Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Remember your Victories

Abused women have been through horrific things that they wish they could erase from their memories. They often have nightmares for years as well. I am here to tell you that all of that will go away with time, healing and prayer. Up until about 6 years ago, I was still having the occasional nightmare from my first marriage. I would wake up,  look around and be SO thankful that I was not in that situation any longer. I am scarred but I am not damaged goods. God loves us even when the person we are living with cannot stand the ground we walk on.

No matter what we do, God will always be there and God will always have his arms outstretched for you.

This took me a long time to learn and believe because I am hard-headed and believe the lies that society and the Enemy has out there for us to hear.  Verbal abuse comes from a person wishing to hurt and control you. Abuse does not come from God and he does not approve of it. For at least 10 years, I considered myself someone's trash and unworthy of a true friend or relationship. I took all the verbal abuse from my first marriage and I believed it.

I always felt the tug of God on my life and sometimes I reached for God and sometimes I did not. I must be honest here and tell you that I went back to church on a regular basis around the year 2000 because I wanted my children to be in the church and I wanted them to know God and see me in church with them. My parents always took them to church if the kids spent the Sunday or Wednesday with them, so I didn't have that hurdle to jump. Mentally, it was very difficult to walk into a church building of any kind knowing what I knew about myself and what I had been through. I hated myself and the fact that I put up with all the abuse for as long as I did. I also knew deep down in my heart and mind that God loved me no matter what.

I know life is not easy when you are making giant changes in your life to improve your future.  Whether you have a job and just need to move out on your own, or you are without a job and need to ask family to help you get on your feet, You can do all of these things. Pray first and then proceed! God is with you, God is with all of us, no matter how deep the ocean is or how dark the tunnel may be. God is there with you!

I learned in 2005 while reading Success Principles by Jack Canfield, to make a victory list.  A victory list is a list of things, or activities you have accomplished in your lifetime.  These things include finishing elementary school, earning a ribbon at field day, First Communion or Confirmations, earning Girl Scout, Cub Scout or Boy Scout Badges or Awards. This includes every single accomplishment you have ever done. I want  you to include graduating High School, starting college and graduating college if you did those things. I want you to include moving into your first apartment, buying your first vehicle, include everything you have done! Nothing is too small.

Now keep your Victory List in your bag, car or at your office so you can refer to it on a rough day or when you think, you just cannot come up with another proposal for the Boss. You can do it! Look at how far you have come and what God has brought to pass for you so far!  The best is yet to be!!

When the Enemy comes at you with all the things you think you cannot do, read to him your victory list and see and hear what you have accomplished. Then get your Bible out and read God's promises for you and your life.

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit

Monday, October 28, 2013

Surviving abuse and Isolation

Some days you just survive and pray you get up for another day. This is okay for a little while but eventually you will want more for your future.

I found relief in the years in Panama by spending time with other military wives that I was stationed with. I found ways to spend time with them and get out of the house in ways that were not threatening to my first husband.

When my best friend in Panama needed to run errands over near where I lived, she usually called me and picked me and the baby up so we could just get out of the house. In a small way, I was jealous because she had a Panamanian driver's license and knew more Spanish than I did. We had a lot of fun in those days and even then, I still did not tell her that I was being knocked around when I disagreed with my husband.  I was afraid to tell her because I didn't want to lose my best friend overseas.

Once I was able to figure out that my husband was not going to change, something told me to start saving every dollar I could get my hands on. So when my mom sent me money in the cards and letters (every 2 weeks or so) in 1991, I started saving the money in a ziploc bag that was hidden in the bottom of a baby wipe box in the bottom of the diaper bag. This worked as great camouflage for the money because my first husband rarely changed my children's diapers.

I went through a long period of feeling helpless and not knowing where I would turn next, but God never gave up on me. I also would find out much later that my parents, sister and other family members and friends were praying for me to either come home or for my safety.  This was both humbling and gave me peace.  God was watching out for me even when I wasn't going to church. Prayer changes everything and I will be forever thankful to all of the family and friends who prayed me through those very ugly years in my past.

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit, pray for those around you and reach out to those who need a friend. You may be the lifeline they are praying for. #abuse #pray #help

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Freedom - What does this word mean to me?

