Some Random Thoughts…

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. So I figured since I try and keep this blog real and raw I would just share it with all of you.

I have been feeling all kinds of different emotions. Getting back into the medical field I had to realize that I am going to miss out on a lot with my child. He will be in school soon so it won’t be as bad, but it makes me angry. I had to give up so much and R doesn’t care. I would never want him involved in my sons life anyway, but when you are pregnant you picture the typical “family”. I never set out to be a single parent, but now that I am, it just makes me a little resentful. I am going to have to miss out on sports, school stuff, bringing him lunch if he forgets it-little things. At the same time I do have an amazing supportive family who replaces his “father”. I would never want Beau to endure any kind of abuse from R, or witness anything happening to me.

I also have noticed that when I take Beau to the park (which I do at least 3 days a week) that I feel out of place around other married couples. I feel like I am almost damaged or not as good of a parent because I am a single mother. You always get asked the uncomfortable question- “Is his dad at work?” or any other questions that center around his sperm donor. I always just say “oh no, its just me” and then i feel like I get looked at like a bad parent, or pity, like I was some girl who slept around and got pregnant, not that I was a victim of domestic violence and was engaged to his sperm donor. How do I tell some random person that his so called “father” poisoned me with drano while I was pregnant, or that I almost died and Beau was born almost 8 weeks early from blunt force trauma. That isn’t exactly the best small talk at a family park.

Beau is also starting to notice what a dad is. He has called family friends and random men in stores Dad, not understanding what the meaning of the word is. He even told the man at the drive thru “Okay Dad! Coming now!” when I was told the total cost of his happy meal and to pull around to the first window. I try to explain to him that the random man isn’t his father, that not all families have daddy’s and that its okay because I love him, MiMi loves him, KiKi, GiGi, and Papi all love him. I knew I was going to have to cross this bridge, I just didn’t think it would be so soon. How do I explain to a 3 year old that his father was such a sick and twisted piece of crap? Say his dad was sick? I don’t want him to idolize that monster in the slightest bit. I can’t help but have it break my heart a little bit every time.

All of these things are realities that I am going to have to face. I am a single parent and its my job to make sure Beau is the happiest little boy ever and is given all the best opportunities in life. He will succeed, he will not be like his paternal grandfather, or his father. He will NOT be another statistic in the system like they are.

There is a saying “When you can tell your story and not cry, you know you’ve healed.” Well I tell my story all the time, I did it publicly in the video I made here https://www.facebook.com/alyssa.divincent/videos/vb.1382713971/10207405038069140/?type=3&theater , I share more with you guys every week and I truly feel like through this blog, counseling, and all the support I have-that I am healed.

That is why I want to share other survivors stories. I want to give the gift of healing to anyone who needs it. Whether the abuse is verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, whatever it is-your voice deserves to be heard. I would keep the stories completely anonymous for safety reasons. If you contact me we can arrange a meeting, or it can be done over Skype. For more detailed information PLEASE contact me on A Survivors Mission Facebook/Instagram page. It emails me directly.

Thanks for reading my rambling,

-Alyssa

An open letter to my granddaughter…

Alyssa,

I decided after reading your blog to answer the questions that you asked of your friends. I was curious to see what my response would be. I know that the questions sparked anger and also sorrow for not seeing what was happening to you. When I learned of the abuse he put you through I was shocked. How could this have been done to you and no one knew? I am sorry for not seeing, for not supporting you or being there to comfort you, until we almost lost you. R caused a lot of trouble and sadness for your family. We were angry because the man we trusted and supported turned our to be this monster. He let us all down, especially you. He has lost much more than he will ever know. His son will grow strong, happy, and succeed in life because of this loving, caring family. He lost, you won!

  1. How did my experience effect how you approach relationships? If at all?

    Since your abuse came to light I find that I now view the relationships between couples differently. I watch to see how they respond to each other-Are they happy? Do they talk? Are they listening to each other? I am now aware.

  2. Did you have any idea I was being abused?

    No I did not. I did see signs of trouble when R was drinking too much. He would become nasty and get angry with you, especially when you tried to get him to stop drinking.

  3. If you had any idea, what signs of abuse did I show?

    The abuse that I saw was his verbal abuse of you. He would pick on you, make fun of you, and he would then try to get you to change your mind about going home. This behavior was very obvious when you were pregnant, tired and asking to go home. His response was to get nasty,drink more,and get very loud.

