Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence


12 Comments

Who’ll Stop The Rain?


It’s been raining all day and will continue to do so all night along with thunder and lightning.

rain

In light of my most recent visitor, I guess I’ll hunker down with my military mace, blade and 12 gauge.  Oh, well.  Long night ahead.  :/

Thunderclap as I type.  :/

 

 


22 Comments

Onslaught *Heavy Triggers*


I cannot force anyone to understand domestic violence if they have never experienced it. However, I can most assuredly give a sneak peek into the life of a DV victim/survivor and hope that someone will open their mouths or quite simply click the share button. To remain silent is to be complicit in this crime.  I’m just sayin’.  One more thing.  I lived for  nineteen years in domestic violence, I escaped, and I had to watch and think on these things as I made this post.  Remember that.

 

Now take a deep breath and move on to the next one.

 

Take your time, clear you head and keep watching.

 

Enraging isn’t it?

 

As painful as it is to watch this tragedy multiply that by infinity and you’ll begin to understand how painful it is to live it.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please visit http://www.nomore.org for a list of domestic violence centers specific to your location. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at http://www.thehotline.org or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you feel you are in immediate danger contact your local law enforcement by calling in the U.S. 911


34 Comments

Don’t Piss in My Cornflakes and Call It Sugar *Mature*


If you don’t care to read REALLY ugly words then maybe you should skip this one.

It has come to my attention of late that the obligatory, cold-blooded, monster that once ruled my life is now preying on my children. My gut was not wrong, he did have something up his slimy sleeve and I am incensed. Trust me when I say that it could get ugly in here as I am about to address this blood sucking asshole in this post and then I’m going to deliver the same to his wretched fucking face.

Dear Asshole

YOU have no fucking right to call MY children and try to make THEM feel sorry for YOU!

YOU hit your own daughter with your fucking broke down piece of shit truck with MY son in the passenger seat.

YOU left behind a god-damned mess for ME to clean up.

YOU do not give a shit about their well-being.

Do not ever call me again to express your concern for the daughter that YOU tried to destroy with your abuse, grandiose religious ideations and your self-predicated need to be right when you are nothing but fucking WRONG. They are not going to move in with you EVER. I do “get” that you, in your own depraved mind, believe that I am far from an adequate parent but why don’t you just face the shivering fact that the amount of fucks I give in regard to you is NONE.

DO NOT EVER drop by with your fucking clueless brother to offer your counterfeit concern.

Note to that brother of yours:

I called you on so many occasions asking for help and if I recall correctly you said, “Oh you know how *Jon* is, he would never hurt you or the children.” After he paralyzed my arm, smashed my head into the windshield, threw me to the ground, wrapped his fingers around my neck and choked me to unconsciousness while MY children watched. Shall I say here that you are without doubt full of more shit than your brother. Wasn’t it YOU who said, “make sure you investigate the story the kids told you about the truck incident, I find it hard to believe” when you called to “check in” on me? Well, dear ass-in-law, your niece cries herself to sleep at night over that fucking truck incident not to mention the two incidents prior to that when I in all my 110 pound glory had to punch your hick ass brother in the face to get him off her. She also, thanks to YA’LLS POSITION on the matter, feels guilty for no FUCKING reason, hence the lack of communications with all o’ ya’ll. My children had to listen to you all slaughter me at Christmas. Did you take into account their feelings then? I think the fuck not. Don’t push your luck with me, you will walk away holding your ass in your hand, I shit you not. On second thought, please do bring that whole fucked up clan of yours and don my doorstep at your own fucking risk because none, neigh not one of you will leave with your fragile egos intact. That’s not a threat, it is by god, a promise.

Now back to you Fuck head:

Your daughter is in a shit storm that only a soulless individual like yourself would use to gain yet another foothold on her distressed emotions. You’re not here, thank the gods, and you never will be here so let’s thank them again and here’s a newsflash just for you. She will never be THERE either and I do venture to say thank the gods for a THIRD time. You can take all of your severely challenged sense of save the fucking day and save your fucking self because I’m not the woman you once knew, and I’m fully prepared to fight like a tied Fiest fucks over my children and here’s a another fucking clue just for you. You’ll fucking lose!