The word freedom conjures up visions of flag waving parades, soldiers returning from war zones and salutes of all kinds. I am an Army Mom, former Army wife and very patriotic person. But I am not referring to political or even religious freedom.

Freedom means that I no longer have to look over my shoulder wondering if I am being watched or followed by an ex-husband in the town I live in.  I actually set the time I went to the grocery store depending on his work schedule back in the 1990's.

Freedom means that I can get up and go where I want to go with who I want to and not have to answer for it later. Freedom also means that I am free to stay home, watch tv or take a nap if I choose to.  I don't have to ask permission to go anywhere or spend money that I earned.

Freedom also means I can attend church where I choose and spend my time with those I want to. Both of my ex-husbands kept me from attending church or placing membership where I wanted to attend. That will not happen in the future.

When you are in a controlling relationship, that person controls every aspect of what you do, say, where, and who you spend your time with. My first husband controlled every thing I did. I was not allowed to have people visit our quarters on base if it was not his idea. If he decided that one of my friends was not good for me, he forbade me from spending time with them. And sometimes I listened to him and let him sever relationships that would never be mended.

My second husband seemingly on the surface was not a jealous person. In fact, he verbally allowed me to do anything I wanted to.  But he always wanted to know where I was and when I would be home.  It was his idea for me to join PartyLite Gifts (a direct sales company) but over the 10 years I have been with the company, he would expect a list of my calendar/events/shows so that he always knew where I was and when I would be home.

What I realized as time went on, was that every time he pushed me to go and spend time somewhere, and even encouraged me to spend the night at a show out of town, he only wanted me away so he could have a girlfriend over for a visit. I was blinded by the fact that it appeared he supported my business, but I know now without a doubt that it was all a lie.

I am so very thankful to be free of him and his cheating and lying. To me this is freedom! I don't have to ask his permission to do anything and this year I have bought all my own flights and travel arrangements.  My life situation is not exactly how I envisioned it for my 43rd year of life, but all in all, I am Free to be a Mom, Mimi and Candle Lady the way I choose to be.

Make a choice every day to be free! Read your Bible every day and ask God to speak to you. I suggest all women read Proverbs. For example, today is the 27th of October, so start with Proverbs 27 and read it through and pray about what you read.  Do this over and over and you will learn so much!

Prayers and peace to all of you today!

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit

Depression is Not just in your Head.

Depression is real. Some patients have severe depression that requires medication, therapy and constant struggles to get through their lives.  Some patients just go through a season of depression when they lose a loved one or dealing with empty nest or job loss.  Depression is like a prison guard when you are living in an abusive situation. Depression lies and tells you to give up and give in and that you cannot survive without the abuser. Depression is a Liar and you have to fight back.

I started talking about my depression and then eventually I was able to talk about the abuse I was dealing with.  A good doctor will get to the root of your problem if you are truly transparent with them. For a long time, I was not completely honest with my doctor and it showed because we got to a point where nothing was helping. My daughter was the one who broke the barrier and made me see that I had to tell my doctor everything. I will always be thankful she went with me that day to that particular appointment.

This being said, I have been treated for depression off and on since 2006. I am not ashamed of it, but I am not going to deny this fact either.  I only told a few people back then what I was dealing with because I was afraid of their opinions of me.  My doctor suggested I read some books back then and I still have them in my library to refer to when I have a really bad day and need to refocus.

The books that helped me most back then and even today are Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer and Get out of That Pit by Beth Moore. Both books have scripture references and you can even get study guides to go along with them. Check out your used book stores if money is tight and get a copy to read.  I suggest praying each day prior to your book reading and study.

Here in this technical age we live in, you can even sign up to get Bible verses sent to your cell phone in text messages or daily emails.  Daily study and daily references to God's Word will help you push through the fog of depression.

If you are dealing with prolonged feelings of sadness, depression or worthlessness, please call your doctor, pastor, friends and ask for help or direction. Please do not think that you can snap out of it all on your own. Ask for help and Pray.

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blessed through all the Mess!

I have been through a lot in my lifetime and God has carried me through it all. Even the years that I didn't enter a church building, I know God was working in my life and providing for me through my friends and family. My children never went hungry although they might have gotten tired of the same 7-10 dinners all those years, they never went without something to eat. We always had a roof over our head and heat or air in the house we lived in.

