Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence

The Jaws of Life


I’ve learned a lot over the years but the one thing I’ve learned to do the best is keep a stiff upper lip. Allowing the intense rawness that I feel deep down inside, any space at all to run freely terrifies me to the point of freezing up like an old, rusty, hinge but I understand that it’s a necessary evil of sorts. Honestly, it would take nothing less than the Jaws of Life to free the stemmed tide and I have, on occasion, run across such a brash tool and denied it’s entry for the sole purpose of self-preservation which in the end leads to destruction.

The Jaws of Life is a tremendously loud, hydraulic tool designed to prevent loss of life in crushing motor vehicle accidents although that’s not it’s only use.

Jaws of Life

The consequences of all of my missteps rest not only on myself but also on the lives of those I endeavor to protect, so taking the blame seems to be the natural progression, and it should be. The problem with that is that I’ve been conditioned since childhood to slink back believing that I am the one who doesn’t measure up, for one reason or another, even when it is crystal ball clear that the problem wasn’t always due to my lack of adequacy but to their inability to accept themselves. On many occasions as a child, I felt that if I’d done this or that that things would have been different, that I’d be loved, that I’d be accepted and validated in the discovery of me. Rarely did that ever happen catapulting me into a metamorphosis so to speak and dividing me into tiny little pieces making it nearly impossible to detect the abandoned child crouching in the empty corner of my heart.  This plays a significant role in skewing my reality which in turn makes it nearly impossible to rightly judge my steps.

Child's Cry

I’d like to defer for a moment to the thoughts that I previously shared in “Chalk Outline” concerning my death and resurrection and say that I was wrong about that. The plain and simple truth is that I’ve never discovered me because at each and every turn in an attempt to do so, that hurt little girl jumped back to her assigned corner headlong. She’s never held firm in her demand for respect and the right to be who she longs to become.

I have jumped aboard a runaway train bound for nowhere good should I choose to continue to live in the throes of the anger that keeps me in denial.  This unworthily trusted reaction to childhood brokenness has more than sufficed as a protection against the hurt that now balks at the thought of remaining under the gun that had always kept it in check.

It’s time to call that hurt little girl out, hug her, tell her I love her and that it isn’t her fault.  Convincing her of that may be years in the making but I know that one day she will forgive me for abandoning her to her own devices.


Within the walls

Of hurt and pain

I hid behind

A masquerade

I will give my love to you

My heart and soul to you

Forever you’ll be mine

I’ll put my hand in yours

All that I am is yours

Until the end of time

Although some of them may never know who they are, I find it necessary to thank those who wielded the Jaws of Life against the crushing, metal, armor that trapped my little girl inside for so many years.  Truly, you are my heroes.








Author: Teela Hart

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

33 thoughts on “The Jaws of Life

  1. You can do it!


  2. just had another read.
    I so relate.


  3. Beautiful in it’s sadness. I have felt the same feelings. They pop to mind at unexpected times. XO


  4. This post is so powerful: “It’s time to call that hurt little girl out, hug her, tell her I love her and that it isn’t her fault. Convincing her of that may be years in the making but I know that one day she will forgive me for abandoning her to her own devices.”

    This is YOUR time now Tee. I know you’ll continue to do what you need to do as part of your gruelling recovery process, and as you do please know that you are on the right track. I’m so proud of you x


  5. Teela, This one hit me harder than some of your other blogs as it addresses some of my issues. I posted a blog about emotional neglect recently. I experienced something similar to you in my childhood. There are hundreds of articles how the personality is formed but it is formed based on interaction with external forces, usually the mother at first. With no stimulus or negative stimulus the personality forms badly and, at least in my case, there is a lot of magical thinking employed to fill in the gaps in real hope and a loving family. And that results in the denial you discussed.
    What is most cruel is that once you are raised like that, you see things through what I’d like to call “shit colored glasses” and it’s difficult to actually see the light at the end of tunnel. I think that is what your post is saying. You have to face the proverbial inner child and soothe him or her. I think to avoid pain most of us avoid the inner child and it’s hard to make progress.
    I’m not sure that you are required to take the blame for what has gone wrong because you are clearly taking responsibility for fixing it. Abusers are sociopaths that are very good at confusing and misleading. No one is prepared for that. The human mind always looks for explanations and if your environment is irrational your ability to come to meaningful conclusions is destroyed; you begin to think irrationally as well. That is the abusers power.

