DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SPOUSAL SEXUAL ABUSE, PARTNER ABUSE, INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE, DATING VIOLENCE

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SPOUSAL SEXUAL ABUSE, PARTNER ABUSE, INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE, DATING VIOLENCE   Many names exist for abuse against another person in a relationship. These titles include: domestic violence, spousal sexual abuse, partner abuse, intimate partner violence, dating violence, and others. Recently several people have brought domestic violence to my attention. I will use domestic violence (DV) as my main label in this article; but, please know that that covers a wide range of abuses – sexual and not. Domestic violence or partner abuse does not have to contain sexual or physical abuse. It can be emotional, mental, and/or spiritual in nature. Power and control is what the abuser seeks. First, a friend forwarded me to a link of Dear Abby’s. She responds to a woman who writes of sexual abuse in her marriage. http://www.kansascity.com/living/advice-columns/article59319388.html  Marital or spousal rape is a subject that is not frequently addressed. Next, I shared my thoughts on domestic abuse (partner abuse) from my own life with someone in a letter. Below is part of what I wrote: “When I was in the abusive situations – both my home of origin and my marriage – I did not have enough time to clear my head ...
awareness and acceptance

CHANGE via AWARENESS and MINDFULNESS

CHANGE via AWARENESS and MINDFULNESS   Awareness and mindfulness may be the first steps to actual change. My friend’s daughter is in fourth or fifth grade. Her class has a special project for the month of February which has the option of including the entire family. The focus is on health. A one-page form for each person is available to allow them to see their progress as they check off each item successfully completed. The items include: Four to five servings of fruits and vegetables Two hours or less of TV daily One hour of exercise daily No sugary drinks What a good idea! Whether a person checks off one or none of the boxes each day, attention is brought to the subject. Conversations are started. My friend and I talked about which goals are the easiest or hardest to reach. This school project happens to coincide with a few weeks of the Christian Lenten season. Many Catholics “give up” something for Lent. Others choose to “do something” during Lent. In either case, Lent and the school project both provide venues to notice our behaviors and to improve our actions or thoughts. To notice our defects of character or our ...
silence and solitude

SILENCE and SOLITUDE as SELF CARE and SELF COMPASSION

SILENCE and SOLITUDE as SELF CARE and SELF COMPASSION   The past week has been emotionally-charged. My mind and heart seek refuge in silence and solitude. As a survivor of trauma and a life coach for survivors of childhood sexual abuse as well as other forms of abuse and torture, I know to be aware of my past trauma experiences possibly affecting my present daily life. This awareness helps. Retreating into silence and solitude when needed is a form of self care and self compassion. A question I ask myself is, “Would a person who has not suffered serious trauma react similarly?” In other words, is my reaction a “normal” one? As my healing process progressed and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms lessened, I discovered I reacted and acted in a healthier manner. In fact, I handled last week’s emotionally-charged challenges with calmness and finesse. Oh, I was not perfect! That is okay. I am grateful for my reactions and actions to last weeks’ stressors. It shows me how I am thriving! Life’s difficult experiences occurred to those around me. I, as a witness and team member, supported others. My strength and calmness benefitted them. It was a ...
chaos or peace

SURVIVORS OF ABUSE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND/OR EXTREME ABUSE: DO YOU SEEK CHAOS OR PEACE?

SURVIVORS OF ABUSE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND/OR EXTREME ABUSE: DO YOU SEEK CHAOS OR PEACE?   Ever wonder if you seek chaos unconsciously? Did you grow up in a chaotic household? Were you a child in a home filled with domestic violence? Were you the adult in such a household (or are you now in a domestic violence situation)? Was physical and/or sexual childhood abuse part of your disruptive household? Did you suffer extreme abuse, ritual abuse, and/or torture as a child and/or as an adult? Did you adapt? Did you learn to deal “well” with chaos? Is it what you became accustomed to as a child and/or as an adult? Do you find yourself in a job that is high-paced and contains a sense of urgency? It does not need to be an emergency room-type job. Barista jobs can contain an element of urgency as well as can other types of employment. If you enjoy a fast-paced, multi-tasking job and excel at it, there is no problem. If you suddenly realize that you are exhausted and burnt out from the fast-paced environment with its element of chaos, what do you do? What choices do you have? Do you want to ...