I am so thankful for the church families who have blessed my children and I over the years. One year, my family was chosen to receive food, clothes and bicycles for the kids from a church. I was overwhelmed that Christmas that a school secretary chose us to receive so much. I didn't have much but if I saw someone that needed something, I did my best to share with them what little I had.

I am very thankful for the women who befriended me when I had so many barricades up and I was very unfriendly. I have friends in nearly every state of the U.S. thanks to online communities I have been involved in through Girl Scouts and direct sales. During the darkest times whether I was single or married, a few women were always kind enough to answer their phones and talk me through issues or text me back when I needed a prayer.  It didn't matter what the problem was, the first answer from these Christian ladies was always prayer.

In all the chaos of my life, I have always known God was there and that He sent his Son to die for us. I am so thankful that no matter how depressed I got and no matter what the verbal abuse told me, God was always there and always took me in his arms and shielded me from so many things that could have happened to me and my children.

Today, I think of the song "Overcomer" by Mandisa and suggest everyone listen to it to keep you going through the roughest days/seasons.  I also recommend listening to "What faith can Do" by Kutless.  I listen to Christian music in my car all the time and have for years and it cheers me up and keeps me going through it all.

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My journey back to Church

I have always been told that I have been 'in church' since I was 3 weeks old. My parents are God-fearing Christians with a heart of gold. Sunday Morning, Sunday Night, Wednesday Night and every Gospel Meeting within an hour's drive... well, we were most likely there.

I am the oldest of three daughters and all of us were raised in the church. I was baptized in June of 1981 in Dickson, TN and I can even tell you who we spent that afternoon with. I see that day clearly as if it were today.

I would meet one of my forever friends through church when I was in the 8th grade and our parents actually had gone to school together as well. She and I have been friends all through our lives and have been at each others weddings, family funerals and our families will always be intertwined. She is one of my guideposts who can tell me something I may not like, but I will listen to her. She and I would go to church together for 5 years until I graduated high school and went off to college. 

I attended church while I was away at college and realized why I believed what I believed and started to share my faith with others.  Then I met #1 in fall of 1988 and we got married in 1989, and eventually divorced in 1993.  During this time I would attend church sometimes if he would go with me. If he didn't want to go or had to work, I would find a reason to not attend services either.  When we were overseas, I just didn't go because there was not a protestant service on base that I could get to. I also didn't drive while we were in Panama because he didn't want me driving his car.

So, when I moved back to TN in December of 1991, I had not set foot in a church in almost 2 years. I felt like a little lost duck that didn't know what to do. I now had two small children under the age of 3 to raise and living with my parents, I had to make myself attend church. I wanted my children raised in the church but I was so beat up inside that I didn't think God would love me now that I was apart from my husband. I felt worthless.

In 1993 we would move to Dickson and my life centered around my family and the few people I knew in the area were through church. Everyone else I knew was either an hour away or I worked with them and didn't really associate with anyone from work after hours. I built a very thick stone wall around myself because I didn't want anyone close enough to hurt me ever again.

I attended church with my parents on Sunday's so that my kids were in church but I was going through so much pain inside that I didn't get much out of it in those early years. I was mostly going through the motions. A few years later, I would start searching for a church with more young people my children knew either through school or scouts and we started attending there around 2000.

By this time I had made a few close friends through Girl Scouts or Cub Scouts and they were helpful but no one was close enough to know what I was truly dealing with on the inside.

In 2004/2005, My daughter came home wanting to attend a Wednesday night youth group at a church her friend went to. I started taking her and picking her up but got curious what they were teaching. So #2 and I started attending on Sunday mornings and would soon join a couples class where I finally would meet two women who became major guideposts in my life.  Those two women were like beacons of faith to me and always cheered me on and encouraged me whether they realized it or not.

In the fall of 2005, I attended a sales consultant training in Franklin, TN and would meet a new consultant from Chattanooga and she and I bonded in a way that only God can make happen.  We were drawn to each other and would room together at conferences, email each other constantly and cheer each other on and cry when the other cried.