    I suggested in my last blog, somewhat tongue in cheek, that we could form a support group with a name like, “Children of parents who din’t give a damn”. Sounds silly but I think your blog makes me wonder if it’s such a silly idea after all.

    I will take your cue and work on my stiff upper lip to deal with my crap. Keep blogging.


    • Neil, Thank you for reading and commenting on my post. Yes, we do see through “shit colored glasses” (I like that by the way) and Failure to Thrive is definitely a reality in life. Your comment here makes complete sense to me. I had not thought about the fact that once again, I have thought to take the blame for my situation as I surely did see things through “shit colored glasses.” (I like that by the way).

      I think it is a GREAT idea to start a support group for those with the issues we have. I would definitely participate. Let me know how I can help or just let me know when you get it up and running and I will be there.
      AWESOME idea….

      The stiff upper lip is not necessarily a good thing. I maybe need to go and change that statement to imply that it’s ok not to have one all the time, that we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. The inner child can’t be reached if we always keep up the facade.

      Thank you


  6. Hang in there.
    you will make it.


  7. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


  8. “Some day, you will ache like I ache”
    Doll Parts.
    Courtney Love.

    I put that one up for you.
    I think you have seen it already.


  9. Teela,
    This is one of your finest posts.
    Very very powerful
    Goodness Gracious.
    (I mean that)


  10. Read my blog about genetics,s, I’ve ordered the books that woman wrote and can’t wait to read them.


  11. Teela your one of my hero’s fighting your fight trying to promote the wrongs of abuse. The world would be a better place with more like you in it 🙂


  12. Wonderful and beautiful and brave, Teela; it seems that so many of us who are survivors one way or another are finding that inner child, and our trapped emotions, this week. I suspect the Blood Moon has had a very powerful effect upon us and is releasing things which have been held in check for far too long.
    Courage, lovely lady, you have aplenty – and you inspire others. Take care of that little girl too, though. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Ali,
      That means a lot to me. I tend to agree with you about the Blood Moon. I worked in emergency medicine for more than 15 years and I know first hand the effect a full moon has, I cannot imagine the role of the Blood Moon..

      Thank you for your encouragement Ali,
      Hugs ❤


      • Yes, it was the same in teaching, Teela: the kids used to go completely werewolf when the Moon was Full – and keeping the buggers in the classroom was a full time job! Teaching them?! Impossible! xxx


      • Laughing….
        So you’ve felt my pain. A true warrior…..


  13. When tightly wound, it takes awhile to unwind. True friends commit the time and sensitivity it takes to help those close to them let their guard down, and true friends commit the energy and perseverance it takes to unravel their tear-soaked secrets, so they can bring them into light away from unwelcome eyes to air out so healing can begin. I’m honored to be welcome and trusted, and I know not to pry too much, but a little at a time 🙂

    “She waited for the train to pass. Then she said, “I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.”
    ― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

    “5 The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water,
    but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
    ― Solomon, Proverbs 20:5 (ESV)

    Liked by 2 people

    • You have such a beautiful way of expressing yourself. I do appreciate your friendship and constant encouragement.
      Thank you

      Liked by 2 people

    • fergus, your comments here are always spot on (to use a crude term) but my sentiment is with you. I am just not that eloquent. (I hope Teela understands I feel the same way, but you are a tough act to follow, comment-wise)
      Good show.


  14. I just loved this posting. I am going through some difficult things at work, and can’t but help think I am always “wrong”. I feel like a little girl who tries so hard to be “perfect” so everyone else can be fine, and then it never works. this pattern is so engrained, it makes me just grit my teeth in frustration now that I am in my 40s. Your words so helped today- thank you.


    • It is the upsetting state of perpetual uncertainty that frustrates me as well. I’m sorry that you have to go through that and I’m glad that this post spoke to your heart.
      Hugs to you……. ❤


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