  4. What you tell me old me?

    There are times when I saw that you were not happy. I should have tried harder to reach you,to talk to you, but I did not want to intrude on your privacy. Knowing what I know today, I would have insisted on talking to you.

  5. Has my experience changed your life? Good or bad?

    The old you was sweet, trusting, and happy. The relationship with R changed you. You became defensive and quiet, you seemed to be running away from us and the family. Knowing what I know now, I should have talked to you. I have experienced the changes in you in a positive way. You are stronger, no longer sad and withdrawn. You are more open about what you want in your life and about what you want for your little boy. I see the relationship with family being more open and loving. You have become positive about life and you are determined to help others who are being abused.

  6. What would you tell a family member/friend of a person currently being abused?

    If I saw someone that I knew in the same situation I would try and get them to call you and I know you would help them.

  7. If you could say anything to my abuser what would you say?

    I don’t know if I could talk to R at this time. I am still very angry about what he put you through. I still remember the fear that we were going to lose you and your little boy. I remember his lack of compassion seeing you after the delivery. I still see abuse of your family the night your son was born. I see how little he cared about anything except himself. The only thing he was concerned about was the car he happened to be working on. No, I can’t talk to him now, or ever. He crossed the line because of his abuse.

Law Enforcement & Domestic Violence

I am a part of a lot of different Domestic Violence support groups on Facebook and I have been noticing a constant trend-lack of a relationship/trust with police.

Now, let it be clear that I am a major supporter of law enforcement, I am in no way bashing them, but I think there needs to be some changes in our laws.

My personal experience with a Sheriff after my attack wasn’t the best. The sheriff  was parked on my street when I returned home from my first post op. This sheriff came up to me and was very rude. He wouldn’t look me in the eye. He made me feel as though I was waisting his time. Huffing and puffing. When I was asked to show him my arms I complied, he said the bruising was gone-of course it was, it had been at least 14 days since the attack. He went through my phone. I felt judged, looked down upon, and ashamed. I was re-victimized. When asked if I wanted to press charges I said yes. He informed me that its up to the DA if the charges stick or not, and that he would go and talk to R and get his side of the story. He had me sign a medical release form and handed me this pamphlet with domestic violence information. There was no compassion, he never asked me if I felt safe, or if I was okay. I called the officer repeatedly trying to see if he had ever received my medical records, that was where the abuse was noted the most and it wouldn’t be a case of “he said/she said”. That officer never returned my phone calls and never received my medical records resulting in R getting a misdemeanor charge and a probation violation. Thats a slap on the wrist for causing my child and I to almost die in my opinion.

I see in the support groups how these woman are already so fragile, we have had our world rocked, we are beaten down emotionally and physically so bad that we don’t know what to do, who to trust, what the next step should be. We call 911 in fear for our lives knowing the risk it puts us in if the abuser hears us doing so. 1/3 of female homicides are because of their partner.

Now on the law enforcement side of things, their hands are tied. I can only imagine the weight their jobs carry weigh on them. Seeing such horrible things. They are trained to not have an emotional reaction to the situations they are called to respond to, so at some point the compassion has to leave them. When we call for help its when we are frantic, in fear for our lives, its their job to stay calm and diffuse the situation at hand. We as DV survivors know how horrible DV situations are. These calls are one of the most dangerous calls police officers respond to-22% of in line of duty deaths were from DV calls.

In order for the police to do anything there needs to be signs of abuse (bruising, broken objects, fear for your life) or written/recorded threats. The officers will make an arrest if there are signs of physical abuse, however you can make a citizens arrest if the bruising is gone (this needs to be said more). There is a new law to remove all firearms from the home. They must make an arrest if there is any violation of  a protective order. They must offer an emergency protective order which lasts for 5 days, the victim receives it right then and there, it is then the victims responsibility to move forward and get a long term protective order in place. In the case of there being marks on both parties the police officer must identify the aggressor and arrest that person. They must carry out a full investigation (medical records, witness statements, 911 phone call, pictures of injuries/scene of crime).

Statistics show that a domestic violence victim goes back to the abuser on average 8 times. That breaks my heart. If you are abused on a daily basis, imagine how many punches will be thrown, how many more broken bones to be had, and how much more the abuser will beat down the victim emotionally. Completely crippling them. Not to mention the risk of retaliation resulting in the murder of the victim, because they called the police for help.

