Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence


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Believe It or Not….


I’m constantly bouncing between getting better and falling apart, on the bright side, losing touch with my harsh reality is so much easier when I get out of the house and absorb the beauty that surrounds me. I can breath a little easier. 

   
  

   


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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

my shadow


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Please Don’t Forget About Me


It is not usual for me write according to the daily prompts, however, I have said these very words to my children repeatedly. Please don’t forget about me, the new me, the me I was meant to be free. Therefore, this is dedicated to them.

Within the walls of pain and shame, I hid behind a masquerade of lies. Domestic violence sucked me up and deposited me in the darkest, most crippling place imaginable.

Not only me, but also my children suffered the deepest kind of pain for which I have no cure. I have no ability to remove their suffering, their misplaced guilt and shame, their hearts or their souls.

I do not have to imagine coming to the end of my life; the end rapidly approaches. I have little time to attempt to right the wrongs. I have failed them in the worst kind of way. It has been said, “It is not your responsibility to bear the full brunt of all that has occurred in their lives.” I cannot accept that statement as truth.

I am their mother. A mother’s role is to protect and nurture, not crash and burn before their very eyes. Security ripped from their trusting hands, safety far from reach, and an abundant dose of a twisted, perverted, kind of love filled most of their lives.

In January of 2012, we chose the door leading us away from that horrid existence. The only goal prevalent and revolving about me is to make up for so much lost time. I want to be there for them, love them the way they deserve to be loved, encourage them; make amends the only way I know how.

The legacy I have given is a garish hell from which there sometimes seems to be no escape. I have to, I must, at all costs, any cost, give a new legacy, one in which no one can take away. I must be sure their rightly inheritance befitting over comers, survivors, and lovers of life are well within their reach before I leave them. It is imperative to make them believe that, for without belief there is no hope and I cannot let go of the here and now having left my children without hope for a better future.

I pledge to do all within my power to mend the brokenness I have affected and allowed and to restore their birthright, the only gift I have left to give. I cannot change the past, but I can pave the way for a good future.

It is for this reason that I write every day to spill myself upon these pages so that when I am no longer with them they will be able to feel my presence as real as the life surrounding them. I never want to leave them, ever again and the only way to do that is to leave a tangible piece of myself behind.

For the sake of anonymity, I cannot post the multitude of photos I have taken in a desperate attempt to capture moments I never want them to forget. In addition, if for some reason, those things are lost, I have only the hope that the new memories far outweigh the old, a touch that can never be lost or stolen.

Prescription-Drugs


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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.

Unliberating Liberation


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Unliberating Liberation


End Domestic Violence

End Domestic Violence

Solemnizing the one-year anniversary of my liberation from domestic violence on January 18, 2014 left a poignant taste.  Supposing that this libation would be exultant, proved to be an incorrect  hypothesis.

In reference to physicality, the invectives and maltreatments are no longer present.  Unfortunately, my consciousness continues to be powerfully shackled from many arduous years of abuse.

The ability to navigate the trickery of my mind teems elsewhere and the oxymoron that is unliberating liberation offends me; however, perpetual positivity assuages the sorrow.

“Strength of character isn’t always about how much you can handle before you break, it’s also about how much you can handle after you’ve broken.” ——-Robert Tew.

In other words:

Even though I am physically  free from abuse, my mind is still in a bind but my belief that things will get better is never-ending and that helps me.

“Humor is the instinct for taking pain playfully”.                  Max Eastman