Even though I moved away from this church and community in 2010 and had to find another church, I now knew the kind of church family I wanted to be a part of and we found it in Bellevue and the Pastors there and their wives were great people.  These Pastors, their wives and other members at this congregation would also become guideposts in my walk in faith and journey back to where I needed to be with God.

In May of 2012, I emailed 10-12 people and of these people 5 were these guidepost women I have briefly mentioned. That email is when I told my friends in TN that I was coming home for good and had put up with enough.  Today, I can honestly say that most of them are still in my life supporting me and cheering me on in my journey.

In late July 2012, I walked into church and felt like I had come home. One member knew I was coming, the other guidepost woman did not know I was coming, so I popped into the room where she was and surprised her. I won't ever forget the love in her face that day! And the Pastor, he came up and shook my hand like he had known me all my life.

I truly believe I am exactly where God wants me and I am growing in the Lord each and every day.  These women, whether I have known them since Junior High or just met them last year, have guided me and prayed for me and lifted me up in so many ways.  I would not be on the road to Heaven without them.  Thank you M, F, J, and L, you each know who you are!!

If you are struggling after leaving your spouse, ask your friends if you can go with them to church the next time the doors are open. Go, and let God speak to you. You don't have to say a word because God knows your heart before you even know what to say or ask of Him.

Don't stay lost and depressed, keep reaching out and up in faith and keep praying even if you don't know what to say. Read your Bible either online or become a page-turner. Get in the word and it will speak to you!

Prayers for each of you reading this tonight.

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit

Single Parenthood is NOT for Sissies!

From December 1, 1991 until June 1, 2002 I was a single parent to my wonderful children. I am so proud of who they have become and how much they have accomplished in their young lives.

My parents were my backup, helpers, sitters, taxi drivers and even homework helpers all those years they helped with raising Kourtney and Brian. I can never repay them for all they did, so I say thank you a lot and remember that I could not have raised my children without their help.

In December of 91 when I flew back to the states and moved in with mom/dad, things were rough. I was emotionally beat up, mentally messed up and didn't trust anyone outside of the family. I took a job in early 92 with Big Lots and worked there until I could land a job with State Government. I can honestly say that my job was stable in those years of being a single parent and yet another thing I will always be thankful for.

I had to tell my kids no a lot when they asked for this and that at the store and had to teach them early the difference between a need and a want. School was difficult because the kids saw their classmates with a dad at events and would ask where was my dad. I often told them the truth or just said, "he was at work".  Even in the 4 years that #1 was living in the same county as we did, he rarely asked for the kids more than once a month and even then he only kept them for 6 hours on a Saturday.  It broke my heart that he didn't want any more time with them than that.

When the kids asked why are you not together any more, I simply told them that their dad had broken his promise to me and chose to leave me and marry someone else.  I did my best not to 'trash talk' him in front of the kids.  Yes, I had melt downs where I cried on my parents back porch because I just couldn't handle it one time. I was so angry at him and just wanted to make him face me and all that he had put me and the kids through.

1997 would be the year that #1 moved to Arizona and I felt I could freely go to the grocery store without wondering if he was there or not.  That divorce had been final since February 10, 1993 but with him still living in the area, I walked on egg shells the entire time.

1996 is the year my daughter wanted to join Girl Scouts and I would become leader of troop 1901. That troop of Girls would be a shining light in my life for many years.  So, I then became busy doing all the stuff that a Single Mom, GS Leader, Full Time Employee and Parent does.  I lived my life for my kids to be sure they had everything I thought they would need! My son would join Cub Scouts in a couple years so that would keep us busy as well.

I stayed busy keeping the kids busy so that we didn't have time to think about what we didn't have in our lives and just kept living. Then in fall of 96, I would sign up for college classes to get myself closer to a degree so I would have more for the kids. Now my parents were keeping the kids 3 nights a week, while I was in class.  That lasted 5 years and I am glad for the opportunity but I never finished, never graduated and that is totally ok.

Staying busy is how I coped and did the best I could raising my children.  I tried to keep them in church as much as possible and did my best to teach them right from wrong.

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit

Monday, October 21, 2013

Realizing you are not alone

Domestic Violence occurs to 1 in 4 people. This is a scary statistic by any means.

