Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence

The Next Step


I decided, after three (or more) days of self- loathing, mindless distraction and fear (self-imposed and otherwise), that I would venture out from the confines of my cozy corner.

I discerned a distinct lift in my spirit, listening to Vivaldi’s “Winter” as I began putting away, picking up, rearranging, dusting, sweeping and mopping. Oblivious to anything else, it felt good, right, and free.

A knock at the door, my son running down the hall, and a slightly sinking feeling ended my harmony. Jon was at the door. I suppose, since the restraining order had timed out, he felt he could stop by any time he pleased.

I maintained, I think, as he stood at the door while every thought you can possibly imagine crushed my mind. He had decided to lighten the proverbial load with a menial monetary donation out of the goodness of his heart and look in on the children. (As if)

Refusing to make eye contact, I stared down at my feet and asked him if he had tried to call first. My insides vibrated; I held the doorknob tightly to brace myself just in case the quaking decided to seep into his view. I took in a long, unhurried, breath. I couldn’t give him a glimpse of the storm going on inside my body as well as my mind. The door closed behind him. At first, I thought I’d done pretty well under the circumstances.

Out of nowhere, like a slow winter approaching, my hearing muffled, tunnel vision replaced peripheral, I could feel my body growing cold as the blood literally drained from the top down.

I sat on the bed; huge bullets of liquid terror formed on my face and I closed my eyes and slowed my breathing. Shortly after, I regained my composure only to realize the dread growing in my belly.

I should’nt have been so curt. He is going to ‘get me back’ for that little tort. Maybe I should call him back and clarify. Maybe I should apologize. What is he going to do? How will he take it?

Even now, as I type this very post, I’m debating, hoping to stay a controlled, violated and blemished mind. I have somehow landed right back where I started today.Β  Cautious of every next step, I take it anyway.

Author: Teela Hart

I am a mother, daughter, sister and domestic violence survivor.

42 thoughts on “The Next Step

  1. It takes time for your subconscious mind to catch up to the conscious one, especially in circumstances where hypervigilance has been such a huge part of your life. Always aware of what you say, the tone in which it is said – those lessons take time to undo and they may never fully depart – you just learn to recognise the pattern and not become angry at yourself for putting into play those instincts that circumstance forced on you. Time doesn’t make things all better it just helps us become better at coping. Thank you for sharing with this post.


  2. I’ve never heard fear, the way I feel it, described so exactly, so well. It was brilliant! I mean, it was the most clear description I’ve ever read. You described what happens physically, brilliantly. I really think I’d be jealous if I didn’t already know how sweet you are and if I weren’t so grateful that someone wrote that so well.


  3. Dear Teela…stay strong. Keep your energy vibrating high at the level of love. Don’t buy into his manipulation…If he recognizes that you are not engaging…not dropping your energy to fear…He will take his abuse elsewhere (unfortunate for the next person I know.) I wish you peace and love…and I am so happy you have this community to help you through!! Blessitude – Lorrie


  4. I feel for you…so sorry… I am keeping you in my prayers, stay strong…hugs


  5. Freedom’s ahead, prison behind. Don’t turn back, even just a little bit. That’s not where you’re going. Continue, with strength, going forward, Teela.


  6. Teela, I literally got the chills reading that and put on a blanket. It does indeed feel like a chronic disease. I cannot even imagine what happens when my PPO is over. I am glad you are okay. You are strong, I think you handled it well and do not apologize or feel bad. You have chosen to live without fear, don’t let the fear come back. Maintain those boundaries and stay strong. I pray he leaves you alone.


  7. You are stronger than you think. I admire that you are able put these feelings down for us to read. I’m sure it is helpful in some way. I know it is for me.

    Keep being strong.


  8. You did great. ❀


  9. Teela I pray you feel The Lord holding you close through this difficult time, arming you with strength, filling you with peace, blanketing you with rest along with everything else you need to greet Vivaldi’s Spring ❀


  10. My thoughts are with you. I understand how frightening it is. I still dread the day my ex decides to show up unannounced at my door. In my case however I have a new husband, and a .38 special to back me up.


  11. I cannot imagine this kind of hell. You are brave. I admire what you are doing on your site. You are teaching people like me about a problem which does not get enough examination.
    Thank you for sharing.


  12. I feel for you, my sympathies, you described the sensation so very well, I remembered it with you.
    You can keep out of the cycle because you are aware of it. Sucking you in is too difficult, now.


  13. Oh my dear. My heart ached for you readihng this. I can only imagine the fear your body felt. So proud of you for staying strong in front of him. But i know how your body and mind quickly bow down to the fear and try to figure out how to ‘fix’ things–apologize, try to make them happy to keep the peace and prevent the aftermath that may be brewing. breaking that pattern is SOOOO hard to do. retraining your mind to stand up for yourself and protect your boundaries without questions. i struggle with this myself, so i don’t mean to make it seem easy. But you are doing it. you are doing it. big big hugs


  14. I know you already know this, but I’m going to say it anyway: please do nothing. Do not apologise, don’t clarify – those things give him an ‘in’ which he will exploit. I know exactly how you feel, but from my experience abusers will seize on any opportunity at all. Please let us know how you get on.


    • Thank you for saying it anyway. I really appreciate it. I won’t call. I hate being hemmed in after getting out.
      You don’t know how much it means to me that you reached out.


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