Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence


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The Night the Lights Went Out *Trigger Warning*


I’ve been working on this post for several days.  It is the single most difficult post I’ve made.  It is my hope that in the end you will have found it to be encouraging.

Raw unadulterated emotion reduced me to a fragmented heap in every sense of the word as *Jon’s* lawyer ripped what was left from my heart and soul. He condemned his prey to death with the stealth and viciousness of a Leopard; I could hear Jon’s words creep like the grim reaper from his lips and into my thoughts exacting a cruel and hefty price for my defiance. The courtroom, packed with onlookers, stifled the air. They needed no oracle to see all of the destruction; the gruesomeness overpowered their urge to turn their heads.

Streaming tears gave way to guttural groans; breath escaped me; heaving and gasping my composure fled. My defenses hemorrhaged onto the stand, as the predator circled and clawed ferociously ending me with ease. Gravity weighted me to the seat, I couldn’t stand under it’s supremacy. I buckled under the pressure and gasps escaped from the (now) audience in the courtroom

 

Granted supervised visitation, I met with my children every weekend. The release I’d felt when I left my abusive environment quickly turned from hope to hopeless.  My health and mind quickly declined; depression settled like a black stormy cloud. The gnawing, deep seeded pain, no longer tolerable, drove me down into the hell of hopelessness. The wish for a shove or a slap and even death replaced the desire to survive. Alone and rejected by everyone I relied on, I screamed into the void, my voice went unheard. In my mind, recourse did not exist. I’d failed at every attempt to retrieve my children and now the desire to rescue myself no longer existed.

 

I couldn’t divert my eyes from the bottle of pills on the coffee table. It somehow drifted into my consciousness incessantly, calling my name. The harsh unrelenting words and actions of Jon over the past 19 years cut like a knife. The memory of his attorney’s assault invaded my senses and I questioned my sanity. The cries of my children and their inability to cope formed the final bullets of death.

Separated, mind from body, I took the bottle into my hand, I stared into it’s eye and it stared back at me. It understood what I had to do, it invited me. I twisted off the cap and 20 or 30 pills spilled into my hand, they seemed to sparkle like jewels. I answered their call and swallowed them down a few at a time and then 30 more. I did not seem to be in control of my body, it was moving through the actions without my consent.

 

Three days later, I found myself drifting in and out of consciousness unable to move. My hands, tied to rails on either side of the bed, ached. A respirator effected the rise and fall of my chest. The hospital room was cold and sterile and the machines played a lulling song. I could hear my own heartbeat on the monitors; silent tears rolled down my face.

I returned to my mother’s a week or so after my suicide attempt and still I never sought help.  I returned to Jon and my children a few months after that. I grew angry and insolent as time passed and even contemplated another suicide attempt. I didn’t follow through because of one simple act of kindness. Someone reached out to me and spoke living words into my heart. Those words ignited my hope into a fire that would give me the courage to ask for help.

I went to a rehab/shelter, told my story and it was heard.  I knew then that if I’d reached out to the right people I could have prevented such an awful act of violence against myself along with untold suffering.

They called outside resources to come in and provide counseling concerning Domestic Violence. I was given a plan with local resources, the hope to fight and the strength to win. It was a welcome reprieve, a place of strengthening, encouragement, and acceptance. I was safer and freer than I’d been in a very long time.

Three years later, one year ago, my children and I walked out for the last time. We received therapy and I’m blessed in their presence and living the life of a survivor. Many good and bad things happened in that three year interim and I reached out for help.

While the reasons for our pain may be different, one fact will remain the same; heartache is, at times, intolerable to bear without help.  The choice to reach out to someone in my desperation saved my life and the lives of my children; I hold firm to that belief.

I’ve included a national suicide hot line link here. I also have resources and help links at the top of my blog page for those struggling with Domestic Violence.

Don’t suffer in silence.  Reach out.

 

 

 

 

 

 


33 Comments

All Thoughts Prevail


Twirls_and_Swirls_by_Sirit

Head swirling

Steady as a rock

Mind reeling

Standing still

Heart thumping

Beating not

Really feeling

Then again not

The touch of a hand

In absence dwells

A heart torn apart

Whole and well

Imposing a thought

Clean slate

With no legs to walk

Run away

Heaven or hell

No way to tell

Love it

Leave it

All thoughts prevail

 

 

 

 

 

 


29 Comments

Blackest of Black


black hole

 

The blackest of black

The darkest of hell

It seemed to me

I would never prevail

Smoke from his nares

Breath of his soul

Bit just another

Blood gushing hole

The stairway to heaven

Far removed

’til I tripped over the devil

And landed at his stool

Winds rushed forth

As I looked to the sky

A shimmering hope

I’m not gonna die.


17 Comments

The Rock


In vain

I try

To crawl

From beneath

The rock

That you

Have placed

Upon me

My bones

Are crushed

Form imprints

In dust

Freedom may

Be a

Frame of

Mind but

In my

Life it’s

A place

I’m buried

With no

Way out

No one

Can see

My filthy

Hand that

Reaches out

To be

Completely free.

 


52 Comments

Yellow Roses


Yellow Rose Buds

Yellow Rose Buds

The yellow rose represents the sun, warmth, and friendships.

Last night I had a dream about yellow roses growing up from a concrete slab. I reached out to them to admire their beauty. My immediate thought was of the magnificent hearts at the Cut-Throat Clubhouse and the care we have for each other.  A new beginning beautifully hewn with delicate roses through our concrete prisons serves as a reminder that beauty springs from cold, dark places.

