Taking a Stand Against Abuse

Happy Friday! I fell asleep in the boys bed last night. Spring is hard for me, it is a traumatic season that I have to be mindful of. I felt restless, so I snuggled with their over sized teddy bear. I slept in the bottom bunk bed. The room is darker in there, so I was able to get more rest than normal, because the sun didn’t shine through as bright as it does elsewhere in my apartment.

It took me a minute to remember where I was- was I back at the Safe House in Athens? You know, the four occasions that the boys and I did reside there, all three of us slept on a single twin bed- (the bottom) of bunk beds. Kinda like old times, you know?

I am becoming complacent in my life and through my journey of finding freedom. I feel stronger in all areas of my life. I can honestly say, that for the first time in my life, I can be “me”. I am happy with myself and while I’m still a work in progress, I’m joyful.

I know what I like, I know what I don’t like. I have boundaries. I won’t settle, not anymore- not like I once did.

I’m not interested in being used, lied to, cheated, and/or manipulated.  I love my coffee- just not the really hot kind that gets you second degree burns. I love taking long walks. I love swimming. I like to read, listen to music, write, and play ball! The parks are my favorite.

I love thunderstorms, camping, and singing at the top of my lungs, in my car, with the windows down.

And yes, I sing in my apartment, to worship music, and dance around like a little girl in a pasture filled with flowers. Flowers, I love flowers. I love the smell of honeysuckle.

I’m a good girl. I adore the country and hope to one day settle on property owned by me.

My favorite outfit that I own, is my one-of-a-kind sundress and boots. I also love wearing sandals.

I’m at a point in my life, where I have no room for negativity. If it exists, I discard it. I love to laugh. This is one of the many things that has helped me along my way.

I seek a deeper meaningful relationship with Christ. I seek to rekindle the lost relationships that I have with my daughters. I’m working on completely forgiving myself, from the time lost.

The boys are set to be home by summer time. I am SO excited. I have worked so hard, and have gone above and beyond to do everything that I could possibly do, to stay an active part in their lives.

I’m blessed with resilient children. I’m blessed with a resilient “ME”.

I’m beginning to discover ways I can help others, and that makes me happy. I can venture out and find the beautiful things in life, come home to my place of comfort, contentment, peace, and serenity.

Some days I have toy lizards hanging from my ceilings and walls. Other days, I find precious “I love you” notes written from the boys that I proudly hang on the walls.

The past year has been one of true growth. I’m finally “finding myself”.

There are times when, especially triggered, I think back on my old life. I remember the constant chaos and abuse. It baffles me how little I thought of myself to be so accepting of that treatment. At the same time, I was not aware of my own patterns of self-destruction.

I wouldn’t necessarily say I was “accepting”, rather- it was the only thing I knew, to me, it was normal.

Being married, I felt more alone than I ever was living the single life.

I feel like I am in a whole new world. Sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air, in worship, thanking Christ for my new life.

All the odds were against me. I was SO CLOSE to just being another STATISTIC. But that’s just it. I didn’t want to just be another statistic. I didn’t want to be on the front page of the paper, I didn’t want to leave my children behind to continue cycling through the devastating cycle of abuse.

I wanted a change.

And the only way I could possibly make that change, was by changing my thoughts and behavior, first.

From there, I could manage lifestyle changes that would alter the way that I viewed my new world.

I am in a world free of violence. I make my own decisions.

I have all of these new exciting aspirations, and dreams. I think it’s so easy to become comfortable and just muddle through life. But actually getting up, each day with a new mindset- that YES, today is THE DAY.

I’m finally on the other side of things. I’m doing “me”. I walk with the Lord daily, which has impacted my new vision.

I do my very best, and that’s all I can do.

I can see change in the boys, and for once, I am genuinely happy.

I’m no where NEAR a perfect mother. In fact, I’m perfectly flawed. I have made more mistakes than I can count.

I can’t go back in time, I can only do what I can to make things right now.

Tomorrow, I will face my abuser’s brother (my twin sister and nephews abuser) in court for the first time in six years. He is charged with ten felony counts of child cruelty stemming from a heinous act committed against my nephew, who was only five-weeks old at the time.

This would in turn, change the lives of my nephew, my twin sister, and the brothers forever.

I feel responsible, for being the one to have introduced the two of them back in 2011. Furthermore, it was MY house that the abuse occurred in. While my nephew has become resilient, bouncing back into a bright, sweet in nature, lovable 6-year old boy, I can’t help to think of the “what-if’s”.

I witnessed him beat my sister black and blue. But during that time, before her pregnancy, I was too scared to do anything. So, like we were conditioned to do, we said nothing. As time went on, we had both invested everything into our relationships; and- for both of us, those choices would give lasting, devastating consequences.

When I tell my story, I don’t want sympathy. I tell my story because I want to help others. Had it not been for my experiences, I would not be as strong as I am today. Domestic violence would be just another continuous cycle. I wouldn’t have come to my self-realization “ah-ha” moments. I wouldn’t have it in me, I would still be ignorant.

As hard as it was, I had to forgive my abuser. In doing so, I was able to let him go. He will never be sorry, and will never take responsibility for his actions. In the meantime, I am able to move on.

God has given me the strength to face head-on whatever lies before me. The family who brought so much pain and suffering to us, they have a God to answer to. He has guided me along this far, I know that he won’t abandon me now.

But they should know- they didn’t win.

I want them to know that their life-long abuse has come to an end, right here, right now. What has happened, happened. But I’ll be damned, if I ever let what broke me, break me again.

My nephew suffered, at 5-weeks old. Unable to do anything to defend himself. It’s time to take a stand.

I know that everything happens for a reason. I know that God allows things to happen for a purpose. And I know he has called on me to be a leader.

Abuse is not okay. It never was, it never will be.

As far as I’m concerned, they chose the wrong one.

In time, they’ll see.

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