Fuck You!


18 Comments

I’m Out


I’m a survivor, I want to make that clear.

However, I need to take a break from the edge of hell and regain my composure.

I assure you all, I’m fine.

I’ll be back.

I want to thank all of you for your unending support, kind hugs, warm thoughts and positive energy.

 

Rock On

Rock On

 

nomore.org


16 Comments

No More Week


This week is no more week.  I’m asking sister survivors, fellow bloggers and friends to please help spread the word and stop the violence.  You can follow nomore.org on twitter @nomoreorg and FB.

Let’s join the thunderclap.  Raise awareness, raise your voice and stop the violence.

I say no more because for 19 years I didn’t.  This silence was a detriment to myself and my family.   It is my duty as a survivor to help others realize and understand domestic violence is a cancer that will continue to proliferate and destroy the very fabric of our society.

Why do you say no more?

nomore.org

nomore.org


42 Comments

The Next Step


I decided, after three (or more) days of self- loathing, mindless distraction and fear (self-imposed and otherwise), that I would venture out from the confines of my cozy corner.

I discerned a distinct lift in my spirit, listening to Vivaldi’s “Winter” as I began putting away, picking up, rearranging, dusting, sweeping and mopping. Oblivious to anything else, it felt good, right, and free.

A knock at the door, my son running down the hall, and a slightly sinking feeling ended my harmony. Jon was at the door. I suppose, since the restraining order had timed out, he felt he could stop by any time he pleased.

I maintained, I think, as he stood at the door while every thought you can possibly imagine crushed my mind. He had decided to lighten the proverbial load with a menial monetary donation out of the goodness of his heart and look in on the children. (As if)

Refusing to make eye contact, I stared down at my feet and asked him if he had tried to call first. My insides vibrated; I held the doorknob tightly to brace myself just in case the quaking decided to seep into his view. I took in a long, unhurried, breath. I couldn’t give him a glimpse of the storm going on inside my body as well as my mind. The door closed behind him. At first, I thought I’d done pretty well under the circumstances.

Out of nowhere, like a slow winter approaching, my hearing muffled, tunnel vision replaced peripheral, I could feel my body growing cold as the blood literally drained from the top down.

I sat on the bed; huge bullets of liquid terror formed on my face and I closed my eyes and slowed my breathing. Shortly after, I regained my composure only to realize the dread growing in my belly.

I should’nt have been so curt. He is going to ‘get me back’ for that little tort. Maybe I should call him back and clarify. Maybe I should apologize. What is he going to do? How will he take it?

Even now, as I type this very post, I’m debating, hoping to stay a controlled, violated and blemished mind. I have somehow landed right back where I started today.  Cautious of every next step, I take it anyway.

Forgive Me


19 Comments

Forgive Me


This post is not one of pride or heroic achievement, but one of regret and shame.  Judge me if you must, but I respectfully ask that you embrace my testimony with compassion and understanding.  Moreover, to my children, I simply ask, forgive me.

Somewhere between sleep and consciousness, the precipitous footsteps of my daughter running down the hallway toward my bedroom accompanied by cries of terror rang in my ears, jolting me out of bed.

“Mama, mama, help me!  He hit me with the truck.”

Barely comprehensible she conveyed the horrifying story as rage and fear consumed me. 

Red faced and barely consolable, I implored her to tell me what happened.

“He wanted me to wait in the truck with him until my bus came to pick me up, but I didn’t want to, we argued and I got out of the truck.  For some reason he got really mad and revved the motor driving the truck in my direction going really fast.  I thought he was going to run me over!  I moved forward and he revved the motor and came at me again, this time he actually knocked me off balance and I fell to the ground.  He was screaming at me to get back into the truck, so I got up and ran back toward the house.  He revved the motor again, put the truck in reverse and sped toward me as I ran toward the house.  Mama, he was going to run over me!”

By this time, my son was standing in the doorway to my room sobbing uncontrollably and nodding his head in agreement to the events my daughter had described. 