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILDHOOD ABUSE CONSEQUENCES

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILDHOOD ABUSE CONSEQUENCES LOYALTY OR STUCK IN RELATIONSHIP AND/OR IN LIFE?   As a survivor of domestic violence and childhood sexual abuse, and as a life coach, I understand that certain traits I have were most likely caused by the abusive situations and perpetrators. Two of these traits are loyalty (often misplaced) and an unwillingness to take risks (even calculated ones) due to inertia. Even after leaving the violent situations with the perpetrators, this inertia or immobilization kept me in other situations longer than was beneficial for me. Articles and books have been written about these subjects. Judith Herman’s book, “Trauma and Recovery: The aftermath of violence – from domestic abuse to political terror” is a classic; and, I highly recommend it. Bessel A. van der Kolk in “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” covers many of the issues with attachment as well as loyalty to the abuser. He writes on page 133, “Children are also programmed to be fundamentally loyal to their caretakers, even if they are abused by them. Terror increases the need for attachment, even if the source of comfort is also the source of terror.” ...

A LIFE COACH FOR SURVIVORS OF ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE

A LIFE COACH FOR SURVIVORS OF ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE   Recently I have been asked about my role and practice as a trauma and abuse life coach for survivors of abuse and/or torture. The question behind the question is usually related to therapy. Although I am clear in my writings on my website about the differences between life coaching and therapy, I would like to share a few of my thoughts regarding both therapy and life coaching. Therapy has been an important part of my healing process. Three different therapists played major roles in my healing process … three men with various therapy styles and modalities. Looking back, I can see how each one filled an important niche for me at the time. It amazes me how life or providence or serendipity gives you what you need when you keep your eyes and heart open. The therapy process is insight-oriented and tends to look mostly at a person’s past as well as present and future. Life coaching (or my style of life coaching) tends to look at the present and the future. In the following, I shall give a few examples of when or how people choose to begin life ...

A SALUTE TO PROTECTIVE PARENTS & THE ATTORNEYS THAT REPRESENT THEM

A SALUTE TO PROTECTIVE PARENTS and the ATTORNEYS THAT REPRESENT THEM   Nine years ago this week, I left Germany with my daughter, Megan Mulczynski, in order to protect Megan from her abusive father and others. Megan, at that time, was freely speaking of the abuse that was perpetrated upon her. My story is told in great detail at www.hopeforus.wordpress.com This blog is not only about me though. I want to acknowledge the countless women who become protective parents in order to keep their children safe from abusers (usually the child’s father). People have may preconceived notions of the court systems in the United States as well as internationally. I highly recommend the documentary available on DVD called, “No Way Out But One”. It is the true story of Holly Collins who fled to the Netherlands to protect her children. The DVD is riveting and at times very hard for me to watch. This documentary very clearly and poignantly shows what happens in the family court system in our society. http://www.nowayoutbutone.com/ It is also important to me to commend the attorneys who defend women who are forced into the position of fleeing with their children. Alan Rosenfeld, Attorney-at-Law, represented me ...

GEMS ALONG THE PATH OF TRAUMA, ABUSE, RECOVERY & THRIVING

GEMS ALONG THE PATH OF TRAUMA, ABUSE, RECOVERY & THRIVING (The Personal Meanings of Our Names)   What is your name? Do you like it? Does it suit you? Do you ignore your name? Is your last name the same as one who abused and/or tortured you? Is it your family-of-origin last name? Is it the name of the child abuse perpetrator? Is it your husband’s last name from the domestic violence relationship you escaped from? What does your name signify to you? Are you comfortable with your name? Do you want to change it? What stops you? I have been asked those or similar questions in the recent past. My answers tend to be vague. Although my name is not my essence, I may one day change my last name, Mulczynski. My original name was Gail E. Cannon. I would not revert to Cannon. To take back a last name that some of my child abuse perpetrators carried would bring no peace of mind. The Cannon household was not a healthy or loving place. A new name would need to satisfy me, to suit me now, and to bring a smile to my face! The middle name I was ...

Freedom from Abuse, Torture & Mind Control

FREEDOM FROM ABUSE, TORTURE & MIND CONTROL   The Fourth of July brings thoughts of personal freedom and independence to mind. If you are still captive in an abusive relationship of any kind or not, please continue to read. We all deserve independence, freedom, healthy relationships, self-care, and self-love. Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult in so many respects; yet, it can be accomplished. I still know the date of when my then husband (abuser/torturer) and I separated as well as the date of the last time the abuse, torture, and mind control was perpetrated upon me by him. For me, not being in any relationship containing abuse, torture and/or mind control (and after a healing period) allows me freedom from: Unwanted memories and flashbacks of childhood sexual abuse, incest, and human trafficking A marriage filled with domestic violence, torture, mind control, and deviant religious practices Having to “tell all” or report to my initial childhood abusers and/or to my ex-husband, Tom M. Suicidal brainwashing Now I experience freedom to: Show happiness and joy Sip a cup of tea in utter peace and in safe solitude Think of myself Explore my spirituality Discover who I am on deeper levels Dream Explore ...