I still remember the weekend that I realized I was not alone as a survivor of domestic violence. Another GS leader and I came up with an idea to plan a workshop where Girl Scouts in our county and surrounding counties could learn about self-defense.  I believe it was 2001 when we planned the Self Defense workshop at the Renaissance Center in Dickson.  We gathered together a karate instructor, a Tae Kwon Do instructor, Women are Safe shelter counselors, and planned clothing donations and a service project involving hygiene kits for the residents at Women Are Safe. 

All of us took part in the defense sessions by the karate and Tae Kwon Do teachers and learning how to get away from an attacker.  The Women Are Safe shelter counselors wanted to talk to the girls (6th grade and up) about date rape and how no always means no.  So, we voted and allowed that session to go forward but all adults were in the back if they wanted to observe.  What was slated to be a 30 minute session, turned into nearly 2 hours of discussion between the girls, the parents and the counselors.

I stood in the back of the room watching my troop and wondering what was going through my daughter's mind.  I remember my daughter raising her hand and asking the counselor how long does it take for people to get over being hit, because my mom is still afraid of my dad.  I started crying in the back of the room and was immediately surrounded by 2 other moms who confided in me that they were abused too.  We all promised each other that we would educate and protect our daughters. I vowed to teach my daughter as much as I could.

For a long time, I allowed the perceived shame of being abused to keep me from sharing my story.  I slowly started telling others about what I lived through.I knew that night that I had to tell my story and quit bottling it up. I never imagined I would be writing about it in 2013, but God protected me all those years and brought me through everything.  I give God the glory for sending others to stand with me and support me on my journey.

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Abuse changes your children

Abuse changes the entire family.

I became fearful and suspicious of any man that showed interest in me for the 11 years I was a single parent.  I truly did not trust any man other than my dad and my son for a long while.  There was one co-worker and his family who helped me and my family start to live again and I will forever thank them for what they did to help me get back on my feet.

My daughter and son had an absent father from 93-97. Part of those years he was living in the county near us but only took the kids for 6 hours on a Saturday afternoon if it fit into his schedule with his new wife. When he moved to Arizona in 97, I was truly relieved and could go grocery shopping without looking over my shoulder and worrying we might run into him.

The holidays were especially rough because my kids had my family all around us, but there was never a Christmas Day with their dad because he never asked to see them. I also refused to put a present under the tree with his name on it because I didn't want to lie to my children.  Some years he and his mom would send a box of presents from AZ, but that only happened a couple of times that I recall.

In 2002, When I married #2, he promised the kids would always have great holidays because he loved Christmastime.  I was very jaded and cynical by this time and let him do what he wanted in regards to Christmas. I didn't even put up the tree until they asked.  #2 always made sure there were tons of presents under the tree for Kourtney and Brian and we usually helped another family in the area that we knew were struggling.

For many years, my children referred to #2 as dad because he was the only present, supportive father figure they had ever known.  Sadly, I now look back and see him as a better 'dad figure' than husband/spouse.  I struggle every day knowing that I brought him into my children's life and now he continues to try to be a part of their lives.  It is their choice, but for my own sanity, I wish that he would truly leave us all alone now that the divorce is over and there is no biological connection.

My parents have always been here for me and I do not know how much they know or do not know. My sisters have always been supportive of me even if they didn't know what was going in at home for me either marriage.

Both of my children are now grown and have families of their own. My son is totally dedicated to his wife and children and refuses to be anything like either of my husbands. My daughter is fiercely independent and will not take very much grief from her husband.

I have suffered with Depression and anxiety for years and I am now convinced that the fear and depression is what blinded me to lots of the things that my 2nd husband did in the years we were married.

I still have good days and bad days and flat out UGLY days. Some days I still want to 'hate everything'  but my friends (both online and close by) always know just when I need a boost and help me dig out of my dumps for the day.  Thank you to all the guide posts in my life over the past few years!!  You have helped to light the way to get me back into the Church and that has helped tremendously.

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Yes Having an affair is abuse!

I have thought about this for years.
And I have decided that yes, when your spouse has an affair he is abusing your relationship in many ways.

They are choosing to expose their bodies to potential diseases and bringing them home to you (until you find out about the affair).  This is an ugly fact but please understand it truly is abuse.

When they spend time, energy, money, and their bodies with others outside of the marital relationship, they are cheating you of everything they vowed to give you on your wedding day.