“I was in the truck with him mom.  I tried to stop him, but he wouldn’t listen.  He said over and over, “I’ll teach that little bitch not to listen to me.  She is going to be sorry, she gets on my GD nerves and I can’t take it anymore”

“I was afraid he was going to kill her mom.”  Tears flowing like a fountain down his cheeks. I’m scared mommy.” 

Over the course of two months, following my tragic court appearance, I had been gathering information, making plans, squirreling away money and preparing emergency travel bags in anticipation of an event just like this one.  Jon had never directed physical abuse toward my children before, he would have had to kill me first and he knew it.  The only way to get away with abuse aimed at them would be to do it when I was unaware; however, he was spiraling out of control making the worst mistake he could have ever made.  I am certain his recent victory in the court system gave him the sense that he was untouchable.

I deliberately walked slowly down the hall, in deep thought over how I was going to handle this and escape with my life to boot.  Jon was standing in the foyer, his face stern and hardened.  I pretended not to know what had just taken place for safety’s sake and coolly announced I would be taking the children to school that day. 

“I have to go to my mother’s house to help get her meds organized after I drop the kids off for school.  I won’t be long.”

Jon granted permission and the kids and I headed out the door. 

Shamefully, I did not take immediate action that day.  Although I felt somewhat prepared, fear continued to wrap about me like a poisonous vine.  I sent my children to my mother’s after school to question Jon about the events that took place that morning. 

He was so convincing, “that’s not the way it happened, your daughter is a drama queen, it was all her doing.  Get her here and we’ll discuss it like adults.”  Somewhere deep inside I wanted to believe him therefore I obliged and retrieved my daughter from my mother’s home.  She strongly protested the entire time.  “How could you betray me like this mom?  How could you take me back there knowing what he did this morning?” 

Thoughts of being a terrible mother swirled around me as I ignored her pleas.  I desperately needing to believe Jon would never attack his own daughter and I proceeded to the house.

Jon, my daughter, my son and I sat in the den as we each described our version of the incident.  Without fail, Jon became irate; insults ensued, objects flew, and mayhem ruled.  Jon tackled my daughter, I tackled Jon, phone in hand to call 911 but he snatched it from my hand and threw it out the front door before I could make the call.  My son ran after the phone, I grabbed my daughter’s hand and pried her from Jon’s grasp.  In a mad dash, we ran to the neighbor’s home seeking refuge, but not before my daughter delivered a right hook to the cheek of the man, she once adored causing him to free us from his grasp.

I had failed my children once again and the agony was nearly more than I could bare.  I had to do something.  Abusing me was one thing, but my children.  Well, that was a completely different ball of wax.  Prior to this incident, the kids were wholeheartedly on their father’s side. 

Acting as his punching bag kept the children safe and my presence gave me peace of mind.  I knew that I could watch over them as long as I was present.  I never took into account the effects observing domestic violence would have on them in the years to follow.  At least not until I questioned them both in an interview of sorts, which I intend to post later.

The following day I took them to school then headed straight for the domestic violence center and conveyed every minute detail of the events of the day before.  The caseworker provided her usual story concerning my situation, as I had been there on several other occasions, followed by the announcement that she would be contacting child protective services to make a report.  She then handed me a stack of papers to sign for their records, which I gladly filled out.

Skeptical of their true intentions, (due to the last experience  I had with them in court) I proceeded to inform my “advocate” that I would be present and accounted for with my daughter in short order so that she could recount the events in her own words.  She assured me that it was not necessary.  I ignored her somewhat dubious assurances and brought my daughter to the center.

This was the last time my babies witnessed or experienced domestic violence.  I made a vow to them and to myself.  From that day on survivor had become a permanent part of my vocabulary and it rings in my ears every other minute of every day.  I will never betray my children or myself again.  It is my promise to them.  It is my promise to me.  I love you J, R, H, C.

The Nature of Innocence


19 Comments

Innocence Lost



I have said many times that I would never be with a man who abuses me. As a nurse, my training taught me to recognize the signs of abuse; as an ER nurse, I had occasionally cared for abused women (not that domestic violence is a respecter of either sex).

