Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence


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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.

footage.shuddershock.com

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Sensational and Stunning Time-Lapse Video of Yosemite National Park!


Almost every post I make concerns the ugly side of life and as a result it gets heavy over at my place. I stumbled upon Michele’s blog, “greyzoned” and found something more beautiful and healing to the soul and spirit than I have seen in a long time. I love nature, and this video is like ointment to my wounds. Please take the time to watch and enjoy.
And go by an pay greyzoned a visit.

Angels Bark

This should absolutely be shared with everyone you know! What an incredible journey through beautiful Yosemite National Park. Two photographers, Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill, both from California, spent ten months backpacking over 200 miles in Yosemite with one goal in mind: to create this astounding 5-minute video time-lapse video capturing the park in all four seasons.

The video quality is fantastic, the editing is incredible, the music score is a perfect match for what you see and it is just a fabulous way to start your Sunday! Enjoy. This is a major WOW. Spread the beauty!

Stunning Time-Lapse Video Captures Rare Views of Yosemite

national geographic yosemite national park photo

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Beat Me

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We are fast approaching the end of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.  The hurt in this young lady’s eyes is clear, however, she found her voice and I would like to share it with you.  The video brought tears to my eyes as I listened to her sing about her own personal hell and her desire to prevent this tragedy from being cycled to her baby girl.

Chantell finds her voice.

Eagle's Wings


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Why does she stay?


I’ve heard the statement, “if my husband laid a hand on me I would be out the door,” or some other similar statement.
Full of self confidence and naivety, I’ve made that statement myself.

On gathering the bricks and mortar to build my new foundation, I discovered a question I’d never noticed before.

“How can we possibly leave?”    -Linda A. Osmundson

I hadn’t realized it until today that following one disastrous failure that nearly ended my life; sprawled out on Eagle’s wings I soared.

I have chosen today to thank God for that ability because for 19 years it escaped my grasp by many treacherous miles.   -Me