What needs to change is what steps are taken when the abuse starts-verbally. Most domestic violence survivors will tell you about the verbal abuse first. How the perfect man turned into a monster. These abuser tell us how amazing we are, start buying us things, being prince charming. Then slowly they beat us down, tell us how ugly we are, worthless, Bitches/Sluts, controlling us, taking our friends away, then our family until the only person we have left is them. Verbal abuse is a huge form of domestic violence. I can tell you the words and way R destroyed my self esteem was way worse than any physical abuse he did to me. Bruises heal, words stick with you forever.

Domestic Violence restraining orders/protective orders need to protect more than just physical abuse victims. The judges need to approve the cases of verbal abuse too.  If we can prevent the verbal abuse from continuing maybe we can prevent the future physical abuse from happening.

Peace.

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Peace is defined as freedom from disturbance, quiet or tranquility

It is something I never realized was taken from me.

When I was with R every day I walked on egg shells. Afraid to mess up. Afraid to of what I was walking into after work. I was terrified to mess up or upset him. When you are with an abusive man for a long period of time you start to get used to it. The knots in your stomach and weight on your chest becomes a part of you.

I will never forget my first birthday after leaving R. It was almost 7 months after Beau was born and ending of our relationship. For the first time in years I didn’t have to worry about him getting drunk. I didn’t have to worry about a fight breaking out and getting pushed around or told how worthless I was. I felt like I could finally breathe. Of course I always am in fear. I am in Hawaii with my family on vacation and I was still afraid to sleep with my window open. Over a thousand miles away from home and I still am afraid he will find me, or happen to be here on vacation. BUT as I sit here and watch that gorgeous sunset I feel at peace. I can be free to be who I am. I can laugh and relax.  Have fun with my son and make amazing memories. See my child with my grandmother and sisters. See him make memories with my mom and dad. He might not have a father of his own, but he sure as hell is surrounded by the most amazing family who loves him. He will never have to feel the stress or anxiety of being around his sperm donor. Beau will only know peace. And that is a trade off I’m more than willing to make.

Love from Hawaii,

Alyssa

 

A letter to my abusers family…

Dear _____,

When I first met you guys, I knew your family was different than mine. My family is very involved in each others lives, loving, and outgoing. I thought maybe the emotional disconnect was because R was your son, maybe it was the way some addicts keep a wall up before letting someone completely in, or maybe it was because you knew what your son was capable of.

I don’t blame you guys for the abuse. R’s mother has reached out to me and made her peace, which I completely respect and appreciate. She even told me that my speaking out is helping her heal from the damage that monster caused. She let me know “As the mother of your abuser, I believe you.” That for me was HUGE!  When she reached out to contact me, my parents were very hesitant on what she had to say. Her email couldn’t have been any better or more genuine. It meant the world to me to hear that someone from his family actually believed me and supports my mission. This letter isn’t for her. Its for the other two.

I do blame the two of you for so much more. I blame you for not trying to help your alcoholic son more. I know the addict needs to want the help, but with the two of you being sober I thought you would have tried harder. I blame you for treating him like a cash cow when he came home from Afghanistan, that made me pity him. I blame you for being the fakest people on the planet. You sat there and watched my mother and father sob after being told that their daughter was going to possibly die due to the abuse your son inflicted and you didn’t do a damn thing. You didn’t comfort them, you didn’t apologize, you didn’t try to help in anyway. You just stood there. My mother fought for you to be able to see my son in the NICU. My father gave up his opportunity to see Beau in the NICU in order to give you a spot to see him and that is how you repay her? I had the nurses caring for my premature son call me and let me know how uncomfortable you were making them feel. You made them feel unsafe because you were throwing fits over my child having my last name.

You then had the audacity to text me and ask to see my child. Against my better judgement I allowed you to. How did you thank me? By serving me custody papers. All I asked of your son was to be sober for a period of time longer than the usual 5 days. Then, in court while I sat there frozen in fear with my attorney, you sat up next to that monster of a child you raised as if you were his legal help. Last time I checked you have a cosmetology  certificate, not a law degree. You coached your son on all of the right things to do. Go start in parenting classes, go to AA, and use his PTSD as a way to make the judge pity him.

