joy and freedom

JOY and FREEDOM

JOY AND FREEDOM   Joy and freedom is a glorious topic for a blog post! When one has survived the horrors of abuse and torture, freedom is especially precious. Sometimes human beings can take freedom for granted as well as joy. Recently I had an extremely short chance encounter with my former defense attorney, Alan Rosenfeld. Alan Rosenfeld with my former public defense attorney successful defended me when I was charged with custodial interference. I was a protective parent who attempted to keep my daughter, Megan, safe from further abuse from her father and others. The jury trial ended in a hung jury. Charges were eventually dismissed. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Alan Rosenfeld as an attorney and as a man. His continued commitment to help battered women and their children is remarkable. (Alan’s website is: http://alanrosenfeld.com/) Later that day I had a phone conversation with a dear friend. As we shared our lives, I was sitting on a bench by a creek. It was quiet around me except for the sounds of the ducks walking on the thin ice. Day ended and evening began. As I walked, I saw the Christmas lights in the park as ...
triggers - surprise attacks

TRIGGERS: SURPRISE ATTACKS

TRIGGERS: SURPRISE ATTACKS   You are well on your healing road. Life is moving along smoothly or smoothly enough. You, as a survivor of abuse or trauma, most probably have insight regarding what triggers you. One day you realize old behaviors have returned. Maybe you are drinking more alcohol than normal, or you are turning to food or away from food, or you reenact part of the past abuse/torture, or suddenly you have a dream (or dream segment) that contains parts of what occurred during the abuse. Maybe you are irritable and less tolerant than normal. You realize that triggers have attacked you by surprise! What do you do? How do you cope? First, sit and breathe ….. More insight is available! You are growing and healing further. As you sit and breathe, relax. Let go of preconceived notions. In fact, let go of all thoughts for 5 – 10 – 20 minutes. Hear the silence as your noisy thoughts move in and out of your mind as clouds move across the sky. Pay little notice. Sit with yourself, your true inner being. Now, as calmness and clarity becomes prominent, reflect on the last days or weeks. Triggers can be ...
abundance and gratitude

ABUNDANCE and GRATITUDE

ABUNDANCE and GRATITUDE   Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America. Where does your abundance lie? For many, Thanksgiving Day is filled with an abundance of food and loving connections. Most unfortunately, there are those who may not have enough to eat or do not have family or friends to share the day. I have fond memories of preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner at my great-aunt’s home. It was fun. The preparations and the actually day were fun. Cousins came. We ate. The kids played. No abuse occurred during the day. I was safe. For me, I will forever think of Thanksgiving as the day before my daughter, Megan, and I were discovered in 2007. Our lives were changed forever. The day after Thanksgiving in 2014 also stands out in my mind. That day I fell and seriously injured my face and teeth. I still eagerly wait for the day of Thanksgiving to be finished and the entire Thanksgiving weekend to be in the past once more. Oh, each year there is less angst and a bit more joy creeps into my world. I cling to gratitude during the season from Thanksgiving to my birthday in January. ...
resiliency - life after shock

RESILIENCY: LIFE AFTER SHOCK

RESILIENCY: LIFE AFTER SHOCK   Resiliency. Life after shock is sobering. The shock hits! Bam! What is your personal response? How do you cope? Shocks initiate from diverse occurrences. These can be caused by individual trauma, as well as local, country-wide or global disturbances. A short list of causes of shock is below. There are many, many more. Rape. Loss of a child in a custody battle. A diagnosis of cancer for you or a loved one Unexpected death of a friend or loved one. A wildfire that burns your home. An earthquake that demolishes a city. A gunman that murders individuals in a movie theater or a school. Shootings in your local neighborhood – many of which result in deaths of innocent people including children. An election result that puts a narcissistic person in power who stands for division and hatred. How do you cope when your first hear of the news? What is your behavior the next day? A week later? A month? Years? If you research the topic of resiliency on the Internet, you will find many articles on this topic. My life (as well as others) have consisted of much trauma and moments of shock. There ...
intimacy and technology today

INTIMACY and TECHNOLOGY

INTIMACY and TECHNOLOGY   Intimacy and technology is a more complex subject than it may seem. This topic consists of many facets. The smart phone as well as Facebook and other technological advances have changed people’s lives in beneficial and detrimental ways. This post will explore intimacy and technology from my perspective as well as other writers' thoughts on the subject. As I pondered the subject of intimacy, I realized how life has changed. Decades ago, neighbors and friends might knock on one’s door unannounced. Hospitality was a given. Even with plain, old phones, individuals still would stop by someone’s house spontaneously. No matter what the distance, it is easier now to communicate with friends and family. Many families and friends are geographically dispersed. Phone costs are much lower (especially on an international basis) than in the past. In some ways – even with the benefits of modern communication technology – it is more challenging to remain close to a person when distance is involved or even when the person lives close to you or when a person even resides in your household! Several technological options that most of us use infrequently or everyday to communicate are listed below. I ...
holiday life coach

