Sometimes, people who have never experienced abuse have no idea the dynamics it can cause in someone's personality. When you have never experienced such betrayal, it is difficult to understand the damage one can endure in all facets of the victim's life. It is not something someone can just, get over. It doesn't work that way. When children are exposed to abuse, whether verbal, physical, sexual or neglect, their brain chemistry actually changes. There have actually been studies done that show even the ways a person's eyes are set can change due to abuse. It is the same for adults who endure domestic abuse, their brain chemistry changes. Without going into too much explanation, the short of it is, as a victim, your brain operates in survival mode a majority of the time and when that happens the brain starts to rewire and what you have left is someone who is hypervigilent at the very least. Victims can look on the outside as abrasive, liars, permiscuous, emotionless, overemotional, avoidant of places and relationships, hard to get along with, very easy to get a long with, angry with rageful outbursts, quiet, timid, pleasers. Often, but not all of the time, their personality traits are very extreme. Abuse changes a person's spirit. Also, the dynamics a victim may have with their abuser can be very confusing for someone on the outside. I had a few abusers in my life. People assume that victims often make up their abusers or that sometimes a victim receives attention for coming forward so they just keep spitting out more abusers. But think about it: when a victim experiences abuse and their lives change dramatically, another abuser can spot that and the vicitim is more vulnerable to the attack. Even though there is hypervigilence on the part of the victim, there is usually also the need to be saved by someone (because you are definitely going to believe you can't do it yourself). That leaves the victim open to a manipulative attacker. Abuse affected my life in many ways. It has contributed to my weight, it has contributed to loss of jobs, it has contributed to lost relationships, it has contributed the way I view spirituality, it has contributed to fears of open spaces or being in large crowds, it has contributed to the way I have treated others as well as myself, it contributes to the way I treat my child, my spouse on others that I have relationships with. It is the easiest route for someone who suffered abuse to live in a victim mode their whole life. Whether it is a single incident or a lifetime of abuse, a victim can remain a victim for the rest of their lives. I couldn't do it though. I couldn't live the life of a victim. I tried. I held on to my hurt and my shame and my anger like they were comfort foods. I scarred my body to keep me safe. I fattened up so no one would get close. I spit bitterness like venom and defended it with realist claims so that other people could feel my pain. I wanted others to know my hurt. However, I realized, the only way someone could know that hurt is to experience it, and I would NEVER ever wish that on ANYONE!! One day, I drove past a rest home and there were people my age standing outside and I looked at them, really took a deep look and thought, if I don't do something, that is going to be me. I am going to end up in a home because I am not dealing with this. Look, there are horrible horrible things in this world and it affects people deeply. Each violation takes a toll on ones spirit. But we have choices!! I want so much more for my life. I am so much more than what others chose to offend me with. Does it hurt still? YES, absolutely!! Do I still struggle with anger, shame, hurt, resentment? YES, absolutely!! Does it define who I am and what I want for mine and my family's life? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! People are fighting battles everyday and some of them are deep battles with wounds deeper than you probably care to know about or handle. I could tell you experiences that would disgust you beyond belief. What I want to focus on is healing and positives and being the best me I can be and to prove to those that hurt me that I am STRONGER than you and what you did did not DESTROY me. I understand pain and hurt but I want to LIVE powerfully and with love. I am not a victim my friends, I am a survivor and so are you and so is the person next to you. When you encounter people who's behavior you don't understand, think to yourself what battle they may be fighting, even within themselves and then extend some compassion....even if it has to be silent compassion. Choose to be powerful and live life loving and positive. Peace my friends!!
So, while this is a positive environment, this blog is also a journal and a way for me to kind of work out some feelings I may be wrestling with. Today, as well as the past couple of days, I have really been saddened by the amount of inequality, racism and discrimination I have either seen, experienced or read about. Regardless of religious beliefs, which are your right to have and believe in for yourself, as a human being I can't imagine why anyone would support inequality. I watched a video today, it was kind of a snipet of the progression of the fight for LGBT rights in this country. It saddened me to watch it. You know, there used to be this public service announcement warning children about "the gays." Not even referred to as people but "the gays." You may have seen it on Facebook before. Those who are so adamently opposed to same sex marriages and families are never open to any kind of discussion about it....they just stomp their feet and pound their fists and say we ("the gays") want to destroy marriage. How much sense does that actually make? Really? Do you really the gay mafia gets together and contemplates how to destroy marriage and families? No, of course not. I love the arguement, well, it's really no ones business what you do in your bed room...if you want to do that there, then do it, just don't talk about it. So....gay people just randomly discuss their sex lives? No, that is ridiculous as well. Why in the world would anyone do that? What LGBT people want is to have the same rights under the eyes of the GOVERNMENT not THE CHURCH. We want to be able to marry and have families. We want to be able to adopt in all 50 States if we want to. We want to be able to work at ANY job and not fear losing our job because of our family. We want to be able to make decisions for our wife or husband in times of medical emergency without having to go to court or carry around court papers everytime we go somewhere. A radio station in the St. Louis area had a contest for a wedding on Valentines Day. Sarah and I will have been engaged for a year on Valentine's Day. I deeply wanted to enter this contest and surprise my beloved but I began reading the rules and since our marriage would not be recognized in this State, we couldn't even enter the contest. I mean, we couldn't ENTER A CONTEST!! I realize our marriage would not have been recognized, but it would have been nice to have a special ceremony with our friends and family (those who would attend) and a big bash afterwards but nope, we weren't even given the opportunity for that. Now, I don't want you to read this and think I need a pep talk or anything, I am just venting a little ; ) Progress is made everyday. It is kind of a three step forward two steps back situation....but it is still a foot forward. We will get there. I will admit that I get angry and sad, especially when i have to explain to my daughter why her mama and mommy can't get married. But she knows we are committed to each other and that she has a loving family to support her and love her no matter what. Someday.....someday.....I believe it will happen and my friends who are interracial won't have to explain to rude parents why their child (especially an older child) need not ask another child why her mommy is white and her daddy is black .....I believe children will not have to endure hateful speech and signs that says their families are less than others....I believe children, one day, will not feel like it is SAFER to take their own lives than be who they are!! Someday, and someday soon, it will happen, it just HAS TO!! Remember to love each other and dwell in peace!! I love you my friends, and thanks for reading....I DO feel better : )
It has been a while since my last blog, the holidays and my partner being home all the time kind of threw me off a bit. It is always nice to have everyone around and home but it does mess up the schedule and sometimes that is so difficult for me. Also, my schedule at the gym changed and trying to acclimate to that has been a little trying too. It will alllll work out though! I have pondered what to write about for the last few days and haven't really come to anything specific, except this. CHANGE. Ugh, it is a scary word for most people, but it can also be a word of adventure and a catalyst for new things to come. Negative Nancy would dig in her heals and be incredibly bitchy (yes, that's right, I used the b word) with change. However, as I contiually make a conscious daily effort to embrace the life of Positive Patty, I look at change with excitement or another way to enjoy the benefits of the chemicals your brain releases in scary unknown situations...you know, flight or fight!! .but my challenge to you is this: try something new that has scared you in the past..step out and let the fear fuel you instead of freezing you or pushing you backwards. YOU are WORTH the steps forward that it takes to get where you want to be, even if it is scary. There will be failures and I guarantee Negative Nancy will stick her head up, but challenge yourself with Postive Patty's attitude when NN comes around. Don't let that negative rule you, because if you let it, it surely will!!