I am lost

At a loss

For real words

To express myself

Exactly the way

I really feel

Without the shedding

Of a tear

Ten thousand tears

A fountain flowing

Cannot control

Falling down

The darkest hole

Cannot run

Cannot hide

From the pain

That lives inside

A dream awakes

My darkened mind

Of yellow roses

At my side

Without thorns

In concrete slabs

In strength they grow

From tiny buds

I reach for them

And their love

Their Sunshine warms

They light the way

They lead me out

I live to fight

Another day


26 Comments

Quintet of Radiance


Picking up the Pieces  authored by Amy Thompson also found on twitter @AMarie nominated me for the “Quintet of Radiance award.  Amy is an unmovable advocate and support for domestic violence victims and survivors.  I am truly honored.  If you haven’t met her already please go by and pay her a visit.  You will be welcomed with opened arms.  Chances are, she has already found you.

According to the rules for accepting the award.  I must choose a word that describes me using the Alphabet.  A challenge for sure.

A-Activist

B-Blessed

C-Charitable

D-Decent

E-Engaging

F-Forgiving

G-Generous

H-Honest

I-Improved

J-Just

K-Kind-Hearted

L-Loyal

M-Merciful

N-Nurse

O-Open-Minded  (daughter says sometimes 😉  )

P-Playful

Q-Quirky  (says my daughter 😉  )

R-Responsible

S-Strait Forward

T-Trustworthy

U-Understanding

V-Valuable

W-Witty  (my daughter chose this one; I obliged)

X-Xtra-Special (made that one up   🙂   )

Y-Young’un (according to Lance)

Z-Zealous

My nominees are:

afterthepsychopath.wordpress.com

behindthemaskofabuse.com

Unload and Unwind

The Phoenix Again

The power of silence

Lady with a truck

My life a day journey

Finding my inner courage

Prescription-Drugs


10 Comments

The World Continued to Turn


It is true.  I married an abusive narcissist.  It was a poor decision; however, in my defense he presented himself very well.  He was a kind, humble, Christian, man looking for a kind, humble, Christian woman.  It seemed only logical that we join forces, forming a kind, humble, Christian couple.

The problem came, when after 2 weeks of marriage, he revealed to me that he was a member of the KKK, and a prospect for the Hell’s Angels.  The fact that he was trying to be a better person and move on from these things gave way for the compulsion to overlook these horrifying confessions.

After picking up my jaw from the floor, he declared yet another unspeakable revelation.  “I almost killed my ex-girlfriend; I was choking the life out of her and my brother broke a Pepsi bottle over my nose to get me to let her go.  But she was a crazy bitch; she attacked me first and talked trash about my daddy.”

He went on.  “Please believe me, I’m a changed man.  I will quit the KKK and the Hell’s Angels and I will never, ever, ever, put my hands on you in anger.  My father used to beat me like a grown man when I was a child, I will never forget what he said as he beat me with clothes hangers and drop cords, ‘son, I am going to beat you as hard as God will let me.’”  “  I will never do that to my children and I could never do that to you.”

My heart broke into pieces for Jon as I imagined him a small, defenseless, child battered at the hands of a full-grown man.  Jon’s mother left his father after 19 years of marriage, and proclaimed the whole time that his father had never struck his mother.  I, in turn hated his mother, who had already passed, for allowing her son and herself to suffer such abuse and I hated his father for perpetrating it. I had no idea I would be Jon’s mother one day.

I could not understand why a neighbor did not tell someone, or why family members never intervened, or why his mother did not leave long before 19 years had gone by.  I wanted to help Jon.  I wanted to make him better.  I wanted him to know what it felt like to be loved by someone who would never hurt him.  I believed in the power of God to heal his wounds and so I proceeded on the rescue mission facing me.

I ignored the red flags, I turned a blind eye to his shenanigans and my children and I paid a hefty price that will likely haunt us for the rest of our lives.

Upon realizing that no amounts of love, assurances, yes sirs and no sirs, perfect housekeeping, or perfect “wifing” would ever make a difference with Jon , I felt destitute.  He continued to berate and abuse me; several times, he actually slapped my face while getting ready for church and loved me like a princess in the presence of the church family.

Alone in the bed, I had made for myself, destitute and suffering both physically and emotionally, I made the fateful decision to medicate not only my physical pains but also my emotional pains.  I found that my painkillers worked wonders for numbing the insatiable anguish dwelling deep within.  I no longer belonged to my children, my husband, or myself.  I now belonged to a new lover.  One that was always present down that dark desert highway.

The world continued to turn and I sank lower than I could have ever imagined.  Angrily, I survived many attempts to end my life and after two coma’s and a final decision to do it “right” this time I called the pharmacy to inform them I would be there the next day to pick up my bottle of 240 pain pills.  In my mind, I had twelve hours to live, therefore, I curled up in a fetal position underneath my blood red throw.  However, as fate would have it, a tiny hand touched my shoulder and the words, “I need you Mommy” pierced my heart (See “I need you Mommy”).

The following day I took myself to rehab, detoxed my drug-ridden body, and hashed my plans to escape the streets of hell that Jon had so carefully constructed just for me.

If I could do it all over again, I would have pulled myself up by my bootstraps, flushed the drugs down the toilet and I would have run, and run hard, and I would have never looked back.