Both of my ex husbands cheated on me.  I am not proud of this fact, in fact, for years I was ashamed of it and did not speak about it with anyone.  My first ex husband had one major affair that I know of and he married her after I divorced him in 1993.

I remarried in 2002 and thought I had found someone who respected me, was devoted to me and would help me raise my children, go to church with me and grow old with me. 

Unfortunately, I was wrong again.  He would have his first affair within a year of making wedding vows to me and I honestly do not know how many affairs/flings he had and at this point in my life and healing, I do not want to know anymore.  I had my suspicions of certain friends and situations, but until today, I had no idea how much it would hurt to find out the truth from so many years ago.

I am thankful I had the strength, courage and faith in GOD to put a line in the sand and walk away from the marriage and file for divorce earlier this year. 

Abuse hurts the victim, the children and the family and friends around the victim.  1 in 4 people are victim of domestic violence. This is an epidemic and we must raise awareness by sharing our stories and helping others (and ourselves) heal in the process.

I have often heard in many sermons that you as a Christian do not have a testimony until you get through the test, so I urge you to tell your story!! Your testimony is not for you to keep hidden in a diary, it is for you to share to help another person heal!

I wish you all the best tonight and wish you a peaceful Sunday tomorrow. If you have a church home, great! If you don't, please research your area, and find a place that feeds your soul and get involved!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Abuse takes many forms

Abuse is not just physical. That is what is in the news coverage most often and unfortunately, that is the type that most everyone denies even exists. Society in general has brushed it under the carpet so much that people tend to think that it won't happen to them or I would never put up with that.

However, as in my previous post about bullying and how it escalates, abuse escalates as well.

We promise to love, honor, cherish (and we are afraid to say obey in most cases these days) our spouse on the wedding day.  But when you are cut off from family and lifelong friends because he doesn't like you hanging out with them, find out why.   If the reason is valid, perhaps they only call when they want money or need a ride somewhere, then that person is what I refer to as an energy vampire because all they do is drain you of your positivity and good nature.  If there is no valid reason that he can give you, then please be very careful.

My first husband did his best to destroy a friendship that dates back to my 8th grade year in Junior High.  Thankfully, my friend never took no for an answer and she and I are still in contact to this very day. I was not allowed to have friends overseas unless he approved of them and even then, depending on his mood, that could change daily.  If I spoke to another soldier too long, I was flirting or trying to embarrass him. 

He also kept money from me. Even though I kept up with the bills and balanced the checkbook, he was out there getting cash out whenever he wanted for a random car repair (he was always tinkering with his 72 Satellite Sebring) or lunch with his buddies.  But, when I asked for money to eat lunch after the spouses meeting, he rarely said yes.  I was told to go home and fix a sandwich.  Yes, money was extremely tight on an E-4 salary overseas in 1990/91, but I was made to believe that I wasn't worth the money.

So, inevitably when a check bounced or there was not enough money when he wanted it, I got yelled at, hit and pushed down the stairs.  It started out as a fight about money and ended up with me being hurt and having to hide in our quarters until the bruises healed.

The only way he would let me spend money was if it was for the children. I remember one time while I was pregnant with my 2nd child and my mom had sent me money for a new dress.  So I kept the money and the next time my friend and I went to the PX, I picked out a nice maternity dress and bought it.  I prayed that my husband wouldn't notice the new dress in the closet. So I took the tags off of it, washed it and then hung it in the back of our closet.  I was afraid to tell him that my mom had sent me the money for the dress.

What did all this teach me at the ripe old age of 21? It taught me that I was worthless and only good for having babies. So I put all my energy into taking care of my children. My children are what helped me make the decision to leave Panama and come back home to Tennessee. I will write about that later.

Please be aware that abuse can be mental, physical, sexual, and financial. You do not have to put up with the abuse. Please tell someone and ask for help!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Where do we draw the Line?

Where do we draw the Line?

An 8 year old boy gets picked on in the lunchroom. No one sees it. The boy tells his mom, who reports it to the school. The school does an investigation and believes the bully that the victim started it. The school closes the investigation and nothing is really done to the bully.

What has this beginner bully learned?
What has this little victim learned?

