Learning to trust and build relationships isn’t easy when you are confused about who and what to trust. For me, growing up in an environment of abuse and bullying taught me abuse was normal, at home anyway. I didn’t see that kind of behavior displayed in the classroom, or in public. I learned early on to keep quiet and look the other way at domestic violence.
When I was very young, kindergarten or first grade, I remember witnessing my father slap my mother. As a child, corporal punishment was the disciplinary tool implemented in our home, so when my dad struck my mom, it seemed standard behavior. Later that day, I was over at a neighbor’s house playing and in a matter of fact way, announced that my father struck my mommy. When I returned home that afternoon, I was severely punished for sharing that information, which I did not know, was NOT to be shared. I did not talk about domestic violence to anyone outside the home, thereafter.
I know now, that domestic violence is never okay on any level. Whether it’s physical or emotional. Women are becoming stronger and standing up more, but we still need to communicate to each other. I know I kept silent about so much, because I was not only conditioned, but after a while, it’s too humiliating to say anything. Your friends look at you like you are crazy for ever enabling anyone to hurt you. But when you are taught (by example set in your own family) abuse is normal, you just don’t talk about it.
When friends share stories of abuse with me now, I do what I can to help educate them. I remind them (in case they didn’t know, like I didn’t) that it’s never okay for anyone to call them names, or make them feel bad about themselves on any level. The social worker assigned to us from my own divorce, educated me further on the subject. I was advised that anyone who makes me feel bad about my body, calling me fat, making fun of any of my body parts, is considered “sexually abusive.” I had no idea that was a form of sexual abuse. That was a huge aha moment for me at the age of 44! I sure coulda used that information much earlier thank you very much! I had been abused right and left and didn’t even know it! Doh! I mean, I knew it felt awful to hear and feel those things, but I didn’t put two and two together. I was so used to getting walloped it was business as usual at that point! When you are beaten down continually by everyone you believed was safe … your world can be a bit confusing.
I discovered that talking to people, professionals, friends or just about anyone who will listen for that matter, were what I needed to help with my healing. They helped me realize I am not alone and steered me to many fantastic tools which I continue to share and stockpile in my arsenal for healing. The tools I refer to are simply anything that lifts your spirits, a good movie, awesome music, guided meditation, and motivational/self help books. These have been life safers at those times when I need help escaping, understanding the insanity of my world or just for when I need a quick battery charge to my personal operating system.
I even started to create quick little escapes of my own to help keep me balanced when a big wave throws me off my “life’s surboard.” A quick little escape really helps me. I included a link below I put together, as a quick pick me up when my mental faculties are drained. I call these little video clips, Mayr’s Mindscapes. Nice visuals … relaxing music … a quick guilt free break without having to leave the office. Works for me every time.
I call this one … the Mountainside …
Keeping that Eros touch alive … in every aspect of my life.
Until next time …