One would think that you would have caused enough damage, but you didn’t stop there. You decided to tell this whole town that I was a liar. I understood at first, who would want to admit their son was such a piece of crap, but at some point you should admit I am telling the truth. Its been 3 years. You say that I don’t allow you to see “your grandchild”.  You have never asked. I even asked you for R’s address to have him served and you responded with calling my son “drama” and “that mess”.

So don’t you dare try and tarnish my reputation or my families reputation. Unlike your family, mine is supportive. They welcomed me back after the alienation your son caused. They love Beau. They are extremely proud of everything I have accomplished and getting my story out. They are proud of how far I have come with healing from the damage R caused and most of all they are proud of the mother AND father I am.

The truth will always prevail. The good guy will always win. My family has won and most of all, Beau and I have won.

-Alyssa

Dating an Abusive Man.

I know I said I would be sharing the answers from my family this week, and I know this blog post is late. The truth is my family is still so hurt and affected by the abuse that it is hard for them to relive it. They need some more time so HOPEFULLY I will have their answers next week for you guys.

All of this has made me realize a few things, some I knew already and some I didn’t. I already knew how much this monster hurt and ruined the old me. I knew how I lived in fear everyday, how I walked on egg shells, and how I was always afraid for the next blow up. I didn’t realize how much what I went through hurt my friends, more so because I didn’t tell them.

When you are dating an abusive man you are manipulated to believe that every abusive incident is because of something you did. I am sorry I lied to all of you. I am sorry that I didn’t reach out and ask for help. I was in denial of my own life. I would walk into work and put a smile on. I would see my friends(when I was able to) and I would say everything was fine, they had no idea that the night before there was a huge blow up.

When you are dating an abusive man you are constantly told how ugly and worthless you are. You’re groomed into believing that you are a horrible person. You start to believe that even if you did come forward, nobody would believe you, or that you would never have the chance to get help-he would kill you first. I can’t even begin to explain the brainwashing that goes on.  R made me into a different person. I probably will never go back to the girl I was before, which I am almost thankful for. I will never be a victim again, I will never be controlled again, and I will never lose myself again. I look back at pictures of me when I was with him and you can just see that there is no light behind my eyes. I was dead inside.

When you are dating an abusive man you are dating a coward. You don’t realize this because they gain control of you by taking away your self worth, self confidence, and self respect. I would never have been with someone who loved a bottle more than he loved me. I was abused multiple times over throwing out alcohol or getting caught pouring it out. I wouldn’t have ever stayed with someone who called me the horrible names he did. Someone who threatened my life, threatened my unborn child’s life, and someone who physically abused me on a regular basis. He felt like such a coward that he  had to ruin me to make him feel better.

When you are dating an abusive man you question everyone around you. I don’t trust very many people now. I don’t believe the words people tell me, only actions. I don’t put up with any crap from anyone, which is good and bad. Good because I know that I will never be hurt again. Bad because it can get exhausting, being so skeptical of every person that comes into your life. If you cross me once you wont get a second chance to. I look for red flags in any man I date. Any signs of addictive behaviors, I look at how they act when they are frustrated, how they treat others around them, how they treat their family.

However, dating an abusive man made me stronger. It made my family closer than ever. I lost a lot of friends, but realized who my true friends were. I have been in counseling for over 2 years, forced to relive the abuse I endured in order to overcome it. I had to build myself back up. I am getting me back. My smile, my happiness, my strength. Of course I am still afraid to go to certain restaurants and places in town, but every time I conquer those fears I feel empowered.

Because of that abusive man I realized what my reason for living is. I have a mission to change the stigma of who domestic violence victims are, change the laws and protocols there are on domestic violence, and a mission to change lives.

 

 

Domestic Violence effects more than just the survivor cont…

As I had spoke about last week, domestic violence effects way more than just the victim/survivor. It effects anyone who cares about them. They have to see you hurt, suffer, and continue to go back to the abuse.

I asked two of my other best friends to answer the same questions(listed below) and I am going to share their answers!! MM and DM.

  1. How did my experience effect how you approach relationships? If at all?
  2. Did you have any idea I was being abused?
  3. If you had any idea, what signs of abuse did I show?
  4. What would you tell the old me?
  5. Has my experience changed your life? Good or bad?
  6. What would you tell a family member/friend of a person currently being abused?
  7. If you could say anything to my abuser what would you say?