Same bully at the age of 12 sees his older sisters being very mean and hurtful to another girl they both do not like.  No one is there to draw the line and stand up for the girl being picked on. The older girls who should be an example for good, are never reprimanded for their behavior. The bully learns to pick on others and that girls do it to, so it must be okay.

Same bully gets braver on the school bus and pinches the fat girl and then starts laughing at her because the big kids on the bus are doing it as well.  No one stands up for these victims.
What has the bully learned?
What has the victim learned?

Same bully is at a community dinner and sees older kids in the popular group (that he wants to be a part of) picking on each other, putting things in each other’s food and being mean and hurtful, harsh and hateful with their words to each other.  Then when an adult steps in and tries to stand up for the one being picked on, the kids and adults (who are supposed to be in charge) laugh at the defender and tell her to ‘chill out’.  The adult who tried to help is told that if no one really got hurt, what does it matter? And to let the kids be kids.

Now this bully has learned from his peers and adults:
How to be meaner and hurt others in a group
It’s okay to be mean to your siblings
Adults will not say a word and they will laugh
No punishment occurs
He has learned that to keep hurting others is acceptable behavior.

Bully is now 19 at community college. He sees ‘his girl’ talking to another boy and gets angry.  So he grabs the girl and drags her into a stairwell to have a chat.  Then he slams her against the wall and questions who she was talking to and why.  He also threatens her with his pocket knife and jokingly tells her that he could trip her down the stairs and break something if she doesn’t behave.

Wait, here comes a teacher…. Mr. C says, “Move along now, none of that mushy stuff!”
So the bully and the young lady are escorted back to the hallway and told to get to class.

The girl is bruised, scared and frightened.  But she is also stuck. The bully is her ride home and home is 30 minutes away.  She doesn’t want to tell her mom, so she does nothing and wears long sleeves to cover the new purple bruises coming up on her arm and shoulder.

Abuse has won another day!! We have to put a stop to this….

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit

The Prison of Abuse

Prisons are not all made of stone with fences around them. A prison can be military housing in a foreign country or a small farmhouse in Tennessee.  When you are living with someone who controls you through verbal abuse, intimidation, isolation and physical abuse, you sometimes are afraid to leave that house or building.  This fear is what the abuser feeds on and controls you with.

I lived with an abuser in a foreign country and put up with being isolated from family and even friends he said he approved of.  I was petrified to leave our assigned military quarters because if I spoke to someone he didn't approve of, I was punished for it.  He was very suspicious of everyone I spoke to and practically forbade me even joining the enlisted spouses group until his Sergeant's spouse called me and specifically invited me to the meetings.  After that, I had to go to keep up appearances that everything was good at home.

I am certain that my depression and issues with finances and men in general were born in those military quarters on that Army base.  I will be forever indebted to the friends I had during those years I was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone. One of these Christian women, I still speak to thanks to technology and she knows exactly who she is.  The rest of those women who I met in Panama, I have not seen since I boarded a plane on December 1, 1991 with my two small children in tow.

Please reach out to those women who appear scared and do not socialize very much. Always offer them a smile and a hug and continually pray for them. Everyone needs our prayers and our Lord knows what they need. When someone's name comes across your mind and you can't shake the feeling that something is going on with them, call them if you can or email them and let them know you are thinking of them. God will use you to get through to others if you allow Him to work through you.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV) Pray without ceasing.

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit


A little about me.

I am a Christian mom to two grown children and three grandchildren call me "Mimi". I am divorced and looking forward to my future. I have been writing in a journal off and on for years, but I have found my voice this year. If my story of surviving and leaving abusive marriages helps someone avoid them or get out of an abusive relationship, then I am thrilled my story helped them!

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit

This hand is now bare or empty by society’s view
I am now 43 and single (again).
Sometimes I look at how old my hand looks

And sometimes I see the markings on my fingers from rings I have worn in the past…
I don’t miss the rings or the men attached to them
Day by day I will look at this empty hand as a sign that I am now free to do what I wish.

I miss the friendship and companion ship that went along with holding someone’s hand on a hike,
Or camping, or at a movie but I do not miss waiting up for him when he never comes home.

So I will value my hands and be very careful what I hold and do with my hands because there is much good left in them, I just have to find out what that is.