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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Silence Is Deadly


http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=death%20clock&pc=conduit&ptag=A8FE4BCE7BDDC43E78BF&form=CONBNT&conlogo=CT3210127#view=detail&id=31FCA0540D1DE21718F3F1445A01A8A469D4C71F&selectedIndex=6

Silence is Deadly

As a newborn, you cry loudly with your first breath and grip your mother’s hand for the first time; your first bond continues its formation. As an infant, you absorb the world, learn and grow. You learn to roll over, pull up, crawl and walk. Your first birthday is celebrated with grandeur. Your relationships expand as you explore your great big world. You change, adapt and weave yourself into friendships.

Your voice is heard.

At 13, you are officially a teen. At 16, you are now a licensed driver. At 18, you are now officially an adult and graduate from high school and go to college.  At 21 you can go to a bar or club, join the military and vote.  At 22, you graduate from college, get your first job, and become a contributing member of society.

Your voice is heard.

In this short span of time, every achievement is met with jubilance; shouts from the mountaintops pierce the veil of silence as you are celebrated for each accomplishment. Acceptance is your reward.

Your voice is heard.

You have discovered right from wrong, the things that are accepted, and the things that are not. You have experienced, in relationships with others, that some will thrive and some will fail. You will feel the sting of rejection, heartache and pain. You will know what it is to succeed as well as fail.

Sometimes silence is preferred.

Failure elicits disappointment while ability is met with credence. Grievances, undoubtedly meet with disdain, while molding into your surroundings connects with respect.

Silence is beneficial.

You never desired to see the person you confide in reflect any sort of disappointment or derision.  You never made it your life’s mission to display your dirty laundry, your insolvencies or your mistakes.

You are silent.

Tell me, when you feel intimidated, do you speak up? When you are bullied is speaking out your first course of action? Let me ask you this. When the one you love and trust, the one you give yourself to with complete abandon tells you that you are no one, nothing, mental or unstable, do you believe them? I mean really, you have never known this degree of evil.  Will you be able to recognize it when you see it?  Are you confused?

Silence.

In any case, let’s bring the deadliest enemy to the forefront. Suppose you have voiced resistance to intimidation, bullying, shame, violence, hurt or pain, did your confidante really listen? Did they believe you? Did anyone offer viable solutions?

Silence is solidified.

Your heart, mind, body and soul is caged like a wild animal and you reciprocate by acting like one. You know nothing but obedience or reprisal. No one hears your cries of desperation; they turn a blind eye and may even take the side of your captor out of fear of retribution themselves. Your life’s spirit now sucked from you and into the vacuum of a soulless being, you give up the fight.

It is now time to die by either his hands or your own.

Silence is deadly.