I employed educational materials and I prepared a “one size fits all” speech completely bereft of first-hand knowledge, and gladly so.  I was innocent to the trappings of Domestic Violence.

I understood the physiological outcome of domestic violence easily enough and I believed that I understood the psychology behind the abused and the abuser. I followed protocol in expediting cases of domestic violence with empathy and compassion.  It had been my experience, unfortunately, that the abused returned to the abuser. My intellect could effectively deduce those reasons; however, I could never get a tight rein on the workings of the deadly cycle.

Any self-respecting emergency care worker knows that a full moon invites all sorts of characters to the ER.  The graveyard shift had run amuck with code blue calls, gunshot wounds, and shackled prisoners from the local jailhouse.  The ambulance bay had more traffic than the bypass at rush hour.  Rounding my twelfth consecutive hour, I was looking forward to using the bathroom (bathroom privileges are not always guaranteed) and going home to the man of my dreams for some much needed down time. 

We will call him “Jon.” Jon and I met at church; I had known his family for years before we met.  Jon’s sister-in-law informed me, one Sunday morning, that he wanted to meet me and before my inner gatekeeper could assemble a proprietary lock-down, the word “sure” escaped my lips like a desperate criminal. A demanding nursing career, coupled with two small children, left the proverbial totem pole without a ‘dating’ sign; in fact, I vaguely remember deciding not to put it on the totem pole at all.  Yet, there I was, giving my consent. 

At the time, I was very strong in my faith and all the outward appearances proved Jon to be a decent man in his thirties with a heart for the Lord.  Humble, seemingly shy, extremely polite, and handsomely chivalrous all described him to a tee. 

I walked through the automatic doors into the humid night air; the wind whooshed around my body as tresses of hair overcome by the blast whipped my face. My scrub top tugged to the left from my pocket being loaded down with surgical tape, hemostats, various pens and notes. I leaned against the concrete support, lit a much-needed cigarette, and deliberately took a long drag while massaging my neck.   A lab tech, getting off work at the same time, stopped to exchange small talk about the night when Jon arrived.  We had only been married a few weeks and I was looking forward to seeing him.

Worn from the trials of the night, I flopped into the seat of the car, leaning in for a kiss at the same time.  Jon glared straight ahead, his facial expression intense, and before I could get the door closed, he stomped the gas pedal and chucked me back into my seat.  The force of my body colliding with the back of my seat forced a deep exhale from my lungs.  Shocked into silence, I tried to make sense of what was happening.  Lunging forward I grabbed the door and secured it with a slam.   I gasped, “What is wrong with you, Jon?” Tears welled up in my eyes, a lump formed in my throat and fear began its ugly inception.  

“Who the hell was that? You fuckin’ him? I knew it…I knew I’s gonna’ have trouble with you working with them damn hard-sides….”  By this time, we were on the interstate and my heart was in a power sprint inside my chest; my son and daughter were in the back, in their car seats, screaming bloody murder.  Deciding it was dangerous and futile to engage Jon in this twisted game, I begged him to calm down.  

 Jon continued his verbal assault driving faster than the law allowed.  The man who wooed and doted over me was rapidly devolving from my white knight into a monster.  His anger escalated, he slammed on the breaks, the tires screamed and smoke bellowed from beneath us as the car made a 180.  Facing North on a southbound interstate, at a dead stop, with headlights approaching, terror overcame me. My body was shaking violently; my breath hitched as I tried to stifle my cries and reassure my children that everything was going to be OK.  Grinding the gears, Jon righted the car quickly.  During the rest of the ride home, the kids were silent, I was silent, and Jon was silent.  My whole world changed in a matter of seconds on that night. 

“I will never be with a man who abuses me” played in my mind like a broken record.  The faces of the women I had counseled flashed before my mind’s eye.  In rapid succession, memories of the well-rehearsed speeches I had given, pamphlets, social workers and shelters haunted me.

No longer was I bereft of first-hand knowledge.  In some cruel twist of fate, I found myself no longer innocent to the trappings of domestic violence.  I was now a victim.  Survivor would not become part of my vocabulary until 19 years later.