Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence


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A Message from My Body


Thank you Cerridwynn!


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Lean In


Family

Family

I made a post a while back describing an incident I’d had with Jon in 2010 resulting in right arm paralysis. An all-out military assault of MRI’s, X-rays, poking and prodding rendered an ugly diagnosis. The physical therapy department had become a second home and the pain nearly insurmountable. When asked to describe the pain, the words always fell short. A brachial plexus injury is a devastating and crippling injury from which many never recover. Thunder and lightning had taken up residence from my neck rendering the arm and hand useless. The pain was a special kind of horror; however, the complete and utter betrayal in its ability to function caused the most heartache.

Working tirelessly, wearing a special *contraption* and the unwillingness to accept this as a permanent disability excited the required drive to beat the prognosis. Following nine months of intense therapy, function slowly returned and the pain receded. Unexpected jerking movements resulted in dropping, or randomly flinging whatever object I was trying to control across the room. The unadulterated hilarity of the Freddy Krueger splint coupled with the identified object and its unidentified destination kept me sane.

Fortunately, I retired the splint to the Freddy Krueger hall of fame, however, the daily exercise and muscle stretches continue to this day.

Last week started like any other abnormal, PTSD ridden week with a twist of bitterness and a healthy dash of straight up disgust. However, Wednesday’s flavor of the day changed rapidly from vanilla to rocky road when a sudden severe onslaught of sharp pains traveled between my shoulder blades. The excruciating pain and inability to breath drove me straight to the MD. He examined me thoroughly and had me carted off to x-ray where they discovered I had multiple fractures in the vertebral body of my spine.

Dazed and confused, I proclaimed the impossibility of the situation, followed by a ‘what the hell are you trying to say’ stare. There had been no hideous falls or car accidents; therefore, I was hard pressed to come up with a plausible explanation for the injury.

It was obvious the Doc had been in deep thought over the cause of the injury before spilling the diagnosis onto my lap. It would appear, to the best of my understanding, that there had been significant damage to the cervical and thoracic vertebrae in 2010 along with the brachial plexus injury. The vertebral body had developed multiple stress fractures last week for reasons I cannot explain causing the severe pain I am currently experiencing.

Once I returned home, drugs in hand, shaken to the core with anger, and weeping like a newborn baby, I headed for my room. I could not hide the tide of emotions from my children and of course, they followed in behind me. It pains me that my children are forced to see me in this state. Once again, I failed at being the rock, the fortress they need. However, they do not complain, they are champions. They each take time to lean in, give me hugs and whisper in my ear, “I love you.” I do not have to ask, they instinctively act. When they least expect it, I lean in, give them hugs and whisper in their ear “I love you.” They do not have to ask, I instinctively act.

We are a family, strengthened by our past, weathering the storms of the present, and reaching into the future as we learn that we already instinctively know what it means to lean in.


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Social Media Safety for DV/Stalking Victims


Here is a list of some things you can do to try to stay safe:

  • For any account that you create, use a strong password that no one could figure out and keep it private.  To read more about this, please see What safety steps should I take even if I think the abuser does NOT have access to my email account?
  • Limit the amount of identifying information you use, like your birth date, address, full name, etc. (This step can also help prevent identity theft.)
  • Be careful about what you post!  Consider the articles you post to your profile, the pictures you put in an online album, or any status updates that indicate where you are at the moment (such as “checking in” at a restaurant) or where you are headed (such as a vacation destination).  These types of posts can reveal a lot about you: your interests, your whereabouts, and your future plans, which can lead to someone finding you.
  • Log out of your account by clicking “log out” after each session on your social media page.  Do not simply close the browser, as it does not always log you out of your account, which would then be viewable by any other user of the computer.

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