MM

  1. How did my experience effect how you approach relationships? If at all?

    MM: “It has made me think and understand if that ever is a situation I get into that there is help and was to get out before it is too late.”

  1. Did you have any idea I was being abused?

    MM:” I had no idea and that is the most heartbreaking part for me. You are one of my best friends, I should have known something wasn’t right.”

  2. If you had any idea, what signs of abuse did I show?

    MM:”Again, to me that is the most heartbreaking  because I didn’t see any signs. It’s one of the hardest things to grasp because I saw you everyday at work and didn’t think your sickness day after day was caused by the person you went home to every night.”

  3. What would you tell the old me?

    MM:”If I would have known what I know now I would have never dropped you off with him everyday after work. I would have done everything in my power to let you know you can get out.”

  4. Has my experience changed your life? Good or bad?

    MM:”The biggest way that your experience changed my life is that you are still with us today. I don’t know what I would have done if you or your sweet boy were taken from us because of this monster, but you were stronger and you are still here blessing this world every day.”

  5. What would you tell a family member/friend of someone who is currently being abused?

    MM:”Sadly, this isn’t the only time I have been faced with a friend in an abusive relationship and I know nothing will sink in until that person is ready for it to. If anything were to tap pen to these loved ones I would want to know I tried everything I could to let them know there is a way out before it is too late.”

  6. If you could say anything to my abuser, what would you say?

    MM: “To be honest I hope I never see you again in my life and ever if I do, I don’t know if there would be many words, if you know what I mean. Honestly, I don’t think anything I would say would do anything and thats why I would rather have it all speak for itself. You lost…You lost the best thing that could have ver happened to you for what? Look at her now, she was stronger than you, she fought for her life and has gained more than you will ever see in this lifetime.”

DM

  1. How did my my experience effect how you approach relationships? If at all?

    DM:”I always pay attention to how someone talks to me, how they talk to others. How they speak to me if they are upset. I want to know about their background a little bit. Really get to know someone and not fall for bullshit.”

  2. Did you have any idea I was being abused?

    DM:”No and it seriously breaks my heart. I can’t believe that for two years she went through this and I had NO idea. I warned her before they started dating of his past and when they did have fights I just tried to be here for her and let her vent. I remember the day Momma D called me and told me what was going on. I lived in sacramento at the time and asked her if I should come to the hospital and she told me no. I need to try to talk to Alyssa and help her realize what a monster R is. She was in complete denial. I remember asking her what she thought was going on and Alyssa just being devastated that she couldn’t talk to R. We texted and she finally opened up and let me know what was going on. And the only thing I could do was be there for her and pray she didn’t go back.”

  3. If you had any idea, what signs of abuse did I show?

    DM: “I really had NO idea.”

  4. What would you tell me old me?

    DM:”Honestly, Ive always known you to never put up with shit so I am surprised you did. But I am shocked that you never spoke up because we tell each other everything, good and bad.”

  5. Has my experience changed your life? Good or bad?

    DM:”It has had a huge impact on my outlook with relationships. You made me realize what I was going through and that I was in a verbal/emotionally abusive relationship. That a man should never scream or talk at me, or talk down on me because he is mad. But also vice versa. It goes both ways. I realized I was in a toxic relationship, everyone told me for months but it took me realizing it my self to see it and take initiative to end it and remove all negativity from my life. Since then I know what I deserve and what I will stand for and what I want in a man. People should never curse at each other and should always treat each other with respect, once you lose that boundary your relationship means nothing.”

  6. What would you tell a family member/friend of a person currently being abused?

    DM: “I would be here for them and help them in any way I could. You can’t just tell someone to leave a person…you push that person away and it leaves open doors for them to go back to their abuser because you were too hard on them.”

  7. If you could say anything to my abuser, what would you say?

    DM:”You know…he reached out to me a few months ago and I flat out told him I had nothing to say to him. He knows what he did was wrong and he has to live with it for the rest of his life. He can say anything but I know who he is and what he did to my best friend. I have seen how much it has effected her. She had also grown so much and is so strong to be telling her story in order to change the world. R you suck, you ignited Alyssa’s fire…she is going to do great things.”

Next week will be my families answers, it should be a really great one to read!!