HOLIDAY LIFE COACH

 HOLIDAY LIFE COACH   Let me be your holiday life coach! It would be a privilege! The holidays are approaching. Whether you view the holidays through a religious, spiritual, or secular lens, this time of year most likely contains extra stress. This season is stressful for those who are survivors of abuse and trauma or not. Not many are immune to the extra pressures. If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse or childhood trauma of any type, you may experience more challenges. If the abuser was a family member, seeing the perpetrator at family gatherings may be triggering. Many survivors no longer have the abuse/perpetrator in their lives at all. This physical detachment from the abuser may cause ripple effects. The possibility exists that you are ostracized (overtly or covertly) by other family members. Maybe you now feel family-less. Some survivors of childhood abuse are labeled mentally ill especially by the abuser. If you do not accept the perpetrator’s view (and others related to the abuser), you quite likely feel the added pressure of not being believed. "They are committing the greatest indignity human beings can inflict on one another: telling people who have suffered excruciating pain and ...
loving connections and loneliness paradox

PARADOX – PART 2

LOVING CONNECTIONS & LONELINESS: A Paradox – Part 2   Loving connections and loneliness forms a paradox for me. No matter how many loving connections I have in my life, I still experiences times of intense, profound, inner loneliness. It is only recently that I have decided to not attempt to run away from the feeling. The thought crossed my mind in the past that maybe I was deficient. Maybe something was wrong with me. I wanted to be loved so badly. I wanted the experience and depth of loneliness to disappear. As a survivor who escaped a domestic violence (DV) relationship of decades, I am able to look back now with distance and further clarity. Being a victim of childhood sexual abuse led me to the DV relationship with my former husband, Tom M. I thought I had found true love. Little did I realize then, I had no real and true idea of love. Love is more than words. From the victim’s standpoint, in reality, it is almost impossible to truly love someone you fear. As the romantic relationship with Tom M. progressed, a part of me knew it was a disaster. I ignored the red flags and ...
loving connections and loneliness

LOVING CONNECTIONS & LONELINESS

LOVING CONNECTIONS & LONELINESS: A Paradox – Part 1   The loving connections and loneliness paradox is apparent in my life. In spite of loving connections in my life, I experience intense, profound loneliness sometimes. In the past, I would attempt to escape the loneliness through unhealthy and healthy methods. Now I befriend loneliness or at least get to know it better! This post will concentrate on the loving connection aspect of life. I will address the loneliness piece in the next post. Loving connections are any type of relationships that contain a meeting of hearts or souls. These meetings may be short or long, simple or complex. Loving connections may include: friendships, significant other relationships, parent-child ones, parent-adult child bonds, or even a momentary interaction with a stranger or acquaintance. We each know and experience loving connections. Define it as you will! Take a moment as you read this post to breathe. (After reading this paragraph, look up from the screen and breathe.) Life is often quite busy. I find myself skimming articles too much of the time. If you are able, sit. Relax. Breathe … take a deep breath … again … Spend a few moments thinking of ...
gratitude challenge

GRATITUDE CHALLENGE

 GRATITUDE CHALLENGE   October has arrived! Autumn is here. Thanksgiving will arrive in six weeks! Readers may remember that this time of year brings gratitude to my mind. I am offering my readers a chance to participate in a gratitude challenge. Megan (my daughter) and I used to keep a blank piece of paper on the refrigerator starting in October. This paper became our gratitude list. Whenever the mood struck, one of us would write something that caused us to be grateful. (See my blog post: http://roadtofreedomandpeace.com/gratitude/.) I removed the list after Thanksgiving. The lists were kept to glance at each year. Unfortunately, the sheets of papers were left in my former apartment in Germany when I left abruptly to protect Megan. The lists and memories remain in my heart though. Gratitude exists in my heart! The gratitude challenge is quite simple. Make a gratitude list of your own this October and November. Maybe you will even choose to keep two separate lists. A community or family list could be on the fridge and a personal list could be kept by your bedside (or in another safe place). Make sure the list is where it can be seen or where ...
taking high road

TAKING HIGH ROAD WHEN STUCK

TAKING HIGH ROAD WHEN STUCK   Taking the high road when stuck may be difficult. It may also the best route to travel. There are periods in our lives when we may be are unable to immediately extricate ourselves from situations which are stressful and not optimal for us. Good reasons may exist to stay put for the time being. Time may be needed to help change the present situation or to find the door to exit. It is important to develop ways and means to deal with rough situations and the stress that is caused. The first example I will explore is a job situation. If the wise decision is to cope with what is occurring at your place of employment for the moment, it helps be present and aware of your current surroundings including your coworkers. I have noticed from my personal experiences that people react quite differently when stuck in a job. Individuals may: Decide to embark on a person work slowdown. (This slowdown may help the person to cope. It also does impact others in the work environment as well as customers.) Become angry at coworkers and customers. Rudeness starts to show where it had not ...