, and we went out for a drive and had a long talk. We tried to make things work after that, but honestly that was the day I decided I was done. I knew this wasn’t going to be the last time, and while it may have been an accident, next time probably wouldn’t be and/or it would be far worse. We got better for a little while, but then things got really bad again, and enough was enough. We only made it a few more months after that day and lived together for a bit after we first separated, until I moved to Georgia. That distance helped to provide me with even more clarity and helped me start to come to terms with it.

The further I get removed from my marriage, the longer I have that space, the more I reconnect with myself, the more I open up about it, the more I realize just how bad it truly was, just how destructive it was, how much it took from me, & how much it changed me.

In the beginning I was in a state of denial over the extents to which that marriage affected me, I just didn’t want to think about it, plus since I live with various mental health diseases I was unsure how much of my perceptions of it were real and how much were manifestations of my diseases. It wasn’t until several months later when I started putting the pieces back together, when I put some actual physical and emotional distance between us, when I started finding myself again, when I started talking about it with others that I really started to see my marriage for what it really was. This become especially clear when I reconnected with my best friend, who had a relationship with him in the months since our marriage ended. It was during those conversations where we talked about our different relationships with him, with the ways in which he treated us, the ways he made us feel, that it finally 100% clicked that this wasn’t just me, it wasn’t just my mental health making it seem worse than it was. It actually was worse than even I had thought, I’ve come to realize that the man I thought I knew was a facade.

I’ve said this many time before, the emotional abuse I have endured over the years left far worse scars than the physical ones ever did. I have worked incredibly hard to overcome it, but there are many days where the words I was told, the lies I was fed, the times I was berated or belittled still control me. Mind you my marriage was not the first time I endured emotional abuse, but it certainly has left its impact on me.

To this day if someone raises their voice, my first reaction is to cower, to wince, to make myself as small as I can, if I could turn invisible I would.

To this day if I say or do the wrong thing I am already preparing myself for an attack, to apologize, to do whatever I can to mend it. The words I AM SORRY have become so ingrained in my language that I find myself apologizing for things I didn’t even do.

To this day I struggle with voicing my opinions, my feelings, my thoughts, my anything, for fear of backlash. When preparing to be honest, to share my truth, I must first deal with the nearly crippling anxiety then once I speak or say my truth, I then start questioning it, analyzing it, seeing what I did or said wrong, how it can be twisted. I second guess myself constantly, I will play out different scenarios in my head for how my words will be received. I will have this massive debate with myself before saying or doing anything. With each word I speak, with each word I write or type whether it is to someone or even to myself, I find myself holding my breath, I feel my heartbeats quicken, my hands start to shake, because for me in the past my words were rarely met with respect or understanding.

To this day as I lay my head down to rest, there are many nights where those words that were spoken with such malice, with such venom, with the sole intent to hurt me, play on a repeat I I can’t stop.

To be told by someone who is supposed to love and protect you that when they are angry or upset with you, they purposefully think of the most hurtful thing that can say rocks you to your very core. It is truly one of the most heartbreaking thing to trust someone, to love them, to be there for them, but to have them sit there and go “Hmmm, what is the most hurtful or painful thing I can say to this person” then to proceed to say it. For me, with my diseases I work incredibly hard to control my words, my anger, my outbursts. People already have a lot of misconceptions about those who live with mental health, and I refuse to give them more of a reason to believe those. While it can be quite difficult, I do a pretty good job of controlling my emotions, especially words spoken in anger. I could never fathom purposefully saying something hurtful to someone else. When I do say something that hurts someones feelings even it is was totally unintentional, I feel AWFUL afterward, I get physically sick to my stomach, I apologize profusely, and I obsess over how I could do such a thing. Generally, I try to walk away before things get too heated so that words which cannot be taken back are not spoken.

To this day I find myself having to sit with my back to a wall and where I can see all that is going on, I struggle with going out to eat because I know it is not always possible to get the table that gives me the best vantage point. I find myself constantly aware of my surroundings, checking for all the exits, ready to bolt at a moments notice. I am always looking over my shoulders, my body is in a constant state of tension and in fight or flight mode.

To this day the fear I once knew as my daily life still filters into this new life I created for myself. I find myself skittish and so easily frightened. I find myself afraid of the smallest things, questioning everyone, their motives, their sincerity.

To this day I find myself realizing more and more how effected I was and still am by the abuse. To this day while I am safe, while I am healing, while I am better than I was before, I am still scared, I am still living with the demons of my past, I am still recovering.

To be in any sort of abusive situation, be it from a family member, a friend, or a partner can do irreparable damage. It will leave scars that never truly heal. It changes you at your very core. And to those of you who say “You should(ve) just walk(ed) away” ” You should(ve) just call(ed) the cops” “You should(ve) done this or that,” it is not as simple as you may think. In my case, the times when our fights got really bad I was either stuck in a car going 100 MPH (which mind you I still debated jumping out of the car just to escape), or in our room which was on the second story with him blocking the door, so I had nowhere to go, no way to escape.

For when you are in an abusive relationship or situation; they break you in ways that make you feel worthless, make you feel like you are the problem, make you feel like it is all your fault, make you feel like you are crazy, like you are irrational, like you are overreacting. They make you feel like you can’t leave, like you have no other options, like this is what you deserve. They create such a deep seed of fear that you will do all you can to keep them from unleashing their wrath upon you, even if it means staying with them. They isolate you from your friends, your family, your support system, yourself… They convince you that no one loves you, that you are truly alone, that they are your savior (by this I mean they tend to prey on those who are already struggling in life, and they swoop in, take care of you, make you feel safe, make you feel whatever they need you to feel, long enough to get you hooked, then their true colors come out, then the facade fades and the masks fall away. At this point though, it is already to late, you are on the hook) They manipulate you in such a way that while they’re destroying you they’re also convincing you that they love you, that they will change. Many abusers are slick talkers and quite charming. In my case my ex was so good at tearing you down in the nicest way possible many times, or I would walk away from the fight genuinely believing it was my fault. He had such a way of convincing me that I was the problem.

I know to most it doesn’t make sense to stay, to put up with it, but for many they do not see any way out. Abuse, especially when it is emotional abuse, changes you, it leaves you a shell of yourself. I am happy I was able to escape before things got any worse and while I am recovering I still have a long way to go.

As Always,

My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses I Hope You Have A Magical Day!